2 Minute Approval Tips: Match Author Names

Episode 1 of the “2 Minute Approval Tips” video series. We’ll make this quick!

This series is about getting your articles approved on the first submission. We have analyzed data from our submission records to find the most common reasons why articles are not approved on the initial try. We know your time is precious, so we have compressed this information into individual 2-minute videos.

This first episode is a reminder to check that the person credited for an article in the Resource Box matches the byline of the article.

Downloadable Versions:
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Gravatars Revisited

This Blog feature deserves another look!

Last year we launched a feature that enables personalized gravatars on EzineArticles Blog Comments. A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things. In essence, its a portable avatar.*

Since then, many Expert Authors have used this feature to connect their name with a recognizable face.

If you take a look back at some of the recent Blog posts, you will notice the gravatars that have been activated. Over time, you might be able to recognize members that have made comments on previous posts. We thought that now would be a good time to provide a refresher on how to get your own gravatar.

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Your Images-Photos in Your Articles

We need your help in determining the path of this potential new feature.

We recently started sharing information about possibly including images in your articles. What we’ve discovered thus far is that there are many Expert Authors who feel it would be an excellent, almost necessary, feature. On the other hand, there are an equal number of members who think that it’s not such a great idea.

We need some input from you on the following questions:

  1. Size? – What size (in pixels) should the small and/or full-size image be? (We intend to only allow 1 image per article.)
  2. Location? – If the image is part of the article, where should it be located? The top (figure 2), middle (figure 3) or bottom of the article?
  3. In-Line Text Link? – Would you prefer that there be no thumbnail at all and instead have the article contain only an inline text link to the larger image? (figure 1)
  4. Premium vs. Non-Premium Feature? – Should only Premium members be given the thumbnail or full-size inline image option and non-Premium be given the inline text link only?
  5. Essential vs. Complimentary Images? – Should we allow images that are essential to the value and purpose of the article or just images that are complimentary to the article? In other words: If the image were removed from the article, would the article still make sense?

Personally, I have great reservations over this feature and have resisted it for a long time. My primary issue is that I suspect a lot of members will want to include an image that is essential to their article … so essential, that if the webmaster or ezine publisher who reprints their article doesn’t include the photo … both the author and EzineArticles will look stupid. Plus, we have data that suggests having images in articles may actually reduce your click-through rate.

Please leave a comment below in reply to any or all of these questions. Also feel free to give us your input on any other concerns or considerations about this potential new feature that we may not have mentioned.

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Quick Case Study: Matt Gallo

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


Matt Gallo

Status: Platinum
Member Since: Nov 4, 2008
Location: New York
Active Articles: 194
Article Views: 50,615


Matt Gallo has built up his reputation as an EzineArticles Expert Author by writing on a wide variety of topics. A majority of his articles are focused on home improvement tips. And he says, “With all of the new tools and technology available today there’s a humongous range of home improvement subjects that need to be covered.”

He has also found success in writing on other topics of interest to him. “Unlike authors that only focus on one area of expertise, I try to write articles on a broad range of subjects,” he says. By focusing on the topics he is interested in, he has expanded his writing efforts to all corners of the home improvement category and beyond.

Commitment to Quality

Matt’s secret to success is writing quality articles that are informative, concise and clearly written. The first step in this process is to get the facts straight through research. According to Matt, “Readers are going to be turned off by unreadable, inaccurate articles. The only buzz that kind of article creates is negative.” Although he admits it takes him a little longer to do research and editing, the end product is worth it to him and his readers.

Staying Motivated

By making article writing an integral part of his marketing plan, he doesn’t struggle to stay motivated to write. “I write articles because it makes a big difference in the buzz about my sites,” he says. “It’s an integral part. I rely on it to create buzz and drive traffic from sources other than just the search engines.”

He finds inspiration by answering the questions of real clients and learning about other topics that interest him. His writing is then sought out by others with the same interests, whether that be home improvement lessons, energy-efficient products or corporate bankruptcy regulations.

The one piece of advice that Matt follows in every article is that a little bit of research can do a lot to maintain credibility. But he warns: “Even if you think you know the subject inside and out, it never hurts to check your information.”

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Generating Fresh Content Ideas With Keyword Data

Research can be the cure for stale content issues.

In any form of communication, one of the keys to being effective is knowing your audience. In article writing, this is certainly the case. When you lose track of your readers, it’s difficult to come up with new content that is informative and relatable to them. Here are 3 symptoms that will help you detect if your once-fresh content is going stale for your audience:

  1. You’ve run out of article ideas.
  2. Your readership numbers are falling.
  3. Your articles share nothing new.

When you start feeling the symptoms of stale content, the cure can be as simple as doing some keyword research. Here are two keyword research tools that should alleviate most of your stale content ailments.

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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 June right here. Retweet any 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:

  • Article Writing Tip: Make a game plan by creating a list of what you want your articles to do for you before you write them.
  • “PLZ” and “Cuz” tends to lower your credibility in article writing. Save your quick texts and emoticons for your text messages PLZ.
  • Keyword usage tip: Secret Hidden FAQs is a redundant contradiction. FAQs are Frequently Asked Questions and are not secret.
  • Localized articles tip: Reader should feel they are getting an accurate flavor of only the locale promised in the title.
  • Commenting on Blogs is a great way to build notoriety. Be sure your comments are just as informative as your articles!
  • Article Writing Tip: Plan! Who’s your Target? What are their Needs? What are your Strengths? What/Who is your Competition?

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Solid Articles Start With a Solid Foundation

Lay a little groundwork before you start building your next article set.

The first step in constructing a strong building is to lay a strong foundation beneath it. There are many strategies to consider when choosing just how to lay that foundation, and the choices that are made will directly impact the quality and stability of the building.

The same is true for your next article. Without a solid foundation, in this case a good writing plan, your article is in danger of becoming a heap of rubble lying in ruins on the Internet.

In previous Blog entries, we’ve presented some steps you can take to start the writing process off right when there is a shortage of ideas. For example:

But having your topic, title and motivation may not be enough to build that solid article foundation. Some articles require you to lay a little more groundwork before you start building the article itself. In those cases, you may need to generate a thesis statement, create an outline or do some research to further solidify your ideas.

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Expert Author Case Study: Annie Kaszina

Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to British Expert Author Annie Kaszina, an emotional abuse recovery expert and author of the ebook “The Woman You Want To Be.”

Annie Kaszina

Status: Platinum
Member Since: Dec 9, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Active Articles: 101
Article Views: 366,787

As an EzineArticles Expert Author, Annie’s strategy is aimed at making connections with her readers. By making real connections, she has an increased ability to spot the questions that remain unanswered in her niche. In addition, she can be confident that she is helping real people with real problems.

As part of our ongoing Expert Author Case Study project, we asked Annie to share her thoughts on article writing and marketing. Annie submits articles regularly and has developed her knowledge into an ebook titled “The Woman You Want To Be.” The main goal of her work is to help women through toxic relationships by getting them to think about their relationships in new ways.

  • Annie, what sets you apart from other Expert Authors?

I’m not sure I’m the person best placed to say. All I can say is that I am passionate about providing my market with the best information, in the most easily accessible format that I possibly can. To that end, what I write is extremely open and honest. I’m also very persistent. When I had, 5, 10, 20, even 30 articles published, I just kept on writing and publishing them.

  • What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?

Listening to my niche; what they say, what their problems are, and then offering them a constant supply of information, and a new perspective. A lot of my work is with people who are stuck in bad relationships and have low self-esteem. Now these people are bright, able people who are held in high regard by everyone except a critical partner … and themselves, of course. I see it as my role, in everything I write, to get them to ask themselves: “Is what I believe really true? How do I know that it’s true?” Once they start to ask better questions, they are well on their way to shaking themselves out of their trance of negativity. If they need help in doing so, then I am very happy to provide them with further help through 1-2-1 and group work.

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Second Quarter Video Roundup

Writing Obstacles, Article Distribution, How Anyone Can be an Expert Author and More!
EzineArticles Quarterly Video Roundup

Our video studio has been busy in the last quarter producing an assortment of videos to help you, our Expert Authors, get the most out of your article writing and marketing efforts as well as your EzineArticles benefits and services.

In case you missed the announcements on the Blog and in the newsletter, here’s a list of the videos we’ve released in the second quarter of 2010, along with a recap of each video’s key message:

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Article Content vs. Real Life – Original Content

Sometimes the fastest and easiest way just isn’t the best way.

We’ve all received email spam written by a machine. It’s easy to spot because it’s often 100% grammatically correct English, yet the content itself is confusing, convoluted or just plain meaningless. In essence, it’s well-structured gibberish.

Believe it or not, email is not the only online medium victimized by software-derived content. Every day we receive article submissions that look like genuine articles, but read like a trip into the Twilight Zone … often to the point of being downright absurd.

In the 3rd episode of our “Article Content vs. Real Life” video series, we move some of that software-derived content into the real world. It quickly becomes obvious just how wrong, and funny, the result can be!

Downloadable Versions:
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