The Article Checklist: Before you Submit

When I write my articles, I always spend some time editing them Yet, I still manage to find mistakes on my published article. This can be a real pain because it takes a week for EzineArticles to correct it.

Therefore, after Daniel Scocco’s Blog Post Checklist, I have decided to compile my own article checklist. I use this checklist before I publish an article. You’ll find this very useful, if you want to come up with an amazing article, which drives a lot of traffic.

Below is a description for each of the points. I recommend your bookmark this page, so you can easily run through each points before your submit your articles.

1. Did I read the article after writing it?

The first step after you have completed your rough draft is to reread your entire article. Don’t correct any mistakes yet, but just keep a mental note. This is very important, because it gives you an overview of your entire piece, and can make the editing process much easier.

2. Did I research my keywords?

Keywords dominate the search engines and therefore the success of your article. If you focus on keywords that are not searched very often, you aren’t going to get many visitors. Here are 3 reasons why keyword research is important.

Warning: Don’t stuff keywords. The purpose of your article is give information to other humans. If possible, put the main keyword in the headline, for the SEO benefit. Here is a complete guide to keyword research.

3. Did I make my article easy to understand?

Your readers aren’t like you. Assume they don’t know anything about your topic. So try to make your article as easy to understand as possible. They came to your article looking for information, and they will be very disappointed if they couldn’t understand it.

4. Is my article as complete as it can be?

The reader came to your article looking for information. If you provide them with what they are looking for, they might go ahead and click on your link. So, put enough information to answer your reader’s burning question. But don’t bore your readers to death.

A good article for article directories would typically be between 400-500 words. EzineArticles accepts article submissions of no less then 250 words, but try to aim for 400 words. How many words is enough?

5. Is my article as concise as possible?

Your ultimate goal is to get the reader to visit your website. Therefore, you should not put every thing you know in your article.

Try not to have a lot of filler words, Make your articles beneficial for the readers.

6.Did I write a good headline?

The headline is THE most important factor in your article.

Spend as much time working on your headline as your article.
A good way to come up with one is too look at proven headlines. Head over to Digg or Yahoo! and read those headlines for inspiration.

Try to make your headline descriptive, and intriguing, yet not sound like a sales pitch.


7. Did I write a good introduction?

You need to begin your article with a bang, to give the readers a reason to keep reading. The introduction must grab the attention of the reader, because otherwise they are just going to turn around and leave. Promise them something in return for their attention.

Don’t say things like: “In this article, I am going to talk about…” Here’s a guide to writing the perfect introduction.

8. Did I write a good conclusion?

Conclusion summarizes the article. It also completes the article; don’t let your readers feel they have wasted their time because you didn’t answer their question. The conclusion is the perfect place to do so.

Keep the conclusion short and concise.

9. Did I write a good resource box?

A good resource box is a free advertisement for your website, yet most people doesn’t take full advantage of this free promotion. You want to intrigue the reader to click to your website, by providing some sort of value or benefit.

Tip: Make sure your name in your resource box matches the name of your account, or else you are going to run into trouble when submitting.

10. Will my readers read till the end?

People don’t read online, they scan. So make sure your article is scanning-friendly. Things like bullet points and sub headings help to keep the attention of your reader and keep the audience from beginning to finish. Make sure you use these elements to keep the readers reading.

11. Did I re-read my article, again?

After you have finished editing your article, take some time off from the article and re-read it before you submit it. You may pick up on little mistakes that you didn’t notice before.

Also during this stage, try to get someone else to read your article, preferably someone similar to your target audience. They can raise any issues, which you may have overlooked.

12. Did I format my articles properly?

Before you hit the “submit” the button, you want to copy the article to the article directory’s online editor.

  • Check for any formatting issues.
  • Break up the article properly with sub headings, lists, bolding and underlines.
  • Use spacing properly to help the article flow.
  • Long paragraphs scare the readers away!

Finally, after all the work, hit “submit”, and congratulate yourself for your hard work!

What do you think? What would you add to this checklist?

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