As you no doubt already know, writing articles is probably the most effective way to promote your web site. It's a very simple principle - publishers want a vast quantity of good quality content that they do not have to pay for; you provide that content, with the proviso that at the bottom of your article, they include your resource box with a link to your web site. It's a win-win situation. With your article published on heaps of web sites, and in several ezines, it's enough to set your traffic counter spinning.
However, I see many articles that are simply not written in a way that will maximize the benefits for the author. Minor mistakes can turn an article that would otherwise get published several times and achieve a great deal for the author, into an article that is barely published and discarded by most publishers into the trash.
By avoiding these common mistakes, your article will appeal much more to publishers, and you will see the results from your article submissions vastly improve:
1. Do Not Write A Solo Ad
Many authors make the mistake of submitting articles that are actually little more than solo advertisements for their web sites. Containing little helpful information, they read like a sales letter and then urge the reader to visit their web site - and that's before you get to the resource box.
The chances of such an article getting published are virtually zero. Publishers are looking for an informative article, a quality piece that they can publish in order to benefit their readership and their visitors.
This means that including a link to your own web site in the article body is generally a no-no, unless for example, you are linking to a helpful article that adds further to the information you have included and is in context.
Your article should not read like a promotional vehicle for a particular product or service.
2. Do Not Include Affiliate Links
The site of an affiliate link within your article is a big turn-off for publishers - unless your article is highly informative and of an extremely high quality, but that is quite rare.
Generally, if you want to maximize your chances of publication, avoid including affiliate links in your article. You can sometimes get away with it, if for example you include a link to a straight domain that actually forwards via your affiliate link to another web site. The publisher might not notice, as it appears to be a straightforward web site link, but I find it quite sneaky and dishonest, and I would not generally recommend it.
3. Avoid Spelling Mistakes
The sight of a spelling mistake in an article is another big turn-off for publishers. It turns what could otherwise be an acceptable article with good chances of publication, into a poor quality article that will end up in the trash. Publishers are busy people - they don't have time to edit out your mistakes. But the main point is that spelling mistakes leave a Very Bad Impression - it points to a lack of care on your part, and reduces the credibility of the information provided in the article.
Take a minute to run your article through a spell checker - there's a free one online at http://www.spellcheck.net/ - before you submit it. You may be surprised at what you failed to spot.
4. Do Not Include Hype In Your Resource Box
While your resource box can include a link to your web site, it should not read like an advert. I see many resource boxes that read like over-hyped promotional material more at home on a classified ad page. Your resource box should contain some brief information about you as an author, with a link to your web page - nothing more.
A badly written, overly-promotional resource box can cause a publisher to reject your article, even if your article would otherwise have been accepted - the simple reason is that such a hyped-up resource box would 'lower the tone' of their publication, and turn off their readership. That's obviously not what they want to do.
Just respect your potential publishers, and keep your resource box brief and to the point.
As long as you avoid these common mistakes, you are on the right track, and you should see the results from your article submissions greatly improve.
Steve Shaw is the founder of SubmitYourArticle.com, which helps businesses to build traffic and increase their online visibility by distributing content to publishing websites worldwide. Get started now with a 100% FREE SubmitYourArticle.com account: http://www.submityourarticle.com