I bet you've heard that submitting articles for publication in ezines is an excellent, low-cost means of promotion.
And it's true.
There are hundreds of thousands of ezines and newsletters. Most rely on contributed content, giving you a wonderful opportunity to connect with an endless ocean of prospects for free!
The rub is that most would-be authors get pretty shabby results. They conclude that they can't write, or that submitting articles isn't an effective means of promotion. At least not unless you're a "big name."
Almost anyone can write articles of acceptable quality to be published online. You needn't be a literary wizard, nor well-known. It's simply that like most things in life, there's a right, and a wrong way to do it.
Below are several easy ways you can get an editor to trash your article - EVEN if they LIKE what you say!
* Don't Check Spelling And Grammar Thoroughly
Even with electronic spell checkers, this is still a killer. Be particularly careful with words that sound alike but have different meanings (homophones). Should that be "there" or "their"? "Your" or "you're"?
Another trouble spot is apostrophe ('). An apostrophe should be used to indicate possession (John's car), dropped letters (don't) and characters/words mentioned as themselves (ID's). And remember, "it's" means "it is."
Most editors don't expect you to be perfect. However, a piece littered with obvious errors is unlikely to be published.
* Write In Long, Dense Paragraphs
Long, unbroken runs of text are visually unappealing, and act as a subconscious block to reading (looks like too much hard work). People are in a hurry, so information needs to be presented in a way they can scan for points of interest.
* Ramble And Use Wordy Sentences
Providing great information is not enough. People read to learn, but also seek excitement. Instant gratification. They lack time to be patient, so stick to point.
When you've finished writing, start deleting. Cut unnecessary sentences. Look for superfluous 'filler' words and repetitions. Delete them. Add more punch and drive by killing adjectives.
* Use Gratuitous Self Promotion
There's no greater turn-off than an article that proclaims author or their product wonderful. People want to discover your qualities for themselves. Your article is medium.
If you want to sell yourself; display your knowledge, innovative thinking, character. To promote a product, talk about a common problem or need, educate, perhaps tell a story. Provide interesting information. Only mention product subtly, or not at all, leaving it for your by-line.