1. The Big Idea
The very first stage is to get the basic theme of your article. The inspiration for my own articles often comes to me when I am 'switched off' and doing something completely different.
The theme for your article should be closely linked to the theme of your web site, in order to attract targeted prospects.
2. Write The Title And Introduction
At first this is only a rough introductory paragraph or two, and I do not worry too much about the exact wording at this stage. My introductory paragraph(s) simply tell the reader what the article is about. I usually write my first idea of a title for the article at this point too.
3. Sketch Out The Content
I brainstorm the major points I want to cover, and write them down, one after the other. I do not worry about their order, my major concern is getting the ideas in my head down on paper. I may even write down the odd sentence or paragraph to back up each point.
Once I've got the basic outline, I look at the order of the points I am making, switch them around if necessary, and make sure I have written down everything I want to cover.
4. Fill In the Content
This is when the real meat of the article is written.
Each of the points I have briefly written down before need filling in. I need to explain what I mean, and go into further depth.
You should not fill your article with affiliate links to sites you want to promote, nor link to your own web site unless absolutely necessary. Publishers do not like it and many will ignore your article. If you want to link to a quality in-context resource, link to the main web site URL instead. You get ample chance to link to your own web site via the resource box at the end of the article (more details below).
Also do not make any part of your article sound like an advert. Publishers are looking for quality articles that will be appreciated by their subscribers, not solo ads for your web site. You have plenty of room to link to your own web site in the resource box.
For the maximum chance of your article getting published, you are looking at an ideal length of around 800 words. I would also ensure it is not less than 600 words, or more than 1000 words – although I must admit I do occasionally write longer ones.
Remember at first this is just a draft. I never expect it to be perfect straight away – I just get my words down and my points across. Once I have got the main body of the article in place, I go back over it and revise as necessary until I am happy with the content.
5. Write Your Resource Box
Many authors struggle with this part, but there really is no need.
The resource box goes right at the end of your article, and provides some information about the author. Think about the reader of the article – they want to know more about who wrote the article.
I include a bit of information about myself, and provide a link to one of my web sites that has some relevance to the article. Ideally a resource box should be brief and contain just two or three sentences. For an example, see the resource box at the end of this article.
Some authors attempt to cram the resource box with more than one link. Rather than achieving more promotional power from their article, it actually has the reverse effect by turning off the publisher, who may have otherwise published your article, and confusing the reader.
6. Leave It Alone
In my experience, this is the most essential stage. I save my article and leave it completely alone for at least a couple of days. So many people are impatient and do not do this, but I find it to be essential in boosting my chances of publication.
The idea is that you come back to it with completely fresh, but critical, eyes. This works like magic for helping to transform a fairly mediocre article with low chances of publication, to a high quality article that is more likely to get picked up by a large number of publishers and reward you with a flood of publicity.
7. The Final Edit
I open up my article again and read it. I usually spot parts of my article that do not flow very well, paragraphs that can be improved or condensed, sentences with words missing, and typos. This is where I polish up my article and ensure it all flows really well.
I have seen many articles that have obviously never gone through this stage, and they will only have a very slim chance of publication. Some minor editing would have improved them immensely. It really is worth that extra bit of effort to get your article up to scratch, otherwise all your hard work in writing the article will be wasted.
Copyright 2004 Steve Shaw
Steve Shaw works full time online, creating systems and software for effective e-marketing. His popular e-course provides a lot more information on how you can publish articles for profit, including how to submit them to potential publishers for a flood of publicity to your web site:
The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://nichearticlelibrary.wordpress.com/2006/03/19/how-i-write-articles-for-profit/trackback/