From My Desk to Yours – 8th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

So, how is the quality of your landing page?

When it comes to designing your website, your number one concern should be user experience. You want users to come to your site and be drawn in by what they see. Knowing this, one of the most important aspects of the design of your site should be the landing page. A successful landing page not only keeps visitors at your site, it encourages them to sign up for your promotion or to purchase your product (also known as creating a conversion).

Creating a High-Quality Landing Page:

  • Go to the Right Place – Make sure that your landing page lands directly on the headline or part of the page that you intend it to. There’s nothing more annoying than clicking on a link and having to scroll all over the place trying to find the information you want.
     
  • Convince the Visitor to Stay – People, in general, have very short attention spans. If not provided with sufficient content such as a form to fill out, some product to consider purchasing, or information for them to read immediately at your landing page, you can almost guarantee they’ll be hitting the “Back” button and leaving your site. Getting users to interact with the website will make them feel connected and involved, thus potentially leading to more conversions.

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From My Desk to Yours – 7th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Def: Anchor Text – The visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. (From Wikipedia)

In an article, anchor text (a.k.a. anchored text) is the blue, underlined word or phrase that the reader can click on to be automatically linked to a website. Like this link to the EzineArticles Submit page.

Anchor text is not a website URL. For example, http://EzineArticles.com/submit/ is not “anchor text”, it is a hyperlinked URL.

EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines state: “Please limit your anchor text link length to 3 words.” Authors that use anchor text in their articles must adhere to this guideline. Articles that have quality content and a higher word count may be given some flexibility. We will only allow 4-5 words in anchor text if the article has good quality content.

What is “Quality” Content?

Articles that have quality content offer unique, valuable and/or educational information. In general these articles will have a higher word count.

We Ask These 2 Questions to Determine Quality:

  1. Is the reader getting a good user experience?
    • Is the content after the landing page good?
    • Does the link provide the information that the author promises?
  2. What is the author’s intention?
    • Is the landing page filled with affiliate products and have no content?
    • Is the main reason for the article to drive traffic to the affiliate links?

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From My Desk to Yours – 6th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Did you know the TITLE of your article comprises the unique URL for that article? Changing the title of a live article effectively re-writes the URL. This results in confused search engines.

That’s why we recently changed the editing process to no longer accept changes to the title once an article is approved. A unique title with a consistent URL means your article can always be found in the same place.

Getting your TITLE right the FIRST Time:

  1. Download and review the “Article Title Training Series” [Download PDF – 420KB] – And keep it for future reference.
  2. Target both human readers and search engines – Make the title keyword-relevant but also ensure your keyphrases are grammatically correct and the title reads naturally for humans.
  3. Use 50+ characters – Longer titles maximize your ability to attract readers with a specific promise that is highly relevant to your niche.
     
    • Bad Example: Your title is “Changing Horses Mid-Stream?” and the article explains how this is an allegory for switching web hosts. This title is short and vague; it is not optimized for SEO and does not tell the reader how they will benefit from your article.
       
    • Good Example: Your title is “Brazilian Karate – 7 Keys to Self Defense in Brazilian Martial Arts”. Your title contains multiple highly-targeted keyphrases without being redundant. It will attract search engines and readers alike, and makes the specific promise of 7 tips.
  4. Avoid punctuation that breaks URL’s (including periods, slashes, colons, and pound signs), and refrain from article parts – Be sure the title “stands alone” to provide a positive reader experience and to maximize your chances for higher article distribution.
     
  5. Study what works and what doesn’t – Review your Article Reports to see which titles have the most views and clicks. Also, read the titles of the Top 15 “Most Viewed” and “Most Published” articles (listed beneath every article) in your niche to brainstorm new ideas.

Following these simple steps will help you generate an endless stream of quality titles that require little or no revision. If you have more tips for crafting the perfect title, please post a comment below!

From My Desk to Yours – 5th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Near the end of last year, the number one obstacle for our authors in getting their articles approved was overly promotional content. To quote from our “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” video series:

    “Without value, your article loses credibility. Less salesmanship means better articles and better articles mean more traffic to your website.”

5 Examples of Overly Promotional Content:

  1. “Check out my link in the Resource Box!”
  2. Using sales copy for an article: “For only $9.99, you can get [product] with instant satisfaction!”
  3. “In another article, titled [title], I …”
  4. Using links in the article body instead of anchor text: For example, “[your-site.com] is a great example of …”
  5. Name Dropping. Remember, your company, your product, and your name belong in the Resource Box

Your readers want expert advice, not a sales pitch. They need to get a feel for your credibility. Once that credibility is established, they will trust you enough to surf to your site.

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From My Desk to Yours – Sort Of

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

As you probably know, my Blog post series, “From My Desk to Yours …” has been a series of educational tips aimed at helping you become a better writer as well as ease your frustrations with article reviews. I love writing them and I enjoy getting input from you that I would not normally receive.

This post is going to be a little different.

I wanted to thank you for a wonderful learning experience in 2009. Your concerns and pet-peeves have brought change and have also allowed me to teach the editorial staff how to better understand what needed to be changed. I appreciate your candor and your ability to teach this not-so-old dog some new tricks. :)

I also wanted to thank you for your hard work and dedication in this past year. We’ve learned a lot together. Through my posts, as well as Chris and Marc’s, we’ve had many interesting debates and usually achieved mutual understanding. The opinions shared here and across our other communication channels have helped us to improve the service we provide to you each and every day. I even appreciated reading the 480+ comments on one of the most recent posts …Thanks for keeping me busy.

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From My Desk to Yours – 4th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Question: How do I crank up the word count in my articles without adding fluff, yet still deliver NEW quality content that will capture my audience?

Hmmm, seems like an easy enough question. This challenge arises when you have already delivered as much as you feel you can and your articles are starting to sound like your grandfather’s favorite old story. Over and over, the same words are flowing and you’re trying like crazy to offer something new in your market. So what do you do?

Answers:

  • Join in Conversations – Sign-up for forums and participate in blog discussions. This will help you discover what your market is looking for. When you get a nugget of wisdom, draft an article on it and submit it!
  • Ask Questions – When you feel that you have shared everything you know, go ask questions. Generate discussions on your own blog page or learn what others are talking about.
  • Review Your Already Submitted Articles – You might find that there are plenty of snippets in each that will give you new topics for future articles. You may notice that can further clarify issues or elaborate on one specific area.
  • Social Network Within Your Niche – Social networking via Facebook, Twitter, etc. creates a vast opportunity to meet others in your area of expertise. Learn from them and pass your newly-discovered knowledge on to your readers.
  • Use Article Templates – Occasionally using different article templates can force you to look at your niche differently and approach your writing from a fresh perspective.

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From My Desk to Yours – 3rd Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Definition: Substantive Articles – Articles that contribute to your niche. These include suggestions, ideas, sources of information, insights into the topic and almost anything that will stir discussion.

Your readers should want more! They should comment on your article and offer you suggestions for more articles. If you’re getting this already, you know the meaning of substantive … Keep up the good work!

If you’re not having this dynamic conversation with your readers, then here are some tips that will help you achieve this:

  • It’s Not OK to be Short and Sweet – Saying something is a cool idea without adding the WHY does nothing for the reader. This is not quality – this is easy writing. Your readers will see right through it. Good writing takes hard work and research.
  • Relate Yourself to Your Work – Readers want to know how this has affected you and why it works. Add YOU to the topic by offering tips and further exploring why the tip works. People want MEAT. They want to know they can trust you. You’re the expert, so show them you are. Give them the MEAT.
  • Make Connections with Your Audience – Do your research and ask them what they want. Then deliver this value in articles. This is worthwhile stuff. Readers want to know what they will find valuable TODAY. They don’t want to know what happened in the news last year. Think EVERGREEN!
  • Think 400-600 Words as Your Quality Base – Don’t fill your article body with FLUFF just to reach this word count, but rather allow yourself enough room to explore the topic.
  • You Won’t Know Until You Try – Perfection should always be your goal, but remember to submit and learn along the way. Trust me, you’ll get better with time.

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From My Desk to Yours – 2nd Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Welcome Back! Today I’m going to share some more helpful tips for getting your articles approved the first time and to also give you a little insight into what’s been happening behind the scenes here recently.

Receiving notification that your article has been rejected by our editorial team is never a fun experience. You want your articles approved and available to the public as soon as possible – we understand that. We want to be able to approve your articles the first time, too! Unfortunately, the bottom line is that any article that doesn’t follow our Editorial Guidelines cannot be approved for publication.

So whether you’re new to EzineArticles or you’re a well-seasoned Expert Author, it never hurts to brush up on our Guidelines. Here are 3 tips to help you follow the Guidelines and improve your chances for first-time approval for your articles.

3 Tips for Getting Your Articles Approved on the First Submission:

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From My Desk to Yours – 1st Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

As the Managing Editor at EzineArticles.com, there are myriad different article-related issues that pass my desk every single day. I’ve often wished I could connect with all of you simultaneously to share all of the insight and nuggets of wisdom I’ve gained in the process. I believe that if I could speak directly to even a fraction of our members, the stories of my experiences would help you become better article authors and marketers.

For that reason I present to you today the first installment of a bi-weekly blog series titled “From My Desk to Yours”.

In it, I will share some of the most commonly asked questions and challenges I face on a daily basis. Some of these are SO common that I feel like a broken record (CD?) because I cover the same information over and over again. My intent is to share those “broken record” moments with you so that you might apply them to your writing and marketing efforts.

Trust me, if you faithfully apply the skills you discover here, you’ll significantly improve your chances of getting your articles approved the first time.

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