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Article Submission Guidelines: Top 5 Myths About Article Quality
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Are you making a positive impression with your article quality?

Are you making the best impression possible with your articles?

I know it’s been a long time since some of us have been in school and really held to strict standards for writing and grammar.

You may have also become so used to texting and instant messaging that you’re not quite sure what article submission guidelines are as far as grammar goes.

If this describes you, you’re not alone.

Did you know that grammar is a common area of contention between authors and publishers?

In this post, I will give you a realistic idea of the types of articles that most publishers are looking for in the realm of article quality. Then in a follow-up post, I’ll outline some common grammar mistakes that authors make and how to fix them.

First let’s start at the beginning:

Why is grammar so important?

A grammatically correct article speaks to your article’s quality, and ideally all of your articles will be free of grammatical errors.

Your articles are representing YOU all over the internet and all over the world. I can’t say that I’m perfect 100% of the time (no one is!), but with every one of my articles I have the goal of being totally “spot-on” with grammar and spelling.

On top of that, having a grammatically correct article increases the pool of publishers who will find your article attractive enough to publish.

With that said, there are some slight variations among publishers as to their standards for article quality and expectations for grammar and spelling. Some publishers require absolute perfection, while many publishers are willing to allow a few minor errors and will settle for near perfection. I think it would be a rare publisher who wouldn’t care at all; for most quality publishers, grammar and spelling are extremely important.

When our professional editors at SubmitYOURArticle.com are reviewing your articles, we use guidelines that most publishers will find acceptable. Our goal is to help you get your article picked up by the maximum number of publishers without being more stringent than most publishers require. Like most publishers, we do not require editorial perfection but are willing to let a few minor errors slide.

What does a grammatically correct article look and sound like?

This is not a silly question–this is actually a topic of much confusion.

Here are 5 common misconceptions regarding grammar and article quality:

Myth #1: Having a grammatically correct article means that your article sounds uptight, formal, and like a doctoral thesis.

Truth: This is totally not the case. Your article can be written in your own voice and your own style and still be grammatically correct. In fact, your article can sound informal and conversational. You can use language (words) that a “regular” person would understand and do not need to write as if you’re a college professor.

When we talk about grammar, mainly we are speaking of major issues, such as subject/verb agreement, having a full stop (a period or some sort of ending punctuation) at the end of every sentence, properly capitalizing words at the beginning of a sentence, etc. This is basic stuff.

I bet that if you were going for a job interview and were trying to impress your potential future employer that you could have a conversation that was grammatically correct.

Well, guess what? Each article you submit is sort of like a job interview. If you are mindful of the impression that you are making with your articles, you are very capable of writing an article that abides by the general rules of grammar.

Myth #2: There are no definite rules for English grammar.

Truth: We are writing in English, and it is true that there are some slight variations in grammar between British English and American English. For the most part though, both countries agree on the basics:

  • The subject of your sentence should agree with the verb.
  • You should capitalize the first letter of your sentence.
  • “You’re” is short for “you are,” and “your” is referring to something that belongs to you or is related to you.
  • Proper nouns (people’s names, names of cities, etc.) should be capitalized.

In a future post, we’ll go over specific basic grammar issues in more detail, but my point here is that there are definitely some concrete rules for English grammar. Those are the types of grammar basics that you should apply to your articles.

Note: When we speak of grammar, we are not talking about word choice preference. Yes, there are a variety of words that you may use to express yourself, and you can say the same thing in a variety of ways using different words. What we’re referring to here are the rules of grammar that are universally accepted for the English language.

Myth #3: Nobody cares about grammar these days–if people can figure out the gist of what you’re trying to say, then that’s good enough.

Truth: You may cite examples from texting and instant messaging where it is considered a plus to use abbreviations (?4U, BTW, TTYL, LOL, etc). There are many avenues of communication nowadays where grammar is not taken into consideration, but article marketing is not one of them.

Publishers will make judgments about your article quality based on your attention to grammar and spelling, which will influence the number of websites where your article is republished.

Readers will form an impression of you, your business, your products and your services based on the professionalism of your article. If your article looks thrown together, how does that reflect on you?

When you go for a job interview, you will take a shower, brush your teeth, style your hair, and put on your best suit, right?

Consider your article to be like a job interview–you want to pull out all the stops with your article quality to create the best impression possible.

Myth #4: Taking the time to proofread an article so that it is grammatically correct is a waste of time. You’re trying to build links and just crank out more articles–proofing articles slows you down.

Truth: Link building is one of the perks of article marketing and a main reason why people submit articles, but you need to do the work involved in writing a quality article in order to earn the link.

Also, Google is the not the only one who will be looking at your article–real live human beings will be too! These are people in your target market, people whom you want to think well of you, and people who could possibly become lifetime customers if you take the time to ensure the quality of your article.

Myth #5: In order to write with proper grammar, you need to have a degree in English.

Truth: If you are functioning in the professional working world, I bet you have a good enough grasp of grammar to write an acceptable article. You may have to think extra hard about what you are writing and implement some practices to help you proofread your article, but if you have an average grasp of the English language most likely you can write articles that are up to most publishers’ standards for grammar.

Let’s say that you’re submitting a resume to your dream employer, and you want to create a cover letter that will impress. When you’re writing that cover letter, you will pull out your best writing skills, right? You will put some thought into every sentence. You will read over your cover letter several times, and you may even ask a friend to look it over before you send it in.

You should use the same standards of quality for your articles that you would in writing a cover letter for your resume. Potential customers are looking at your article–use your article to make the best impression possible.

Conclusion

I’m in contact with publishers all the time, so I know that publishers DO review articles for grammar and spelling issues, and they will decline articles that are not up to their standards.

Do you want to make the most of your article marketing campaign?

Do you want to have your article picked up by the maximum number of publishers?

Would you like to make a positive impression on your target customers?

Then I encourage you to pay extra special attention to grammar and spelling in your articles.

Not sure what to look for? Next time we’ll go over some very common grammar issues with specific solutions.


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16 Responses to “Article Submission Guidelines: Top 5 Myths About Article Quality”

  1. Christopher knight at Ezine Articles says you should publish as many articles as you can. Steve Shaw, Submit Your Articles.com says 8 a month per site is optimal. Could you address the different philosophies?

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Lucille,

    Thanks so much for your question. Ezine Articles is an article directory, so when you submit an article there you are only submitting to one place.

    SubmitYOURArticle.com, on the other hand, is an article submission service–when you submit your article through us, it goes out to many publishers.

    So, it’s a bit of apples and oranges–Submitting tons of articles might work if you’re just submitting to one article directory, but I doubt it would create the desired results if using a submission service and distributing widely. For example, a sudden upsurge in links could hurt your SEO, and would be damaging to long-term traffic trends; whereas a long-term article submission campaign which gradually increases links on a more consistent basis over time is likely to be more positive.

    The bright side of submitting through SubmitYOURArticle.com is that can get great results by submitting just 8 articles a month. In my experience, submitting more than that is overkill when distributing on a wide scale.

    I hope that helps!

  3. Adam Tigges says:

    I realize I will look like a donkey by commenting on “correct grammar is important” article without using correct grammar.

    This article articulates what I have been feeling for a while. I am sick and tired of buying information products, or reading webpages that have bonehead mistakes on thier pages. Sometimes I wander if anyone ever gave the material a second glance after writing it. You would never know it.

    Grammar IS important, and I agree with the author. I am also the son of a professional editor, so mistakes just seem to scream at me from the page. Well said, yes, quite right, quite right.

  4. Avery says:

    Sorry to quibble, but while we’re on the topic of grammar, would using the correct words be an issue?

    “Truth: You may site examples from texting and instant messaging ” That should be “You may cite examples” as in making a citation.

    That’s one of my pet peeves although I’m sure I’m guilty of similar slips. It’s probably a symptom of spellcheck versus proofreading. Spellcheck won’t raise a problem with something like the above, a proofreading hopefully will.

  5. Nicki Goff says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Adam. Nothing turns me off faster than poor grammar. This is probably due to my experience as a schoolteacher. By the way, Adam… “Sometimes I wander…” was that intentional or did you not give it that second glance?

  6. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Avery,

    Thanks–duly noted! And no–something like that would not usually result in an article being declined.

  7. Hi there,

    This is off-topic, sorry.
    Could you consider add my Article Directory Online to your directory list.

    Regards,

    hungsika

  8. It’s absolutely wonderful to know that my husband and I are not the only people who deplore the ever-worsening sloppy approach to our beautiful and expressive language.There was a time when editors recognised poor grammar and corrected it before publication. Sadly, this no longer happens – and such solecisms as “bored of” are also commonly used on radio and tv. As a writer/editor/tutor my blood pressure constantly soars – but what can we do about it?

  9. Leon Noone says:

    G’day Steve,
    More power to you. I was a pimply faced teenager when my writing was first published some fifty years ago. If that makes me a curmudgeon, so be it.
    Good grammar is the liberating force that translates the spoken word into the written word. People who think that grammar isn’t important might be forgetting this. Grammar enables me,down here in Oz, to write in a manner that anyone who can read English can understand.
    But let me make one thing clear. I’m talking about grammar. I’m not talking about stilted conventions that insist that you can’t split infinitives nor start sentences with prepositions.
    Like it or lump it, two singular subjects joined by “and” require a plural verb. If you want to write some other way, don’t expect to be understood. And isn’t that the whole point of writing?

    By the way; the Aussie cricket season has just finished. We are undefeated in all forms of the game:20/20, 50 overs and Tests.
    Roll on next Summer and the Ashes.

    Best Wishes

    Leon

  10. Don says:

    Hi Steve;

    Thanks for your article. I am new to all this. EzineArticles wants original articles. If I submit my article to you, is EzineArticles one of the directories you submit it to?

    If the article is submitted to different directories, will that hinder my standing with EzineArticles?

    Thanks,

    Don

  11. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Don,

    Thanks for your question–when a publisher such as Ezine Articles says that they want original articles, they mean that they want articles that you have written yourself (or are the exclusive copyright owner of) and that you have not submitted to their site previously. Each article that you submit should be fresh content, rather than a rehashing of information that you have already provided. All publishers want unique articles.

    That is not to say that they want to be the only site that has your article. It is fine to have your article published on many different sites–that is the whole purpose of article marketing. Article directories offer free reprint articles, so when you submit your article there, if all goes well your article will be picked up by many publishers. That is how article marketing builds backlinks.

    So, an article directory that is requesting unique articles is not saying that you cannot publish them anyplace else–they just do not want you to submit the same articles to them. Each article that you submit needs to be brand new and fresh, and when you submit through SubmitYOURArticle.com, each publisher on our list will receive your article one time.

    At SubmitYOURArticle.com we screen for article uniqueness too–we know that publishers do not want to receive the same article twice, so we do not want to send out the same or similar article twice to them.

    Does that answer your question? I hope so, but let me know if not.

  12. Gail says:

    I had to chuckle at bonehead mistakes on “thier” pages Adam! and Sometimes I “wander”…..Ouch… caught!

    Like you, mistakes scream from a page….spelling mistakes in particular.It is always the first thing I notice. Maybe the ex teacher in me.

    Proof reading is just so important.Spell check cannot be relied on as catching every mistake either.The word my appear to be spelled correctly…but not in the context of the sentence.

    Thanks for the tips Steve

    Gail

  13. Buck says:

    Proofreading can be important. I once lost a “k” in a sentence and suddenly found myself very popular. “I can’t give advice, but as a lawyer in your area. I know you can do this.”

    ask would have been accurate. :)

    As for me, I find it hard to accurately proofread my own work. The more I work on a writing, the harder it is to proofread. I tend to see what I am trying to say as opposed to the mistakes. I try to get others to proofread it instead. I can proofread another’s work, just not my own, at least accurately.

    Buck

  14. joe kohl says:

    Yes poor grammar turns readers off, so does poor content.

  15. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Buck,

    Yes, that’s a good point. In proofreading my own work, I find that it helps to put the article away for a few days before proofing. Then it is like a new article to me, and it’s easier to spot the errors. Sometimes I ask an eagle-eyed colleague to help with that. A friend who is excellent with editing is very helpful!

  16. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Hungsika,

    We’re getting in touch with you via email…

    Thank you!

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