Simple Trick to Overcome Writing Procrastination

Using Bookends to Overcome Procrastination

Guest post by Mary Jo Guglielmo

'If and When' were planted, and Nothing grew. 

Procrastination………….who me? I know how to get things done; I also know how to procrastinate.

As a writer, sometimes procrastination has to do with feeling lost in a project, other times it’s about not being satisfied with a draft.  Personally, I'm pretty disciplined with my writing time, but I can procrastinate for months when it comes to sending a draft off to an agent or editor.  After having my 900 word manuscript accepted by a magazine, the editor sent it back to me asking that I further develop the topic.  I quickly added the info requested and sent it back.  The editor responded with ..."tell me more."  Again, I added another section and resubmitted the manuscript.  I was sure I was done with the manuscript.  The editor responded with highlighting another section  and once again said..."tell me more".  Frustrated and not sure what she wanted, I put the manuscript down for three months.  When I finally finished the manuscript it was almost 3,000 words.  I was sure too much time had elapsed and the editor would no longer be interested, but with the next submission to the editor, I received my contract for publication.   Fortunately, my procrastinating didn't cost me the contract, but it certainly raised my angst about the project.

Now when I find myself procrastinating I apply bookends to the project.   Once I decide what I'm gong to work on, I schedule it and plan a pre and post project incentive. It’s my bookends. I treat myself or do something I enjoy prior to starting the project and again when I finish it. Sometimes, it’s something small like a trip to Starbucks before doing research on a project, other times it’s a day at the zoo or the art institute. Why do bookends work? I think because the first bookend marks it’s time to start and then the last bookend acknowledges the accomplishment. Sometimes the bookend at the end is something that I’m really dying to do or is time sensitive. This gives me the added push to slug through until I’m finished. So if you find yourself procrastinating, try bookends.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:

Original article source: 
'If and When’ Were Planted, and Nothing Grew

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Content Marketing - A 20-Point Website Checklist

By Karen Cioffi

Writing SEO content, in a way, goes hand-in-hand with website optimization. There are a number of similar elements. Having an idea of how to optimize a website will make your content marketing efforts much more successful. 

Here is a checklist of 20 elements, just about everything you need to be aware of, in website optimization:

1. Keywords / Keyword Phrases – words that people search for in the Google search box (or other search engine search box). They’re necessary in everything from your domain name to your website content to your post tags. Have ‘relevant to your site’ keywords with useful content and Google may put your link on the first search engine results page (SERP).

2. Long Tail Keywords – these more focused keywords narrow the playing field. Instead of saying “allergies,” say “allergy symptom relief.” it’s important to use long tail keywords as often as possible.

3. Authority Status – this is what you want your readers and visitors to believe you have. You want to be known as an authority (expert) in your niche or field.

4. Title Bar – this is the horizontal label in the top left area of the window. It should have the name of the current page visible. This is one of the primary places Google and other search engines look at when scanning your website. You want it to have relevant keywords for each page on your site.

Here’s an example:

5. Navigation Menus – this is how visitors will navigate your site (go from page to page). Make sure they’re easy to find and easy to use.

6. Images – Use keywords in the file name, alt text, tag, and description.

7. Title Text – should be relevant to the page and keyword effective.

8. Internal Linking or deep linking – linking to other pages and content within your site.

9. External Linking – linking to other relevant and ‘high’ authority sites.

10. Anchor text – hyperlinking relevant keyword phrases within your blog post to other related content.

11. Copyright and Dates – be sure to update your website copyright text and other dates on the site. Nothing makes a site look ‘stale’ quicker than having old dates.

12. Web Design – Google’s motto is ‘simple is best.’ Keep the site easy to read and uncluttered. Along with this, the most effective design, according to Marketing Experiments, is dark text on a light background.

13. Multimedia – use a variety of content, including audio and video. SlideShare presentations and animations are good choices also. Remember to mix-it-up.

14. Text – your text should be USEFUL to your reader, keyword effective, engaging, easy to read, relevant to the website, and shareable.

15. Above the Fold – keep the important information, such as your opt-in, above the fold.

16. Stickiness – make the site effective enough to keep visitors on it. This relates to 'visit page lengths.'

17. 1st Person Tense – keep the content conversational.

18. Social Interaction – encourage interaction and social networking. Be sure to have social media buttons on the site and at the bottom of each post. This makes ‘sharing’ easier for the visitor. It also reminds her to share.

19. Opt in Forms – have it easy to find, easy to use, with easy to follow instructions.

20. Testimonials – people will usually buy based on what others like, so be sure to have a testimonials page on the site. You should also include testimonials in the sales copy.

21. Contact Info – okay, I went over the 20, but this is one of the biggies. You must have your contact information on every page – having it in a footer widget makes this possible. You should also have a separate Contact Page.

Websites optimized with these 20 21 elements will have a much better chance of getting more opt-in YESES and customers.

Your website should look professional and relay the essentials quickly: who you are, what the visitors can get, and why he should get it from you.

Give your website an audit today.

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Content Marketing Success - You have to walk the walk

"To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, 
not only plan, but also believe" 

There are so many amazing quotes out there that focus in on what needs to be done and does it in a sentence or two.

The quote above from Anatole France, does just that.

It reminds me of the Bible quote: "Faith without works is dead."

No matter how much planning you do, if you don't take actionable steps, you won't get anywhere. And, if you can't dream it or believe you can accomplish it, you no doubt won't.

You need to 'walk the content marketing walk.' Create your marketing plan with doable steps and then actually follow through.

If you notice, I said,to create doable steps. If you create unrealistic, unobtainable goals, you're setting yourself up for failure. It's small actionable steps that you can actually do that will motivate you.

Regularly accomplishing small goals gives encouragement and confidence. This will keep you moving forward.

And, be sure to take a step back now and then to evaluate how you're doing and to dream of your next plateau.


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Marketing Ideas - Commit to Learning Just Half-Hour a Day - See What Happens

Why You Should Commit 30 Minutes To Daily Learning (Without Fail)

Guest post by Sean D'Souza

I own a sieve.

It's called my brain.

I distinctly remember listening, then reading a book and then months later I listened to it once again. And I couldn't remember almost 90% of what I'd read and, mind you, listened to, earlier.

With such a terrible memory, it does cross my mind that I should really give up. What's the point of trying to spend hours trying to learn something when it just washes away mindlessly.

And yet, every single day (almost without fail) I still spend at least 30 minutes learning something.

So why do I bother?

Two reasons, really.

1) I get smarter and faster.
2) Unexpected, practical ideas.

About the faster and smarter bit...

I've realised that my pathetic brain is not so pathetic after all. If I were to spend 30 minutes learning something I was already familiar with, it wouldn't be a big problem recalling more than 50% or even 90%.

It's when I run into unknown areas that my brain gets stuck, and remembers little. But if I persist, it remembers more. And then you, I, we all get to a stage where the brain knows the topic quite well.

So for instance, I bought Adobe Lightroom last year. Well, I spent all of last year in Lightroom hell, because I learned little or nothing. This year, fortified with good intentions, I spent 30 minutes a day learning Lightroom. And voilĂ , about a month later, I'm wondering why I didn't do it earlier.

All those klutzy looking photos, all those erroneous ways of storing the photos-all gone. But it's taken me many passes to get to this stage. So yeah, repetition does count if you want to get smarter and faster.

But there's one other thing that's even more interesting-and it's called "unexpected, practical ideas".

So what's unexpected, practical stuff got to do with daily learning?

Input equals to output, right? Not really, not when you have a mind like a sieve. But no input definitely leads to lousy output. And one of the most underrated elements of output is "unexpected, practical ideas?"

So let's take for instance the scenario that unfolded on our walk today. Renuka was listening to some marketing-based audio, when she came up with some very smart ideas for improving our "welcome to Psychotactics" auto responder.

Was the marketing audio related? No, of course it wasn't. And I in turn was listening to what she said, and nodding politely, when the idea hit me for a pre-sell for our upcoming home study of the sales page course (version 2.0). Suddenly in a matter of minutes we were swamped with three, very practical, very doable ideas.

Oh yes, there's this factor of not having time

Nobody has time. Nobody in the history of mankind has ever had time. The people who want to make time, make the time. The others binge-watch "House of Cards" on Netflix. They find ways to get to Facebook.

They find reasons and methods to waste the time. This message isn't for those who make excuses. It's for those who are diligent and need that extra push to be super-diligent.

However, it's hard work keeping focused on daily learning unless you get someone else to help along. So find a buddy, or find a group. The more you try to do everything alone, the harder it gets.

So first spend at least a little time working on getting yourself someone who will nudge you when you slow down. That way if you miss a day or two, they'll help you get back on the daily learning pattern.

Daily learning solves a lot of problems

And gives you a ton of ideas.

My brain is a sieve.

I'm trying to block up the drainage, 30 minutes at a time.

So should you.

Original article source:

Psychotactics Ltd. All rights reserved.
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New Twitter Analytics Help Fine Tune Your Content Marketing Efforts

By Karen Cioffi

It’s crazy. Every time you turn around yet another social media site is adding some other marketing tool. While they’re great tools, will it ever be enough?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very useful tool. It’ll be on a new enhanced dashboard where you can track your organic tweet activity.

An organic tweet is one that originates from your blog that is targeted to a specific audience, industry, or niche.

According to the Twitter blog, “Starting today [July 11], you’ll have a new tool in your arsenal: we’re rolling out an enhanced Tweet activity dashboard to provide measurable insights into how your organic Tweets perform.”

While it’s more marketing time and effort put into social media, it will definitely have its benefits.

For advertisers, and yes, this new tool is for paid advertisers, this means you’ll have a handy tool to see how each of your tweets are doing and “in real time.”

You’ll get details on:

  • When (the time) a tweet is being viewed
  • How many link clicks, favorites, replies, and retweets your post gets

So, why is the information useful to you?

Knowing which posts you write create retweets, favorites, and clicks is knowledge. And, you know what they say about knowledge – IT’S POWER.

With this information you can write content that you know will be liked and shared. It will streamline your Twitter content marketing efforts. You’ll be able to laser-focus your content toward those followers or Twitter accounts that are moving you forward. It’s these Tweeters who will help “amplify your brand’s message even further through actions like a Retweet, mention or reply.”

This new tool will give you the information on the best times you should be tweeting for your particular audience and how often you should tweet. You’ll also be able to get a handle on which CTAs (call-to-actions) are working, which post length works best, and so on.

If you’re using Twitter to drive traffic this is a cool and powerful tool.

Testing Twitter strategies

I’ve recently started testing Twitter strategies for my blog posts. I started tweeting more each day and I started creating my own memes. Both strategies are working. I get multiple favorites each day and some from heavy-hitters.

Note: To work the Twitter organic traffic and shares you absolutely must have quality content that is: useable to the reader; engaging, reader friendly, search engine friendly, and easily shareable.

Here’s an example of the type of information you’ll get:

A screen-capture of my analytics for July 20, 2014:

One of the highest rankings for the past 28 days went to my article: "Marketing Your Way to Success with Simple Changes to Your Routine."

Impressions are 156
Engagement is 8
Engagement rate is 5.1%

Other information the analytics provided were:

Your Tweets
"So far today, your Tweets have earned 145 impressions. This is lower than your 28-day average of 953 impressions per day."

"Favorites up 192.3% compared to the previous 28 days."

Very interesting and useful information.

I’m actually kind of glad they don’t have this feature for the non-Twitter advertisers – it’s enough work trying to keep up with Alexa Ratings, without going crazy over Twitter impressions and engagement too.

Check out the whole Twitter blog post at:
Introducing Organic Tweet Analytics

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Content Marketing – Creative and Unique Ads by Jeep

By Karen Cioffi

You have to admit that as the years come and go it becomes more difficult to create something new, something unique. And, as content marketers, that's what we have to try to do. Whether it's our own unique spin on a topic or we discover a new, easier way to get results. We strive to keep the content flowing - to make it easily readable, shareable, interesting (unique), and conversion effective.

Well, Leo Burnett designed a very unique ad for Jeep. It's creative and it’s 'make you look' marketing.

I think there are a total of three animal illustrations that when flipped upside down, they become different animals. It's really cool.

Even if you’re not aware of the flipping illusion, it makes you wonder why ‘animals’ for a car. It seems it’s to bring an element of adventure and travel to the Jeep brand.

Although I’m not in the market for a Jeep or other car, it did catch my attention.

This though isn’t the only animal theme Jeep ad campaign. Check out this really cute, one minute video:

To see the animal images for yourself, CLICK HERE: Content marketing with images.

Please don't forget to SHARE and COMMENT!


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Content Marketing Success – You Can Do It, You Can Do It, You Can . . .

The saying goes: If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you think you can, YOU WILL.

These words are powerful. Whether you're working at content marketing or you're a freelance writer, or whatever it is you do, your thoughts can control whether or not you are successful.

The guest post below was written for the copywriter, but the message is valid for everyone and every industry.

You must be actively pursuing your goals. I can't remember where I read it, but motion creates motion. And, having confidence in yourself can help you overcome monumental obstacles.

So, don't stand there wondering, Open That Door!

An article by Will Newman (American Artists and Writers), "A Little Boy, Broken Ice, and You, demonstrates the power of belief, of 'must do, so can do.'

Newman tells the story of a young boy named Chris. On a cold winter day, Chris and his friend played on a frozen lake. Unfortunately, as can happen on frozen lakes, the friend fell through.

With no one around, it was left up to Chris to save his friend. He tried and tried to pull him out of the icy water, but nothing worked. Then his spotted a small grove of trees. He ran to them and grabbed a large branch.

Chris dragged the large branch back to where his friend had gone under the ice. He repeated banged that branch on the ice until he broke through. He was then able to save his friend.

By that time, paramedics had arrived, along with other people.

The question: Did they believe that little boy was capable of running with a branch bigger than he was in enough time to say his friend?

No one believed Chris, except one man.  He spoke up and said, "Of course he could do it. There wasn't anyone around to tell him he couldn't."

This is the whole point of this post - if you believe you can do something and take action in that direction, you'll accomplish what you set out to do.


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Content Marketing and Your Website - 2 Tips to Powerful Product Pages

Most people think of content marketing as blogging and article writing.

While this is a large part of the strategy, there is lots more involved. Another essential content marketing element is the copy on your website, especially your product page.

Why is your website copy super important?

Simple: Words are powerful. Words can sell.

Tip #1 Your Product Description

A well thought-out and written description can sell your product.

Whether you’re marketing a book or other product, or you're marketing a service, you MUST write a powerful description.

The elements of that powerful copy are clarity and specifics.

Not everyone landing on your product page will know what the product or service is about. Give details. If your product is a book, let the visitor know exactly what it’s about.

This is where your well thought-out process will come in handy. Read your book carefully and pinpoint the main issues it addresses.

Here’s an example of the description for a nonfiction ebook:

Article Marketing - Increase Website Traffic with Properly Formatted and Optimized Content

If you’re taking the time and effort to use article marketing, whether posting to your blog, guest blogging, or submitting to article directories, you MUST create quality, optimized, and shareable content that is properly formatted and delivers on what the title promises. Article Marketing to Increase Your Website Traffic will help you do just that.

Become visible by writing your content the right way!

Let the visitor know why she needs your product - try to make it personal.

The product description I used in this example lets the reader know that it’s meant for people wanting to increase visibility and website traffic with article marketing. And, it mentions the work involved in article marketing. No one wants to work for nothing - visibility and website traffic is the payoff.

There’s no guessing game. The description lets the reader know what to expect. 

It’s the same process for fiction books also.

Tip #2 Take ‘Buyer’ Anxiety Away

Anxiety can be rational or irrational. And, believe it or not, people visiting your product page can become anxious.

Why does this happen?

Well, consciously or subconsciously, there’s a lot going on when a visitor is deciding to buy a product or service.

  • Is the product worth the cost?
  • Is it a quality product?
  • Will it really be helpful?
  • Is it a good price?
  • What if I don’t like it? Can I get my money back?
  • How do I know this ‘guy’ knows what he’s talking about?
  • How quickly will I get the product?
  • Is my information safe?
  • And, so on.

Your job is to squash as many 'anxiety causing concerns' as you can. The way to do this is with effective content.

On your product page you should include:

  • A money-back guarantee - let them know they’ll get their money back if it doesn’t meet their expectations
  • Testimonials – people will buy based on other people’s testimonials, it adds reliability
  • Third-party seals – to ensure security
  • Pricing information – maybe include “low-price guarantee” or other wording

According to Marketing Experiments, “Anxiety is lethal to conversion. Don’t just correct anxiety, correct specific concerns.”

Take a look at your product page/s today and see where you can take your description ‘up a notch’ and where you can add anti-anxiety elements. It will definitely help motivate visitors to click on your links.


Conversion – the process of a visitor moving from reading your content to clicking on your link.

P.S. Like the article? Then please share it!


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Marketing Your Way to Success with Simple Changes to Your Routine

"You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily.
The secret of your success is found in your daily routine."
~ John C. Maxwell

The power of successful-minded habits is amazing. But, it takes work to create those habits.

The good news is that simple changes can see huge results. 

One little change can be to start your day reading a positive statement. It might be: My Efforts Will See Positive Results.

Put on your thinking cap and see what simple changes you can make. And, doing the changes daily will result in creating a new habit!

Try it today!



Websites for Writers - Best of 2014

Writers become writers by learning their craft and by writing. And, in today's 'everything at your fingertips' internet age, it's easier than ever to develop your skills through websites that offer writing tips, websites that offer online writing courses, and so on.

In my blogging research, I came across a great post at The Write Life. It has 100 helpful writing sites on different genres, including freelance writing, mystery writing, fiction writing, blogging, ans so on - It covers a wide spectrum. Some of the biggies listed are:

Boost Blog Traffic (Jon Morrow)
Seth Godin
Men with Pens
Grammar Girl
Inky Girl

Freelancers Union

Guide to Literary Agents
Rachelle Gardner
Make a Living Writing

But, the post doesn't stop at the biggies, it covers some of the less well known sites too:

Moody Writing
The Writer and the Wander

And, I'll add Writers on the Move  as another great site with lots of writing information!

This is worth checking out. To read the full post, go to:

100 Best Websites for Writers 2014



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Want more of this must-know writing and marketing information sent right to your inbox, along with updates on free webinars? Get free access to The Writing World:

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Email Marketing - New Canadian Anti-Spam Law May Affect You

As of July 1st, a new Canadian law went into place, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

The purpose of this law is to protect the privacy rights of individuals.  According to the iContact blog:

The new legislation applies to anyone who sends mail to recipients in Canada, and requires senders of email to have or to obtain permission from those recipients to send them marketing messages. The problem, of course, is that unless senders have been collecting geographic data about their recipients at the time they gathered permission, it’s hard to know whether any particular recipient is in Canada. Furthermore, the burden rests on the sender to prove that they had consent should any action be brought under the legislation.

This pretty much affects everyone who sends emails to a Canadian citizen through a mailing list. Even if you’re not a business you may be subject to the new law and be required to have explicit consent from those you send emails to.

Another important feature of the law ensures that all emails have sender identification: email address, physical address, and/or phone number.

One more must-do element to the new legislation is all emails are to have unsubscribe buttons that work. This is similar to the US CAN-SPAM law.

Even the forward-a-friend function falls under the law and must be eliminated from emails to Canadian recipients.

This is a law you should pay attention to as there will be penalties for noncompliance. In another blogpost from iContact, it states:

The financial penalties for non-compliance can be stiff – up to $10-million for corporations and $1-million for individuals. Starting in 2017, individual recipients in Canada can sue senders of unpermissioned mail and claim damages of $200 per message.

To read more about this new Canadian law, visit:


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P.S. If you like this post, please share it!

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Book Marketing - Better Check Your Amazon Book Categories

Social media is such a useful tool - if you don't get carried away with it and waste too much precious time.

Why it's useful is you can find fresh content at your finger tips from those you follow, connect with, or like.

That's how I found a must-read post, "Big Changes on Amazon Categories" from Author Marketing Experts. I found it at GooglePlus.

It seems Amazon made changes to its book categories. This means if you had your book listed under a particular category and Amazon no longer uses it, your book won't be found. This is terrible and needs to be addressed.

What to do?

Get on over to Amazon and check your book categories. Revise as needed.

For more information and to read the AME article, go to Big Changes to Amazon Categories.


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Article Directories and Ghostwriters (two strategies to save you time)

With everyone so busy these days, most marketers are looking for tools to help get more done in less time. Well, there are a few ways to do this – two of them are using article directories and ghostwriters.

Using Article Directories

Taking advantage of article directories is a great way to add relevant content to your site as part of your content marketing strategy. You can visit the vast number of directories out there in cyberspace and pick and choose for the articles that work best for your niche.

I’ve found my own articles that I’ve written for directories have been picked up and posted on a number of sites, so I know it’s a good strategy to keep in mind for visibility. The author is happy to see writers sharing their his and the blogger has fresh content for her site. That's what you call a win-win situation.

There are lots of article directories. A few of the popular ones are:;;; and They all have a search feature that will make it easy to find the type of articles you’re looking for.

Please keep in mind though, you must keep the article intact – this means keeping any and all bylines and links. Otherwise folks, it’s called plagiarism.


As with just about all marketing strategies, Google has decided that they don't like this practice any longer (updated Panda Algorithm). Apparently, the quality of the some of the articles on the directories is substandard, which means it's not a good tool for link building or ranking. In addition, Google doesn't want duplicate content on your site. In fact, using it can affect your search ranking.

There are though a couple of strategies you can still use with article directories:

1. Using the content on article directories.

You can still use article directories to find content (articles) you can use on your website, you'll need to create a unique lead-in to the article, then link to it. in other words, you'll have to use content curation. 

It's also a great tool to find ideas to write own blog posts. This means it can help save you time.

 2. Publishing to article directories.

While it's not a good tool for link building or ranking, there are many people who scour directories for content and ideas. This means you will have the opportunity to broaden your reach and visibility.

Just recently, January 2015, a book marketer/promoter found one of my book marketing articles on Ezine Articles and asked permission to use it. He loved the article and wanted to share it. 

Note: The book marketer didn't need my permission because articles on directories are up for grabs. You can use them on your own sites as long as the content remains intact.

So, it is appears article directories are still a place to broaden your visibility.

Using a Ghostwriter

Ghostwriting is about providing you with great content, articles, and more... with you getting all the credit! With Google's latest updates this is a much safer route to take.

It's the perfect strategy when you want that personal touch and when you want an article or story to reflect you, your style, your brand. It’s a collaboration between the ghostwriter and the author. Providing the ghostwriter with facts, impressions, or ideas will help him/her create an article that will seem as if it's coming from you.

Maybe you don’t want any involvement, aside from letting the writer know the keywords. That’s fine also. There are ghostwriters for just about every niche. An experienced one can easily do the writing for you.

It’s important to know the quality of the ghostwriter’s work, so ask for samples or testimonials to make sure you're getting what you're paying for.

Which is Better?

While it's time-saving to add articles from article directories, it's important to create your own platform also. You don’t want all your content having someone else’s byline . . . leading to someone else’s website.

The only way to become known as an expert or authority in your niche or industry is to let others know that you know what you're talking about. This means providing your own information, in your own tone. And, providing your own content is a great way to improve your search engine ranking.

Another benefit of the ghostwriter is she can work with you to create ebooks to sell, to further your authority, or to offer as freebies to potential clients or customers. It’s also a great way to entice readers to subscribe to your mailing list.

And, don't forget about your email campaigns and newsletter. Ghostwriters can help you keep your mailings updated with fresh and informative information.

NOTE: With Google's stricter guidelines and penalties, it's actually best to hire a ghostwriter to create original, on-the-mark content for your site. Better safe than sorry!

Give your content marketing a boost. Take advantage of article directories and ghostwriters.

Reprinted from



Want to write a book to boost your expert status for your business? Need blog content to generate traffic and engagement and increase your subscriber list? Need content for your newsletter?

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