What Constitutes Fair Use In Articles?

There’s an old adage that says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” In other words, everything that you’re doing now has probably been done before by somebody somewhere. Even your freshest, most creative idea is often built on the foundation of what you’ve learned from others.

As Expert Authors, this raises a sticky question: When is it okay to borrow another Author’s words, put them in an article and then call the article your own?

If you follow our Editorial Guidelines, you know that we will not accept articles that are ripped (aka “borrowed”) in whole or part from another author. However, we know that there are times when including a few lines from somebody else helps to set the stage or add credibility to your article. In those cases, limit that content to only 2-3 lines maximum in your article and be sure to give credit to the original author.

Ideally, all content must be original and offer your unique expertise. No one evaluates life and your industry experience like you do. Revere your uniqueness.

When in doubt, don’t use any part of the article content of others.
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5 Quick Article Body Tips

Here are 5 quick tips to help you write a better article body:

1. Refrain from using excessive keywords or keyphrase repetition as this provides for a poor user experience and your article does not read naturally.

2. Use correct spacing and formatting. Let your article word wrap naturally and place one vertical space between each paragraph break. A “Vertical Space” means to hit enter twice when at the end of a paragraph.

3. Write unique content. Do not spin your previously written articles into the same regurgitated content. You owe it to your readers to provide unique value in each one of your articles.

4. Make sure that your article body delivers on what is promised in the title. The most common mistake is when authors lead their readers away from the article to deliver what was promised in the title. This again provides poor user experience and is a huge trust violation.

5. Proofread your articles and look for spelling and grammar mistakes. If English is not your primary language, have your articles proofread by someone whose primary language is English prior to submission.

I’ll be sharing more ‘best practices’ in the coming weeks. :)

Case Against Tracking CTR

QUESTION: Should I include a URL tracking link in my Resource Box?

ANSWER: No, you should not include a tracking link in your resource box.

Here are 8 arguments against using tracking links in articles that you intend to put into distribution/syndication on EzineArticles.com:

  1. It’s human nature to not want to be tracked. Most readers of your articles hover over your link and if they think they are being tracked or they can’t predict where your tracking URL is taking them, they may not click.
  2. Your link may be mis-interpreted by your readership as being a “phishing link” and thus they won’t trust you.
  3. If your tracking link is not the same brand URL as your business URL, you’ll lose a branding opportunity.
  4. You lose search engine love by passing URL’s with tracking parameters.
  5. Are you really going to track CTR for years, decades and beyond? What happens to the links in your articles if you discontinue in 2 years tracking CTR? If you think long-term, you’ll realize that tracking URL’s are not smart when it comes to article marketing.
  6. Assuming you know that you should include a valid http:// URL in your resource box (instead of just an anchored text link), a URL without a tracking parameter included would keep the URL shorter and easier to present in TEXT based newsletters and other short column width reprints of your article. Often times tracking link URL’s are very long…too long.
  7. Ezine Publishers/Webmasters may overlook or reject your article as being not as good as one without a tracking URL… ie: They’re concerned about their users trusting your link as being valid.
  8. Your article may be wrongly rejected due to newbie Editors of ours who can’t quickly discern a tracking URL from an affiliate URL. They often look the same. This adds unnecessary delay into your article review & acceptance process.

In conclusion, it’s best to only include your regular http://Your-Company-Name.com/ in your Resource Box and/or a simple anchored text link. Don’t be like “Bob” in the cartoon and leave the tracking links out of your articles. :)

Agree/Disagree? Your thoughts?

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