How to Create Your Own Stockpile of Content Ideas

lightbulb photo: Lightbulb! Lightbulb-1.jpg It is no secret that, if you want to be successful online, you need to produce valuable, unique content. The Internet is bursting with potential customers who are all online searching for answers, new products and the right service provider for their needs. For small business owners, the way to draw those customers to you is to snare them with your content.

The rules for online content have been that you 1) Stick to a consistent posting schedule, and 2) You write at least 500 words a day. But there is another rule that needs to be added to the others: Generate a list of content ideas.

To stay relevant online, you need to produce fresh content on a regular basis. Many business owners find that the hardest part of creating online content is coming up with ideas of what to write about. Staring at a blank page for 20 minutes might help spark an idea once in a while, but it isn’t the best way to get a start on content production.

What you need is to create a stockpile of content ideas that you can pluck from whenever you need inspiration for a topic. Keep a notebook or even a file on the computer with a list of content ideas. Then, whenever you are stuck behind a writer’s block, you already have a place to look for a great idea.

Here are some ways that you can generate some interesting topics for your online content.

Answer the questions nobody else will

In every industry, there are many questions that small business owners avoid answering online because they are worried that it will take away from their revenue. For instance, a wedding planner might not want to share inside secrets because they think it will mean fewer people will pay for their services.

Just think of all the questions you’ve tried to find answers to online only to hit a dead end. If it’s happening to you, it’s happening to thousands of other people as well. Be the person who is willing to answer the questions that no one else in your industry is willing to answer.

When you give people answers they can’t find anywhere else, you will become the person they come to again and again in the future. Because you have made yourself an authority in the industry!

Challenge the status quo

Is there something that almost nobody agrees with you on? Maybe you have come up with an idea that could change the way businesses can save money but everyone else has told you that it’s too radical or that it simply won’t work.

Controversy is great for sparking interest. People are intrigued by the rebel, the person who is willing to step over the line and shake things up. Don’t settle for writing about topics that everyone has found safe. Go outside of the norm and write your honest opinion about the topic you are passionate about.

Consider the future

People like to read about what the future holds for your industry. Many business owners don’t want to consider what might happen a few years down the road, but you can be the person to change that.

Maybe you believe that something that is wildly popular right now will fizzle out by the end of the year. What do you think is going to take its place? Try your hand at predicting the future. You won’t always be right, but once in a while you might just surprise yourself (and your readers) with the future you envision.

Content creation can be a tricky road. Trying to think up topics on the spot can make writing more frustrating. Instead, look at creating a stockpile of topic ideas that you can keep on hand when it is time to write new content.

Make a list of topics. Stick to a regular writing schedule. Do research for new topics often. Those are the rules for creating valuable content.

Do you often hit roadblocks when you are writing content for your business? What do you do to generate new ideas?

Why Your Business Needs to Have a Blog

Content continues to be a very important driver of traffic. When you have the traffic, your business sees a boost in online sales. This is why businesses need to put a lot of effort into content marketing. If you have unique, beneficial quality content, you will be able to increase traffic to your site.

One of the best ways to make sure you have fresh content available online is to maintain a business blog. A business blog is a short-form piece of content that is posted to the blog section of your business’ website.

Each blog post needs to be about a specific topic that relates to your business. For instance, if your business is a wedding venue you will want to have blog posts that are wedding-related: Creating Centerpieces on a Budget, Shopping for the Right Dress, Choosing a Caterer.

One of the benefits of maintaining a blog is that it gives your business more online visibility. Being found on the Internet is an important part of helping businesses thrive today. A blog will help your business show up in search results when people are doing a search for products or services related to your business.

Here are the reasons that you need to start a blog for your business today:

Blogs drive traffic

Every business wants to get more visitors to its website. The way to do that these days is by having fresh content updated on your site often. This isn’t something that happens regularly with your static content like your About Us page. What you need is a blog linked to your site that is consistently refreshed with new and valuable content.

The more pages you have linked to your site, the more search engines are going to take notice and move you up in the ranks. By having new content added frequently, you are signaling that your site is active.

Traffic turns into leads

Every blog post you write is a new opportunity to generate leads. All you need to do is include a powerful call-to-action in each post. A call-to-action can be something as simple as inviting the reader to download a free eBook, sign up for a webinar or subscribe to your newsletter. Anything that will encourage them to share their email address with you.

Blogs help establish your authority

A blog is a place for you to establish you as an expert. Use your blog as a place for people to go when they need answers to their questions. By having content that is created by your brand for a target audience, you are also establishing a concrete relationship between your brand and your readers.

Blogs offer long-term results

Once you have a few post views and leads from your blog posts, they might sit quietly for a while and not get much action as you continue to post new content. But that doesn’t mean that they are done working for your business.

After that content is out there, it’s still there! It’s still available for other people to find it when they do a search for keywords that are included in your posts. So, for years down the road, those blog posts that you put out when you get started will continue to be able to draw traffic to your website.

Content marketing is going to continue to be a powerful tool for businesses. Have you started a blog for your business?

How to Make Your Writing (a Little Bit) Better

The Director of Columbia University’s writing program and author of the new book To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction reveals a few ways to write a fresh and engaging story.

I came across this post on Oprah’s website and thought it was worth re-posting for my readers. There are some great tidbits, guidance and instructions for making your writing better. Now that online content is so huge, it’s always a good idea to tweak and work on your writing or hire a ghostwriter to assist you.

1) Be Bold (Even if You’re Not) Regardless of how timid you may feel inside, you need to project an assertive tone in your sentences, conveying that you have a right to speak and that know what you’re talking about. This may mean bluffing—both at the beginning and maybe throughout one’s writing life. One of the boldest openings is a confession of ignorance. You might tell people that you don’t know everything or that you’ve forgotten some of the story. Surprisingly, instead of alienating your readers, this tactic usually makes them believe you more, because it lets them know you’re a human being—imperfect, like all of us, but honest.

2) Make Yourself into a Real-Life Elizabeth Bennet Whatever you write, particularly if it’s an autobiography or any kind of nonfiction, you would do well to turn yourself into a character. The reader needs to sense very quickly the real individual behind the prose—in order to like or trust the narrator of the piece. To start, you may need to take inventory of yourself, so the reader will have some idea of who is talking. For instance, what are your geographical roots, family background, ethnicity, social class, religious training, sexual preferences, and political affiliations? Not that your entire identity can ever be explained by membership in this or that one category, but at least the sum of them helps define you—if nothing else, then in your opposition or refusal to identify with any of these assigned labels. What are your pet likes and dislikes? What are some of the crucial experiences in your life? Certainly, this is the heart of memoir or personal writing.

Now comes the “characterization” part of your character. You need to dramatize yourself. Paradoxically, this may mean putting on a mask, emphasizing just those aspects of your personality that throw you into sharper light, that make you seem a little more odd or idiosyncratic—in any case, not completely typical. The easiest way to do that is to single out those parts of your personality that are most vibrant, or even disparaging. Self-mockery is a perfect example. If you can laugh at yourself, you will find it easier to see yourself as a character.

3) Take the Contrarian Position It’s sometimes a good idea to go against the grain of accepted thought, simply because it takes the reader by surprise and engages him or her in a stimulating, feisty relationship. (It also helps to build the author quickly into a character—see number 2.) To advocate for Mom, apple pie, world peace or universal brotherhood can be pretty bland. Try airing a more antisocial or counterintuitive position, just for the fun of it. Some models to consult in this technique are Laura Kipnis’ “Against Love,” Witold Gombrowicz’s “Against Poetry,” Susan Sontag’s “Against Interpretation,” Joyce Carol Oates’ “Against Nature” or my own “Against Joie de Vivre.”

The other way to be contrarian is to praise something that usually inspires distaste. William Hazlitt’s “On the Pleasure of Hating” is one such topsy-turvy example. Think of something ostensibly negative—disappointment, envy, chagrin, obesity, air pollution—and make a case for it. Of course, this defense of the indefensible can be done ironically, as in Jonathan Swift’s classic “A Modest Proposal,” which purports to argue in favor of eating babies as a solution to overpopulation.

4) Don’t Forget Your Inner Adult When writing about your past, don’t be afraid to reflect on the way you were, from the standpoint of the way you are now. You don’t have to pretend that you’re still 9 years old or stay within the child mind: You can avail yourself of the perspective of acquired wisdom over the years and move back and forth in the narrative between the younger person you were and the older person you’ve become. This means you don’t have to tell every story entirely through scene and dialogue. You can forget about that “show, don’t tell” business. Do tell. But do it frankly, thoughtfully and, wherever possible without self-pity and with good-humored detachment.

5) Bring in the World Even if you are writing a memoir, and telling what you feel is just your own private story, there are ways of bringing greater relevance and resonance to the tale by hitching it to a broader perspective: historical, psychological, sociological, theological, whatever. You begin to see yourself as part of a larger pattern, and this will take you to the library, where you can gain new insights.

Research also helps to keep the material alive when you are starting to get sick of yourself and your story. If you start out knowing all the answers, your resulting writing will appear stale. But if you engage in an exploration, a need to get answers to questions that are still unresolved, there is a much greater chance that the writing will come alive. And research can certainly assist in any such exploration.

For more information on writing techniques, consult Phillip Lopate’s new book To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Expert-Writing-Strategies-How-to-Write-Better#ixzz2LMYAJ4yF

Do You Know the Benefits of Hiring a Ghostwriter for your Business?

No matter what field you’re in, the life of your small business depends on written content to maintain a strong online presence and build your brand.  But you knew that already, didn’t you?  Sure, you’d like to start a blog for your business, write an e-book, or maintain an active Facebook or Twitter feed, but you’re already wearing so many hats–now you have to be a writer, too?  No, you don’t.  Instead, consider hiring a ghostwriter.

A ghostwriter is an expert writer who can handle any written task such as articles, blog posts, press releases, essays and e-books according to your specifications and let you take credit for them.  Once the publishing industry’s best-kept secret, ghostwriters are now a trusted part of every industry from medicine to music, and have become very popular with small business owners in particular.

Let’s face it; some of the world’s smartest, charismatic and talented people are terrible writers.  Ghostwriters can help their clients look as competent and knowledgeable on the page (or screen) as they are in person.

Why do you need a ghostwriter?

Well, consider what your time is worth, and how it can best be put to use to help your business.  Do you think that being hunched over a keyboard writing a blog post is the best use of your time or your talent?  By leaving your writing needs in the hands of a capable ghostwriter, you can go back to doing what you love, and remind yourself of why you started your business in the first place.

Even if you did have the time to write (and brainstorm, and edit) it yourself, having well-written, informative and enjoyable content is not quite enough.  Experienced ghostwriters can also help you create targeted content that skillfully uses keywords that will help your website or blog rank high in search engine results while avoiding being marked as spam.  After all, what good is a blog if no one reads it?  The more people who seek out your website, blog, and social media and benefit from the valuable information you provide, the more money you will make.

It can be hard to let go of control of something as important as online marketing for your business, but your business needs YOU more than anything else.  Successful business owners know that part of their success comes from knowing how and when to delegate tasks.  Many will tell you to do what you’re best at, and hire skilled people to handle the rest.  Wouldn’t hiring a ghostwriter be a great place to start?

Have you hired a ghostwriter in the past? What have you learned from using a ghostwriter?

Are You Creating Attention-Grabbing Headlines?

Internet users have short attention spans. If you want to get noticed, you have to do it quickly or else they will move on to another site within seconds. They need to be convinced that you have a solution to their problem, an answer to their question or a product for their need. To do that, you need to have an attention-grabbing headline.

A great headline stops people in their tracks as they are doing a search and click on the link that promises to give them what they need. There are several things you need to do in order to create headlines that sell.

Appeal to Their Emotions

Psychologists tell us that a consumer initially bases their decision to buy on emotion. Create headlines that appeal to their emotions and you are increasing your chance of making a sale.

Some emotions that make people want to buy include the need to feel:

  • Sexy
  • Respected
  • Attractive
  • Confident
  • Safe
  • Proud
  • Wealthy
  • Energetic

An example of a headline that appeals to emotions is 10 Tricks for Building Your Confidence Today!

Use Active Voice

You do not want to use the passive tone of voice in your headlines. Leave out words like “could” or “might.” Use words that command attention. Instead of using a headline that says 5 Ways to Help Control Cravings, reword it so that it sounds more commanding: Control Your Cravings in 5 Steps.

Empower the Reader

Readers want to feel like they have control and that they matter. You is a strong word to use in headlines. It is a way for you to speak to your readers on a personal level. Use your headline as a way to tell them that you are interested in helping him or her with the issue they are facing or that you have the product they need.

Use headlines that speak directly to the reader, such as How to Lose Your Baby Weight.

Other headlines that are powerful are those that:

  • Ask a question- Do You Want to Earn $500 a Day?
  • Make a promise- Earn $500 Today!
  • Are newsworthy- New System Promises $500 Daily Profit

When you start creating your headlines, you need to know your audience. Who are you talking to? Each target audience responds differently to certain headlines. Make sure you are writing a headline that appeals to that target if you want to hit your mark.

Use the benefits of your products to create appealing headlines. Tell potential customers what your product will do to help them. For example, if you sell anti-aging cream, your headline could be Erase Your Fine Lines in Two Weeks.

Take time to write out a page of headlines. This is a great way to practice writing them, plus you will already have a number of headlines to choose from whenever you need it. Having a list of headlines is also helpful when you need to write new content but aren’t sure what to write about. Just pick a headline and go with it.

The headline is the most important piece of your marketing content. It is the first thing a potential customer will see. Spend time creating headlines and before long you will write selling headlines with little effort.

Do you have trouble writing great headlines? What do you think are the best types of headlines?

How to Write a Great College Essay

Writing your college essay is one of the most important parts of your entire application. This can cause a lot of frustration for you, which is the last thing you want when you are working on something that can affect your future!

In writing your essay, you are not just writing a page full of words. You are sharing a part of yourself with people who will decide if you are a good fit for their school. This is not a time to slack off on your efforts. When you prepare to work on your college essay, there are many things that you need to keep in mind.

Look at the Requirements

Most colleges will have a set of guidelines that you must follow when you write your essay. It is important to make sure that you read their instructions carefully. The people reviewing your essay will be looking to make sure that you hit on all of their requirements in your essay.

There is likely a word limit that you need to abide by, so make sure that you do not go overboard. This length will be approximately two double-spaced typed pages.

Pick a Good Topic

Most colleges will give you a few different topic ideas to choose from. The topic that you choose will be a reflection on you, so choose a good one. You want to give the admissions team a real look at who you are but you don’t want to choose a hot-button topic that could have a negative impact.

Bad topics might be your sex life, past drug and alcohol use, jail time, political or religious rants, pity parties (woe is me), or your summer abroad. Choose a topic that you are confident about, something that you can turn into a “wow” essay.

Be Unique

Admissions people read through huge stacks of application essays. You need to find a way to spark their interest right away and make them see you as an asset to the college. Imagine what everyone else will be writing about and choose something else.

Many students will want to write about their summer in Europe and give a summary of all the things they did along the trip. These types of essays are, as they say, a dime a dozen. If you had a life-changing experience while you were on vacation, that is something to write about. Don’t gush about the Eiffel Tower- they’ve already read that essay. If, however, you volunteered in an orphanage or hospital over your vacation, then that is a topic to focus on.

Give Details

An excellent college essay can be compared to a short story. Give the reader enough details that they will see and feel what you are saying. Give names to all the people you talk about and the places you go. These things will give your essay more depth, which makes the admissions officer feel that you care about their reading experience.

Be Likeable

A college is a community, one of which you want to be a part. This essay is the glimpse into your personality that you are giving to the admissions team. They need to see you as a person that is great to be around, someone who they would enjoy having a discussion with on a daily basis. Find a way to communicate “This is me!” into your essay.

Proofread and Spellcheck

It might seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at how many people forget to do a simple spellcheck on their writing. Any small typo that you fail to catch is a strike against you.

You will also want to have one or two people proofread your essay before you seal it up and send it off. Spellcheck won’t always catch mistakes. You need a person to look for any mix-ups between homonyms, such as there, their, and they’re. Common mistakes can be the difference between an excellent college essay and one that gets passed over.

Writing a great college essay is in everyone’s power. By following some simple guidelines, you can make sure that yours is one that gets the nod of approval from the admissions office.

Do You Know the 5 Ways to Get More Web Traffic Now?

To be successful online, whether it is for your ghostwriting site, e-commerce site or your blog, you need to have a healthy flow of web traffic. When you have more visitors, you will increase your chances of making sales and boosting your profits. After you’ve researched and settled on your niche and supporting keywords, you can use these five tips in order to start seeing an increase in web traffic quickly.

Tag Your Keywords

If you spend any amount of time making sure that your content is optimized for search engines, then you need to remember to tag your keywords. Tags are where search bots look for keywords that match search queries. If you have no tags then your site will be overlooked.

Tags you need to focus on include:

  • Title tags: These are probably the main tags to focus your keywords on. The sentence used in the title tag should describe your business or blog in 90 characters or less.
  • Header tags: These are the next in line of importance. This is where you rank your keywords in their order of importance.
  • Meta tags: These tags give the small piece of text that is found beneath title tags on a search results page. These are typically short, about 150 characters, and should give enough information to encourage a user to click through to your site.
  • Alt tags: These tags are used to add description text for graphics. Any graphics or images on your site should have a description in an alt tag.

Keep Content Fresh

If you want to keep visitors coming back to your site or blog, it is essential for you to always have new and fresh content. Search engine bots look through a site’s content in order to set page rank. Try to add new content each day in order to keep things current and improve your ranking. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to write as often as you need to, consider hiring a ghostwriter to do the writing for you.

Get More Incoming Links

If you have high-ranking websites linking to your web pages, the search engines will see your site as having more value. Not all links are given the same value. Links from websites that are credible and popular as well as relevant to your site will give you more value.

The two types of links are a text link, which uses anchor text to embed your web address into the content, and a direct link, which is the web address written out as is. A deep link is one that links to a page further inside a site instead of the homepage.

To encourage more sites to link to your pages, submit article to directories, add content to your site, participate in social networking sites and forums, blog and publish press releases.

Use Social Media

Today’s Internet is all about interaction and engagement. Social networking is an excellent way to help generate more traffic to your site or blog. You can keep an active presence on sites like Facebook or Twitter to interact with readers and customers. Create a profile, post updates and leave comments and links to your own site. Get involved and start conversations. Social media is a great way to help locate a much more targeted audience.

Advertise

Advertising doesn’t have to take too big of a chunk out of your budget. Most businesses rely on PPC advertising since it allows them to keep a tight control over their daily budget. You can also track results to see what is working best and bringing you the most traffic.

Planning your goals and strategy is an important part of being successful online. Spend time working out your own roadmap, taking these tips into consideration, and you will quickly see some impressive results on your traffic and profits.

How are you working on building up your web traffic? What has given you the best results?

What You Need to Know About Submitting Articles to Web 2.0 Sites

One of the best ways to get more links back to your website is to submit articles to Web 2.0 sites. Web 2.0 is the phrase used to describe the newest phase of the Internet in which it went from only a one-way information source to an interactive medium for users with added social interaction.

Blogs, social networks, and wikis are all part of the Web 2.0. So, what do you need to do to make sure you are getting the most exposure through your articles on the Web 2.0?

Here is what you need to know:

Feeder Sites

Feeder sites are used to send targeted traffic back to your website while at the same time giving you quality backlinks for your main site. The feeder site contains a lot of content that is relevant to your site and helps to increase the rank of your website.

You want to have several different feeder sites that are linked between your main website and Web 2.0 sites.

Some of the best sites to use for feeder sites include:

WordPress: Offers a simple user interface on which you can set up and post content quickly.

HubPages: You create a “hub” page around which other related content sites are connected.

Squidoo: Simple way to create content through unique “lenses.”

After you have set up a few different feeder sites, link them all to your main website and then to multiple Web 2.0 sites.

Web 2.0 Sites

You can publish articles and blog posts onto several other Web 2.0 sites, which will serve as a secondary level of links back to your main website. These sites include:

  • WikiSpaces.com
  • Blogger.com
  • Blog.com
  • WikiDot.com
  • Zoho.com
  • Webs.com
  • WetPaint.com
  • Quizilla.com
  • Zimbio.com
  • Thoughts.com
  • Xanga.com
  • InsaneJournal.com
  • Gather.com
  • Jimdo.com
  • Tripod.Lycos.com

What Content Do You Need?

When submitting to Web 2.0 sites, you need to have quality content that you can insert backlinks into. Most need to be no less than 450 words. You want content that is easy to read and provides valuable information to the reader. Write something that is relative to your website, not just something you think will rank well, because you want to make sure you are reaching your target audience.

Research topics that will help you draw in the types of readers you want back to your website. Find out what people are asking questions about and answer them in your content. Use keyword research to see what words and phrases pertaining to your niche are being searched for online and incorporate them into your articles and blog posts.

Content Do’s and Don’ts

DO add images: Use images that are relevant to your content. A good image can encourage people to read your content. Make sure you have the copyright to use images you find online or take your own.

DON’T use the same anchor text every time: When you are doing keyword research, make sure you come up with a long list. You do not want to use the same anchor text repetitively. Find a different way of saying the same thing and make sure that the phrases you use make sense in the flow of the content.

DO link to sites with authority: You don’t have to link only to your own website. You can link back to sites like Wikipedia which are known authorities to increase ranking.

DON’T keep linking to your homepage: You need to link farther into your website than just your main page. Google will rank you higher if you have more links deeper inside your website.

DON’T submit once and forget it: Web 2.0 sites want content that provides value. If they sense that you are only submitting an article for link building, your account will be deleted. Plan to write and submit new content at least once every week or two, occasionally without any backlinks. Keep adding quality content to stay on top.

Can you think of anything to add to this? What have you found that works? Please share your knowledge.

Tips to Make your Online Job Application Powerful

In today’s market, most employers searching for potential candidates will use online job boards, create online sourcing efforts and post job ads – all online. Gone is the traditional newspaper search on Sunday mornings, sitting at your dining room table with a cup of coffee and combing through the want ads.

Due to today’s technology and company recruiting efforts, it is imperative that you create a resume and job application that will get you noticed.

When a company posts their job opportunities online, they typically receive hundreds of resumes and applications within minutes.

Recruiters will then start combing through all those resumes looking for specific keywords, skills, credentials and educational accomplishments.

As a potential candidate, you need to grab their attention in an instant.

The following are tips to do just that.

Create a Subject Line that gets their Attention As a recruiter begins to go through their emails, the first thing they notice is the subject line of your email.

Put something in that subject line that coincides with the job opportunity and your experience.

If you are applying for a Sales Management position, these subject lines would grab the recruiter’s attention:

AT&T National Sales Manager – 15 years of experience Sales Engineer – acquired $1 million in sales last year Sales Management – $250,000 in new business generated Branch Manager – B2B & Major Account Sales

Be sure to read the job description and the specifics of what it entails and creatively add that to the subject line of your email.

The Meat of your Email This is another chance to get the attention of the recruiter. Put some thought and originality into your first sentence and then the first paragraph.

You want to convey the most persuasive information in an efficient manner. You do not want to lolly-gag around about it either. Be quick to state the most important facts right away.

If you have been referred by someone the recruiter may know, be sure to mention that quickly. There are times that that simple statement can get you through the hiring process much faster. Or at the very least, get your résumé viewed and passed to the next stage.

Recruiters don’t have a lot of time to read every word of your email, therefore, stating your most powerful points arranged in a bullet format makes it much more efficient.

Keep the Body of your Email Short You are so eager to tell the recruiter all about you and your past accomplishments and how you would make an excellent part of their team. You want to go on and on and on like the Energizer Bunny.

Don’t do it.

The best rule of thumb is to have 3 to 4 paragraphs. If you can convey everything in only 3 paragraphs, then stick with that.

Hiring personnel and recruiters don’t have a lot of time to read every single email they get. Make it as easy on them as possible and keep it brief and concise.

When you get the interview you will be able to go into many more details of your credentials and experience.

Create an Appealing Resume You want something that appeals visually; however, you don’t want to go overboard.

Using a computer to draft your resume is of course the best option. It also allows you to get a bit more creative with graphics, fonts and style.

Furthermore, you don’t want to do anything that makes your résumé ugly and hard to read. So don’t get crazy here, just be mindful of everyone that will be reading your resume and more important, you want to convey your job talents and expertise, not how pretty you can draft a resume.

Attaching your Resume to your Email You want to look computer-savvy and attach your cover letter and resume in a professional manner.

Therefore, the best rule of thumb is to attach it as a PDF file, instead of a DOC file. Of course you want to be sure you’ve followed their instructions for attachments, cover letters and references.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a PDF converter. There are many free sites where you can convert your word document into a PDF document. If you Google, “Free PDF converter,” you’ll find many resources.

If you are going to email your resume, cover letter and possible references, just put all those into one PDF attachment. Don’t make separate attachments.

Again, make it as simple for the recruiter as possible.

Submitting Your Articles Successfully

After you have written a few articles that you are proud to attach your name to, it is time for you to start submitting them to a few different article directories. There are hundreds of different online article directories that you can choose from. These can be either paid sites or free.

Find article directories that are highly ranked in order to build traffic and enhance your notoriety. Selecting a few well-respected directories will allow you to reach the widest possible audience.

Here are just a few of the best article directories to consider when you get ready to submit your articles:

EzineArticles.com

This directory has both a high Alexa ranking and Google page rank. It is one of the most respected sites used by article marketers. It is free to use and has helpful tutorial videos that will get you on the right path from the start. In the beginning, you will be limited to ten article submissions. This will change once the editors have determined the quality of your content. There is also a paid option that allows for faster publication and scheduled article release.

Hubpages.com

If you want to beef up your content with photos, videos and other media, this site is for you. You will build your own “hub” and add new content, which will help boost your blog traffic. This account is also free to use and has an entire community to turn to when you need help.

ArticleBase.com

This free site is simple to use. It will also give you statistics for each article so that you can see how many views each one receives and how many click-throughs are generated by each one. This will give you insight into what content more people are looking for.

LadyPens.com

This is a boutique-type article directory. You will need to apply to be considered before you are allowed to submit any content. Authors who submit to this site have an increased chance of having their articles being selected by publishers.

Yahoo! Voices

Formerly Associated Content, Voices is a network for affiliated content. It is free to sign up and you can even earn income based on the performance of your articles. You can submit videos and photos as well as written content.

Almost all article directories will require you to register before you can become a content contributor. It may be a good idea to set up a separate email that you only use for article directories. In article marketing, this is an excellent way to keep track of your content submissions and any notifications from the site editors.

Read through each site’s author guidelines before you start to submit content. Some directories may require your content to be in HTML format while others prefer plain text. If you don’t know anything about HTML, there are plenty of free tutorials available online. You can learn the basics quickly and easily.

You will also need to have a solid author BIO for each niche target. For instance, if you write articles about car insurance, you want your BIO to tie into that topic. If you also write content about farming, have a separate BIO for those articles. You want your BIO to encourage each target audience to click through to your website.

With article marketing, it is important to remember the quality over quantity rule. It is far better to concentrate on writing only a few thoughtful pieces of content than rushing through to write a dozen generic articles that provide no value to the reader.

The goal of article marketing is to reach out to a targeted audience in order to encourage them to visit your website. When you choose the right directories to suit your purpose, your quality content will be able to work for you in building up your readership.

What directories are you considering for your article marketing? What made you choose the ones you are currently using? Let us know!