Online submission sites are not all created equal. What are some of the pitfalls and benefits when submitting your articles to these databases? Let’s look. |
Each ezine article database has its own terms of service (tos). They are generally uniform and mostly based on common sense. Most of them want well written articles that have had spell checking. They allow only so much html within an article and they don’t want hate material and a short list of other things that most readers don’t want to see either. What if we the authors could ask the publishers if they would comply with our terms of service? What would that look like? Here is what mine would look like and I believe that anyone who has been submitting articles for a while might concur.
Things authors would require if we had terms of service:
A timely review. Three months is not a timely review, yes some sites actually take that long. It makes you feel that whatever else they may be doing that publishing articles is not at the top of their list. If the article subject is time sensitive like current events or recent movie reviews where does that leave the author? Most authors don’t like to be late for dinner because the publisher is out to lunch.
A large and useful category list: Publishers insist that the authors choose the right category and some will delete submissions out of hand that are not put in the right category. So give us some choices! If my article is about politics and current events with religious overtones and some general advice to wrap it up can I put that under society and forget it? Not likely. Instead of one category for politics how about, conservative, liberal, commentary, world, state, local, gee maybe even a category for bad politics, there’s plenty of that around.
Real reasons for an article being denied: If an article is poorly written or is full of avarice then we should expect it to be denied. Or if the database is only for a specific kind of reader this is perfectly reasonable. Reasons like, it is not politically correct shows us that you need some unbiased reviewers who can respect good journalism without getting personal. Or the article doesn’t flow, which without further clarification is like telling an author he may have Alzheimer’s and doesn’t know it. If we are writing for a particular kind of reader we don’t care if your reviewers are part of that group. We do care that the reviewer has two feet on the ground and is over twelve years old.
An active hyperlink in the bio box: The readers are far more likely to go to the author’s site if it is only a click away. Most authors are counting on that as much as you are counting on us to give you the very best of our material to compliment your site and its underlying purpose. I’ll scratch your back…
Things authors would like to see:
Only one article database is known to have features on their authors in their opening page. Of course some publishers have thousands of authors so this idea would be hard to float unless it was slightly modified. Say, the twenty feature articles for the week. Yes a whole week that would cover 1040 authors a year. Those chosen should be both newbie’s as well as those with hundreds of articles.
Editing improvements that would allow authors to change misspelled words or add simple changes without re-submitting the article all over again. Your time is valuable, hey, so is ours.
A few pointers for publishers and authors:
Sometimes publishers create conflicts for the authors that they seem to be unaware of. Authors always appreciate tips and advice from publishers but they do not always seem to be on the same page. One publisher advises that we should find a niche that we are known for, like family matters or arts and crafts. Other publishers seem to frown on getting all one kind of subject matter. Some people can just blab without saying anything and such people are not taken too seriously. It is not that different for writers. Because we can write doesn’t mean we should write about everything. The term, author, implies that we are authorities. Who has ever met an authority on everything? Writers must have the literary freedom to write about what they know best. We don’t ask football players to compete in pole vaulting, eh?
Authors will be approached by the owners or webmasters of the publishing site from time to time about getting in on a new marketing endeavor. There is nothing wrong with this but don’t suspend your judgment because it is your publisher. Give such offers the same scrutiny you would if you were approached by a complete stranger. Unknown to one publisher recently was the fact that in his call to join the new marketing enterprise he inadvertently mentioned that we should forget ad blasters, mlm schemes and articles. Forget articles? Hey you’re not going to forget our articles, huh?
Using article submission software is another issue for writers. They are helpful for reaching a lot of publishers in the shortest amount of time. They require a bit of time to set up. After you have signed in to each article base and confirmed each account the rest is fairly streamlined. Beware of article spam. If your articles are largely to promote sales or some other enterprise on your site you will find that the publisher knows an ad from an article. And give your readers a little credit because they know that too. If your stuff does float over the transom you have one more hurdle yet to face, the search engines. If they think you are article spamming you will not recover from the result.
Some writers look only for publishers that have search engine rankings. Now most article submission software provides lists with each sites ranking. You will see more of your articles showing up on websites and searches by sticking to only publishers with rankings but there is a downside to this. First it may encourage you to be disloyal to the publishers you started with and who gave you your initial platform. Your readership will see this and if you’re worth anything as a writer the readers are why you started writing in the first place. Remember the publisher that is just starting a new database can become the premiere publishing site before you can write your next piece. It happens.
Many online publishers have plenty to offer. Letters of encouragement, fast reviews, readily available stats on your articles and sometimes they even host seminars and conferences. I have about ten favorite sites I like more than all the rest but my very best site is Ezine Articles. About a year ago when I reached platinum level they sent me a coffee mug with their logo on it. Sure it’s no big thing, but wasn’t that a real big thing? Put that under using incongruity as a literary device.
Talk about paying attention to your writers.
Rev Bresciani is the author of two Christian books and has many articles both online and in print. Visit http://www.americanprophet.org
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