Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Article Writing: Secrets to Managing Multiple Topics

Do You Write About More than One Topic?

You may have a main area of expertise, and then multiple sub-topic or different topics that you write articles about (some to pay the bills and others to feed their creative spirit). To avoid personal author brand erosion and solidify your expertise in front of the target niche that you write about, you must come up with a strategy to separate your various article topics.

A solution is to create multiple versions of your name or pen-names that you write under so that each one is locked in on a particular area of expertise.

Here's a fictitious name we picked out of the air to illustrate an example as to how many separate author names could be created out of a single persons name:

      Suzanne Jo Parker
      Suzanne J. Parker
      Suzanne J.P.
      Suzanne Jo P.
      Suzanne P.
      Suzi P.
      SJ Parker
      S. Parker

You get the idea. Each of these author names is STILL the same person, yet you can choose to lock each variation of the name to a separate topic to write your articles about. When using this strategy, a person reading your article may attempt to read others that you've written, but they will only see your other articles about the same topic. There will be no author brand erosion.

Example: "Suzanne J. Parker" would write articles about Financial investing, and "Suzi Jo Parker" would write articles about basketball.

In the offline world, this multiple author brands issue is also a factor, but it is even more important for the online world where a reader can quickly identify other articles you've written when they are hungry for more. Give them more of the same quality original articles that they are already reading, but isolate their attention by only writing about one topic of expertise under one single author name or variation of your author name. This will strengthen your message and your author brand at the same time.

As a bonus to this "authors with multiple brands" strategy, it will be easier to track your articles by each unique variation of your author name that you used, instead of finding all of your articles of every topic under one author name.


Increase Article Production: Writing Article Sets

Writing articles is fun, but it can be even more rewarding when you learn how to produce more in less time.

Article Sets Defined: A "set of articles" is anytime you produce 2 or more articles at a time.

Types of Article Sets:

1. Article sets by topic or sub-topic.

Example: If you were writing about racquetball as your topic, you could make a plan to write 2 articles on racquetball nutrition, 4 articles that go into detail about each of the different color of racquet balls on the market and what they mean, and a 10-pack of articles on forehand or backhand drills.

2. Article sets by style of writing.

Example: One style might be all bullet points, another lists of things, another is a Q&A approach, another might be conversational or discussion of issues.

Note: Each type of writing is best when done in sets of the same style.

3. Accidental article sets.

Example: Your target is to produce (2) articles that are 400 words each. While getting started, you get on a roll and accidentally produce a fantastic 800 word article. Break the article in half, give the other half a new title and you have an instant article set ... even if it was created by accident.

4. Article sets based on customer or prospect frequently asked questions.

Example: Customers or prospects are always asking questions. Tune into them, group them by topic, and then hammer out some article sets that answer each question. Using the racquetball topic, you might have 7 questions from your audience on how to prepare for a tournament. Each of them makes excellent article topics.

The next edition of the EzineArticles Training Series: An Introduction to Article Writing and Marketing will offer the secrets to managing multiple topics.

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Article Publishers: What Are They Looking For?

Here is the next edition of the Training Series: An Introduction to Article Writing and Marketing.

Here are the top 5 factors ezine publishers look for when deciding which articles to publish:

1. Does the article have zero self-serving links in the article body?

Loading up the body of your article with affiliate links or other obvious self-serving links is a liability and will keep your article from ever seeing top results.

2. Does the article have no more than 2 self-serving links in the resource box?

Your resource box at the bottom of your article should be short and to the point. It should also be less than 10% of the total word count of your article. Ezine publishers don't mind giving you name credit and a link for sharing your article with them, but they don't want to look like a fool by being required to reprint a short novel about all of your websites and accomplishments.

3. Is the article within 400-750 words?

Readers want instant gratification from your quality, original content. No one has the time to really go deep when it comes to reading email newsletters. It's proven that shorter articles achieve a much higher distribution rate than longer ones.

4. Does the article deliver quality, original content with numbered lists, bullet points or easy to glean information their audience would deem valuable?

Key Point: Make sure your articles are 100% original content. Anything less is considered an insult.

5. Is the article's author well recognized or respected within their market niche?

Ezine publishers have an ego just like you. They want to use articles in their email newsletters that make them look good. The more you use your articles to help yourself gain credibility for your unique expertise within your niche, the greater the chances you'll find your articles getting picked up by your ezine publishing peers.

The next edition of the EzineArticles Training Series: An Introduction to Article Writing and Marketing will offer tips to increase your article production in less time by writing article sets.


Create Your Content and Beat Writers Block: Top 7 Tips

Here are some helpful tips to help you source content for new articles:

1.   Old Ezine Articles: This includes your archives for articles that you have sent your ezine from the past 10+ years. If you've created multiple articles for each email newsletter issue, we recommend that you break your old ezine articles into single article chunks rather than multi-topic articles. If you have large ezine articles from your email newsletter archive, consider breaking them down into 400-750 word chunks rather than 1,000-3,000 word articles.

2.   Old Original Forum Posts: If you've been on the Internet for some time, there is a good chance you belong to a few forums that you might call yourself a "resident expert" on. All of your old forum posts that are greater than 400 words in length will make great new articles that you can put into distribution to create more traffic and sales for your business, and enhance your credibility.

3.   Old Blog Posts: The whole point of blogging, besides posting frequently, is that you can easily syndicate your blog for others to read via the RSS reader of their choice. Because of the syndication orientation of blogging, your blog posts that read greater than 400 words make great articles that you can slap on a longer title, add a resource box that pitches your blog website and put a fast 250+ articles into immediate distribution.

4.   Out of Date Books: Are you the author of a book no longer in print? If you own the copyrights to it, this is an excellent place to create hundreds of quality articles with just a short period of editing.

5.   Current e-Books: Take 10%-20% of your hottest selling e-Books and flip into articles designed to entice your reader into wanting the complete e-Book. You still need to deliver real content value here and not get skimpy or tease them with "what they could learn if they bought your e-Book." Keep the articles short, with bulleted or small numbered lists.

6.   Top 10 or Top 7 Articles: Everyone likes content they can read very fast. Why not create top 10 lists (or any number of "Top" things) related to your niche area of expertise. To begin, just create a headline such as "Top 7 Leaders Strategies For Newbie Managers" and then number the list from 1-7. Come up with a sub-headline for each tip and then do (1) paragraph describing the tip. You'll find these are easy to produce and crank out 5-10 of them per day.

7.   Keyword Research: Google Suggest or any keyword research tool can discover topics that people are currently searching for that are related to your expertise. Use this as a springboard to launch another 25 articles that are 400-750 words, each related to answering or providing short tips on how to solve or get more out of the keywords they searched for.

Example: "Yoga" when entered into Google Suggest tells me that I should write articles about "Yoga Journals or Journaling" and about proper form or different types of "Yoga Poses."

The next edition of the EzineArticles Training Series: An Introduction to Article Writing and Marketing will answer the question: "What Are Article Publishers Looking For"?


WYSIWYG Article Submission Editor Tips

Generally, most people will write their article outside of and then copy and paste the article content into the submission interface.

The What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Editor can assist you in your article production.

Article Content Creation in MS Word:

Tip: If you primarily create your article content in MS Word, turn the editor on and click the "Paste from Word" symbol on the tool bar. Please remember to disable MS Word Smart-tags before you copy and paste as they are not compatible with the WYSIWYG editor. Now you can use the tool bar to add font attributes and more.

Article Content Creation in a True Text Editor:
Tip: If you primarily create your article content in a true text editor, such as Edit Plus, Ultra Edit, Notetab or Notepad, turn the editor on and click the "Paste as Plain Text" symbol on the tool bar. Now, you can simply cut and paste your article content and use the editor tools to add font attributes and more.

Some authors prefer to use the "Submit an Article" submission interface and type in their article content:

WYSIWYG Editor On:
Tip: By turning on the WYSIWYG Editor, your article content will be displayed exactly how you typed it. You can use the tool bar to create font attributes, bulleted or numbered lists, spell-check and more.

WYSIWYG Editor Off:
Tip: By turning off the WYSIWYG Editor, you will need to use only the allowable HTML tags to type in your content. You can see how your article will be displayed, by using the "Preview Article" feature near the bottom of the submission interface page.

Here are some tips to help you get your article approved more quickly:
1.       Do not send in HTML image tags, JavaScript or Tables in the body of your article and please make sure the allowed HTML tags are formatted correctly.
2.       Your word count is displayed and your article submission is auto-saved as a draft every 2 minutes.

The next edition of the EzineArticles Training Series: An Introduction to Article Writing and Marketing will give the top tips for beating writer's block.