Tonight I saw an article titling convention or style that received complaints and I thought everyone could learn from it as a short case-study.
What the author did: After his article title, he would add a call to action such as “- An Absolute Must Read For You!” or “- You Don’t Want To Miss This!” or “- You Must Know This” or “- A Definitely Want To Know This”…and it goes on.
My theory on why it caused complaints: Because it’s insulting… and if the articles were good, they would not need an “urgency inducing agent” / fear inducing style like this to make them worth reading. It could just be me as I was turned off by the style as well. I perceived it as communicating: “You may be a dumb reader and because you are dumb, you don’t know what’s good for you, so let me tell you what’s good for you: reading my article.”
We’ve been talking about the Dangers of Geo-Writing Efficiency — meaning, to encourage authors who write articles that are localized, to do so in a way that has integrity.
Today, I’ve got another example of what not to do to share:
Don’t create 50 articles about how to find a lawyer in every MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) where the body of the article is nearly identical with nothing unique added about the localized area being presented.
Our software had squashed this practice by rejecting near duplicate content submissions, but authors got more creative and bought article rewriting packages that allowed their articles to slip through our system… until now as we’ve rewritten the software again to combat this practice.
As a guideline for those who write localized or geo-targeted articles, 90-97% of your article body must be unique content not found elsewhere.
We have been very quiet as our team has been *heads down* on too many projects to list, but one we will be testing for the first time on the days leading up to Father’s Day:
Here’s the problem: A major holiday is upon us and a few dozen authors will submit articles either the few days prior to or on the holiday itself. Normally they would get approved in the normal course of business, but these articles are very timely for our readers and therefore should be given priority.
Thus, we created a system that will allow us to prioritize holiday articles that are sent in late to be given priority on the days prior to or on the day of the holiday if an editor chooses to work that day.
Yes, it is better to send in holiday themed articles at least 7-21 days prior to a holiday, if not sooner.
First of all how do you write Articles? Second is how do you start writing articles in your mindset?
Chris Knight responds: Invest a night of reading a few hundred articles in the Writing Articles or Article Marketing category to discover many different views about how to write articles. Next, the mindset of an article writer will become evident to you when know have an article writing plan and know why you’re working the plan (ie: What’s your end outcome?).
Rose Marie asks:
If I write an article and submit it to ezinearticles.com, can I also use the article on my website or is that considered “duplicate content”?
Chris Knight responds: We require that any article you submit to EzineArticles be an original article that you wrote and have an exclusive right to the article (meaning we won’t find the same article anywhere else on the net under someone else’s name) but the article does not have to be exclusive to us. Many members have told us they do all kinds of tests and we hear pretty consistently that it does and doesn’t matter if you do what you propose. Many experts on this issue have been encouraging others to have one set of unique content on your website and another set of unique content for your article syndication activities. Also, see this blog entry: Web Content Mix Strategy
What is more important for article submissions – keyword optimization or compelling narrative?
Chris Knight responds: Compelling narrative with a subtle level of keyword intelligence is best. Most people over do the SEO thing and we recommend that you focus on writing for your ideal reader.
I wonder to know if in short essays citation is essential or not?
Chris Knight responds: For the typical article found on our site and due to the syndication nature of how EzineArticles works, we recommend that you don’t use 3rd party sources for any of your content even if you have a fair use doctrine claim to the right to do it. Life becomes very complicated when your cited source complains. Therefore, citation is not necessary because we recommend that you don’t include works from others in your articles.
A sneak peek behind the scenes in the EzineArticles developer lab: We’ve been beta-testing a new click analytics custom tool that tracks how many times every URL in your article body and resource box gets clicked.
After we’re certain this feature is ready to roll out, the data will be added to your article reports. ETA is most likely this month as the feature is working excellent in early tests.
The objective: Be able to help our members with performance metrics that show how well their articles are generating traffic referrals from EzineArticles without interfering with the URLs themselves to track the clicks.
Once authors have this information, many will begin thinking about ways to transform their articles to perform better in terms of converting more of the traffic to their articles from us back to their website…and thus we hope the innovative nature of this enhancement will create more member loyalty resulting in more quality original article submissions. Example: If you knew numerically how much value EzineArticles was providing your website directly, this information will help you to justify more article writing time vs. competing priorities for your time. :)
EzineArticles Expert Author Joan Stewart (AKA the Publicity Hound) wrote this excellent article about 2 years ago, and yet it’s still brilliant today: How to Write Headlines for How-to Articles
The only strategy that I’d add to her excellent headline list is to make sure you expand the length of your article title. This provides more hooks to capture more attention from potential readers and makes it easier for readers to know what your article will be about should they only see your article headline by itself (in an RSS reader for example).
A new milestone was achieved in May 2007:
For the first time ever, we sent over 1 million emails to the 48,909 permission-based subscribers of the EzineArticles daily new article email alerts (407 different lists, one for each niche).
About 6-7 months ago, we made a decision to raise the profile of the email alert option because of an internal goal to reach 100,000+ unique subscribers by the end of 2007. Subscribers can join any of the daily email alerts via the main subscription page for all lists, the category view for each category near the top of the page, and in each article on the lower left navigation.
It’s our job to make sure we deliver you the highest level of exposure and impact for every article submission accepted…and the daily email alerts component of the EzineArticles System is one way we help you find a very pre-qualified set of visitor to your newest articles. :-)
Rick writes in and asks:
How should I calculate keyword density for my articles and what should it be, ideally? I’ve looked all over your site and can’t find any recommendation. It’s important, right?
Rick, is it important? Short answer = No. If anything, it’s been abused and we reject content that is over-keyword or key phrase optimized because it’s too *gamey* of a practice or of no obvious value to the reader.
In the EzinePublisher view of every article (you’ll find this in the upper right article tools section of each article), we have been providing Statistically Improbable Words and Statistically Improbable Phrases, but I’m not convinced that this information provides any value to anyone.
Here’s a question for the super geeky nerds who use cell phones for more than just making phone calls:
If you could surf EzineArticles via your cell phone, what would you like to be able to do?
We’re going to begin investing in resources to create a custom cell phone version of EzineArticles, but need some direction from the market as to which services you’d like to see us provide in a cell phone friendly format.
ie: Should we be focused on the needs of our end-users who surf the site to find information or should we start our focus on providing members with access to membership status updates in terms of whether their submissions are approved or to view basic summary stats or what?
Quite a few small enhancements went into the site this past week:
- Your Article Reports now include Article ID (many large quantity article members requested this feature) and it’s also included in the CSV reports you can export.
- Editorial Guidelines Updated – (4) sections received a little extra clarification.
- Sub-Category Alphabetization occurred to make finding your sub-category of interest, faster.
- About EzineArticles.com was updated to further share how we view this project and our priorities.
And a question from Coach Dan via AskChristopherKnight about the EzineArticles daily email alerts:
I have a question about the email alerts for each category. I wonder if you have any stats on how many people use these? I’m signed up to the categories I submit to and it helps me keep in touch with what others are doing. I was wondering if there’s a benefit to staggering article submissions to appear more often in the email alerts?
For example, if I wrote 10 articles on a weekend, is it more beneficial to then submit 2 a day for the next 5 days so I appear repeatedly in the email alerts, or just submit the whole lot as soon as they’re written, as I do now? Obviously psychologically it’ll APPEAR as if I’m writing more if I stagger the submissions, rather than dump 10 down in one go, then have none for 5 days.
Easy question and I wish I could give you an easy answer… Here are the issues:
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