Unfortunately, from a directory owner's perspective it is necessary. You see, these one-way backlinks to your website have been so powerful and advantageous that people are coming up with devious ways to take advantage of article directories in order to get them...so the directories must update their TOS in order to keep these spammers and scammers from running rampant and ruining the article directory industry altogether.
Trust me, an article directory editor can tell immediately, without reading one word of your article, whether or not you are a serious article marketer or just someone trying to get backlinks without the effort.
The topics below will guide you through writing an article that will get your article read and accepted the first time around.
How to create an approvable article:
Your Pen Name and Contact Email Address
- Use an email address that you will be checking frequently.
- Never use a "throw-away" email address.
- Use an actual person's name as your pen name, not a business name or any kind of cute nickname. Make sure to capitalize the names.
- Do not include any type of punctuation or special characters in your pen name, with the exception of a hyphenated name.
A category is a main topic under which subcategories exist. For instance, Finance would be a category, while Debt Relief, Credit and Bankruptcy would be subcategories underneath the Finance category.
The first thing that you need to do when you submit an article is to choose the category in which the article is to be submitted. Since some article directories will not accept an article unless it is submitted to a subcategory, it is best to always choose a subcategory, rather than a category, if available.
- Always submit your article to a subcategory, not the root category.
- If you do not see an appropriate sub-category, contact the website and ask them to add it for you.
- Do not submit your article to the "Business: Sales" or the "Internet Business: Income Opportunities" category unless that is what your article is about.
First and foremost, your article title must be written in "title case." What this means is that each word in the title should be capitalized, with the exception of prepositions (at, by, of, upon, etc...) articles (a, an, the, etc...) or conjunctions (and, or, etc...), unless they are the first word of the title. Writing titles in improper title case is one of the two most common reasons why articles are declined by article directories. "How to Start a Business" would be acceptable while, "How To Start A Business" would not.
Some directories do not mind capitalizing every word in the title, but your article may appear more professional if written in the "proper" grammatical style.
- Titles must be written in Title Case (see paragraph above).
- Do not enclose your title within quotation marks.
- Do not submit a title written in ALL CAPS.
- Do not use special characters in your title (*, #, @, etc...)
- Do not punctuate your title, titles do not end with a period. In special cases, hyphens, colons and question marks are acceptable.
- Do not create an incredibly long title. Keep it as short as possible to achieve its goal.
- Keep domain names and/or business names out of the title.
- Never post an article with a part number (Part I, Part II, Part III, etc...) without submitting the previous part.
- Never use keyword-stuffed titles.
- Do not simply copy and paste the first paragraph of your article into the summary section.
- Never link to another website in your summary.
- Pay attention to the allotted word count. Do not go over this limit.
- Never link to another website in your article body unless it is absolutely allowed and necessary.
- Check for a minimum word count and make sure your article meets this minimum word count.
- Never blatently pitch or sell a product or service.
- Do not submit press releases to article directories!
- Do not use the <Enter> key after every few words. Your article should look naturally written through to the right side of the page as if you were writing and essay for a college paper.
- Use more than one sentence per paragraph...three at minimum.
- Do not submit your whole article as one paragraph. Separate into logical paragraphs.
- Try to stay away from writing article which will become un-informative or will expire at some point in time.
- Do not use words in ALL CAPS. Use <b> tags instead.
- Do not use <h> tags unless approved by the article directory.
- Do not submit articles with pictures or <img> tags unless absolutely allowed.
- Always read your article aloud to yourself prior to submitting. Check for spelling and grammar errors.
- Check for a maximum word count and make sure you do not go over this limit.
- Insert no more than three (3) links in this section.
- Each link must point to a different web page. Do not submit identical, duplicate URLS.
- Do not link to web pages that are not related to your article.
- Never "keyword stuff" your link text.
Other General Rules and Regulations
The bullets below are my own personal preference:
- Do not use automated article mass-submission services.
- Do not use PLR articles or articles written by someone else unless completely rewritten. If an editor notices it as PLR, it will be deleted.
- Do not submit articles which were created with software, aka: spinners.
Article Directory owners and editors are reviewing so many articles that if anything pops out at them from the list above, they will decline the article without even reading the first word. If the items above are all followed, the editor will THEN begin reading your article.
Please respond and add anything I may have missed! I am always looking to add to the list!
I hope this helps new (and veteran) article marketers understand the general article submission concepts from the article directory owners' perspective.