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Promoting an Ezine through article writing.
From Robert Willmann at Ubrande, LLC on 16 Dec '99
When I first decided to write articles for online
publication, I was a little nervous. I thought, "Who would
take me seriously?"

The answer: Tens of thousands of people.

Writing articles is not a difficult task. With a little
planning (which I am about to show you), you can create
top-quality articles and use them to create a solid cash
flow for your online business.

Basically, writing articles is an eight step process:

1) Pick a topic that you KNOW.
2) Do your homework.
3) Create a short outline.
4) Time to write!
5) The "All Important" editing.
6) Add your resource box.
7) Create a list of publishers.
8) Send out your article.

The rest of this article covers these eight basic steps.


1) Pick a topic that you KNOW.


The key to writing good articles: write what you KNOW. Don't
try to pass yourself off as an expert in a field you know
nothing about. This damages your credibility and hurts your
future efforts. Stick with what you know.

Are you an expert at making peach cobbler? Write about that!
If you're a mechanic by trade, write an article about how to
change out a clutch or replace brake pads.

I am a firm believer that everyone has plenty of good
articles just waiting to be written.


2) Do your homework.


Once you've decided on a topic, spend some time at your
favorite search engine reading up on your subject. There's
so much free info out there, the biggest problem is finding
the websites worth reading. I recommend using a multi-engine
search site, such as Dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com).

Don't plagiarize what you read. Just take notes. You'll find
plenty of information about your subject. Take your time,
and read what other authors are saying on your subject. That
way you can write snappy articles using the "buzzwords" that
are being tossed around, and hopefully write from an angle
not covered by hundreds of others.


3) Create a short outline.


Remember when your English teacher made you write those long
outlines about your theme paper?

Well, you don't have to get that involved. Just write a
short outline of what you plan to cover, and in what order.
Otherwise, you'll wind up rambling and losing your readers
along the way.


4) Time to Write!


Flesh out your article by writing a brief paragraph or two
about each major point in your outline. Don't bore your
readers. Instead, give them what they want in a timely
manner. On the Internet, people are just one click away from
trashing your article and going on to something else. Write
short sentences and avoid long words.

Here's a tip: Don't write to the masses. Write your article
for an audience of one person. That's right. Act like you
are writing to a friend. Personalize your article by using
the words "you" and "your". This will keep your article
focused and personalized.

Did you get that last point? I hope so. It's what makes the
difference between a great article and a "flop". Remember,
the publishers you send your articles to will be impressed
if you sound like you are writing directly to them.

Don't worry about typos and mistakes at this point. That's
what step 5 is for. :)


5) The "All Important" editing.


Editing is the most important step. Spelling errors, poor
punctuation, and horrible grammar kills your credibility.

I was a desktop publishing coordinator for a firm with over
1,000 locations. My job was to make sure every company
report and memo was flawless. My employees hated my red pen.
I would trash their work unless is was perfect. You've got
to be the same way with your own writing.

Here's another great tip that many writers use: Read your
work out loud. If your article doesn't flow off the tongue,
rewrite it until it does. No one will give you a second
chance, especially picky publishers. After you're sure your
article is perfect, email it to a couple of friends and ask
their opinion.

After all is said and done, you should have an article
worthy of publication. Here's where the fun begins - getting
published!


6) Add your resource box.


Before you send your article out to the masses, you need to
create a resource box at the end. This is a simple 4 or 5
line "mini-ad" ad the end of your article that says a little
about you and has a link back to your website or
autoresponder. If you need an example, glance at my resource
box I have at the end of this article.


7) Create a list of publishers.


Now that you have a top quality article, it's time to create
a database of newsletter publishers who would be interested
in your article. The easiest way to create a list of
possible ezines is to use the major search engines. I'll use
the peach cobbler article as an example. First, search for
"cooking newsletter" or "recipe newsletter." Repeat the same
search using substitutions for the word newsletter, such as:
recipe ezine, recipe e-zine, cooking e-mag, etc. Now,
bookmark the results pages from the search engines, and go
to each listing and write down the following:

a) Name of ezine
b) Name of editor/publisher
c) Email address for editor, or submissions email address.

Once you have a listing of 50 or so newsletters, you're
ready to send out your article.


8) Send out your article.


Instead of sending out your article individually using your
email client, streamline the process by using Aureate's
GroupMail. (You can download a free version at:
http://www.group-mail.com.)

Basically, you're creating a database of ezines that accept
submissions. By adding in the editor's name and name of the
ezine, you can customize each email that you send. Your
chances of getting published are much greater if you can
customize the email. Here's a sample email that I've used:

"Dear #Editor's Name,

Please consider the following article, "#Title of Article"
for inclusion in your newsletter, #Name of Ezine.

You have full permission to reprint the article on your
website or in your newsletter as long as the resource box is
kept at the end.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

#Your Name.

<#Include article here>"

Customize the submission letter with the editor's name,
title of the article, and the name of their ezine. This
improves the chances of your article being printed.

Trust me. I get about 10-20 new submissions a day for my own
ezine, and I automatically trash all of the articles that
aren't personally addressed to me.

If you decide to use Areate's GroupMail program, it will
automatically import all of the personalization information
before you send it. This really cuts down on the amount of
time it takes to send out your article.

In a nutshell, that's how to send out a top quality article.
After reading all of this, you're probably asking yourself,
"How does this create a steady cash flow that Rob is talking
about?"

Good question!

Once your article is published, you'll start to receive hits
to your website. One of the easiest ways to use this free
publicity to make money is to offer products or services
from your website that directly relate to the article that
you've published.

For example, if you write a killer peach cobbler recipe, you
could sign up as a reseller for Amazon.com, and offer
dessert recipe books for sale. Better yet, write 10 or 20
mouth-watering recipes, and sell them directly from your
site.

Brainstorm ways that you can tie in a product or two with
your article, and you're on your way to making a profit on
the Internet. Good luck!

-------
Rob publishes the free weekly "Gold Mine Ezine."
Visit his Web Site at http://ubrande.com/goldmine.php3 to
subscribe and download his FREE e-book.
<mailto:goldmine@ubrande.com?SUBJECT=SUBSCRIBE>




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