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By Neil Anuskiewicz

Our company was on Google's page five for about 10-months and now has progressed to page two. We have not made it to the coveted page one yet—but we are steadily making progress in that direction. Our efforts do not preclude hiring an outside SEO firm to assist us, an option that we are actively considering now.

Let's focus on sharing knowledge through writing articles. In return, you'll achieve a higher search engine rank, more Web traffic, more leads and more new business. You have a profession and you are in a particular industry. You undoubtedly have knowledge and experience from which others could benefit. You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others. Could they benefit from reading the articles you write? Could your search rankings benefit as well? The answer to both questions is a resounding "Yes!"

It's not as hard as it seems. Make a list of possible article topics. Choose one and start writing immediately. This is probably different advice than you are used to getting about writing. I recommend writing a first draft as fast as you can. Do not write an outline or worry too much about organization and structure. You can improve the article's organization and structure later.

The goal of your first draft should be to get your thoughts down on paper and to get ideas flowing. The very act of writing generates new ideas. You may find some of the ideas you generate by writing fit with the flow of your article, while some ideas you will want to save for future articles.

Different ezines and publications prefer different formats, and various ways of submitting your work. You may want to write your article in Word format first but then save your work in ASCII (standard) text format as well. In addition, you may want to embed some HTML formatting into your text version as most sites accept some HTML. If the publication requires you to email your work to an editor, they usually prefer that you email it to them in MS Word format. If the ezine is self-service (you submit it using a Web form), often they require text (with some HTML) or sometimes just plain text only.

If you create your article in Word format, you can often make hyperlinked words and phrases. If they are relevant, you can put these in the body of your article. Otherwise, you can put links in your biography. To insert a link, select the text or phrase that you want to be a link and then go to the "Insert" pull-down menu called and select "hyperlink." Then type in the full web address of your web site. This process inserts a hyperlink into your Word document.

If you submit your article in text format, generally you will be using a self-service Web form. These forms are very easy to use. You simply copy and paste the text into the paragraph text field provided, including the resource section (or biography). If there is no resource or biography section be sure to append the biography to end of your article.

You have now submitted your article to the ezine. After you submit your article, the editors will review and approve your article first so make sure you read their guidelines both for content and for how much HTML the publication allows in the body vs. the resource section (biography). Ezines' HTML and hyperlink policies are often more open in the resource (bio) section so this may be your primary opportunity to submit your website links.

Here are some tips on how to structure your story. For the most part, you will submit articles to ezines that accept text format with some HTML included. You can use some HTML to make your article look a more organized and to include links when relevant. Further, be sure to include at least one link in the “resource” section (short bio) that is often a separate paragraph field. Otherwise, you can place the bio at the end of the main body of the article.

This is how a typical bio will look in an article:

"Bob Smith is the Marketing Guru for the XYZ Blue Widgets, the premier provider of blue widgets. Bob’s mission is to tell the world about how to make the best use of their blue widget once they take it home."

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Neil Anuskiewicz is the Director of Business Development for EZ Publishing.
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