There are literally thousands of article submission sites on the net today. Merely submitting your article to article directories does not guarantee that it will be accepted. Many article sites have publishing guidelines that are fairly general in nature. Most of the larger, more popular sites, are strict about what gets published and what gets rejected.
If you want ensure that more of your articles are accepted by online directories you need to make sure your article meets the publisher's guidelines. As a owner and publisher of online article sites for many years, I am amazed at how many authors don't take the time to read through submission guidelines.
Many sites will accept any article submitted, especially if it is a new article directory, as a means to build up their article count. However, sites that are more established with high Alexa and Google rankings, tend to be more selective in what is posted in their directory.
The most common mistakes authors make in submitting their articles include:
1. Not following the formatting requirements.
Word wrap and HTML formatting preserve the page layout of the web site. Articles submitted with word wrapping on is one of my biggest reasons for rejecting articles. Forced breaks at 60 characters may be acceptable for sites that primarily feed ezines, but it is not very appealing on a web page. Posting HTML articles on sites that accept only text articles is also quite frustrating for an editor to remove.
2. Microsoft formatting.
Copying and pasting from a Microsoft Word document does horrible things to a page design and layout. Quite often this type of formatting can appear within the text of the article and can also reek havoc on online forms.
3. Affiliate links and ads.
Many article sites do not accept articles with affiliate links in them. This is normally allowed in the author's resource box but many authors insist on adding their affiliate links in the body of the article or the article sounds more like a sales pitch. This type of article is often rejected. Be sure to make your article informative to the reader.
4. Improper category selection.
While most editors will simply take a second or two to place an article in the proper category, editors are finding this too time consuming and will often just delete the article. Sites that receive 50 or more articles each day normally do not have the time to edit each article and select an appropriate category. Be sure to select the most relevant category for your article at the time of submission.
5. Email links in articles or resource boxes.
Although many editors are not concerned with email addresses in articles or in a resource box, authors should be aware of the problems that can arise from using them. Article directories are constantly being scanned by not only search engines but by mail harvester bots as well. Listing your email address in any online web page opens the author up to receive an enormous amount of spam and is generally not a good idea. Email addresses also change from time to time, leaving you with possibly thousands of articles on the web with an email address that no longer works.
6. Author names not capitalized.
While many authors are rushing to submit articles to hundreds of sites as quickly as possible, many don't take the time to capitalize their first and last name in the author profile area. It seems to me that if Susan Smith enters her name as susan smith, it somehow makes her seem like she is minimizing herself as a person. Be proud of who you are and tell the world you are Susan Smith!
7. Punctuation and spelling errors.
Editors don't have the time to check each article for spelling errors or punctuation. If you want to ensure that your article is picked up from these article directories and used on web sites, you will want to make sure that you have thoroughly checked your article for errors. Ezine and newsletter editors often acquire material for their publications from these article directories. If your article is not well written or contains a lot of errors, your article is most likely not going to be used for any purpose other than to provide you with a free link to your web site from the article directory.
8. Word count is low.
Not all directories put word count restrictions on articles. Personally, any article that is less than 400 word is merely written in order to get a link back to the author's web site. Articles that range between 600-800 words are usually better written and actually contain some value for the reader. Make sure your article meets the article count guidelines to help increase acceptance rates.
Each article directory has different requirements for article submissions. If you want to increase the exposure you receive for your articles, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the requirements for each site that you submit articles to. By following the author guidelines, you not only increase your chances of having your article accepted, you also establish yourself as a credible writer and increase your web site traffic as well.