15 Article Writing Questions You Need Answered

Let’s Discuss Article Writing Quickly, Shall We?

We’ve always been here to help you with your articles and to answer any questions you throw our way. Any author that has been writing articles for a while knows that addressing basic questions are crucial to maintaining long-term success.

The following questions related to article writing come up frequently for us. When you’ve gone through our list, think about your own writing. Then make a list to see how many of these questions you would answer differently. Some answers will be quick, so stay alert!

1. Is it a Good Idea to Use My Real Author Name?
Absolutely! You need to position yourself as an expert in your field. You want your readers to remember your name after a satisfying reading experience.

2. How Can I Submit Articles in a Series?
If you often create articles in a series, each article should always stand alone as an individual article. You can reference other articles in the series, but your readers should not be scratching their head wondering why your article starts or ends awkwardly.

3. Is it Acceptable to Open Multiple Accounts?
There’s no reason to create more than 1 account on an article submission site. There should be a place to add Alternate Author Names so you can keep your articles separate between authors. Having more than one account compromises your intentions.

4. Do I Need to Include an Author Photo with My Profile?
Each article you publish should include your author name, so we recommend improving your image by adding an image of yourself to your account. Show the world who you are and how delighted you are to be sharing your article!

5. Can I Link to Just a Squeeze Page?
We’re all about links to squeeze pages in your articles, however, do yourself a favor and follow one of the 2 guidelines below:
• Make sure your squeeze page has a substantial amount of content other than a request for contact info
• Or add another link to your article that goes to the main page of your website

If you’re interested in learning more about quality squeeze pages, take a moment to read our Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Squeeze Page.

6. What is the Recommended Word Count in an Article?
It’s difficult to get a quality read that inspires you in a 250 word article, but it also shouldn’t take an entire day to finish. If you shoot for 500-700 words of quality content, you will have a better chance of your readers coming back as it will be easier to digest.

7. Can I Add Images with My Article?
If you want to include an image with your article, present the image on a link instead. Make sure there is quality content on the page you’re directing your readers to. We don’t recommend linking to a page strictly with images or graphs. Make it bonus material apart from the real content.

8. Should I Use Different Keyword Variations in My Article?
Your article should not contain overly-similar keyword variations, as they can be confusing to readers. Excessive keyword variations can cause your article to appear keyword-dense, so stay consistent to keep everyone on the same page.

9. Can I Submit Content Taken From an Article Spinner?
No way! Spun content is not original, the grammar reads very poorly and it destroys your credibility as an Expert Author. Don’t use any type of software that creates content for you. This blog contains a few more article submission blunders to avoid at all costs.

10. How Many Links Should be Added to My Article?
As a general rule of thumb, stick with 2 self-serving links in your article. The best place for these links are in your Resource Box. A self-serving link is defined as a website that you own, control, or have a vested interest in.

11. Should I Include an Affiliate Link in My Article?
If you are adamant about inserting an affiliate link in your article, make sure it comes from the top level of a domain which you own. Affiliate links are easily sniffed out by hesitant customers. If your link contains random affiliate code and numbers, it will turn many readers away.

12. Can I Promote Myself in My Article?
If you enter any promotional content in the Article Body of your article, you’re being too quick to offer your services. Your readers need a chance to take in your work! The Resource Box is your “take” and should be the only place focused on you and what you can offer.

13. What Details Should be Provided in My Resource Box?
The Resource Box in your article is a place to add a brief description about yourself. It can include your company name, contact details and links to your website that establish your credibility and relate to your article’s topic.

14. Can I Publish the Same Content on Multiple Sites?
Of course! We encourage you to use your content on both your website and multiple article submission sites. However, your author name needs to match and should be clearly attached to the article.

15. How Can I Get My Articles Reviewed Faster?
The easiest way to get your articles accepted and published quickly is by following the answers above! The article you submit should be your final draft, free of errors and 100% original content. However, if you want to guarantee a faster approval time, you can purchase our Premium Membership to put your articles at the front of the line.

If you made it to the end of the list and are satisfied with the answers, good for you! You are definitely on the right path on making sure these basics are covered.

However … if you don’t agree with an answer from our list, we invite you to the comment section below to let us have it. Which question did you disagree with? Why do you feel your direction is the better route to take?

We’re anxious to hear from you!

19 Comments »


1
David Croucher writes:

Useful list, Derek. Great to pin up near the inspiration desk!

Can I please emphasize two of the points you’ve made? Both come from the fact that most EzineArticles authors are trying – among other objectives – to get the reader to click through a link to their squeeze page or website.

Point 4: photo. This is VITAL of you want true recognition and for people to have confidence in you. Have a photoshoot with a good photographer (worth paying for!) who will show you against neutral or significant-to-your-business backgrounds and looking professional, confidence-boosting, trustworthy, fun-loving, – or whatever you need to inspire the reader to engage with you. The photographer can suggest backgrounds and coach you on attitude, expression and stance. Props may be helpful – or not.

A small portfolio of such pictures is worth a lot of credit to you, so make sure that they’re in your copyright, not the photographer’s (which will usually cost a little more). The one I use here is a studio shot, with an added background of my favourite spot in Sherwood Forest, a half-hour’s walk from home. I hope it makes me look wise but approachable.

Point 6: word count. THE SHORTER THE ARTICLE THE BETTER as long as it serves its purpose – to drive the reader to click your link. Other information and encouragement is better at the other end of the link! If the article is useful, but clearly a taster for the goodies on the other end of the link, so much the better. As Derek says, 250 words is usually a hard minimum to manage, but try: edit the article down ruthlessly to get at the core, while keeping the promise you made to your reader in the title (which got you the visit via a search, anyway). And hint that the best is waiting to help your visitor, just across that link. (Go on, you hint to them, you know you want to click!)

Also. there are some who won’t click through whatever, or don’t have the time just now. You want to leave these visitors noting down the reference to the article, for later investigation, or simply thinking well enough of you that when they see you name and picture later, they’ll want to find out more.

Comment provided August 4, 2015 at 1:51 PM

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2
Jean Reynolds writes:

This is an excellent article. But I noticed three usage issues:

1. In formal writing, you shouldn’t join sentences with “however” and a comma. (Only coordinating conjunctions can be used with commas to join sentences: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.) Use a period or a semicolon with “however”:
We’re all about links to squeeze pages in your articles. However, do yourself a favor and follow one of the 2 guidelines below:
We’re all about links to squeeze pages in your articles; however, do yourself a favor and follow one of the 2 guidelines below:

2. Don’t use a hyphen with an adverb ending with -ly: “overly similar” shouldn’t be hyphenated.

3. Be careful how you write numbers. Journalists spell out numbers one through nine. Academics spell out numbers that can be written in one or two words: “three thousand” but “299.” Either approach is acceptable (as long as you’re consistent). What you CAN’T do is mix numerals and words: “one of the 2 guidelines below.”

Comment provided August 5, 2015 at 3:51 PM

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David Croucher writes:

You’re right, of course, Jean. Are you a senior editor with a large publisher? If you are, you may well be shaping changes in that publisher’s policy on spelling and grammar, so you’ll know that in practice (note UK spelling) the English language has always been, and – God willing – always will be fluid.

It’s not very often that EzineArticles authors will be writing formally. Their aim will usually be to write well enough and correctly enough so that almost no readers will be distracted from the message by grammatical points. Of course, this won’t include editors, who can’t read anything without itching to improve the text! But spelling and punctuation should be good enough to shape the way that readers read; the reader should pick up your deliberate (but subtle) emphases and pauses in thought, without being jarred by any noticeable errors.

As far as numbers are concerned, you don’t mention the use of Roman numerals: good. All the grammar books have their own (different) rules for number usage; so do every learned journal, every newspaper style book, every publisher. I have decided, after half a century of all this, that the best practice is simply this: be clear, by unambiguous. And the latter is paramount.

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Jean Reynolds writes:

Interesting and thoughtful reply – thanks!

Some comments:

-I don’t work for a publisher (although I’m on the editorial board for a scholarly publication). I’m a writer and a retired English professor. I occasionally do consulting work that includes creating style sheets for various organizations. (Do you have one for EzineArticles? If not, the Chicago Manual of Style is a good place to start.)

-The British spelling is practise for the verb and practice for the noun. Americans use practice for both.

-I wouldn’t say that it’s a distinction between formal and informal writing. In my mind, “formal” would be a scholarly book. “Formal” to me means third person, limited use of contractions, lots of semicolons, no dangling modifiers, and the like.

The distinction I would use is “professional” vs. “colloquial.” My husband is the garden writer for a newspaper. I edit (savagely) his columns. He writes informally, using “I” and “you” liberally and many contractions.

I allow some constructions that I would clean up in a scholarly book (I’ve published a book myself with a university press). For example, I allow some dangling modifiers, and he sometimes uses “they” instead of “his/her.” He doesn’t like “snuck” and still uses the more traditional “sneaked” (which is on its way out), but I would allow “snuck” if that was the word he wanted. What I’m careful with are subject-verb agreement, pronoun case, punctuation, and so on. His writing isn’t formal, but it’s definitely professional.

I use colloquialisms when I talk. I don’t worry about subject-verb agreement, possessives with gerundives, and so on. I often speak in fragments. If I were writing a novel, I would use colloquialisms in the dialogue.

Here’s an interesting type of writing to think about: Comic strips. I love comic strips. I don’t know how you would classify them (formal? informal?), but it’s interesting that I rarely (maybe once a year) find a usage problem in a comic strip. (Yes, I write a letter to the artist when I spot one.)

I would call the writing in comic strips “professional,” (which of course doesn’t mean “stuffy”), and it pleases me that the artists seem to care as much about the writing as about the drawing.

I don’t know whether the major comic strips have a copyeditor on retainer or keep a copy of Fowler’s on the shelf, but it’s extraordinary that the usage is so good. Look at some of the old work from Charles Shultz (Peanuts) and Carl Barks (classic Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck comic books). The writing is amazing, and the tradition continues.

I had fun writing this – thanks for listening!

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David Croucher writes:

Thanks again, Jean.

Yes, I am British, with a teaching, publishing and editing background like you. I once took on the challenge of teaching grammar to a Junior High class (in the UK, Year 10) who were, as we say, ‘linguistically challenged’ in their own language, despite not being an English specialist. To ribald comments from their regular teachers, I successfully taught them use of period (full stop) and comma, quotation marks, personal pronoun/plural usage and other such common errors. They learned it all, and looked forward to the old-fashioned tests I gave them, as they could see their scores rise and very much liked this contradiction to their usual performance.

Then I put it all together, with a term to go before we parted, and I began to see the reason for the joking of my colleagues! In effect, all but two of my previously low-achieving (but now improved?) class could not compose a written piece in English AND use the correct grammar, both at the same time. I watched them sweat and try mightily, when I promised rewards if they succeeded; only another three could manage this, and that so painstakingly that it was painful to watch.

I learned a major lesson from this, and because I’d kept records it was useful to my English-specialist colleagues, too. Unless humans have a very high intellectual capacity, they find high-level cogitation difficult, and multi-tasking such work almost impossible. As reading and writing are about the most intellectual activities most people ever attempt on a regular basis, this is perhaps not unexpected.

Only a few days ago, this was brought back to me when I received a business email from a customer, one of several. She is a literate and successful businesswoman, but her previous emails had been brief, unpunctuated and in lower case. This one was very literate, articulate and amusing. Checking back, I saw that the others had been composed on her phone; this latter, I presume, on a full keyboard. I have found the same myself: the complexities of using a phone for writing letters and the shortage of time, have changed our view of the minimum standard required in short notes. Now, clear communication is all and anything which isn’t confusing is allowed.

I can’t object to this, because of the rule with which I ended my last comment: be clear, be unambiguous. At the minimum, no more is needed, though I can’t bring myself to be THAT minimalist – I punctuate and use capitals even on my phone, and can’t stop myself!

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Jean Reynolds writes:

Well said! As it happens, I’ve written an article about the problem you described – why students don’t use standard English practices no matter how thoroughly we teachers think we’ve covered them. Here’s a link: http://wp.me/PU98s-5W. I’ve enjoyed our discussion! Jean

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David Croucher writes:

Roger and out.

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3
aaidan mary writes:

Totally agree with you. I think sometimes people think “Sure it’s only a couple of hundred words – I’m not paying more than $20 for that!” – but they totally underestimate the time and skill it takes to write those words.

Comment provided August 6, 2015 at 8:11 AM

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4

The comments have become separate posts, Derek. Thanks for sharing and reminding the vital aspects of good article writing.

Comment provided August 6, 2015 at 11:58 AM

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5
Gracious Store writes:

” Can I Publish the Same Content on Multiple Sites?” You answer to this question is positive, how does your affirmative response to this question compare with Google’s “no duplicate content” policy?

Comment provided August 6, 2015 at 3:27 PM

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6
Rosalinda Flores - Martinez writes:

Thanks for the share and for the shared comments. A blessed Thursday, Ezine and everyone!

Comment provided August 13, 2015 at 12:10 AM

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7
Avantika Laxman writes:

Nice set of questions and answers this set is actually an eye opening sequence as it has answered many of my questions. Moreover many said article submission is not that much advised as a major SEO practice, but after reading the exchanges I knew its significance. Thanks for letting me know its importance.

Comment provided August 14, 2015 at 1:13 AM

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8
Joshua Nyamache writes:

First, I thank EzineArticles for having started this blog. It shows how committed EzineArticles team is at helping and also answering questions from EzineArticles authors.

I have learnt a lot from this blog. At one time I was undecided regarding the length of the article. I have read articles where people are recommending that search engines are likely to rank an article that has 700 words count compared to less that 500 words count.

But then, I realized it won’t benefit a reader to write an article that has more than 700 words count full of crap content. It’s always a good thing to write an article by focusing on the reader. The article should contain information that is valuable and interesting to read.

Comment provided August 14, 2015 at 9:28 AM

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9
SALEH MD FAISAL writes:

I am researcher and new on this site. Although I have some papers already published in a different levels. I thank EzineArticles will help me all of those to published on that which will be helpful to learner and researchers in a little bit.

Comment provided August 15, 2015 at 8:57 PM

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10

Very Nice article & useful to all writers.

Comment provided October 26, 2015 at 11:24 AM

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11
Mahendra Kumar writes:

Love all the tips you’ve listed. Very helpful. Thank you!

Comment provided December 30, 2015 at 12:58 AM

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12
Sourav Das writes:

A helpful list. I often get confused while covering a topic that needs a detailed explanation. I feel like I can’t retain the readers until the end. What do you think I should do to keep the readers hooked?

Comment provided September 27, 2016 at 2:52 AM

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13
Uday writes:

Hello,

If I have to write on a topic like ‘Uses and Suppliers of Magnesium’, then can I mention names of the suppliers? In general, can I use proper nouns while drafting the article?

Regards,
Uday Padhye

Comment provided August 10, 2017 at 12:13 AM

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Thank you for your message.

Yes, you can include company or product names in your article. You just need to ensure that your articles do not contain references to your own company, or product, and are not written as sales copy promoting the products and services of others. Such material should be included only in the Resource Box.

Promotional content includes, but is not limited to:

1. References to you, your company, product or website
2. Reading like sales copy
3. Entirely positive or one-sided product reviews
4. A call to action in the Article Body

Let us know if you have further questions!

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