From My Desk To Yours – 18th Edition

WHEN WILL IT END?
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Let’s face it, readers come to your article looking for the main course. Once they fill themselves up with your valuable information, they don’t need a big reiteration of what you just told them in the conclusion. That’s like eating a whole second helping.

A proper ending to an article helps readers get a grip by providing detailed information the right way, punctuating your article topic.

Just like dessert, the end of your article should leave your readers satisfied and comfortable with the content they just took in.

Here are some tips to keep your article endings short, sweet and meaningful:

  • Summarize – Try not to introduce anything new in the conclusion, that’s what the body is for. It’s better to give your audience your interpretation of what they should take away from the article. If the take away is one important lesson, the conclusion doesn’t need to be more than a few sentences.
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From My Desk to Yours – 17th Edition

YOUR REAL JOB AS AN EXPERT AUTHOR
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

There are probably several reasons why you’re involved in article writing and marketing, including branding yourself as an expert, generating business leads, expanding online promotion or optimizing search engine rankings.

However, chief among the reasons should be to share your unique knowledge with your readers. If you write and submit an article without sharing any of your knowledge, you may lose out on all of the benefits of writing the article in the first place. An article that’s more focused on promoting your product or yourself than providing quality content will probably not get read.

Remember, your real job as an Expert Author is to share your unique knowledge and expertise.

Informing Readers

If you don’t provide great information, it’s difficult to brand yourself as an expert, generate any new business or improve your search engine rankings. Let’s face it, readers can spot a fake. As an author, it takes research and additional writing time to turn a short, information-thin article into something with great content, but that extra effort really pays off. Taking those extra few steps and making great content is what being an Expert Author is all about.

It may seem okay to only use article writing and marketing platforms to promote your own product and just get a few links back to your site, but we won’t accept this strategy and neither should you. Each article is checked by two human editors to help ensure only quality articles are approved. This is in every best effort to help you succeed and build on your credibility as an expert in your field. The knowledge you deliver in your content should be your selling tactic, not a sales pitch.

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From My Desk to Yours – 16th Edition

DEVELOPING BRAND CONSISTENCY ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Branding yourself as an Expert Author in any niche takes hard work and dedication. It requires consistency in the quality and quantity of the articles you produce. It also requires an interest in your niche. Many authors discover they have interest and expertise outside of the first niche they choose, so they end up writing in multiple niches. Stretching your brand across multiple niches is easy when you have a personal interest in the information, but it can put a strain on your status as a true expert if the niches are unrelated.

Distancing each of your niche personalities from one another to maintain credibility is as simple as creating multiple pen names. In a past Blog post, we shared our thoughts on the subject. When you need to create different Expert Author pen names for diversely different niches, a simple variation on your name is often enough to prevent confusion.

Facing Difficulties

However, things can get even more complicated when you start submitting articles under different names to multiple platforms. In the spirit of yesterday’s post, we started thinking more about the difficulties that Expert Authors face in keeping brand consistency across multiple publishing platforms. Here are three tips to keeping this consistency:

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From My Desk to Yours – 15th Edition

THE TROUBLE WITH PROMOTIONAL CONTENT IN ARTICLES
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Your readers want expert advice, not a sales pitch. They get a feel for the value of the content you share through what you write. Their positive experiences of your content build your credibility; their negative experiences demolish it. If credibility is established and built, they may trust you enough to surf to your site.

Remember that your article body shouldn’t sound like an infomercial for your product. If your article writing and marketing campaign was launched to build awareness for a specific product, you’ll be able to start converting readers into customers through the Resource Box. The trouble with promotional content in articles is that it tries to convert readers into customers before establishing any credibility.

Here are some “DO’s” and “DON’Ts” to build a reputation on informative content:

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From My Desk to Yours – 14th Edition

MAINTAIN CREDIBILITY IN THE RIGHT CATEGORY
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Recently, we rolled out the first and second phases of a Niche Expansion Project. These phases have elevated our total number of niches to 673 and don’t worry, we haven’t reached critical mass … yet!

The Niche Expansion Project encompasses every possible article topic by building a targeted category and sub-category base. Many of these new Niches have come from burgeoning Top Level Categories or the diversity of authors redefining existing subcategories. As we get closer to Phase 3, keep in mind that it’s still crucial for you to choose the best category for each article.

By placing the article in the correct category, the chance that it will be discovered by browsing readers increases dramatically. Many readers search for content by category. Additionally, daily e-mail alerts and RSS Feeds containing newly published articles are sent out to interested publishers, authors and subscribers. Putting your articles into the wrong category could mean a traffic standstill and missing out on hundreds, or even thousands of readers!

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From My Desk to Yours – 13th Edition

Think Before You Cut And Paste
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

In the past, members have been encouraged to repurpose or “repackage” content from their blog or website as articles. After all, you’ve already written it once – if you can get the same information distributed across multiple platforms, why wouldn’t you?

However, that’s not to say it’s necessarily a simple cut-and-paste job. After all, your site may allow things that we don’t allow and you’ve geared your content that way. The best practice when submitting something from your blog or website is to give your existing content a once-over and tailor it for our platform.

Keep an eye out for these 6 potential pitfalls:

  1. Article Body Cut Off – The top and bottom of your article body doesn’t begin and/or end the way you intended.
     
  2. “In this blog…” or “In this post…” – Language like this could confuse your reader. Swap “blog” and “post” for “article” as a quick fix.
     
  3. Promotion – Save the promotion for your Resource Box. Any references to your company, website or product should be moved here.
     
  4. Anchor Text Links – Be sure HTML coding from the original article is copied properly. If the anchor text says “Click Here” the reader should be able to click on it and be redirected to the intended website.
     
  5. Pictures and Video – Pictures and embedded video are not allowed in the article body. Direct the reader to your website for this information.
     
  6. “Garbage” Code and Special Characters – Sometimes a simple copy and paste will bring with it a string of programming language and characters that we don’t allow in the article body. Our system doesn’t support, for example, Kanji or Chinese characters. If it’s not an English character, chances are it won’t show up. Check to make sure your article is free of this before copying and pasting.

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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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From My Desk to Yours – 11th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Putting the Comma in Its Place

The comma is one of the most vexing punctuation marks in the English language. Writers either put it where it doesn’t belong or leave it out where it’s needed.

Take the title of this book: “Eats, Shoots and Leaves,” by Lynne Truss (subtitled “The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation,” which isn’t nearly as frightening as it sounds).

The title refers to a sentence describing the dining habits of pandas. The correct version is “The panda eats shoots and leaves.” The errant comma makes it sound as if gun-slinging pandas are walking out of the world’s restaurants without paying the bill.

Two Rules for Comma Use

If you’re less than secure about where to put commas in your sentences, or if you forgot or never learned how to use them back in grade school, here are two of the rules that cover situations we see often when reviewing articles for EzineArticles:

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From My Desk to Yours – 10th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Today, I’d like to share with you a brief guide to avoiding False Designation of Origin – a.k.a. Earning the respect of your readers, building your brand identity and taking pride in your product.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You’ve created a certain product or service that you’re now trying to market to the world and you’re determined to see it through to a successful end. Unfortunately, you face the daunting challenge of having an unknown brand, a task that can seem insurmountable in today’s crowded, cut-throat market. With only a fraction of the money and manpower as your more established competitors, you find it can be very disheartening trying to make a name for yourself and your product.

Unfortunately this challenge leads to some authors “piggybacking” on the success of other brands in order to bring awareness to their product or service. There is a term that exists within the article marketing industry that describes this unethical tactic and it’s referred to as False Designation of Origin, or more simply “bait and switch.” False Designation of Origin occurs when an author willfully infringes on someone else’s branding and name recognition to promote their own equivalent product or service.

In other words, the author will discuss a well-known product or brand within their article to capture the attention of readers only to inevitably “switch” and lead them to the lesser-known product in which they are promoting or benefit from.

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From My Desk to Yours – 9th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Are you earning the respect of your readers?

Think about it – there is an almost infinite number of articles on the web – so what should you focus on in order to compete with this massive amount of knowledge? In a nutshell: Earn the respect of your readers.

Regardless of whether you write about Multi-Level Marketing or selecting the best toaster for the money, your primary objective should be to educate and enhance the reader’s knowledge by using your particular expertise on a specific subject. When you make this your primary goal when submitting articles, you will undoubtedly earn the respect of your targeted reader. You’ll provide them with a great user experience and leave them with a long-lasting positive impression that will no doubt bring them back for more.

Surprisingly, many authors don’t realize this simple truth. They submit articles without considering the reader first, resulting in keyword-stuffed derivative content that is not only hard to read but also holds no value (aside from SEO purposes) for the reader.

We firmly believe that the reader’s experience should come first and foremost in your mind anytime you write an article. So we’ve come up with (3) tips that will help steer you to making reader-centric decisions when writing your articles. Understanding these concepts will bring you one step closer to earning the respect of your reader.

1. Inform the Reader (It’s not called “Informative Content” for nothing!)

    Let’s say you are writing an article about pizza. It is your duty as the author to actually inform the reader about pizza. You do not want to write 400+ words of content that essentially says, “Pizza is good. Many people like pizza. Some toppings people like on pizza are pepperoni, olives, sausage, anchovies, etc.” In other words, don’t provide basic knowledge on your subject that any 5 year-old could spit out just to promote your site. You need to challenge your reader. Prove your expertise on the subject by keeping them engaged with entertaining and thought-provoking content related to the subject – content that few people know.

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