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Writing Articles To Build Your Online Presence - A Beginners Guide

One of the most effective (and free!) ways to get noticed on the web is to write articles. Even if you have no writing experience, it is easier than you may think, even fun. You can write an article on just about anything you want and choose how you want to publish it.

The best way to start is to write about a subject you understand thoroughly, such as the subject of your ezine if you have one.

Use a search engine to research what you want to write about, and browse some online discussion forums which relate to your subject to gain additional knowledge.

There are article-writing ebooks and other literature available on the web that can provide you with useful advice if you are intimidated to write your first article. Just do some web searches to see what you can find. Some of the literature is free, some isn't.

As you conduct your research, begin writing a rough draft immediately while ideas are still fresh in your mind. You can revise, edit and rearrange later. Your article doesn't have to be perfect, as long as it is presentable and easily readable.

Keep your lines formatted to about 60 characters. The 'Lucida Console' font uses the same amount of space for each character, so you could use it then set your margins accordingly in your word processor program.

I use Notepad which uses Lucida Console by default. I turn off word-wrap and set the window size to where I want it and hit 'enter' as my text fills a line. You may come up with a method that works better for you.

When your article is finished, you'll need to add what is called a "resource box" at the end. This is where you place a few lines which include your name, as well as anything you'd like to offer your readers.

You should make your resource box stand out by placing a line of asterisks or hyphens above and below it, for example:

*********************************************************
Copyright ? 2005 [your name]
[email address if you wish]
[several lines to advertise your website, ezine, offer
freebies, etc]
*********************************************************

When you feel comfortable with your article and ready to publish, you can choose from several different options available to you. You can use all if you so choose:

* Article Directories
* Ezines
* Article Announcement Lists

Article directories are websites that you can submit your article to. They will review it then publish it on their site, making your name and links in your resource box available to all who are interested in the information you provide.

You get an added benefit of having your website's search engine ranking increase as your link is placed in more and more article directories! It all depends on how much time you want to spend submitting to the hundreds of available directories on the web.

You can also browse ezine directories, searching for ezines relating to your article's subject. Look for those which indicate they accept article submissions.

Send a polite email to the publisher asking to submit your article, and include the article. If you prefer, send it as an attachment.

There are also article announcement lists which you can submit your article to. These can be found by doing a web search for 'article announcement lists'. You have to subscribe to the list before you can post to it.

When posting to an announcement list, include in your email your rules for reprinting your article, such as allowing it to only be reprinted if no changes are made and only as long as your resource box is included. These rules are up to you, ultimately.

You can also use submission websites or software such as EzineAnnouncer which are designed to submit your article to a large number of places, cutting down on time you have to spend doing it manually. These programs come with a price, so look them up and decide for yourself if they are worth it to you.

Read this article again, and formulate a plan based on the advice given. The methods outlined above will get you well on your way to boosting your online presence, and you will be surprised by how effective they are.

Copyright 2005 Jeremy Hershberger

Jeremy Hershberger is a computer specialist, Internet marketer, and webmaster of his "Plug-In Profit Site". For free training and essential advice on building and enhancing an online business, subscribe to his Internet marketing newsletter here: http://www.online-income-solutions.com

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