I'm not going to lie to you. Submitting articles on the web gets two thumbs down, and here's why.
If you plan on doing it right, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. I mean a LOT!
Whether you're writing your own articles or submitting for a client, your ultimate goal is to be seen in prestigious places. That means high-ranking sites. That means sites where business prospects who are willing to pay for your services frequently lurk.
Here are five things that you MUST do to get your articles out into circulation (and five things that make this one SUCKY job!)
1. Research the best article sites.
Before you start typing into that submission box, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Sleuth out the best article sites on the web. Tipoffs: Author names that you recognize - and respect! Working links. An attractive design, sensible navigation. Living, breathing human beings ready to email you back with answers to your questions.
2. Update your list frequently.
It feels good to have one of those multi-page article site lists in your hands. But upon closer inspection, you may come to learn that at least a third of the URLs in your article site list don't work. Article sites spring into existence with a finger-snap... and then drop out of sight just as quickly! An outdated list means you wasted your time. Stay ahead of the article game as best you can!
3. Keep track of your submission info.
Every article site is different. Some ask for a "username." Others request an email address. Some require that you type in a password, others generate the password for you. Are you getting a sense of how confusing this can become when doing bulk article submissions? What about a client who asks tons of questions? Take notes: "Site X doesn't accept HTML formats." Record and store your user info for each site.
4. Organize your files.
Article submission varies drastically from one site to the next. You'll need to have two versions of every article - one Plain Text and one HTML-Formatted. If you change one word of one article, both versions must also be edited. Let article maintenance go by the wayside, and you'll be sending some way confused drafts out into circulation!
5. Store your personal information.
Some sites ask for an author photo, others do not. Many accept URLs - sometimes from more than one website! If you're bulk-submitting for a client, this brings a ton of questions to mind. Even the author biographies vary. You'll need to keep several bios on file - one extended bio containing several paragraphs, one brief "generic" bio, and then any bio that's part of an "article marketing campaign" where you might feature a special promotion or link to a sales page/sign-up box.
If you don't have the time to invest in article efficiency, you can always stick to just one, two or three article submission sites. But the truth is, you're short-changing yourself if you do this. The more top-quality sites you submit to, the more top-quality content-seekers will showcase your work on their sites and in their email newsletters.
I believe that if you're going to do something, you should do it right and do it all the way... or don't do it at all. That's why I'm strongly suggesting to you now, to PAY SOMEONE ELSE to organize your article submissions. You will not believe the time, effort and confusion of mass-submitting on the web. This is a FULL-TIME JOB that's best handled by an expert. Think about this: do you want to spend hours, days and weeks trying to keep up with your web articles? Or do you want to focus on offering the best service to your customers? The choice is yours.
Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
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