Let’s Pretend…

Do you still hear your mother’s “Choo-Choo” echoing in your head? Do you vividly remember her as “The Little Engine That Could”, chugging along playfully, trying to nonchalantly drive a forkful of spinach into your tunnel mouth?

I do. I also remember that it worked… well, most of the time.

Why? Because pretending is fun and playing games is much more enjoyable than work (or spinach).

What’s the lesson here? When you’re stuck and don’t know what to write, or you feel like you work way too much, then maybe it’s time to let loose and have some fun! So let’s PLAY!

Pretend…

  • …you are a rock star and can only deliver your niche message in lyrics. Record yourself singing your impromptu song(s) and write down the lyrics later. Even though it’s silly, this exercise will open your imagination and give you a fresh perspective on things.
  • …that your spouse is away on business and needs to explain to coworkers what it is you do. Since your job rocks, you want to share your story and wallow in your success. Write an email that explains what you do and how you got there. Afterward, break this up into tips and strategies. You may pull 4-5 articles out of just one idea.
  • …you are your own personal secretary. Call yourself and leave notes about what you would need to discuss in the next 24 hours. Go home later and listen to it. Then start writing!
  • …you are writing a executive summary explaining one aspect of your niche for the President of United States. It’s due in an hour and you don’t have any IDEA what to write. Go!
  • …you’re an Olympic speed writer who wants to stay ahead of the competition. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you PUSH every once in awhile to break your own records.
  • …you’re an advice columnist for a magazine in your area of expertise. Have a friend generate a variety of questions a novice would ask and then answer these questions in your “column”.
  • …you are the world’s expert in your niche and will be appearing at a HUGE seminar as the Keynote Speaker. What will you say?

Often our creativity is dampened by the mere fact that we’re adults. Tap into your inner child and let your imagination run wild. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you discover!

Do you have other ideas for article-generating pretend? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear them!

Invalid URL/Link Detection

Discover how to easily fix your articles’ broken links.

Every article you submit to EzineArticles gets a minimum of 2 human editor reviews. These reviews ensure that your article follows our Editorial Guidelines, offers valuable content and provides a positive user experience.

During these reviews, we also ensure that all links offer that same positive user experience. In other words, we make sure they work!

We know that the Internet is constantly changing. Links that worked when the article was initially approved may become “broken” or no longer lead to a functioning website. So we perform random checks on links and report any invalid links to you.

How does invalid link detection system work? [Download Chart (PDF / 120KB)]

  • Day 1: We discover your article’s invalid link and mark it for further testing.
  • Day 3: The link is tested again. If it’s invalid we mark it for another check.
  • Day 5: The link is tested again. If it’s still invalid, we notify you via email using your email address on file.

The next time you login to your EzineArticles account you will be presented with an option to go directly to the Article Diagnostic Center [learn more]. Here you will see a list of the invalid URL(s) by article title. From this list, you’ll be able to edit, remove or re-validate the invalid link(s).

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Turn “Someday” Into “Today”

“If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do.” –William Zinsser

Are you one of those marketing people who has yet to take the plunge into article marketing? Or were you once an effective article marketer who’s now fallen off the wagon? Do you keep saying you’ll begin writing and submitting articles to EzineArticles.com “someday”, yet someday never comes?

If so, it’s time to face reality. You’re stuck. Fortunately, today’s post is all about giving you that proverbial kick in the shorts you need to get yourself unstuck.

(7) Sure-Fire Ways to Get Unstuck and Turn “Someday” Into “Today”:

  1. Have a goal – know what you want to deliver before you write. This will help you organize your thoughts.
  2. Use our article templates to help you begin.
  3. Pre-write a few titles based on ideas you have. This way, you won’t lose your ideas. You can always finish the article another day. This allows you to think about what you want to deliver. You may shock yourself on what you conjure up in that day or two. Remember, you can save your draft articles.
  4. Go with your gut. If you think your market wants to hear about it, then deliver it. You may lose potential opportunities by allowing someone else to nab it first.
  5. Set a timeline for your research and writing. Know when to stop researching and when to start writing. Forcing yourself to develop this habit is essential and will make your writing less of a chore, and more of a routine.
  6. Enjoy what you are writing about. If you don’t, your writing will reflect that.
  7. Lower your standards. (WHAT?!) This means that your article doesn’t have to be a masterpiece! Don’t worry about perfection.

There’s no cure for procrastination. Ultimately, the best thing you can do to turn “someday” into “today” is to find some way to begin writing and do it today!

If you have other ways of getting unstuck, please leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the EzineArticles community.

Understanding Localized Niche Articles

Episode #9 in Gary’s “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” video series!

Take a little walk with Gary as he explores his favorite Chicago coffee shops and discovers the (2) keys to writing localized niche articles. In the process, you’ll discover how to write and submit articles that will not only be accepted by EzineArticles but will also be of high value to your readers.

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

(2) Keys to Writing Localized Niche Articles:

  1. Make sure your content is specific to the particular locale
  2. Provide the reader with valuable information

That’s all there is to it!

Localized niche articles can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to you website, but only if they’re used properly. Leave a comment and tell us how you put this style of article to work for you.

To see all the videos in the “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” series, surf over to our video archive page.

Current Events Article Template

This new article template takes advantage of news you can use.

One of the best ways to get readers immediately interested in reading your articles is to tie them to a current event.

The death of Michael Jackson, for example, spurred a flurry of articles tied to the speculation over how he died, his music, his legacy and how his death affected people.

In two very different articles, one author used the death of Michael Jackson to show how to talk to children about death. If you write about psychology and related issues, this would have been a good topic to cover.

On the other hand, one author in the exact same niche talked about throwing a Michael Jackson-themed party, which has nothing to do with psychology and related issues!

A word of caution: Be sure that your article is written for your niche. Straying too far from your niche or forcing the link between your niche and the current event can confuse readers and alienate your followers. Only use this template when there is a clear, firm connection between the news event and your niche.

Building an article around a news event is simple – and is very beneficial to your traffic, since keywords for breaking or celebrity news are highly indexed.

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EzineArticles Addiction

You know you’re addicted to EzineArticles.com if…

  • …you’d like to see a 1,000 articles in 100-day challenge – or a 1,000 articles in 60-day challenge.
  • …you’re child thinks his name is “just 100 more words…”
  • …you’ve ever timed how long it takes you to write an article and then celebrated when you broke your own record.
  • …you can name more EzineArticles Expert Authors than real-life friends.
  • …when your child brings home their report card and you ask how many profile views and URL clicks he had.
  • …you limit all your conversations to between 400 and 800 words.
  • …you’d rather drink out of your dirty EzineArticles.com mug than any of your fancy wineglasses.
  • …all your tweets are automatic new article announcements.
  • …you hit refresh over and over to see if you got new click thrus and Author Bio views.
  • …when faced with moral article topic dilemmas, you ask, “What would Chris Knight do?”

Of course we feel that EzineArticles addiction is a good thing! Although we prefer to call it Article Writing Obsession and we refuse to develop any 12-step program to facilitate recovery. =)

What symptoms of EzineArticles addiction have you spotted in yourself or others? Leave a comment and share it with the rest of us!

Create a Great Extended Author Bio

How to put your EzineArticles Extended Author Bio to work for you!

You’ve probably heard the terms “Author Photo”, “Author Bio”, and “Extended Author Bio”. What you might not know is the astonishing value these items can provide, or more specifically, how a great Extended Author Bio can increase the success of your article marketing campaign.

Watch this short video to discover the benefits of an Extended Author Bio and how to create one that really works.

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

In a nutshell, use your Extended Author Bio to give your readers:

  • More Information About You and Your Company
  • Social Networking Links
  • Website/Blog URL’s
  • Links to Products You’re Selling

(3) Easy Steps to Creating an Extended Author Bio:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Upload an Author Photo [learn how]
  3. Fill out the Author Bio Form [learn how]

Bottom Line: The links in your Extended Author Bio are FREE links that can potentially increase your social networking reach and traffic to your website or blog. This process takes a minimal amount of work, yet will help maximize the amount of traffic you receive through the EzineArticles system.

Remember: Many other EzineArticles features require you to have an Author Photo and an Extended Author Bio.

Check out all of the EzineArticles videos on our video archive page at http://EzineArticles.com/videos/

Balancing Quantity with Quality

Find the right mix of high volume and great original content – it’s key to your article marketing success!

Experience tells us that if you write and submit a quantity of high-quality articles, you’ll generate more traffic back to your site. The trick for most Expert Authors is finding that perfect balance between the “quantity” part and the “quality” part.

Creating quantity is not about generating a mass of text, slapping a title on it and submitting it to EzineArticles. If it were that easy, everybody would do it. The reality requires some well-planned effort…

(5) ways of generating higher article “quantity”:

  1. Write Fast
  2. Write Efficiently
  3. Write Regularly
  4. Write Diligently
  5. Write Smart

Improving the “quality” isn’t so simple. Ironically, the best way to improve the quality of your writing is to write – which takes time. In lieu of that, educate yourself not only in your area of expertise but also on the art of writing articles. The EzineArticles blog is a great resource for discovering new tips and techniques.

(5) suggestions for improving article “quality”:

  • Provide useful, high-value information to your readers
  • Include only relevant and necessary links within your article
  • Save the sales pitch for the Resource Box
  • Keep your keywords to a minimum
  • Show your readers that you’ve made an effort to provide quality content

Bottom line: If your articles are good, readers will find you. If they’re not, no sheer number of articles will ever make up for that.

Now go write your next set of articles with this thought in mind: Always balance quantity with quality.

Jeff Hopeck – Author Spotlight

Expert Author Jeff Hopeck is in today’s Author Spotlight. As a 3-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service, Jeff Hopeck has known a lot of busy people – in particular, the President of the United States. His goal now as a fitness instructor is to help busy people live healthier lives.

We asked Jeff to share his thoughts on how EzineArticles fits into his philosophy, business and marketing mix.

  1. Jeff, your background is in the Secret Service. How does that experience effect your article marketing strategy?

    When I really need to drive home at a particular point, I will reference the President of the United States. For instance, some people really think they are too busy to exercise. My response? If that man can squeeze in 20 minutes each day to exercise and stay healthy, I’m certain every one of us can!

    Thus, exercise is about prioritizing your time. You make time to shower, don’t you? Then you should make time for something that can help you live longer, as well.

  2. What would you tell others about the success you’ve had thus far with EzineArticles.com?

    First, let me tell you how skeptical I was to sign up for an account with EzineArticles.com! To me, it was just another SEO tool that drove traffic, and I don’t have time to dedicate to every single new SEO tool that hits the market.

    WOW! I wish I knew how impacting EzineArticles.com was 2 years ago.

    In my first 20 articles, here is a list of the quantifiable results I’ve gotten:

    • My article “Healthy Eating in 100 Words” is being published in an Ebook in Queensland, Australia.
    • I was featured twice in a Pennsylvania small town newspaper. These features drove traffic to my blog and resulted in about one hundred book sales!
    • As my article marketing tools sharpened, traffic to my blog increased significantly and my AdSense account grew exponentially.

  3. You said you’re amazed by the results you get from EzineArticles. How so?

    I’m amazed because EzineArticles is a FREE resource. For results this great, one would expect to pay a lot of money.

  4. Where/how does article marketing fit into your overall marketing scheme?

    After seeing results so quickly, there is no doubt EzineArticles.com is an effective platform for marketing my blogs. Therefore, article marketing has been implemented into my overall marketing strategy aggressively. On a weekly basis, I try to submit 2-5 articles that are focused on helping busy people live healthier.

    I predict EzineArticles.com will remain in my top 3 marketing strategies for many years to come.

  5. In our eyes, you do many “right things right” by utilizing several of the EzineArticles tools at your disposal. Which are your favorites and why?

    To date, there are (3) EzineArticles tools that really make life easier for me:

    • Draft Button – I start writing an article and halfway through I realize that two points I make would be great content for stand-alone articles! I simply start a new article, drop in the title, save it, and then go back to finish what I was writing. It’s that simple.
    • WYSIWYG Editor – For those who are new to it, it’s a simple way to make edits to your articles. You can bold, bullet, italicize, and much more! No need to worry anymore if you don’t know html code.
    • Article Reports – You can see how many people read the article, but you can also see what search terms actually got them to the article. Using these analytics helped me tweak my keyword strategy and get more exposure to my articles each time I write!

  6. Any closing thoughts?

    If there is one suggestion I can make it would be this: Finish reading this article, and hurry to write your next article! For every minute you aren’t writing and submitting, your competition is writing and submitting. If you want to keep up with the competition, one way to do so is to keep up with your writing! The more you write the more traffic you will get. It’s that simple.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Writing and submitting is the key to increased traffic, improved credibility and more sales.

You’re finished reading – now go write and submit your next set of fresh, original articles!

HAHD Teleseminar Replay

With Midnight passing last night, the first ever 100 Articles in 100 Days Challenge is over.

If you missed our July 1st #HAHD Celebration Teleseminar yesterday… here’s the replay:

[Download the MP3] (56 minutes / 19MB)
(Sorry, no transcript available.)

If you participated and completed the HAHD challenge, here’s how to claim your mug.

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