Just like most of you reading this article, I'm far from calling myself an expert author. However, I have been out here a while, submitted quite a few articles, and have definitely learned a few hard lessons about getting my articles noticed.
First, I'll address the issue of just writing to write. You know what I'm talking about. You've seen them and maybe you've written a few yourself. Articles that are empty, pointless, and only created to get a link back to the authors site. I'll have to admit that I created a few of these myself when I first started out. But we don't want to talk about those.
While one of the main points of article writing is to get links back to your site, we need to keep in mind that getting our articles noticed, read, and reprinted on as many sites as possible, requires good, meaningful, informative content. Yes, it actually requires us to be authors or authorities on our chosen subject. Most people can pick up on the fact that you don't know what you're talking about... if you don't know what you're talking about.
Supply an answer to a problem or issue? Oh ya. This is especially important if you want to be popular with readers and publishers and not just the article directories. That's what people are looking for when they come online. Answers to problems, issues, and solid information. Give it to them and you'll get published and republished.
Keep it short and simple. While most readers are o.k. with reading a lengthy article, publishers tend to prefer shorter articles between 400 and 750 words. And yes, we do want to be popular with publishers. Exceptions to this would be if you're submitting stories to sites that accept stories. Both of my sites do accept short stories.
Put yourself into it. If you want to set yourself apart from other authors and writers, give folks your personality and not just a cookie cutter overused format. Talk in plain language. Tell something about yourself. Point out your own mistakes, lessons, and experiences. And make sure... make sure you research your topic and know what you're talking about.
I hope this helps.
Written by Steve Boulden. Steve is an author, owner of his own article directory and affiliated through another. Both accept submissions to most categories, topics, stories, and even recipes. You can visit and post to both sites at http://www.zcareer.com/articles and http://www.thewritersheart.com.