Article Submissions in 10 Minutes a Day – Part 4

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 14, 2010 in: Business Marketing, Tips in 10

In the past few articles of Tips In Ten, I have shown you how to create articles for online distribution, which I think is the best way that business owners have to promote themselves online. There are other good ways which accomplish a variety of business promotion goals, but articles give great value.

In this Tips In Ten article, I’m going to show you how to submit your article in just ten minutes.

Which article distribution sites to use?

There are many article submission sites. If you Google words like “articles” or “article submissions” or “article distribution” or “ezine articles”, you’ll find a large selection of article sites to submit your articles to.

Some of these article sites are free, others require a small fee. I actually use a combination of free and paid sites that I’ve found over the years. About 3 days after you receive this Tips In Ten, I”m going to send you a free bonus Tips In Ten issue which will have a list of my favorite article distribution sites for you.

There are so many article distribution sites out there – and you’ll find several in the bonus issue I send – so how do you know which ones to use? There are a few different ways that you can decide. Here’s what I recommend.

  • You may want to pick one or two sites and become prolific on those sites, publishing all of your articles there.
  • You may want to select several sites and spread the articles around in the hopes that you”ll reach a broader audience.

I’ve seen success in both ways but let me tell you about a colleague of mine. He carefully selected four distribution sites and has chosen to publish specific topics on each site, depending on who his intended audience is and what he wants to accomplish. He is a business coach and here is how he has broken down his distribution across multiple sites:

  • He uses one to write specifically about business growth strategies.
  • He uses one to write specifically about business start-up ideas.
  • He uses one to write about specific industries.
  • He uses one to write about general topics of interest to his customers.

That might be more work than you want to do. So, at the very least, start with one or two article distribution sites and focus on those.

Guidelines

Every single article distribution site has its own guidelines – they might be called “author’s guidelines” or “article guidelines” or “terms of service” – and it’s important that you follow those guidelines or else your article will be rejected.

Using the article writing instructions I gave you in the last Tips In Ten, your articles will be suitable for most article distribution sites (assuming that you wrote about an acceptable topic and you didn’t promote your own business in the article).

Most guidelines are easy to follow and they’re generally standard across all article distribution sites (with some small variances, like in word count).

Sign up

Sign up at the article distribution site(s) of your choice and get ready to submit your first article. Most sites will want the following things input into separate boxes when you submit an article:

  • The category of the article so they can categorize it within their library of articles.
  • The title. Don’t forget to include a keyword!
  • An article summary. Not all distribution sites ask for this. Don’t copy and paste something from the article; write something new just for this summary. It doesn’t have to be long – just a sentence or two is okay.
  • The article itself. Don’t paste from Word into the online text box. That’s because Word uses “smart characters” (like curly quotation marks) which don’t show up properly online. If you copy from the Word document and paste it into a Notepad document and then copy from Notepad and paste it into the online text box, you’ll “clean up” all of your smart characters and the article will show up properly online.
  • The resource box. We talked about this in a recent Tips In Ten issue and you should have it saved somewhere. Paste it here.
  • Keywords.  Here, you can paste the keywords you used in your article (which should be in the Excel spreadsheet document).

Submission details: Formatting

In some article distribution sites, you’ll be allowed to do some really basic formatting. They might give you formatting functions in buttons (like you might find in Microsoft Word) or they might require you to use html.

If you have to use html, this is what you need to know:

  • Most sites that require html coding will only let you use about 3 kinds of html: Bold, italics, and hyperlinks. (They may give you more options but these are the most common 3 and the ones I use most often). I’ll show you how to create the code for these right here.
  • To bold something, use <b> at the beginning of the section you want to bold and </b> at the end to “shut the bold function off”. So, if you wrote: Heather Villa is a <b>business</b> coach, it would look like this: Heather Villa is a business coach.
  • To italicize something, it’s very similar to the bold function, except you use the letter “i” instead of “b”. So, if you wrote: Heather Villa is a <i>business</i> coach, it would look like this: Heather Villa is a business coach.
  • Hyperlinks seem slightly more complicated, but you’ll get the hang of them. (And you saw them already in the Tips In Ten issue where we talked about the resource box). You simply write the code <a href=” “> and put the URL in the quotation marks. Then, you write the name of the website and follow it up with a </a>.

    So, if you wrote: Heather Villa is a <a href=”http://hireheathervilla.com” >business consultant</a>, then it would look like this: Heather Villa is a business consultant.
  • Just remember, everything has an open tag and a close tag. The open tags are <b>, <i>, and <a href=”…”> and the close tags are </b>, </i>, and </a>.

There aren’t rules to using these throughout your article, although you should always be consistent with whatever you decide to do. I like to use bold for subtitles and I like to use italics for emphasis and book titles. Some article distribution sites put a limitation on how many hyperlinks can appear in your article.

After inputting

After you’ve input your article, proof-read one more time! It doesn’t hurt. It will just take a moment or two and it will help to ensure that you copied and pasted correctly and that the line spacing looks okay.

Then click “submit.”

And then you’re done! That should only take a couple of minutes.

And then…

After you submit the article, it usually goes into a queue to be read by editors who make sure that you didn’t break their guidelines. If they find something that doesn’t comply, they will usually send you an email to say that your article is rejected and they may tell you why. If they approve your article, you may get an email to let you know. (Many of the article distribution sites I work with will tell you that they’ve approved your article… although some might not).

Once you hear that your article has been approved, you should do the following:

1. Promote it! Link to it on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, and anywhere else you have a profile. That way, people might click to it because the topic is interesting to them and then they might click to your website.

2. Reference the article in other situations (such as a blog or a press release).

3. Periodically search for the article on Google to see who is publishing it and what their website is about. (This will help you to know who is sending people to your website and what their audience is like).

4. Sign in to your account at the article distribution site because they might offer basic metrics (suchas article views) that you can use in tracking.

That’s it! By doing this, you can submit an article in less than ten minutes. And, if you follow the system I outlined in the past few Tips In Ten issues, you’ll be submitting one high quality article each week in just ten minutes a day!

Stay tuned! Next article will outline some of the of the top article distributions sites available.

Bonus Tip:

Whatever you choose, you will want to be careful that you only publish your article at one or two sites. Many distribution sites will make sure that the article isn’t plagiarized by scanning the internet for similar content. If they see (your!) content at the other article distribution site, they may reject your article. So just submit it once, or submit it to two sites that have flexible publication guidelines.

Heather Recommends:

I love working with coaches, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to help them become more successful. If you'd like to improve your business, find out how I can help.

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