Tuesday, June 26, 2012

7 Steps to Writing for Article Directories by Karen Cioffi

Among marketing strategies, writing for article directories is certainly up there. It offers a large readership with the advantage of having those readers click back to your site.

While it is writing for free, it should be considered a part of your business expense, at least your time aspect of it. Just like any other form of marketing it is used to create and increase your visibility. It’s an investment.

I know it can get tedious having to write and submit articles to the directories, but the articles don’t have to be long. Here are 7 steps to writing for the directories:

1. Create a title

You want your title to be search engine friendly. Be sure you have your keyword/s in it–make it specific also. It has recently been determined that shorter titles work better than longer ones. You can create a “How to” title; a “Steps” title, or a “List” title. An example of a search engine friendly title is the title of this article.

If possible, it’s also advisable to have your keyword at the beginning of your title. 

2. Write an outline 

This is optional, because there are many writers who can write with the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method. But, if you are more comfortable with an outline, that’s fine. It does provide structure.

3. Create List, How-to, and Step-by-Step articles

This is a popular way to go. Readers love to see simple 1, 2, 3 lists of what they should do or should NOT do.

Be sure to include your keyword/s in the first paragraph and a couple of times throughout the article. Just don’t overdo it.

4. Parts of the article

Your first paragraph should be interesting and let the reader know what the article is about, but don’t give away too much–you want the reader to continue reading.

Your second paragraph or section should inform and elaborate on the first paragraph. This part should fulfill the reader’s expectations.

Your last paragraph should sum up what the article is about and conclude with a lead-in to your resource box.

5. Write the minimum word count or just above

Check the guidelines for each particular directory. The minimum word count is usually around 400. But, check the site to make sure. Burn-out is easy with article marketing, especially if you’re ghostwriting articles as well as writing for your own sites. Keeping articles short and to the point helps in this area.

6. The resource box

Some sites allow you to include a resource box which is about you and what you can offer the reader. Check the site’s guidelines because they may have specific requirements for the length of the resource box in relation to the length of the article.


Once your article is complete, submit to a number of article directories. A couple of popular directories are Ezine Articles, Associated Content, Article City, Suite101, and Helium. Since the popularity and effectiveness of directories can change, you may need to do a bit of research for this step. But, those listed should be a good bet. 

Note: It’s not essential, but if possible change the title of the article and at least the beginning content a bit when submitting to multiple article directories. This will make the search engines think the content is new.

That’s about it. Write, write, write . . .

Karen Cioffi is a multi-award-winning author, freelance writer, editor, and marketer. Ignite your writing and marketing efforts with A Writer’s World Ezine. Get weekly tips and guidance, plus updates on free webinars, and TWO FREE ebooks! Go to http://thewritingworld.com and sign-up today.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for the tips. I've never attempted an article outside of blog guest posts and need to write some.

Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Suzanne & Karen,
This was a very informative blog post. I never would have guessed that you can use article directories as a marketing tool. Karen, you're gave me a few ideas!

Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Suzanne & Karen,
What an informative blog post! Who would've guessed that you can use article directories as marketing tools. Not me. Karen, you gave me a few ideas!

Arlee Bird said...

Though I've considered doing this, I have yet to try it. This is a good guide-line to follow.
Thanks Karen and Susanne.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've written a lot of articles for Article City and Ezine. I always tell authors at least one article a week and more when it's around the time of a book release.

Susanne Drazic said...

Posting this from a message I received in my email:

Hi Suzanne,
For some reason blogger won't let me leave a comment today, which is unusual. Because of this I'll comment here.

This was a very interesting blog post! Who would've guessed that you could use article directories as a marketing tool? Not me. Karen, you gave me a few ideas!

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Susanne,

Thanks so much for featuring my article today!

And, for those who are interested, in a much more in depth look at article marketing please check out:


DL Hammons said...

I've never heard of writing for directories before. Definitely going to check this out! :)

Susanne Drazic said...

Hello to all!

Hi Karen. Thanks for sharing this very informative article with my readers.

Martha Ramirez said...

Great tips!

Stephen Tremp said...

Excellent post! I've always wanted to write an article. I'll bookmark this post in the event I have the opportunity to write one.

Karen Cioffi said...

Alex, writing for article directories is very similar to blog posting. You just need to follow the directory's guidelines.

Deb, It's a great marketing tool!

Karen Cioffi said...

Lee, Just go for it!

Diane, I think I've written for Article City. I know I've done Go Articles and Associated Content among others. Lately, I've been sticking with EzineArticles, but as soon as I have some time will get my articles on more directories.

Karen Cioffi said...

DL, It's a great way to increase your visibility and traffic.

Martha, Glad you found the article useful!

Stephen Thanks! I know what you mean about finding the time, but it is a great marketing tool.

Susanne, my pleasure!

Talli Roland said...

What great tips! Writing articles is an art unto itself.

Robyn Campbell said...

What excellent info here, Karen. I have considered writing articles and now I have some ideas inside my head about what I should write on. (Homeschooling for one) I cannot wait to get started. Wish me luck! *waves to Susanne*

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Good advice, Karen. I've never thought about it but it sounds interesting.

Thanks for having Karen here today, Susanne.

Karen Cioffi said...

Talli, It's certainly different from writing stories. :)

Robyn, You have a perfect niche for article marketing. Just jump in!

Beverly, In actuality, if you're blog posting, you're article marketing. Using directories simply broadens your visibility and reach.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

VERY WELL DONE, KAREN. Even ole me could follow this. Thanks!

Karen Cioffi said...

LOL, Thanks Joylene! Glad it's easy to understand.

Sherry Ellis said...

Very good tips! Thanks for sharing.

Karen Cioffi said...

Sherry, Glad you found the useful!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Very clear and essential outline. Great presentation, easy to understand. Good job Karen.

Bish Denham said...

This was some great info, put in simple terms. Thanks!

Karen Cioffi said...

Charmaine, Thanks so much.

Bish, Thanks and glad you found it useful.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have to outline when it comes to novels, but I'm more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type when it comes to articles.

Great post.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Great advice, thanks! I have articles on Helium, but haven't done it in awhile. Maybe I should catch back up with that.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Stina, I'm kind of seat-of-the-pants for both. Thanks for stopping by.

Shannon, It really does pay to keep active with article marketing. You just never know who'll find your articles, aside from continually directing traffic to your site.

Lynda R Young said...

Sounds just like writing a blog post ;)
Great tips!!!

Lindi said...

Karen, thanks for sharing these tips.

Empty Nest Insider said...

These are all great tips! Thanks for being so helpful! Julie

Karen Cioffi said...

Lynda, Lindi,and Julie, I'm so glad you found the post informative!


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