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        Publish or Perish

        © 2013 Elena Fawkner

        Publish or perish.  If you抮e in academia, you know the
        expression well, I抦 sure.  It means that if you want to
        progress in your career, you will write books, articles,
        papers and theses and have your work published and reported
        in the leading journals.  In other words, you are expected
        to make an original contribution to the body of work in your
        area of expertise.

        The same holds true if you want to progress in your career
        online.  If you don抰 make an original contribution to the
        body of online material in your area of expertise, your
        business will never really come into its own.

        You抳e heard it before: on the Internet information is king.
        The best website is the one with great original content.
        Similarly, the best ezine is the one with great original
        articles and other content.  People flock to the Internet
        because they have an insatiable desire for information, and
        they are looking to you to provide it.  If you don抰, they
        won抰 hesitate to move on to someone who will.

        Fortunately for your business抯 competitive edge, there is
        no shortage of online 揵usinesses?out there who fail to
        make the grade.  There is many a website and many an
        ezine that makes no original contribution to the body of
        online information in their respective arenas.  These are
        the websites that slap up a few affiliate banner ads and
        otherwise consist of little more than links to other websites
        that DO provide useful content.  Then there are the ezines
        that consist of little more than a couple of articles written
        by other people interspersed with a few classified ads.  Any
        idiot can do that!

        You can use this unfortunate fact of Internet life to your
        competitive advantage by creating the website and/or the
        ezine that DOES contain quality original content.  The
        backbone of such a website or ezine is the well-written,
        topical article.  That doesn抰 mean you must write articles
        for your website (although you may and should certainly do
        that).  It means that you should write articles about a
        subject of interest to the same group of people who would
        be interested in your website and then submit your article
        to various submission points on the 憂et.

        Following this approach, you don't need to worry about
        "driving" traffic to your site or ezine.  Allow your articles
        to showcase your expertise and you will draw people
        to you.  It's a "pull" rather than "push" approach to
        traffic generation.

        Also, other websites and ezine publishers looking for
        fresh content for their own sites and ezines will publish
        your articles and, provided your article includes a
        resource box at the end (this is the little 慴lurb?of 5 or
        6 lines you see at the end of articles containing a bio
        about the author and usually a link to his or her website
        or own ezine), you will generate traffic to your website
        and/or an increased following for your ezine.

        But, I hear you say, 揑 can抰 write? 揑 don抰 know what to
        write about? 揑 don抰 know about anything that people would
        be interested in reading about.?

        Rubbish.  Let抯 take these excuses (and that抯 all they are)
        in turn:

        1.  BUT I CAN扵 WRITE

        If you can talk you can write.  Just like if you can read
        you can cook.  The beauty of the Internet as a communication
        medium is its informality.  Have you noticed that writing is
        different online than it is off?  You will rarely find
        writing on the net that is stilted and formal.  Not if the
        author expects to be read, anyway.  It is much more
        conversational in style and tone.  So write how you would
        talk if you were speaking to your reader rather than writing
        to them.  You抣l be surprised how quickly this becomes second
        nature.  Just do it.
         

        2.  BUT I DON扵 KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

        Write about what you know, what interests you, what you are
        passionate about.  The Internet community is V A S T.  There
        is guaranteed to be a segment of the online community
        interested in any and every topic under the sun, including
        your passion for whatever it is that gets you going.

        I read an article the other day about how to keep white
        clothes white.  That wasn抰 a topic that particularly
        interested ME but judging by the number of contributions
        made by readers of this particular ezine, many found it
        fascinating.  Go figure!  So, write about what you know and
        don抰 try and prejudge how interested others will be.  Your
        potential audience numbers in the hundreds of millions.
        You抣l be surprised how many people will be interested in
        reading what you write.

        3.  BUT I DON扵 KNOW ABOUT ANYTHING THAT
        PEOPLE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN READING ABOUT

        This excuse really follows on from the previous one.
        Essentially this statement says 揑 know what I am interested
        in and could write about it but it抯 not very interesting so
        who抎 want to read it??nbsp; Typically, this person is
        interested in the 揺veryday?details of life such as raising
        children, coping with a difficult step-daughter, the
        challenges of stretching the paycheck to cover this week抯
        grocery bill.  This is the fodder of life and it抯 rich,
        fertile ground for article topics.

        If you live from paycheck to paycheck finding it a challenge
        to make ends meet each week, write about that.  Write about
        the ingenious ways you stretch a dollar, how you can make a
        nutritious dinner for four with only $5, and how you save a
        fortune on children抯 clothes by sewing them yourself.

        If you抮e a stepfather living with a hell抯 angel of a
        step-daughter, write about your experiences, what抯 worked
        for you, what hasn抰.  If you抮e a stay at home mom, write
        about the challenges of raising a terrible two year old and
        all that goes along with it.

        Believe it or not, your real life, your everyday experience
        has a built-in audience.  There are many people out there
        just like you and they抮e always looking for information
        about how to improve their own lives.  Be an example.  Share
        your experiences with others.  Enrich their lives.
         

        OK, I can see I've convinced you.  Now you want to know
        where to submit your articles, right?  Good question.
        Here's where I submit mine:

        Ezine articles
        http://www.ezinearticles.com

        Ideamarketers
        http://www.ignitepoint.com

        Find Your Dream
        http://www.findyourdream.com

        Free Content (mailing list)

        Article Announce (mailing list)

        Publish In Yours (mailing list)

         

        Once you get into the habit of writing articles about your
        experiences and interests you will find no end of things to
        write about.  Make sure you capture your ideas when they
        occur to you.  I keep a section in my diary for this purpose.
        Whenever I'm stuck for an article idea I just pull out my
        list and inspiration strikes!

        On the Internet you don't have to find a publisher for your
        work.  You publish yourself.  You can make an original
        contribution to the body of information on the Internet
        today.  That's pretty powerful.  Never before have you been
        able to reach so many so easily, so inexpensively. Never
        before have you had such an opportunity to touch so many
        lives.  Build your business around what you know, what
        you're passionate about and you can't help but succeed.  But
        you have to start talking out loud.

        So, get to it.  Write your first article TODAY!  Share your
        wealth with the Internet community and it will do the same
        with you.

        _________________________

        Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical ideas, resources and strategies for your home-based or online business.

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        All Rights Reserved.
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