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How To Use Your Blog To Generate Articles
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If you're using both article marketing and a blog as marketing tools to drive traffic to your website, I've got some good news for you!

You can actually play one marketing tool off of the other (and practically kill two birds with one stone) by coordinating your articles to bounce off of your previously published blog posts. 

This is what I've started doing, and I tell you it makes writing articles so much easier.

No more exerting twice the amount of effort trying to come up with separate ideas for the blog and my articles–I use one writing effort to do the bulk of the work in creating 2 pieces of content. 

Here's how you can do that too:

1) Brainstorm ideas for topics for blog posts.

I find that it's easier to come up with many ideas all at once than to try to generate one idea at a time. 

So, instead of sitting down to write and then asking myself, "What should I write about this time?", I just do one brainstorming session at the beginning of the month and then choose a topic from the pre-made list to write about at each writing session. 

2) Write your posts for the month.

Some people like to pre-write their posts and then schedule them, while others like to just write and immediately publish. Whichever way you go, if you'd like to bounce articles off of your blog posts then get one month's worth of posts written and then move on to writing your articles. 

3) When you're writing your articles, use the previous months blog posts as outlines for your articles.

Now, notice I said "outlines"–Don't use the blog post verbatim as an article. What you're doing is re-working the content so that it's article worthy and also so that the post on your site still maintains its uniqueness. 

You see what we're doing here–the content goes up on the blog first. Then after the month is over take each blog post from the previous month and write an article on the same topic.

A few notes on this:

Be sure your post is article worthy.

If you're going to do this, it means that each blog post you put up has to be on a meaty enough topic to justify an article being written on it. Blog posts are different from articles in that they can be any length you like, and a post can be just a few sentences long if you wanted to make it so. Not true for an article–your article needs to be at least 400 words long (but ideally it would be 700-800 words long), so in order to be producing quality educational articles that will be of value to your readers, you need to be sure you've got a good amount of worthwhile information to offer in your article.

So, not all blog posts are worthy of being articles–the types of blog posts that stand the best chance of nicely morphing into an article are HowTo posts and List posts. We're writing educational articles, so any post where you're teaching your readers something would likely make a good article as well. 

Also, be sure that the topic you're choosing is evergreen, because your article will be on the internet for a long time, and you don't want it to sound dated after a few months or years. 

Limit the links in your article body.

One major area where blog posts and articles differ is the outbound links. In a post it's natural to have as many as you see fit, but when you're writing a free reprint article, you need to keep the needs of the publishers in mind. Many publishers will put limits on the number of links they'll allow in an article, and some publishers may refuse to publish an article that contains any links at all.

If you do include links in your article (by "links", I mean listing a website's URL in the article body), then please keep the following things in mind:

It's a plus if you can confine your article links to occur after the first 3 paragraphs.

Why? Some publishers think of the first 3 paragraphs as being "before the fold" and any part after the first 3 paragraphs as being "after the fold".

What's "the fold"?

When your article comes up on a full page, a viewer will not be able to see your entire article all at once (unless they have a really large monitor).

Most likely they will need to scroll down at some point. The point on a page where the viewer needs to scroll down to see the entire article is referred to as "the fold". It's hard to say at what paragraph "the fold" will be for each individual article as each person divides their paragraphs differently, but there are some major publishers who go with the thought that 3 paragraphs will fit before the fold, and they don't want any links occurring in those first 3 paragraphs.

The reason why they want links to occur after the fold is that it deters readers from clicking away from the article before getting into the meat of it–if you can save your links for further on in the article, you'll have kept the reader's eyes on your article for a longer time, and if they do click away they will be more likely to come back and finish reading your article. 

Limit your links as much as possible in the article body.

Some publishers have rules about this, and they'll decline your article if you exceed their link limit. Each publisher is different so it's hard to say a definitive link limit, but if I were you I would not exceed 2 links in the article body (and be sure that your links are not leading back to your own website).

The ideal number of links in an article body would be zero.

*Note: Of course this isn't referring to the links in your resource box–you should put a link in your resource box going back to your website. This is how you'll drive traffic to your site from your article!

Make your article more formal.

With a blog, we can be more casual because we're talking to a community of readers who know us, but please keep in mind that many times your articles will be seen by people who are not familiar with you or your work. With each article it's like you're meeting a potential customer for the first time, so it's important to make a good first impression!

Imagine that each article you write is a sales person that you're sending out to market your business. Wouldn't you want that sales rep to look and sound professional when meeting potential customers for the first time? 

Also, you need to be super-duper careful with your spelling and grammar when you're submitting free reprint articles. With a blog post it's not a big deal if you stumble and create a typo–all you have to do is quickly hop in and edit your post. 

But a free reprint article will be passed around the internet and published on sites for years (perhaps forever!), so it's very important that the article represent you well and not convey the idea that you don't know how to spell. :-)

Be sure to proofread your article several times, putting it away for at least 24 hours after you've finished it. Proofread it again before submitting, and i
f you have a friend who's a good editor it might help to have a fresh pair of eyes look over your article too.

Once you get used to it, I think you'll find that making your marketing content do double duty will save you time and also help you be more organized in your marketing and writing efforts. 

Question: Do any of you have blogs that you're using at marketing tools and if so, do you think you'll use this "two birds with one stone" approach?

Photo Credit: two birds one stone Originally uploaded by Rakka

Related Resource:

How To Turn A Blog Post Into A Free Reprint Article


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19 Responses to “How To Use Your Blog To Generate Articles”

  1. Annie says:

    I like the advices given on this topic. I love to write for my readers. A number of blogposts can eventually become a new piece of article. If you have written more than 5 blogs and no article, the reader is not going to return to the website because he is looking to learn something from your blog.

  2. David Sharp says:

    This is something I have just started doing. I split my articles up into blog posts then submit them as articles after a few weeks.

  3. After reading this post, I realize that on a subconscious level I have been thinking along these very lines. I will definitely begin doing this on a more formal level. Thanks for that post!

  4. john wylie says:

    Thanks Steve

    An absolutely inspiring post.

    It never ocurred to me, but you’ve made it easy to apply bu your clear and concise post.

    Many Thanks (from a weary blogger)

    John

  5. I have several blogs and websites, and I have been struggling with coming up with content for both.
    This sounds like a great strategy, and I will definitely give it a try.
    Thanks for the idea.

  6. Your advice about linking in the article is a bit different than what I have been told. Do you know what percentage of article directory websites refuse articles with links in the body?

    Thanks.

  7. Steve Shaw says:

    The point is to limit your links.

    Do not include links in your article unless they are essential. If you must have links, use them strategically, and know that most publishers have link limits for very good reasons.

    Remember, publishers who are picking up your article are publishing it on their own website. Most quality publishers will have a link limit within the article body because:

    1) The more links in the article, the more distractions to the reader (clicking away to read the content at your links) The publisher would like to keep the reader at their site as long as possible, and most authors would prefer that the reader stay and read their article (and their resource box). The fewer links you have, the less distractions for the reader.

    2) Having too many outbound links on a website can actually hurt the site–it’s always the ideal to have a balance.

    With a blog, you are in charge of how many links you put in your posts–it’s your website so you have the final say. But with a free reprint article, you don’t know how strict each website publisher is on outbound links. To be most attractive to more publishers, it’s a good idea to exercise restraint with your links.

  8. I think your idea of taking posts for month and making articles out of them makes perfect sense and something I’ve been doing somewhat naturally although you’ve added some needed structure to the concept.

  9. Thanks for providing the valuable tips and ideas. What you have suggested is a good idea. Will try to implement and see.

  10. pradeep says:

    This is really helped me for writing the articles.

  11. Darren says:

    high quality post, excellent stuff – thank you

  12. Gerry Legister says:

    thanks for the info

  13. Alice says:

    Thank you for the good information. I’m going to
    implement it into my article writing & blog posting.

  14. Thank you for all this excellent advice Steve. This will be a very big help to me now that I no longer use ghostwritten articles. So now I have to write my own articles as well as my own blog posts and when I’m struck with “writer’s block” at article writing time I will know to just look at my own blog for ideas.

  15. Ann Martinez says:

    Steve,
    This is very helpful and saves lots of time. Much easier to rewrite a post than start from scratch with a new article. I also like the idea of writing a month’s worth of content at one time, at a time when we are most inspired to write.
    Thanks,
    Ann

  16. [...] if your website is a blog, then you already have a storeroom of article topics at your disposal, but in this post I’m specifically talking to people who have traditional [...]

  17. [...] If you have a blog, you can rework blog posts and submit them as [...]

  18. douglas says:

    This idea I just LeeerV. Thank you so much. Doug

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