When you have to share what you've created, where do you begin? Have you ever just felt like the top of your head unhinged and poured its contents onto paper? Like a parent you protect every single word written just like you want to protect a baby. Your article is a masterpiece of expert personal knowledge sure to change the way the world thinks about your product or service. Now how do you make sure your articles are picked up and distributed across the Internet to publishers and ezines everywhere?
Google says there are over 8 billion people browsing the net. And you only want to be noticed by a few hundred thousand or more of those.
There are no standard guidelines for article submission to online publishers, but a few generalities do ring true. Don't get frustrated filling out those submission forms online only to find out your article is rejected because you didn't pay attention to your formatting for instance.
When I started submitting articles I learned a lot from publishers who were generous enough to help me. These experts are amazing resources who hold the keys to the publishing world. And even though they receive thousands of articles every day there are some who are happy help you today. I can't say that for sure tomorrow!
Initially I was in such a hurry that I didn't always read the rules and wasted a lot of time and energy. After you are accepted by the moderator of a site make sure that you are familiar with the site guidelines and you won't be sorry.
Articles must be properly formatted and submitted in plain text format. Remember that your articles must be single spaced.
Use a text editor program. I found that a simple text editor like WordPad is just fine and appreciated by the editors when submitting at the site. I personally use a little ezine editor called Ziney Pro from www.kndata.com. Text editors default 60-65 characters per line and that's pretty standard. What these little programs do is strip the bloated hidden text from your article so it appears nicer online. It will look more professional. Or you can use an ASCII file formatter (much quicker than the ruler approach) like 'Ezine Assistant'. Ezine Assistant is free and you can download it at: http://www.ezineassistant.com/.
Site guidelines are critical. Read them and the FAQ's before submitting any article. Generally each site has a specific target audience. Some have special formatting needs. As an example, your article may be rejected if it contains links within the text and consider it spamming and will get you nowhere in a hurry.
Keep your bio box or Resource Box to 6-8 lines in length. Take advantage of your byline by promoting yourself and placing your link to your website here. Generally it is placed at the bottom of every article.
Don't include anything else in the subject line except the title. If emailing is allowed at all, cut and paste into the email message. It's a good rule of thumb to place your article title within your email subject but also keep it with your article. Just a note: Most publishers do not accept attachments.
Consider using HTML within your text so the end-product will look more professional after the cut and paste process. I recommend this article to improve the quality of your articles -- 'Essential HTML Skills for Article Authors - 7 Tips'. Expert author Christopher Knight.
Follow up. This may seem so simple, but with websites changing ownership and focus anything can happen. For instance, I was getting ready to submit a business article to a site that had recently changed its focus from business to fantasy and erotic themes. Could I have been embarrassed?! And even when you do everything right, your article may not reach the editor or moderator with the ISPs and blocking present today. Find out what you need to do next by following up so you can resubmit if you need to. It's always a good idea to ask first if possible because you might need to do some editing before your article is accepted.
Linda Heibel helps busy entrepreneurs expand their office virtually without expanding their office. You can visit http://www.EssentialOutsourcing.Biz to discover how you can benefit from her services and run your own business instead of the other way around.