Harness the Power of Unbidden Ideas

Most of us when forced can’t pull fresh ideas out of thin air, yet we often find our best ideas coming to us in the shower, on the toilet, at the beach or gym, or even behind the wheel of our car. Each of us is different and we each have certain situations that seem to be fertile ground for fresh new article ideas.

Don’t you wish there were ways to harness the power of these spontaneous ideas so they happen just when you need them most?

Actually, there are.

With just a little digging, we uncovered (5) techniques that people use to “spontaneously” generate great ideas. Put some of these to use to help fill your article writing hopper.

  1. Use Your Thinking Spot
    Winnie the Pooh has his thinking spot. John in our cartoon has his thinking spot. You have a thinking spot. Find your thinking spot and use it whenever you need to come up with new ideas.

  2. Let Your Subconscious Mind Do the Work
    A day, week or month before you write an article, create the TITLE for the article. Let your subconscious mind create the entire article, or at least the main points of the outline of the article, so that when you finally sit down to do the article it’s already pre-written for you.

  3. Sleep on It
    Spend a few minutes before you fall asleep immersing yourself in your niche article’s subject matter. Then clearly define your desired outcome (i.e. create some fresh article ideas) in your mind as you close your eyes. When you awaken, immediately jot those ideas in the notebook you’ve strategically placed next to your bed.

  4. Meditate
    If you don’t already meditate, do a little research to find a meditation style that works for you. Use the same methodology as we suggested for “Sleep on It” but instead of sleeping, meditate instead. When you’re done, you should find yourself full of fresh ideas.

  5. Play with Your Ideas
    Many ideas are only half-baked. Before you act upon those ideas or dismiss them out of hand, try playing with them instead. Let them roll around in your head for awhile and collide with other ideas. In a matter of hours or days, you may find your ugly duckling idea has turned into a beautiful swan.

Personally, some of my best articles, blog posts, and business ideas come from either the morning shower, a relaxing moment in the sun or while in the business day with interactions with others (usually problem solving)… but I also find that if I’m in my favorite environment that I can dream up dozens of article ideas at a time on command from having done so for so long. The real secret is to capture the article topic & concept ideas on paper or whatever electronic device you have so that you don’t lose your best inspirations throughout the day.

Do you have other methods of harnessing the power of unbidden ideas?
We’d love to hear them! Share them with the rest of the EzineArticles community in the comments section.

Give This Cartoon a Caption

Today we’ve decided to do something a little out of the ordinary in the blog… have some pointless fun!Provide Your Funniest EzineArticles-Related Caption!

You’ve probably noticed that this cartoon has no caption. We need your help in coming up with the perfect one. Submit a funny EzineArticles-related caption via “Comments” and in one week we’ll pick our favorite.

If yours is selected, you’ll not only receive the accolades and adulation of the EzineArticles community, you’ll also receive this fine EzineArticles mouse pad.
EzineArticles Mouse Pad
Plus, we’ll recognize your accomplishment in a future blog entry.

So get your thinking cap on and submit your best caption in the comments (one per customer, please). Maybe you’ll become the proud owner of a useful, yet stylish, EzineArticles mouse pad!

Oh, and keep submitting those articles! =)

Benefits of Scheduled Article Release

Take control of WHEN your articles get published!

There are two theories as to which article submission strategy is best:

  1. “Big Dump” Submit all of your articles at one time to be released all at once.
    – This is the right approach when you begin with EzineArticles.com.
  2. “Sprinkle” Submit them over time to be released over time.
    – If you’re a veteran Expert Author, there can be value in scheduling your articles for release over a period of time to maximize traffic returns.

One of the easiest ways to “sprinkle” your articles over time is to use the Scheduled Article Release Feature, which is one of the many benefits of EzineArticles Premium Membership.

Who is the ideal member that can really take advantage of the Scheduled Article Release Feature?

Because you want to keep fresh new articles going into your article inventory even when you are on vacation, away from their office, or because you want to save significant amount of time (it’s much faster to upload 10 articles all at once and scheduled them for release over time than it is to submit 10 articles, one at a time.)

Take a look at some of the article scheduling stats for last month:

  • Total Articles Scheduled: 3,375
  • Distinct Members using the article scheduler: 107
  • Average Time Scheduled 2 days, 4 hours, 56 minutes
  • Shortest Time scheduled 0 days, 8 hours, 8 minutes
  • Longest Time Scheduled 79 days, 15 hours, 19 minutes

Wondering if EzineArticles Premium Membership is right for you?
Surf http://EzineArticles.com/premium/ to discover if the benefits of our Premium service level are right for you now.

Drive Crowds to Your Site with Article Agents

Want another secret for increasing website traffic?
Recruit more Article Agents!

Imagine you had a team of tireless sales professionals whose only job was to drive traffic to your blog or website 24/7. Best of all, they work for free, they each cost you only an hour of effort to hire and they’ll continue working for months or even years before they run out of steam.

We call these amazing little workers “Article Agents.”

Think about it. Every article you have published on EzineArticles acts just like a highly-specialized sales agent working to sell you or your company to the Internet public.

Here are some resume highlights for a typical Article Agent:

  • Available to work anytime, day or night, 365 days/year
  • Requires no vacation, sick leave or holidays
  • Will work for free
  • Extremely focused on the niche client
  • Capable of unerringly reciting the same story thousands of times
  • Willing to educate, entertain and enlighten the prospect while also working toward the sale
  • Works well with other Marketing agents – both paid and unpaid

Every time you submit an article to EzineArticles, it’s like recruiting another member to your sales and marketing team. And when that article’s accepted, another Article Agent goes to work for you.

So get to work recruiting, um, I mean writing, now! =)

Add EzineArticles Cartoons to Your Website

Official EzineArticles Cartoon Archive goes live!

People love cartoons. Heck, WE love cartoons! They’re little bite-sized tidbits of humor and satire that can bring a smile or a laugh while at the same time delivering a subtle (or not-so-subtle) message.

That’s why we’ve joined up with award-winning cartoonist Jerry King to bring you an ongoing supply of EzineArticles-related cartoons.

After appearing in the EzineArticles blog and/or newsletter, each cartoon will be added to the EzineArticles Cartoon Archive page. On this page you’ll find an interactive listing of all of our previously published cartoons. Best of all, Jerry has graciously given us permission to pass these cartoons on to our members. You can add any of these cartoons to your website or blog by simply copying and pasting the supplied HTML code.

The cartoons currently in the archive are just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll be adding a few more each month, so bookmark https://ezinearticles.com/cartoons/ and check back often!

And keep your eyes open for an upcoming “Supply the Caption” contest, where you’ll have the opportunity to provide your best caption for one of our cartoons. We’ll give away some stylish EzineArticles shwag to the caption(s) that make us laugh the loudest!

Preventing Self-Promotion Overload

Yet another trick to get your articles approved faster:

Blatant Self-Promotion CartoonIn the realm of article marketing, self-promotion is a good thing… but like all good things it needs to be done in moderation.

One quick look at our editorial guidelines will tell you that we allow up to (2) active URL’s in the Resource Box that are self-serving (any link that you own or control). This guideline is designed purely as a quality control measure to help keep self-promotion to a minimum.

There is no technical reason why we couldn’t allow more active links, but an article stuffed with self-serving active links looks “spammy” or closer to “article vomit” than a clean article with a single or double URL in the Resource Box.

It’s also well-established that ezine publishers and webmasters value articles with LESS links, not MORE when it comes to their decision as to which articles they are going to reprint. MORE links creates more metaphorical link payments that have to be made to the author to use his or her article… thus articles with fewer links get higher distribution.

This issue is ripe for abuse and every single day we turn away dozens of articles (more than ten thousand articles a year) that are sent in with more than 2 active self-serving links.
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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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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?

Blast Your Inner Perfectionist

We’re all guilty of being perfectionists at one time or another. Maybe it’s having that perfectly manicured lawn or in my case, a driveway that is perfectly snow plowed (it’s like -18°F / -27.7°C right now) . That’s okay. Being anal-retentive about some things in our life is normal, and maybe even necessary for our emotional well-being.

On the other hand, being a perfectionist about your articles is something you simply CANNOT afford to do. If you are, I want you to stop RIGHT NOW. I mean it! Put up your right hand and repeat after me, “I do solemnly swear to never again spend hours polishing my articles to a perfection level. Starting now.”

It may seem odd that I would actually extol the virtues of creating imperfect articles. But think about it — why do people want to read your articles? Is it for the amazing grammatical prowess it demonstrates? Is it for the great meter and rhythm of the words? No.

It’s for the content!

The more articles you have out there, the more readership you’re going to attract;
The more readership you attract, the more exposure you get;
The more exposure you get, the more traffic your website gets;
The more traffic your website gets, the more sales you make;
The more sales you make, the more money you earn!

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