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P Write about what you know. It’s easier to “sell” and easier to write when you draw upon your own experiences and those of others you know. You could also write about a personal experience or a hobby you pursue (if it is newsworthy).
P Keep it simple – plain text, simple fonts, 12-point type are generally most widely accepted format.
P Use short paragraphs. Commercials use sound bites to keep audience’s attention. Short paragraphs have a better chance of keeping reader interested.
P Don’t over-punctuate. By this, I mean use of exclamation point!!! or … or ??? mark. Overusing punctuation will make your words have less impact over time. And if you are submitting your articles on Internet, these are often flagged as “spam” and may never even be read.
P Ask questions. Then answer those questions. This will keep readers’ attention and interest.
P Bullets can accentuate your points. Since people read in sound bites, bullets help reader absorb information in bite-sized pieces.
P Use creative headlines to sell your message. Instead of “How to Write Articles,” use “Writing for Dollar$” or something more enticing. Send me a note with Headlines in subject line and I will send you article on Headlines that sell.
P Keep track and follow up. This gets more difficult over time, since your articles might be reprinted and you don’t even know it, unless publisher sends you courtesy copy. Keep track of where you submit your articles, and follow up with editors to find out if and when they will be used. If editors don’t use your work, ask for feedback. This will help you become a better writer. Create a record for yourself of publication, URL (web address) and name and contact information of person to whom you submitted your article.
P You can submit your work online to some of these more popular places. Keep in mind, there are literally thousands of ezines out there, below are just a few sites to submit your work.:
Never give up! Be patient. As saying goes, “timing is everything,” and editors and publishers are busy. If your content is good (and interesting) eventually someone will notice’ and you will get published. Once that happens, capitalize on momentum and keep going. The purpose of writing articles is after all to get people to start talking about you. Oscar Wilde said “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Make writing a part of your marketing plan and who knows, several articles later, you could be talk of town.
Excerpted from The PMS Principles - Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business © 2005 - Heidi Richards
Heidi Richards is the author of The PMS Principles, Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business and 7 other books. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Women’s ECommerce Association, International www.WECAI.org (pronounced wee-kī) – an Internet organization that “Helps Women Do Business on the WEB.” Basic Membership is FREE. Ms. Richards can be reached at Heidi@speakingwithspirit.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.