You probably know that submitting articles can boost your website’s popularity in search engines. However, submitting to multiple article sites can be a daunting task. Directories expect different types of formatting. They allow variable numbers of characters in titles, and they may restrict links to as few as 1 – or they may permit several.
Whether you use article submission software or submit your articles manually, there are some advance preparations that will make your job much easier.
Of course before you submit, you must write an article. At the bottom of this page is a handy text template. Although the character counts in the template given here are less than indicated, there is a link in the resource box to an online template with correct parameters.
Compose your article in your favorite word processor; 500-1000 words is an optimal length. Before you begin, set the font to Courier 10 point. This should force your word processor to use plain text characters for quotes, rather than smart quotes and other characters that may cause problems. Allow your typing to wrap naturally. Press the ‘Enter’ key twice between paragraphs or other important blocks of text.
Avoid using double quotation marks. Instead, opt for single quotes [']. Utilize your word processor’s spell-check and grammar features, and check everything meticulously once your article is ready for submission. Then copy and paste into the template, using Notepad or a similar program.
If you see any strange-looking characters on your screen, perform a search and replace and convert them to plain text equivalents.
Your title should be kept below 60 characters. The line under ‘TITLE’ (*in the online template*), including the leading letters, contains exactly 60. Although most directories permit more, for SEO purposes you should keep your title within this limit. Your title is usually displayed in search engine results. Google will show approximately 68-70 characters. However, article sites often precede the title with a word like ‘Articles’ or ‘Content’. This must be added to the character count.
Once you are satisfied with the title, delete the first line of the template, if you wish.
If suitable, you can utilize the first paragraph of your article as a summary. Otherwise write an appropriate summary in your word processor – and keep it short. A 250-character count is ideal.
The article itself should be copied and pasted below the ‘ARTICLE’ heading.
In the ‘AUTHOR’S NOTE’ area, place your bio or linking information. Do not add html at this point – just bare links. Avoid immediately following a URL with a period or other punctuation. Some article directories will not format your link(s) correctly if you do.
Under ‘NO AUTO LINKS’ copy and paste your bio text, then format the links with html ‘href’ codes for the directories that allow it.
The ‘COPYRIGHT’ section is for an occasional article directory that requires it.
The ‘KEYWORDS’ area is where you enter two lines of comma-separated keywords. The number of characters, including the letters, is 100 (*in the online template*). Some directories allow 100, others up to 200.
Save as a plain text (.txt) file – but don’t exit yet!
Go through your copy and add html, as appropriate. Some directories allow codes for bold, italics, unordered lists, ordered lists, etc. Save the file again – indicating in the filename that this is the HTML version.
For example, you should have two filenames, similar to the following:
Next set up a spreadsheet. The first time you submit to a new directory, do a manual submission. You can register if required, get a feel for the ‘tone’ of the directory, and check format and linking requirements. Make notes in your spreadsheet. If you use article submission software for subsequent submissions, you will know exactly how to configure your program for each directory.
The resource box at the end of this article provides a link to a page with both versions of a sample article, the template, and an example spreadsheet.
Good luck with your submissions!
———- Begin Template ———-
NO AUTO LINKS:
Copyright YOUR NAME – YOUR LINK – This article is free to publish as long as links remain clickable.
———– End Template ———–
There is an online version of the article template and a sample article in both of the above-mentioned formats at 1st Rate Articles – along with an example spreadsheet.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kathy_Steinemann