Expert Author Case Study: Sharon Hurley Hall

Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to British Expert Author Sharon Hurley Hall, a writer and online marketer who embraces much of what EzineArticles considers to be best practice.

Let’s face it, there are an infinite number of ways to be successful in article writing and marketing. In Expert Author Case Studies, like this one, and the Quick Case Studies, we share some of these varied methods and explore what it takes to survive and thrive in the online article arena.

We recognize the validity of the many different paths to article writing and marketing success. None are the absolute right way to do it and each has merit in a given situation. However, EzineArticles does have to establish and promote a philosophy and methodology that we consider to be the overall best practice for the typical Expert Author. Rarely do we see somebody who demonstrates this as a whole. Instead, we see the results in bits and pieces across a wide range of members.

Sharon Hurley Hall is an excellent example of a member who has taken our advice as a package, instead of piecemeal like most members, and parlayed that advice into making a living with the written word. She is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and editor living in England. She has worked in several countries and speaks English, French, Spanish and German. Sharon has lectured on journalism and media issues and has also done research into media education.

She recently took part in our Expert Author Case Study project and briefly shared her perspective and insights with us.

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Jumpstart Your Writing Process

JumpstartSometimes you have to take drastic measures to get yourself writing!

It’s early morning. Or perhaps it’s late at night. Heck maybe it’s even in the middle of the day. Whatever time it is in your part of the world, it’s your time to write. You’ve made a pot of coffee, cleared up your emails, tweeted about your latest article and now you are ready to write. So you sit in your chair, look at your computer, open up a blank text page and then … nothing.

So you readjust your chair, take a sip of coffee, tell the kids to turn the TV down, look at your monitor and again … nothing. Nothing’s coming. No great ideas. No words. Nothing. Now what?

Writers’ Block, or just a plain old lack of mental motivation, is one of the most frustrating conditions to overcome for an Expert Author. If not treated immediately, this “condition” can quickly degenerate into a general lack of motivation and focus that could torpedo your article production capability for the rest of the day – or longer – and that’s dangerous, especially when you make all or part of your living as a writer!

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How (and Why) to Write Evergreen Articles

Discovering the importance of asking: “What is the life expectancy of this article?”

Article Marketing is one of the best ways to get a continuous and never-ending stream of targeted traffic back to your website or blog – month after month, year after year. Every article you write should continue to work for you by attracting readers, even if the article was written and published several years ago.

In this video, I’ll share with you both the hows and the whys of writing what we refer to as “evergreen articles“.

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Now you’re probably asking, “What are evergreen articles?”

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Quick Case Study: Tiffany Dow

The Tiffany Dowsixth edition in a series of posts that highlight one Expert Author who has achieved success by doing just one thing exceptionally well.

Tiffany Dow is quite simply “A Writer.” Unlike many EzineArticles Expert Authors, she is not a marketing specialist who writes for the sake of getting exposure for her links. Instead, she tells us, “I’m a writer first, who discovered I could use my talent to make money online. I have over a decade of experience writing about a wide range of topics and can write approximately 5 pages/hour.”

As a dedicated Writer, Tiffany has embraced a no-nonsense method of overcoming the writing struggles many of our other members face. “I think one of the biggest problems I see is a lack of organization,” she says. “I always have an outline in mind using the introduction, at least 3 main points, and conclusion layout. It’s something we learned in grade school that still applies to readers today. This makes it easy to move from one point to the next, without simply trying to fill a word count requirement.”

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Article Content vs. Real Life – Plagiarism

The 2nd in a series of videos that brings questionable article-writing practices into the real world.

Two weeks ago we unveiled the first video in this series: Article Content vs. Real Life – Keyword Stuffing. The purpose of the series is to explain certain unethical article practices that are fairly common, yet provide no real value to either the reader or the author … or are just downright naughty. They include everything from keyword stuffing and plagiarism to article spinning and copyright infringement.

If you’ll recall, what motivated this series is the realization that despite the fact that almost all Expert Authors are good people, many of them do things in their article writing and marketing practices that they would never do in the real world. They don’t fully comprehend what’s inappropriate about their actions.

This video series brings these less-than-upstanding article writing practices into the “real world” of everyday life, where it quickly becomes amusingly obvious just how unacceptable they really are.

In this episode, one man discovers the painful consequences of taking credit for somebody else’s work.

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From My Desk to Yours – 12th Edition

Spicing Up Articles With Local Flavor
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Some of the questions we get from our Expert Authors pertain to how they can provide additional value on their regular niche. One suggestion near the top of our list is to add some local flavor to your articles. The effect is like taking the existing recipe for your favorite dish and adding just a bit of spice to make it slightly different; slightly better.

Devouring the Travel and Leisure Category

Creating localized content can be particularly easy when your niche is in the Travel and Leisure category since local content is more-or-less the backbone of these articles.

For example, if you want to write an article about fun activities to enjoy while on vacation in Vancouver, it would be important for you to include activities that are specific to Vancouver. Included could be a list of the public places one could visit on a tour of the venues for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

However, there is little value to writing about “unique dining experiences in Vancouver” if the restaurants included in the article are chain restaurants that could be enjoyed anywhere. Information on locally owned and operated restaurants that can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world makes for great article content. If your readers have a positive experience, they are more likely to come back to you for more … and suggest your content to others! As a result, you’ll benefit by gaining both loyal readers and a larger readership base.

This type of local knowledge takes either personal experience – which is preferable – or a fair amount of research. That’s why grasping the concept of localized niche articles takes practice and time.

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Article Writing and Marketing Tips to ReTweet

Every month @EzineArticles provides well over 100 useful tidbits of information, fun facts and training – We’ve gathered the best ones from May right here. Retweet any (or all!) of them to enhance your article writing and marketing efforts.

Just CLICK on to auto-populate your Twitter status field.

EzineArticles Tips and Training Snippets:

  • Submitting articles that are Interviews: OK as long as YOU, the author, are the interviewer.
  • Failure can be a powerful learning tool – the key is to not repeat mistakes. If something isn’t working, try another way!
  • Research your niche, even if you’re already an expert. There’s always more to learn.
  • Article templates are a great way to organize your ideas. They make writing articles faster and easier!
  • Optimize your resource box to maximize your CTR. Include your name, URL, and a call to action to entice the reader to click.
  • Nothing tops the human touch — use people to proof your articles. Spell-check/grammar software often miss common mistakes.

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Break Up Your Long Articles

cut up article They say that breaking up is hard to do, but breaking up lengthy articles is an easy way to maximize your writing ROI.

Imagine you wrote a great 1,500 word article covering a number of different topics in your niche. You could just submit this long article as-is … or, you could break it up into three equally great articles of 500 words each. Doing this effectively triples the number of articles you submit (with the same amount of effort), which also triples your potential click-throughs!

Trouble is, there are both good and bad ways to break up your long articles.

  • BAD: Spread your long article out across multiple articles – This is a common, but rejectable, mistake when authors make top 10 lists (e.g. “Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking – Part 1” with five of the ways, and “Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking – Part 2” with the other five).

    Remember: Top 10 lists are only valuable if they actually contain 10 tips, and no one likes to see an article start with #6 and wonder where the first five might be hiding. The reason readers like top 10 lists is because they’re short, direct, and to the point. Either combine them into a single article or consider dividing the content up by topic.

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Quick Case Study: Adrienne Smith

The Adrienne Smithfifth edition in a series of posts that highlight one Expert Author who has achieved success by doing just one thing exceptionally well.

By her own admission, Adrienne Smith was a “horrible student and barely made it through high school” and even as an adult has “difficultly comprehending the written word.” But instead of running away from all things literary, Adrienne chose instead to embrace those challenges and help others. “Writing articles is not difficult, she says. “Most people that I speak with are afraid to undertake this because they don’t see themselves as a writer. I didn’t consider myself a writer either but my passion is helping others. If I can explain something in an article, then I have done what I set out to do.”

According to Adrienne, “The secret to writing a good article is to write as if you were talking to a good friend – your articles will comes across much more personable and real this way. People try to make things more difficult than they really are. When people are searching for a particular topic and run across my article, they find that it’s simple, to the point and easy to understand.”

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Overcoming Writing Obstacles: Generating Article Ideas

Part 4 of the “6 Ways to Overcome Obstacles and Write High-Quality Articles in Large Quantities” video series.

Suffering from a lack of article ideas is arguably the biggest complaint we hear from new and intermediate-level Expert Authors. It seems that no matter which niche(s) they write for, eventually every author reaches a point where they feel like they’ve run out of ideas. If that sounds like you, take heart, Gary’s here to help!

In this video, Gary will provide 8 unique techniques for generating fresh article ideas. Some we’ve covered in the Blog before and others are brand new. So invest a few minutes with Gary right now, because you never know what new idea-generating tips and tricks you might discover.

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