Generating Great Content vs. Promotional Hype

Staying on the correct side of the line.

Although it can seem a little blurry at times, there’s a fine line separating great content from promotional hype.

Articles that review a product in a fair and unbiased way can provide a ton of value for the reader, so they are allowed and encouraged. However, if the review is coming from someone connected to the product in any way, the review will be considered biased and it won’t be accepted.

In this video, I’m going to focus on the line between great content and promotional hype and give some insights on how you can stay on the correct side of it.*


“DO’s” and “DON’Ts” From the Video

DO:

  • Use the article body to give your original tips, techniques and analysis. Get to the point and share quickly to build your own credibility.
     
  • Save any promotional messages for the Resource Box and your own website.
     
  • Give recommendations for products that have worked for you. As long as you aren’t linking to the product, you can give an unbiased review that provides a great deal of value.
     
  • Have a plan of what you want to cover in each article before you write. Stick to that outline and you’ll avoid slipping up and mentioning your product.

DON’T:

  • Don’t use sales copy in the article body. The article body is not an infomercial, so don’t treat it that way.
     
  • Don’t name drop in the article body. Your company, your product and your name belong in the Resource Box, not the body.
     
  • Don’t use your company’s links in any context. Even using your company’s website as an example is too promotional.
     
  • Don’t promote your Resource Box before it’s time. Once a reader absorbs the information in your article, they’ll be ready to discover more in your Resource Box.

You’re the expert, so show off that expertise with great content. Injecting promotional hype for a product inside an article is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility as an impartial expert in your field, so don’t do it.

Use this as a quick reference guide to staying on the right side of that line between promotional hype and great content. Then, once you write and submit your next set of high-quality, original articles, share your experiences in the comments sections below.

* Please Note: This post was last updated on April 24, 2014 at 11:48 A.M.

25 Comments »


1

EzineArticles.com is a well-repected article directory – with solid informative Content without Hype.
EzineArticles is easy to use, with helpful training and great support! I strongly recommend EzineArticles! Thanks Christopher & Team

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 4:18 PM

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2

This is extremely valuable information! It is surly a gray area when it comes to marketing or sales online. Many people are trying to gain followers via social media or traffic to their blog.

This video sets a great guideline for Do’s and Dont’s for the proper way to market online as well as how to utilize article marketing guidelines at EzineArticles.

Thank you for putting together a great piece and reminding us what to keep in mind while writing content.

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 5:13 PM

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3
Elena Neill writes:

Thank you for sharing. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded of the do’s and don’t’s from time to time.

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 5:28 PM

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4
Joe writes:

Thanks for pointing this out Marc and for keeping EzineArticles a place for quality content. I think we all like to rest assure knowing that when we look through a magazine (electronic or physical) that the articles within are informative and not to be confused with or replaced by the ads in-between.

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 5:29 PM

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5
Azman writes:

Hi,

I love this guide.

Exactly the kind of tips I need.

Thanks Marc.

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 5:54 PM

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6

Having just submitted my first article to your site, I look forward to sharing what I know about EFT with your readers.
Thank you for the writing tips and support that you offer.

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 7:07 PM

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7
Scott Kelley writes:

Very good suggestions and ones to live by. Using anchor text to relative content I think is crucial. But do you think it is good to anchor to previous articles written in the body?

SWKelley

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 7:25 PM

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I’m not sure I understand your question. To clarify, are you asking if you should link to the same article in the resource box that you link to in the article?

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Scott Kelley writes:

I guess….okay…I have never tried to anchor text in any of my articles…if it is possible and I have a related article here or else where and it is non-promotional is that allowed? And also do you think that changing the recourse box with a related article is a good idea.
I really do not sell anything…yet…but I am building my portfolio and credibility through article writing and publishing and as I write for other places too I use this practice to give weight to my articles in the information I am writing about. I hope that clarifies what i am asking. lol…I can be confusing from time to time…I kill myself sometimes..lol

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Scott,

It makes sense :)

We recommend that you use one anchored text link and one valid URL:

Valid URL form:
E.g.: http://Your-Company-Name.com/

Using the full valid URL instead of an anchor text link will ensure that your link remains active when a publisher re-uses your article.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to be promotional and these links are permitted only at the end of your article or in your resource box.

We don’t recommend that you change your existing article resource boxes unless you have to. If what you have in them is no longer useful, the website is no longer active, or you no longer want to be affiliated with the content, then make your changes.

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www.vietiso.com writes:

thank you for your guide do to use one anchored text link and one valid UR

one more thank

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8

Thanks Marc. I use to try to promote stuff through EzineArticles but got straightened out quick. After reading a few articles on EzineArticles, I realized the power of EzineArticles and what I had in front of me. Now I use it as a major traffic source back to my squeeze page.

Amazing site. EzineArticles is #1

Thanks
Dennis the RE Menace

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 8:11 PM

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9

We appreciate knowing that EzineArticles is a place we can go and expect qualitycontent. Thanks for having such integrity. I love these training email!

Celene Harrelson

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 8:15 PM

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10
Elaine Bullin writes:

A great means of teaching is to include a little humor in the presentation and this is exactly what you did. This type of instruction seems to stick more and your information certainly will stick with me.

I have to agree with Joe, when I read an article I want quality content with lots of legitimate information, not an ad for the writer’s product.

Thanks for the excellent Do’s and Don’t’s, Marc.

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 9:03 PM

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11

This is a great article and video post! The key to marketing is mastering this very technique and adopting the Do’s and Dont’s you mentioned here.

It has been very difficult to figure out the gray areas for some. The power of social media has added to the online marketing mix that everyone is trying to utilize to build their customer base, brand, notoriety, and success with.

Thank you for bringing up a very good point that many of us need to remind ourselves as we continue to dive into online marketing.

Comment provided February 2, 2011 at 9:16 PM

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12
Steve writes:

Thank you for valuable information about article writing. I’ll remember your hints and try to “stay on the correct side of the line.”
It’s not easier, but it’s better way to do business.

Thank you

Comment provided February 3, 2011 at 2:07 AM

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13
Martin writes:

I think high quality content will always win out! Interesting stuff and worth reading, thanks.

Comment provided February 3, 2011 at 7:08 AM

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14

I enjoyed reading this article on the “do’s” and “dont’s” of article content. This was a confusing topic for me but am getting the hang of it so thanks for the reminder!

Comment provided February 3, 2011 at 8:28 AM

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15

Thank you for valuable information about article writing. I’ll remember your hints and try to “stay on the correct side of the line.”

Comment provided February 4, 2011 at 1:02 AM

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16
Steve writes:

“Give recommendations for products that have worked for you. As long as you aren’t linking to the product, you can give an unbiased review that provides a great deal of value.”

Confusion…

[As long as you aren’t linking to the product]

So if I give an unbiased review of a product or service I am promoting, I cannot link to a page on my own Site/blog? Not talking affiliate links here.. I assume I can still use the top level domain redirect?

Alternatively, is this a reference to the link in the article body that may be used if it gives value to the readers enjoyment or understanding of the subject?

Or

More confusion…

If I give an unbiased review of a product or service I am not promoting but have used in the past.

And this product/service so happens to be on my site/blog’s most recommend product’s category.

Or

Alternatively, nesting in the article as an ad on the page I linked back to… What happens then?.

Will my article get kicked back because there is a recommendation to buy on my site/blog?

I could go on an open a big can of worms on this.
I’m a marketer, and if I’m permitted to link back to a relevant article that happens to have an ad nested in it from an article that I have just given an unbiased review about… That I’m not allegedly promoting, Well, I’ll say no more.

Steve.

Comment provided February 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM

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17
Scott Kelley writes:

Good point Steve. I guess that is why I am wondering about the gray area when using services that can shut you down in a heart beat.
My feelings are if I use a service or product and like it i should be able to anchor it or give the url as long as there is no gain in it for me.
But like you pointed out about the circle of links where it leads them to your landing page or some affiliate link where you are affiliated with. Where does it cross the line.
For example, I write on Hub Pages and I try to stick to the same rules there as I do here, but I have more freedom there for linking, so say i write an article for here and I link it to an article on hub pages would I be breaking the rules as it is a money making site?
Even more confused and that is why we write…to take out that confusion or add more to it. So I guess keep it tight and use words to say what it is you have to say without any link. And maybe through your writing they will understand to go to the search bar and put those keywords in and go get what it is you are offering without a link embedded in your article. I guess we should have more faith in the reader to take action through our words.

Comment provided February 5, 2011 at 11:33 AM

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18
Mirak Inariv writes:

Great Video. There is a great skill involved in writing and promoting. This skill can be sharpened over time. I am nearly getting there. The good thing is that if my article is too promotional, then the “Lords of EzineArticles” reject it!

Comment provided February 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

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19

I enjoyed reading this article on the “do’s” and “dont’s” of article content. This was a confusing topic for me but am getting the hang of it so thanks for the reminder!

Thank you for valuable information about article writing. I’ll remember your hints and try to “stay on the correct side of the line.”

Comment provided February 6, 2011 at 7:50 PM

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20

Before I get in this place I googled writing good articles for EzineArticles, some of the results were quite good, but getting here, I am so confident because I am learning from the source. Thank you.

Comment provided April 5, 2011 at 4:31 AM

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21
vietnam travel writes:

Good articles, I enjoyed reading this article on the “do’s” and “dont’s” of article content. This was a confusing topic for me but am getting the hang of it so thanks for the reminder!

Thank you for valuable information about article writing. I’ll remember your hints and try to “stay on the correct side of the line.”

Comment provided July 18, 2011 at 10:25 AM

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