There is one article marketing mistake that constantly tops the list. It’s horrific. This single mistake made by an author can ensure that the article isn’t published as widely as it otherwise might be. It’s a deal killer.
Every week I meet with the Article Marketer editorial team to discuss the major editorial concerns surrounding the articles submitted during the week. Our editors have reviewed articles from over a thousand authors, so they’ve pretty much seen it all. In preparation for our weekly meeting, they gather and report on the most common mistakes being made by authors. Our editors work with these authors to correct errors and ensure that their articles get more widely published.
Every week many of the same issues are on the list:
* Sales letters posing as ads.
* Resource box information within the article body.
* Spelling and grammatical errors.
Even these egregious (and frequent) issues pale in comparison to the most widespread and insidious problem facing publishers seeking high quality content:
The Biggest Problem: Off Topic Articles
Off topic articles target the wrong audience. Off topic articles contain content that doesn’t match the chosen category. The Article Marketer editorial team tells me that they spend most of their time helping authors and internet marketers properly categorize their articles so that they reach the right audience. It’s all about results.
How do articles get incorrectly categorized?
It’s generally an innocent mistake. After all, it’s certainly no shock to internet marketers that free reprint articles are about educating readers and providing good content to webmasters and publishers. Everyone knows that “content is king” on the web. The Google spiders go crazy when they find relevant content. Internet marketers provide content-rich, royalty free articles in exchange for that all important resource box that contains a relevant back link and entices a reader back to the author’s website. It’s a win-win situation.
Imagine an author or internet marketer who has gone to great lengths to provide wonderful information about, oh… say, “Cats”. The article teaches the reader about which grooming tools to use, provides a history of the domestication of cats, and explains some of the time-honored traditions and techniques of the breeding guild.
It’s absolutely perfect content for publishers with newsletters or sites about cats. It’s even a good match for “pets” or “small furry things”. It’s going to be a spectacularly popular article. The readers of cat newsletters are going to love this article. And it reaches a perfectly matched target market for the author – a cat toy merchant. Everything is wonderful. Until the author makes a critical error.
When submitting the article to thousands of editors and publishers, the author selects not the “pets” or “cats” categories – but selects the “Education” category, because the article is educational.
What might otherwise have been a dazzlingly successful article will now flop. The article might be “educational”, but it isn’t a good match for someone who publishes an “education” newsletter.
Choose the correct categories for your articles.
There’s a mixture of art and science to selecting the appropriate categories for a free reprint article. It requires that an author change focus and step into the other guy’s shoes for a bit. From the author’s perspective, the article itself is an education, and so it’s a good fit for the education category.
But take a moment and imagine that you’re a publisher, interested in receiving articles in the “education” category. You’ve got a niche newsletter or content site focused on the education market. When you look for articles in the “education” category, what kinds of articles would you like to see?
You probably want tips for teachers, student management techniques, grading strategies, articles related to the process of teaching, how to be a more effective educator, how to get your point across to a group of unruly students, etc. Imagine that you’re looking through the “education” articles and you come across an article about grooming a cat. Huh? This isn’t about education. It’s SPAM!
That’s the crux of the problem. So many people are writing articles these days that the problem of “article spam” is spreading like wildfire.
Publishers are hypersensitive to article spam. Some will just delete the offending article, but others will take dramatic steps to prevent getting more spam – even up to the point of banning an author from submitting further articles.
In our meetings, the editors tell me that they spend the bulk of their time working with authors to make sure that their articles meet the guidelines. A big part of that effort is focused on categorization.
Real World Example
So lets watch as the rubber meets the road. This is an article about “mistakes in categorizing royalty free reprint articles”, written for publishers all around the web. How should it be categorized? Which newsletters would be interested? Which article directory categories would be an appropriate fit?
The article is written for writers and internet marketers, so that’s where I’ll start. The fist thing to figure out is how to best reach that audience. it’s not hard to decide that the “Internet Marketing” category will be on the list. Article marketing is a highly effective form of internet marketing. Internet marketers would be interested in this article.
Because this article provides tips and tricks on getting articles more widely published, the “Writing” category makes sense. Authors with a desire to get their articles published will find this article helpful. An editor who publishes a newsletter for writers would like this article for that newsletter, because serving the needs of subscribers is what this is all about.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably reading it in a newsletter or on a website for writers or internet marketers. It is likely that you’re interested in royalty free articles, writing, or internet marketing.
Now it’s up to you. What are you doing to properly categorize the royalty free articles you provide to editors? Are you making things easy for them? Are you giving them the right information to ensure that your articles show up in the right places? It’s a good strategy for you. Your articles gain wider exposure by laser targeting your audience.