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27 Tips to get noticed by the search engines, your audience And leave your competition in the dust!

1. Make sure you’re submitting Original Content

2. Most Article Directories will NOT allow you to include any direct Affiliate Links, but this can be overcome by using Link Management software

3. Editors like informative content and articles that share your expertise. Articles that include tips, strategies, how-to’s, case-studies, reviews, opinions and commentaries are well-received

4. Articles which are considered “hypey,” i.e. excessive self-promotion, a sales letter or even a press release won’t be accepted.

5. You must use decent English, i.e. spelling, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, etc. (It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare, just above average)

6. Punctuation rules: Include one or two spaces after a period but be consistent. If doing the “…” thing, ALWAYS include (3) dots. If separating something with a hyphen, use two (example; “- -“. Never include a space before a comma or period

7. Articles must not contain information the editors deem illegal, immoral or promoting hate or violence

8. Articles must not contain information deemed unethical by the editors. Check each directory if unsure, each has it’s own set of rules

9. You may not submit the same article twice to the same directory. Apparently, some authors were re-submitting articles after making only minor “tweaks” to them

10. The Title of your article should be in upper/lower case. It’s best to capitalize the first letter of each word, although you can choose not to capitalize “minor” words like “to,” “and,” etc. but that’s up to you

11. Don’t put quotes around your Title. Even though this is a good idea for the headline on your site, the editors don’t want them on your article’s Title.

12. Don’t put a period at the end of your article Title. If you do use any punctuation at all, say an exclamation point or question mark, use only one. The editors DON’T want… “Check this out!!!!!!”

13. No HTML coding is generally allowed in your Title… Don’t use it!

14. In order to get lots of traffic to your article, make sure you select proper keywords for your Title. Your most important keywords should be placed within the first 3-4 words of your title

15. Author name must include First and Last Name or First Initial, Last Name (note: Most directories allow the use of pen names)

16. You’re not allowed to include any type of title with your name unless it

is of “Doctorate Level” (i.e. Dr., MD, PhD, etc.)

17. Article body should be 300-1500 words. Ideally, your articles should be about 500-700 words but anything in the 300-1500 range is OK

18. Do not repeat your Article Title & Author Name in the article body

19. While it’s allowed, you’ll find your articles get downloaded more if you limit the use of the words “I” and “me.” Readers are more interested in “What’s in it for me?” type articles than they are in knowing how great you are

20. You are typically allowed to use some HTML coding in the body text but this differs from directory to directory

21. Your body text should be formatted to be 60 characters per line. You should not have “hard breaks” between the lines of sentences. Hard breaks occur anytime you press the [Enter] key and are only allowed after the completion of a paragraph. (note: You should leave an empty line between each paragraph)

22. You can generally have up to (3) live links in your article body but these should be “resource” links and not point to sites you own.

23. Your Resource Box (or Bio Box), is the place where you can put self-serving links and a sales pitch. It should be about 3-6 lines long and should be written in the third person. (note: Generally you should include no more than two outbound links from your Bio). Also, write your bios in the “third person” as they look more professional and bring more traffic to your site(s)

24. DON’T use mailto: links or include an email address in your article. You can if you want, but plan on getting heavily spammed

25. Not all directories allow “anchor text” links but you should take advantage of this feature whenever possible. By “anchor text,” I mean the ability to hyperlink a Keyword Phrase back to your site. For example, you hyperlink the phrase “College Success” to point back to your site about College Success. This is powerful!

26. It’s highly recommended that you take the time to fill-in the “keyword” area of the article submission form as well as the “article summary” section. These two areas will help improve your chances of your article being found, so put a little thought into this. (I’d recommend you include 3-5 keywords/keyword phrases)

27. Lastly, make sure your articles are listed in the proper category and or sub-category. This makes it easier for Ezine Publishers and Webmasters to find your articles. This, in turn will greatly increase your article’s distribution.

In the next post I will share 15 tips to Write Articles The Directory Editors  Your Target Market and The Search Engines Will Love

Excerpted from Article Writing Cheatsheet (a private label ebook)