Some people who are new to article marketing are under the impression that to build links to their sites, all they need to do is write an article, submit it and the article will automatically be published.
Did you know that after you submit your article, it will most likely be reviewed by an editor before it is published on a website? This editor will have a list of editorial guidelines that he or she is using to evaluate your article.
If your article passes the test, then it will be published. If it does not, it will be declined. One of the first things publishers/editors look at is the title. There are several reasons why an article might be declined right out of the gate due to issues with the title.
What’s so important about the title?
The title is the very first thing a reader will see and it’s often the primary means by which a reader will decide if he wants to read your article. If your title is great, more people will read the article than if it’s just so-so. The title can have such a big influence on the success of an article, that publishers will often decline articles solely because of problems in the title. The rest of the article may be perfect but, if there are problems with the title, then the article can be declined.
If you knew what publishers were looking for, you could craft your articles around their requirements. In this article we’ll cover some article marketing tips and common title issues that result in publisher declines:
1 — Improper grammar or spelling.
It’s absolutely paramount your title be grammatically correct and have proper spelling. One error could result in an immediate decline from publishers.
The title is also an indication of the article’s quality — if the title contains errors, it will be assumed the rest of the article will too.
2 — The title does not accurately portray what the article is about.
The title serves the purpose of informing the reader what the article is about. If it drops the ball on that count, the article will be declined.
Here are some ways that a title may not reflect the content of the article.
• If you say that an article has 25 tips on a certain topic, it has to contain 25 tips. Someone once asked me if she could have a title that mentioned 25 tips and then only include 24 in the article with the promise of providing the 25th on her website. She was thinking of this as a way to lure readers to her site. In the article marketing world, that would be a no-no. If you say the article has 25 (or however many) tips, then you must list 25 tips in the article.
• If the title mentions a location, the content must apply specifically to that location. Sometimes when a person is marketing a local business, he will want to include the city in the title of the article. That would be fine if the article contained information about that city, but oftentimes the information is just generic. If your article is: “10 Tips For Hiring A Babysitter In Miami,” then the article needs to contain tips on that specific topic, rather than tips that would apply to any location.
In most cases, it’s better to leave the city name out of the title and write an article appropriate for all locations. Then refer to the city in your resource box.
3 — Title is too short to be descriptive.
I’ve seen some super minimalist titles, as if the author thought the title didn’t matter. At many quality publishers, the title must be at least two words long, but I encourage you to elaborate even further.
Some people who are very keyword focused will simply use their keyword phrase as the title, which results in a very bland, non-descriptive headline. It’s great to use your keyword phrase in the title, but ideally you’ll work it into a more descriptive title that includes the keyword phrase in a natural way.
4 — Overuse of keywords in the title, to the point where the title does not read well.
The title is a great place to include your keywords, but it defeats the purpose if you use so many keywords that the title ceases to make sense. Publishers are very sensitive to overly keyword-optimized titles and articles (and readers can easily pick up on it too). It’s essential the title and article serve the reader first and foremost. Just one keyword phrase worked naturally into the title in a grammatically correct way is sufficient.
5 — There are other less obvious things that publishers look for.
These can still be serious enough to merit a decline of the article, such as not putting the title in title case (where the first letter of every major word is capitalized), putting the title in quotation marks (which is unnecessary), or ending the title with a period (also unnecessary).
These are the major things that publishers look for with titles. If you keep these guidelines in mind when creating your article submissions, then your titles should be acceptable.