2 Minute Approval Tips: Optimize Articles in a Series

Episode 16 of the “2 Minute Approval Tips” Video Series

Article writing by its very nature is geared toward sharing valuable content in short articles around 500 words long.

If your article is too long, your audience could get bored and click away before you get to deliver your message. If your article is too short, though, you risk under-delivering and not sharing enough information. Sometimes, the only way to convey a BIG idea is to write a longer article and then break it up into a series of articles.

Unfortunately, this can cause confusion. If the reader arrives at “Part 1” first, at least they’ll get an introduction to the series. But, if a reader starts with one of the other parts, they may miss something shared in an earlier part.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure that every article series is optimized and that each individual article stands alone, without being propped up by the other articles in the series.

Watch this video to discover how to optimize those articles in a series.

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A Quick Recap of the 16th “2 Minute Approval Tip”

  • Accidental Article Set – We hear stories from authors all of the time that they sat down expecting to write a 500-word article, but ended up discovering they had a whole lot more to say than could fit in that many words. Because they had momentum on their side, they just kept writing and eventually they ended up with 1,200 words or more. To make the biggest impact with their writing, they made the decision to chop the long article up into 3 separate 400-word articles.
     
    Unfortunately, EzineArticles, by its very nature, is not conducive to a sequential series of articles. Readers tend to find articles as single links in the chain rather than the entire chain. Plus, there’s no guarantee the reader (or ezine publisher) is willing to go searching for the rest of the series, so it’s extremely important to make each article you write capable of standing alone.
     
  • Questions to Ask Yourself – Once you have your set of articles in front of you, ask yourself these questions about each article:
     
    1. Does this article deliver on the promises made in the title? If you promise a certain number of tips in the title, have that number of tips in the article.
       
    2. Does the article stand alone? If the reader has to look at another article in the series to get the full benefit, then it doesn’t stand alone.
       
    3. Is the article optimized for distribution? Articles in a series with something like “Part 1 of 3” in the title rarely get picked up and distributed on your behalf because it’s just too much work to go searching for all the parts.

If you can answer “Yes” to these questions for each article in the series, then your article set should be ready to go.

If not, spend some writing time shaping and massaging the rough edges of each article so they deliver on the promise of the title, they stand alone and they are optimized for distribution. Then, and only then, will your article set be ready to generate traffic for you.

To check out the entire “2 Minute Approval Tips” series, click here. Then, put all the “2 Minute Approval Tips” to good use by writing your next set of high-quality, original articles for more traffic back to your website or blog.

18 Comments »


1

With so many Articles out there, any articles may ‘rarely get picked up and distributed’, perhaps it may be too much like hard work to go promote your articles, but perhaps that is an important element too?

Comment provided July 22, 2011 at 9:48 AM

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2
Abraham Rose writes:

Great information. I plan to do seven articles each focusing on one of the seven chakras. I will follow your advice to a tee! I love writing articles for eZine. I am learning and growing as an author every step of the way. Thank you so much for giving me a venue to share my spiritual experiences and the wisdom I have gained from them with the world.

Comment provided July 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

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3
Mark Demers writes:

Some things just take more words than 400 to convey the complete message. So far the shortest article I`ve written is around 800 words but I`m trying to reduce the lengths of any future articles I write by drilling down to a smaller more specific subject, but sometimes if your looking for quality of content you need to dig deeper to find and convey the right message and by doing so it make the article longer.
Quality and length are almost totally in sink with each other.
I could just write something like “HDTV is great” in an article but that would not tell people enough, so you try to explain it further . If HDTV isn`t the main thought in the article but by relation deserves inclusion then you must make room for more of a description than just “HDTV is great”.
There are many exception such as this that make article writing difficult to do in a 400 word format.
Writing about somethings just deserve more words to convey the proper and accurate information needed than others do.

Comment provided July 22, 2011 at 11:59 AM

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4
Walter Reich writes:

You always give out great information. If I can retain half of all the information I have received from Ezine then my article will be the number one in my niche.

Comment provided July 22, 2011 at 4:49 PM

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5
Sherry Belmonte writes:

Great questions to ask yourself no matter what the length. Especially if the article produces what it indicates and if it can stand alone. Both great ways to stay focused.

Comment provided July 22, 2011 at 5:02 PM

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6
Joyce Radford writes:

I enjoyed listing to your two min. tips on how to break a long article into smaller ones. Thank you for the information.

Comment provided July 22, 2011 at 6:13 PM

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7
Veer writes:

This is a really great information but I have one question how many articles can we optimize in one time…..

Comment provided July 23, 2011 at 12:08 AM

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8

I like the point relating to titles. If description deviates from title, it is a breach of trust with the readers.

Comment provided July 23, 2011 at 8:10 PM

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9
Prince Momoh writes:

Thanks for this piece. I need to improve on my write
up. My article is always voluminous to the extent of breaking into two without properly optimized for distribution. I will definitely work on this better.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 12:52 AM

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10
Prince Momoh writes:

Thanks for this great piece. I think my challenge is writing beyond the moderate numbers without distorting the the optimization. it’s lesson for me indeed. Cheers

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 1:03 AM

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11

I find it hard enough just to get exonerate to accept my articles without thinking if I’ve got my optimisation right.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM

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12

This is good. When I write my EzineArticles I tend to also add too much info. 500 words is just the amount that is needed for someone to enjoy the read without over doing it. Thanks again.

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM

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13
Kathie Clohessy writes:

My biggest challenge as a writer is this one-keeping articles short and to the point. The person who commented before me about not being able to say something succinctly is wrong. Many times it is simply a matter of cutting out repetitive or unnecessary information and/or styling the articles appropriately.

This article, BTW, does not say you should never write long articles.just that when you are writing for E-Zine submission you need to plan your presentation very carefully. I particularly like the suggestion of making sure each of the series has a separate title and can stand alone OR as part of a set. This tip makes absolute sense to me and I know that will use it in my work.
Thank you!!

Comment provided July 25, 2011 at 4:16 PM

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14
Elena writes:

I know from experience that some of my articles had been rejected because I did not comply with question #1. This is important. I’m learning.
Thanks Marc.

Comment provided July 26, 2011 at 8:55 PM

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15
gaz williams writes:

great this is very helpful

Comment provided August 22, 2011 at 3:00 AM

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16
Language Translations writes:

Article writing with efforts put on its optimization can play a big role.

Comment provided September 8, 2011 at 11:20 AM

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17

Marc, you really encourage authors to think before and after they write!

Article topic segmentation, so that the article can stand alone or as part of a set adds to its versatility.

Comment provided November 25, 2011 at 5:45 PM

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Lisa –

I’m glad you found the information useful. :-) Many authors find that writing a long article and then breaking it up into smaller, stand-alone articles radically improves their ability to produce many articles in a relatively short period of time. I hope you find that to be true in your article writing efforts as well.

– Marc

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