Follow these important guidelines to increase odds of having your article published.
* Thoroughly Check Spelling And Grammar
Even with electronic spell checkers, this is still a killer. Be especially 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."
* Don't 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.
* Don't Ramble Or 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.
* Don't Employ 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.
* Don't Over-indulge On Your Resource Box
It's generally accepted that your resource box, or "About author" by-line should be no more than 6 lines in length. Many publishers will object to anything longer, and unless your article is particularly exceptional, they'll bin it.