Friday, 6 January 2012

Seven Steps to Writing for Article Directories

 Today I am delighted to welcome as a guest Karen Cioffi, writer, editor and marketing expert. Karen's children's book Walking Through Walls is riding high in the Preditors and Editors' 2011 Poll and you can vote for it here.

For those who aren't familiar with the book, it's a children's middle grade fantasy adventure. Find out more about Walking Through Walls.


If, like me, you were lucky enough to enrol in the course she co-hosted with Magdalena Bell at Muse Conference last year, you will already know how valuable her advice is.
Without more ado--over to Karen.

How to Attract Customers with Informational Marketing

7 Steps to Writing for Article Directories

( from How to Attract Customers With Informational Marketing)
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. It also offers the opportunity of those readers reprinting your article on their blogs and in their newsletters.

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.

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

1. Create a title

Your title is by far the most important element of your article. The keywords in the title will allow the search engines to categorize your article properly. This in turn provides a trail for online searchers looking for the topic of your content to find your article.

The title and title keywords should accurately reflect what the article is about. If they don’t, you’ll lose credibility with the search engines.

To check out the effectiveness of your keywords try:

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 title, subtitles, 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 when you’re writing for your own sites also. Keeping the 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. And, they may prohibit links to affiliate sites or promotional sites.


Once your article is complete, submit to a number of article directories.

Note: If you are submitting to a lot of directories, try to change the title of the article and spin the content a bit for each directory. This will make the search engines think it’s new content.

If you want to be sure your content won’t be picked up as duplicate content by Google, check out the site below; it will give you a duplicate content score.

WordsFinder Duplicate Content Checker and Article Rewrite Comparison

Karen Cioffi is a published author, freelance writer, and marketer, and to start the New Year with a BANG, from January 1 through February 28, 2012, she is offering all her writing and marketing e-books (purchased directly from her site/s using the Paypal SHOPPING CART) for  $1.19 each. And, this will include new titles added within that time period.

For a complete list of the available titles and links to more information, visit Karen's website.

For a complete list (with brief descriptions of each ebook) go to:


  1. This is a promotion technique few authors use and I'm glad to see Karen give the rundown on it. Another way is to self syndicate your own articles, a method I describe in The Frugal Book Promoter ( It can be set up so that you get paid, but I prefer to think of either method as a bartering situation. Exposure for your article.

    One reminder: Article banks that are promoted by the author are far more successful than those subscribed to and left on their own.


  2. Thanks Karen, Some really good points. I have never tried submitting to Article directories but after reading this, it is probably something I need to investigate.

  3. Great post with a simple task list to keep handy.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Author Of The Cancer Prayer Book

  4. Thanks Karen,

    Am now off at last to investigate article directories to list in a later blog post. Do you have a favorite to recommend?

    And thanks for the additional info Carolyn from your invaluable book. Another must for the bookshelf

    Shirley, you and me both.

    And yes Terri, I'm a list lover and this is useful.

    As a PS Just made a list of categories I next have to vote for in the Preditors and Editors' poll and Karen's book still Number One today. Kudos. Way to go.


  5. What a great & informational article! Thanks Karen for the tips!

  6. Annie, Thanks so much for featuring my article and the plug for P&E!

    Carolyn, great advice - I'll have to look into syndication.

    Shirley, I'm glad I gave you some food for thought.

    Terri, I love lists that give easy to follow steps also. It makes things so much simpler.

  7. What a great post. Congrats Karen. I just ordered your book for my grandson. He is not a reluctant reader, but I have a feeling he will enjoy it and talk it up for you at his school. :) Good luck with it.

  8. Hi Carol

    Hope he likes it. Never enough books around to appeal to boys, I think. We're always on the lookout for them at MuseItUp Publishing.


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