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Submitting Articles To Publishers: How To Write Articles For A Product Based Website (Without Being Promotional)
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Did you know that one of the most common reasons why articles are declined at article directories is that the article is considered promotional?

“Promotional” means that the title or body of the article has been used in some way to promote the author, his products, his services, or his website. In the article marketing world, trying to add any sales material to your articles is a no-no.

A sales oriented article is a turn-off for a reader as well–who wants to read somebody’s advertisement? As soon as a reader realizes that you’ve written the article with the intention of selling him something, the walls come up.

Normally, this is how a person would come up with a topic for an article:

They would think about their general niche, for example real estate, or dentistry, or business coaching, or tennis or something like that. They would then think of common questions that people have about their topic, and they would write articles to satisfy those questions.

Easy enough, eh?

But what happens when it’s not that clear to you what your niche is, for example, if you have a website that is all about your own product?

Let’s look at an example…

Let’s say that your product is a special type of dog collar that makes it so that a dog won’t pull at the leash when you’re taking him for a walk. It’s a very useful tool that any dog owner could benefit from using!

The common inclination is to think, “I should write articles about my product, and then I’ll link to the website for my product in the resource box.”

As logical as that sounds, it’s actually not a strategy that will work with article marketing. If you were to write articles about your own product and then link to the product website in the resource box, your article would be declined for being “promotional”.

How do you get around that?

You get around it by simply following the rules of article marketing. If you have a product, you need to decide the general niche for the product. In the example of the dog collar, the niche would be “dogs”. You could write articles about pet care, selecting a dog, dog training, etc.

Then, in the resource box you would talk about your wonderful dog collar and give a link to the product website.

Some authors resist this because they think, “Why can’t I be more direct? It’s killing me not to be able to talk about my product in the article!”

There are a few things I want to point out to you:

1 – Let’s go into fantasy land for a moment and imagine that promotional articles are not an issue and that you can write about whatever you want. How many articles can you write where you wax poetic about your dog collar without becoming repetitious? Maybe one or two articles. If the article is about your product, there is a limit to how many articles you can create without repeating yourself.

Now, did you know that when you’re submitting articles through an automatic article submitter such as, that your goal will be to write and submit 8 articles per month every month over the long term? If you’re submitting manually, then you’ll need to submit even more articles than that.

If you think that you need to be writing about your product to market the website for your product, you are not going to be able to create the quantity of articles necessary and keep each article unique.

2 – Let’s exit fantasy land and come back into reality–you accept that you aren’t going to be able to write articles about your own product. You go the route of writing articles about your general niche. Your product is the dog collar we talked about earlier, and you’re writing articles about dogs, dog care, dog training, etc.

How long can you write on those topics before you exhaust the topic? A really long time. You will have an endless supply of topics basically, and you can write 8 articles a month indefinitely.

3 – Who is your target market? In this example we’ve been using, it’s people who have dogs. The product is very specific, but the target market is very wide. Lots of people have dogs, and lots of dog owners are searching for things on the internet that will help them with their dogs.

If you write an article about “how to select a puppy”, the people who will want to read that article are people who currently are or soon will be dog owners. Those people will be wanting to take their new dog on a walk at some point won’t they? By writing the more general article, you are attracting your target customers to your articles.

You don’t need to mention or allude to your product in the article. You’ll simply have an interesting an informative article on your general niche, and then a resource box that says:

One of the most pleasurable activities with your new puppy will be taking him for a walk. Joe Smith is the creator of  the Pull-Be-Gone dog collar which humanely and gently stops your dog from pulling and causes him to trot by your side. For more information on how to have relaxing and fun walks with your dog and for a 10% off coupon, go to

You will attract more readers and get more click throughs to your website by writing non-promotional articles about your general niche. You will also get more articles accepted by publishers.

If you have a website that is all about your own product, you and I are in the same boat. My website is in that situation too. Instead of writing articles about my product, I write articles teaching people how to do article marketing. See, I write for the general niche.

Do you have any questions? If you’re not sure what types of topics to write about for your type of website, just let me know and I’ll try to help.

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

8 Responses to “Submitting Articles To Publishers: How To Write Articles For A Product Based Website (Without Being Promotional)”

  1. LFC says:

    Hi Steve,

    Very cool and informative article!

    All the best!

  2. Lynn Bradley says:

    I have several articles on Ezine I am confused about selecting article titles and topics.

    The more I read about Search engine optimization the more confused I become.

    Do you have any articles that explain how to do research for that? What kind of numbers am I looking for on each keyword? How do I use long tail keywords in my article?

  3. Steve Shaw says:

    @Lynn Bradley: Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for your question, and you’re certainly not alone in being confused about how SEO and keywords play into article marketing.

    Here is a online tutorial that I wrote that explains how to do keyword research. This tutorial also contains a post on how to use long-tail keywords in your article submissions.

    You had asked “What kind of numbers am I looking for on each keyword?”–the exact numbers will depend on your niche, but you are comparing the supply (how many websites are competing for the keyword) with the demand (how many searches are being done for the keyword). If the supply outweighs the demand, then you will have a much more challenging time getting to the top of the rankings for the keyword. Ideally, the demand would outweigh the supply, by the more the better.

    Here is the part of the tutorial that discusses how to choose keyword for your niche.

  4. I am a regular reader of your posts, indeed very informatiove. I have some affiliate websites like,,, etc. I am also using article marketing for promoting these websites, being Ezine Expert Author. However, I am not able to achieve any success in the affiliate marketing. I hope more tips to achieve success in the Internet Marketing.
    Rajesh Kumar

  5. doruman says:

    The main idea behind of this article written by Steve is the same as in any niche in online marketing; it could be applied also in many other kind of marketing – I mean, something like “if you want to sell, don’t start trying to sell something… firstly try to make one or more great offers”; the sales will come sooner or later, the more valuable your free offers will be, the same the fastest results in your desired incoming…

    I think Steve explained very polite also a thing: as the more your desire to sell or promote something will appear transparent in your article, the more that post will be interpreted as spammy (promotional in a polite manner) by the article directories and in the same way by the search engines.

    By creating constantly great content, – or informative, or useful – even if it’s need of some time – you’ll acquire audience, constant readers eager to learn from you and to use your products or tools recommended by you….

    When you’ll understand deeply this and you’ll apply it properly, your results will rise up the success ladder….

    All the best for each of you, thank you Steve (great work from your part as usual),
    Doru Badetchi

  6. Alex says:

    Hi Steve,

    Since last year I’ve been a loyal follower of your articles and tips.
    This one – How To Write Articles For A Product Based Website (Without Being Promotional) – is critical for our new business (please take a look to our website).
    8 articles monthly with no promotional contents may be a tough task.
    I’ll appreciate your opinion on our specific market.

    Thank you.

  7. Steve Shaw says:

    @Alex: Hi Alex,

    So, your website is a site that sells artisan Italian leather handbags and accessories–cool site!

    I already see some things on your site that could be the starting points for great articles, for example:

    When we think about style, Italy is the country that always comes to mind. Italy is an icon of refined design and high quality products, and selecting an item with a ‘made in Italy’ tag speaks volumes about the value you place on excellence.

    Naturally, when a country epitomises the very best in style, its designers are able to push their prices to far higher limits than those from other countries.

    That would be a great intro to an article about what makes Italy such a great producer of quality handbags and such. (BTW, any content from your own site should be re-worded when being used as the inspiration for an article).

    Here’s another I found on your site:

    Brand Stories: Pratesi

    To discover the origins of the Pratesi leatherwear manufacturing company, we have to go back to a time when a shrewd and intelligent Florentine, Egidio Pratesi, was an evacuee in Rome during the Second World War. Little did he know that a few years later, in 1948, he was to have the opportunity of a lifetime.

    Italy at that time was a country completely destroyed by bombing and her people were trying to make a living in any way they could. It was a time of great invention and enterprise, with new businesses invented daily in the effort to keep an all-too insistent wolf from the door. Egidio took advantage of the fervent expansion which was going on at that time in the world of cinema. In no time at all he was creating outfits for Quo Vadis, the famous film set in ancient Rome. Pratesi’s pieces de resistance were the leather shields worn by the centurions who battled it out in the Coliseum….

    That is a great idea for a series of article–stories about how brands were created.

    As long as these are common brands that can be bought in other stores, then you’re safe to write about them.

    Now, if they were your personal brand, then it would be another story (for example, I can’t write an article about the history of, because that is my own product). But if the product is widely available, or at least is not sold exclusively by your own site, then you can write about the history of the brand. Just don’t mention your own store in the article itself.

    Does that help? I hope so! You’ve got a great topic, and I think that once you get used to it, you’ll have a lot of fun coming up with interesting articles about Italian accessories and such.

  8. [...] the article marketing world, one of the most common reasons why articles are declined by publishers is because they are [...]

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