10
Feb

30 in 30 Challenge – New for 2012!

Written by Kyle. Posted in Uncategorized

I would like to present you with a challenge, one that will lead you to…Street Articles - 30 in 30 Challenge

  • Authoring success
  • Brand creation
  • A following
  • Traffic

And ultimately a foundation for “online success” that you will benefit from for years to come!

Here is how the “30 in 30 Challenge” 2012 Edtion works…

(1) You register your Street Articles author name, email, and goal (# of articles).
(2) We send you 30 Days worth of training and tasks to help you become a better author
(2) You complete the tasks and successfully submit 30 articles in the next 30 days
(3) You get  Traffic Explosion 3.0 – The New Rules to Internet Marketing 

Traffic Explosion 3.0 is only available for those that complete this competition (YOU CANNOT BUY IT). Within this guide we will reveal techniques you can use to get UNLIMITED TRAFFIC to your website through writing. This includes some real life case studies where we show you how 30 minutes work lead to 30,000+ clicks along with many other never-been-seen before tips and tricks. This info is literally worth $1,000′s to YOU!

Register Below, It’s FREE!

Simply fill out the form below and I will send you Day 1 of the 30 in 30 challenge.  Good luck!

If you have any questions about the challenge, please leave them below.

Cheers,

Kyle (& Carson)
Founders of StreetArticles.com

30
Jan

Communicating within Street Articles is POWER

Written by Kyle. Posted in Social Activity, Writing Tips & Tricks

Do you use one or more social networks on a regular basis? Do you communicate regularly online via email or chat? Do you enjoy to comment on information that is interesting to you?  Do you enjoy getting comments.COMMUNICATING WITHIN STREET ARTICLES IS POWER

If you answered “yes” to any of those items, this blog post is going to put a lot of things into perspective for you . I am going to be discussing “discussions” within Street Articles, including how to engage people, how to start your own discussions, and how to leverage your comment activity to your own benefit.

Utilizing StreetArticles.com as a social network can and will equate to authoring POWER, instant REACH, and ultimately a long term BUSINESS.  Today I am going to show you how to do this in an efficient and the most powerful way possible.

It’s all about engaging people

Engagement starts with the content.  If your content is boring, sounds like it was written for the sole purpose of targeting a keyword, or is written in a “text book” style, people will simply lose interest.

There are four ways you can easily create quality and engaging content, and if you accomplish one or more of these within each of your articles, you are going to capture a lot more people’s interest and ultimately build a much larger following.

(1) Be opinionated - Write your content with passion, and if you have an opinion on the subject matter, by all means share it.  People may not like your opinion whereas some people may completely agree with you.  Either way, opinionated content that you can stand behind is much more engaging than content that lacks this personal touch and spurs reader activity.

(2) Be controversial - Targeting controversial topics can lead to a lot of comments, a lot of social sharing (and reach) and can connect you with potentially 1,000′s of people that you would have never had the ability to connect with.  People like to speak their mind (comment) about content that is controversial that they have an opinion or insight on.

(3) Be news worthy - If you create a story line that is news worth (could be a local story, some inside knowledge, or an story based on your research), it can become quite viral.  Stories that go viral have the potential of 10,000′s of views, just take a look at my Steve Jobs article (which had 31,560 views at the time of this writing!).

(4) Be helpful - When you help someone and give them “a ha” moments, you are much more likely to get feedback and readers will definitely be more inclined to follow you as an author.  Again, this instant reach is what you are looking for and the more helpful your content is to someone, the more appreciative they become.

These are four writing techniques that you should consider when creating your content.  The more engagement you get, the more feedback you get, the better the author you become. :)

Using StreetArticles.com Social Platforms as a Launch Pad

Within every article you have some social features that you can utilize to instantly get reach to your article, get people following your content, and engaging in it.  At the top of every article you will see the social buttons:

Street Articles Social Buttons

As you can see, there are 5 Social Buttons on every article.  These include:

(1) Article Comments - These are the actual comments within your blog post.  Every time someone comments on your blog post, you will get notified via the email you have set-up with Street Articles.  It is important that you “Reply” to any comments that people leave on your posts.

(2) Google + – This is Google’s version of a social network.   It is gaining a lot of traction and there are a good deal of people having great success within their Google + networks.  Sign-up for Google + here.

(3) Twitter - Hundreds of millions of people tweet every single day.  The 140 character tweets can lead to a good deal of traffic and you should be tweeting each and every one of your articles.  The powerful aspect of Twitter is that if you have a good reaction to a particular article, you can tweet it several times.  Sign-up for a Twitter account here.

(4) Facebook – Facebook is by far the largest social network with the most interaction.  People utilize Facebook to get instant traffic to their articles and if it is engaging, it can lead to many additional shares within Facebook.  The viral aspect of content within Facebook cannot be overlooked (there are now over 1 Billion users).  Sign-up for a Facebook account here.

(5)  Pinterest - Probably the fastest growing social network, Pinterest is basically a collection of “image based” pinboards that you can create, share, and utilize to get more reach to your content.  Images are a big part of readership at Street Articles and in order to use Pinterest, you need to make sure that you are adding images to your articles as this is what will be pinned.  The more relevant the image, the better.  You can sign-up for a Pinterst account here. 

The first thing you should do after you submit an article, is socially share your article in every way you can.  If you don’t have all of the accounts set-up, I suggest you take a minute and set them up.   This will equate to all of your articles getting instant reach, feedback and comments, something that you should be looking to accomplish with every article! :)

Communicate Regularly

As within any network, the more social you become, the more influence you have and the bigger the following you have.  This includes following and comment on other people’s work as well as responding to comments you get. One side benefit of commenting on other articles is that you increase your potential for author exposure and boost your following within Street Articles.

Here is an example of a comment thread within one of my articles:

Getting Comment Exposure on Street Articles

As you can see there are two important aspects to understand here.  First, every comment you make has your “Follow Me” button where other people within the Street Articles network can simply click that button to follow you.  The more powerful and interesting your comments are, typically the more people that will follow you.

Secondly, when you comment, your author image and your name are both linked to your profile.  This will also lead to additional exposure to your articles and a larger following.  :)

If you communicate on other people’s articles, they will almost always reciprocate (reply to your comment).  You should do the same.  If people comment on your articles, you may want to follow them and engage in their content as well.  There is nothing more rewarding or helpful as a writer than to get feedback on your content.

Getting your “friends” and website visitors to follow you on Street Articles

The bigger the following you have, the greater the reach you have as an author.  That is huge.  Imagine if you could get 1,000 people reading any piece of content you post instantly…it could quickly become a reality!

You will notice that within your Author Profile, you also have the ability to Like, Tweet, and Google + your content.  Driving people from your website to your author profile (you can simply grab the link and link to it from your site) and sharing your profile and inviting people to follow you on StreetArticles.com.  These are highly recommended and we suggest that you share your author profile within your social networks.  :)

See example of what I am referring to below:

Social Buttons on Author Profile

Task Yourself to Engage

The more active you are within the Street Articles community, the more relationships you create, and the more active you are within the communication and networking channels offered, the more power you have.   Literally.

Think about it this way.  If you have 100 followers on Street Articles and each of them get an email when you write an article and look forward to your quality content, you are instantly going to get not only 100 or so views on your article (what would you pay for this traffic in Google!), but you are likely going to get instant feedback via Street Talk, sharing of your article via social networks, and it could lead to many new followers!

Your tribe is power.  Engage people in your content, engage in your own content, engage in other people’s content and you are going to be much more successful within Street Articles.

My tasks to you going forward:

(1) Comment on at least 5 articles per day
(2) Reply to all comments that you get on your article
(3) Socially share your author profile within your social networks
(4) Socially share every article you write (Google +, Tweet, Like and Pin it)

Now get out there and interact, engage, and share!

Cheers,

Kyle
Co-owner of StreetArticles.com
Author handle @ Street Articles: Kyle

18
Dec

Creating Your Author Profile at Street Articles

Written by Kyle. Posted in Author Profile, How to Use Street Articles, Social Activity

One of the most important aspects at Street Articles, isyour author profile.  This is all about branding yourself as an author and if you are not delivering informative, engaging and personal content on your author bio, your following will be impacted significantly.

Remember, the author profile is “your place”.  It is where you can represent yourself in any way you like, but how people interpret you will coincide with how much of a following you get and how credible you are as a source for information.  The are several components to author profiles and I am going to explain these in detail here.

Before I get into this though, you are going to need to know where you can quickly update any of your Author Settings.

When logged into your StreetArticles.com account, you can visit the following page:

Author Settings - StreetArticles.com
This will be the place that you go to update all aspects of your author profile, from the images, description, and websites, to your social connectivity. :)

OK, without any further rambling, let’s get into the good stuff…

Getting your “Face” Out There

With the revolution of Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and other social mediums that we have become accustomed to the share of images, it is almost an expectation these days that if you want to create a personal following, you need to offer up some candid photos.

To upload images, you will need to scroll to the bottom of the author profile page.  Here is what my pages looks like:

Author Images - StreetArticles.com

To upload an image, you want to click the “Upload New Image” button.   Upon doing this, a screen will pop-up and allow you to Browse for an image on your local computer.  You will find the image that you want to upload, and then add it.  Once added it will load the image into the page. The loading screen will look like this.

Upload Image - Street Articles

The images is then loaded into an Editor where you will want to “crop” your image.  Note that all images within Street Articles are forced to be “square” dimensionally as this promotes visual consistency for the reader.   Drag the image the square and expand it to whatever aspect ratio you wish.  In this case, I just wanted the image of me hitting one of my massive golf drives (I actually think that one went in the bush!).

Crop Author Image - Street Articles

After I am done choose, I want to click Done.  This is also where you can set the image as your Default (the one that will show in your live profile).  In this case, I just want to upload it and don’t want to make it my default image.

Add Image Default - Street Articles
As you can see, this image is now added to My Other Images.

Image Added - Street Articles

Let’s have a peek at my profile now to see the update.
Kyle Profile Live - Street Articles

As you can see, my new image has been added.  You will also notice that my “default” profile image is unchanged.

You need to go SOCIAL

If you do not have your social entities set up already, you should take a minute to do this right away.  At Street Articles you can link your Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook accounts to your profile.  This can lead to a much greater following (more followers, more friends, bigger circles), better branding, and way more reach whenever you post content.

If you don’t already have social profiles within the following social networks, I suggest you set them up now.

After you have these profiles set-up, you will need to go to your Author Settings page and update the Social Networking links.

Social Profiles - Street Articles

 

Here are the examples of my profile links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kyle.wealthyaffiliate
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kyleandcarson
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113249579666422568736

After you add these and save, you will see the associated icons show up within your Author Bio box that is within EVERY one of your articles as well included within your Author Profile page.   Here is an example of what I am talking about…

Author Bio Live - Streetarticles.com

Having a social following can lead to INSTANT reach with your articles, and depending ont he quality of your content, it could quite easily go viral.

Creating your Author Details

Your Author Name

Your author name is important, as it is the name you are going to be branding.  You cannot have multiple names within Street Articles as this removes author responsibility, credibility and limits brandability.

If you brand your real name and you want to use that, I would suggest this be your first choice.  If you use a first name primarily, that is fine, you can use that.  If you have a pen name that you use within all your profiles, use that.  It all comes down to branding.

I personally use my first name, Kyle, because I have branded myself within the businesses that I am a part of using my first name. These include WealthyAffiliate.com, StreetArticles.com, Jaaxy.com.

Author Name - Street Articles

Your About Me Description

This is where you should tell your story.  If you are a writer within a certain niche, you will want to engage this audience write your “about me” description with that in mind.  Tell people about your knowledge, tell people why you are like to write about what you do, perhaps give your readers some back story on who you are, and ultimately aim to engage people.

If you can connect with people here, you will likely have a follower for life (a good thing for an author!).

Author Description - StreetArticles.com
Your Websites/URLS

Here is another opportunity to get people going to your websites.  Note that you are NOT allowed to put affiliate links here.  These must be “non” affiliate links.  Ideally you want to link to your top websites that you own.  This will lead to traffic and further branding opportunities.

Author Websites - Street Articles

There you have it, your author profile.  A critical aspect to your authoring success and the more time you spend creating a quality, engaging and interactive profile, the greater the credibility and branding you will have.

Cheers,

Kyle (view author profile here)
Co-owner of StreetArticles.com

PS.  If you have any questions or feedback, please post your comments below! :)

14
Dec

Creating and Master Links on Your Articles

Written by Kyle. Posted in How to Use Street Articles, Linking

Links…what a dilemma!

Everyone is hungry to get as many links as they can within their articles, and for good reason. A link for many will be the medium to get traffic to their websites. On top of all the branding elements within Street Articles, we offer you the ability to create up to 2 links within your articles.

Here is the linking criteria:

400 word article (minimum) = 2 allowed links
600 word article = 3 allowed links
800 word article = 4 allowed links

People make huge mistakes when adding links however, and I want to help simplify the article submission process for you here.

How to Add a Link

Before we get into a big discussion about what constitutes a quality link, I am going to give the quick and simple steps that you need to know to create a link.

The first step is to highlight the text that you want to link within the Street Article editor.  In the example below, I want to link the term “physical training”.

Add Link Highlight Term - Street Articles
Note: There are a few rules associated to links.  First, you cannot create a link if you do not have 400 words within your article already (this number unlocks 2 links), and you cannot link a term that is more than 5 words in length. 

After you have highlight the text, you are going to want to create the link.  To do this, you will want to click the link button (looks like a chain link) within the top editor toolbar.
Add a Link Button - Street Articles
This will pop up the Link box where you will then add your link.  Do not touch the Link Type, you will simply want to add your URL into the URL field.  As you can see I have added surfingthebeaches.blogspot.com/ as this is the link to the page that I want to send people to.

Add a Link Pop-up Box - Street Articles

Note: If you have a www. in your domain you will need to add this as well.  An example of this would be: www.streetarticles.com

Then you can see the link is added.

Working link in Stret Articles

After you have added your links, then you will want to Save & Publish your article.   To do this, click the associated button at the bottom of the page.

Save and Publish Article - Street Articles
Upon moderation, your article will be live with your links added! It is as simple as that. :)

How to Avoid Getting Slapped with a Rejection

Many people take the entirely wrong apporach with their article content.  They aim to promote, instead of aiming to help.  I see it all the time!

But you say, what is the point of writing an article if I cannot promote something.  You can promote something, on your site.  The problem is that if you don’t put the READER “first” then they are never going to read your article and they will never make it to your site.  So your goal as an author is to offer value.  Engage the reader.  Help the reader.  Inspire the reader.  Inform the reader.

We do not allow promotional articles within Street Articles.  We also do not allow many different types of promotional links, links that you may be used to creating that you will want to unlearn.

Our reader is in our best interest.  Your reader should be in the best interest as well.

Here are my list of things that you should not do within your articles:

Don’t PROMOTE - Creating an article that is purely promotional is no better than creating one big ad.  Readers will not want to read this.  A product review is one thing, a helpful review at that.  Don’t go into an article trying to sell something, go into it trying to offer value to the reader.  That will sell itself and lead to the highest click-through rate.

Examples:  Buy my stuff, go to my website, check out this awesome product, go here.

Don’t SPAM - You delete spam from your inbox, so why wouldn’t someone leave your article right away (called bouncing) if your content comes across as blatant spam.  If your article has a hint of spamming within it, it will not be accepted by moderators.

Examples: Earn a million bucks doing this.  Get a free iPad doing this.  Lose 50lbs/day doing this.

Don’t SET-UP LINKS - People tend to find a way to set-up links with content that is filler text.  Avoid doing this as your article may not be approved.   You can avoid doing this mistake by writing your quality content, then going back after the fact to add your links.  Don’t create full blocks of text with useless content for the purpose of adding a link.   I hurts your article quality and will only hurt your branding in the long run.

The best way to get ALL of your articles accepted!

Write reader focused content.   If you can honestly look at your article from a reader’s perspective and say, I would share this with my friends if I was reading this, then you are on the right track.  You could even get a friend or a family member to read your article and give you feedback.

Not every article is going to be perfect, and that is OK.  The more your write, the better you get.  However, don’t make “selling” something your focus, make getting your article “shared” your focus.  Would someone want to share your content?

The Major Linking Rules are as follows

There are certain rules that you need to follow when adding links.  They are as follows:

(1) No Call to Action Links – Any link that requires an action or that has an action surrounded it should not be used.

Examples: Click Here, Join Now, Follow this link, Go Here, etc.

(2) No formatted links – Do not format your links, they must be normal text.  You should not bold, italicize, or underline links.

(3) No UPPERCASE links – Links should not not be UPPER CASE or have Upper Case first letters (unless they are product names or names).

Wrong:  You should not create UPPERCASE LINKS or First Letter Uppercase Links!

(4) No URL text – Your links cannot contain the text of the actual website URL.

Wrong: When I go to streetarticles.com, I do….
Right: When I go to Street Articles, I do…

(5) No links longer than 5 terms.  The phrase that you are linking has to be between 1-5 words in length.

Wrong:  This link won’t be accepted because it is 6 words.
Right: This is a link that will be accepted because it is only 5 words

(6) No Author/Website Profile Links – You should not be putting author bio or website related information within the article.  If you like, you can add this sort of info via the Manage Authors tab and include it within your details inside the StreetArticles.com control panel.

Every article you write has an “Author” module in the top left hand corner.  This is what links to author information and where you can add related information, images, website info, and a description. Adding another author bio to your article content will create redundancies and will take away from the quality.

How to Maximize Your Article CTR

CTR, or CLick Through Ratio, is ratio between article impressions and the actual number of times someone clicks on YOUR links within the article. So, if you had 100 views on your article and you received 10 clicks, your CTR would be 100/10 (views/clicks)…you would have a CTR of 10%, which is pretty good.

Most article directories claim that their average CTR is 5%, but it is possible to achieve a much higher CTR than that.  In many cases, you should be able to attain 15-20%.    Take a peak at some of my best performing articles…

Best performing articles - Street Articles

As you can see, a high CTR is possible.  These are just a few of my high CTR articles, all of which are over 18% CTR.    If you want to take a look at these articles for yourself and see how I am linking, here they are (in the same order):

Surfing Lesson in Maui – Learn How to Surf in Beautiful Hawaii (20.14% CTR)

Find Best Keywords – How to Make Your Research Count (19.11% CTR)

The Master Article – Writing Quality Content on Street Articles (18.43% CTR)

And here are the article “click” stats for the “Surfing Lessons in Maui” article.  You can get to the “Stats” page inside the Street Articles dashboard.

Article Stats - Street Articles

As you can see, the first link gets double the clicks (as shown below).  It is important that you do take advantage of both of your links, as it will lead to a much higher CTR.  As you can see, I am not using call to action links, I am not blatantly promoting anything, I am naturally linking within the artilce.

That is correct, my highest CTR articles have NATURAL LINKS, not spammy, promotional or call-to-action links!

What a Link Looks Like in Street Articles

What About the Landing Page?

Some of you may not even be sure “what” page to link to.  If you don’t have a page just yet, it is OK as you will be able to link to your articles later.

One thing that you need to be aware of is that we do not allow affiliate links. It is required that you have your own web page to link within Street Articles. This could be a website that you own, or it could be a free website like Blogger.com, WordPress.com or Weebly.com.

The landing page that you link to needs to meet some relevance and content quality guidelines. Remember, you need to consider the reader.  You want your flow of relevance from your article to landing page to be very good, meaning that if you are talking about the “physicality of surfing”, sending people to a landing page about surfing exercises would be relevant.  Sending people to a dieting page would not.

Relevance creates a quality visitor experience and leads to a higher engagement (which means greater time on your site and more opportunity to earn money).

Here are the core rules about landing pages:

(1) Must be relevant to article content
(2) Must be at least 250 words in length (cannot just be a few links)
(3) Must not promote sexual related products
(4) Must not promote illegal or copyright infringing products or services

If you follow these landing page rules, your articles will be much more successful and will get Approved!

I hope you have found these landing page and linking tips to be very helpful.  If you have any questions, comments or need any clafication, please leave them below.

Cheers,
Kyle
Co-owner and author @ StreetArticles

12
Dec

How to Add an Image to Your Article in Street Articles

Written by Kyle. Posted in How to Use Street Articles, Using Images

Image addition to articles is critical to article quality. Without having images that represent your content, you are losing our or simply are going to frustrate a very large audience. You can read all about this within the “making great use of images within your content” post.

But how do you upload images, and what are some of the best practices for finding, creating and utilizing images.

Within this blogtorial I am going to explain exactly how to where to find, upload, and easily add images to your Street Articles.

Image rules

StreetArticles.com accepts many different formats of images, but we do have some rules on the type of images that you add. There is some criteria that an image needs to meet for it to upload properly into your article and they are as follows:

(1) Must be .jpg, .jpeg, .gif or a .png
(2) Must be at least 200 x 200 pixels in size
(3) Must not contain watermarks. Here is an example of a watermark:

Example of a watermark based image

(4) Must not contact sexually explicit or graphic material
(5) Image must be relevant to the article concept. If your article is about “how to fix a golf swing” then your image should be relevant to “someone swinging a golf club”.
(6) No author images. Author images should be added to your author profile.

If you follow these rules, then your images will have no issues uploading images or getting them accepted. If you do have issues, leave your comments at the bottom of this post.

How to Add Images

Now I am going to show you exactly how to upload images.  You can upload them within your article editor (below the article).   Below the content editing area, you will see an “Upload Image” button.  To upload your image, you will need to click this button.

Upload Image - Street Articles

Then the Image Manager window will pop-up a window where you can Browse for an image from the local files on your computer.

Browse for image - Street Articles

Choose the file from your computer.  Once you do it will be uploaded into the Image Manager, where you will then be able to crop your photo:

Image Cropping - Street Articles

Resize the photo to whatever dimensions you wish, the click “Done”.  Note that the images are all SQUARE within Street Articles, so you will need to crop the image so that it is square in terms of dimensions.

Save and Publish Article - Street Articles

My image that I have uploaded is then shown within the article editor.  I can now either submit my article, or I can change my image to a new one.  In this case, I am going to “Save & Publish” my article, sending it to moderation.

After it has been moderated, my image shows up within my article (as shown below)!

Image added to live article - Street Articles
Here is the link to the article if you want to see the live version.

That is it.  You now know how to add an image to your articles on Streetarticles.com.  If you want to add images or edit your images, you can do so by clicking the article “edit” button within your article dashboard.

Edit article - Street Articles

Again, adding images to your articles is essential and it can lead to far better article success. By this I mean, more views, more sharing, more comments, more people that actual read your content, and a better author brand (read post about this here).

Hope you enjoyed this article! If you have any articles out there without images, I suggest you take some time and start adding relevant images to them.

Cheers,

Kyle
Co-owner and author @ StreetArticles

09
Dec

Making Great Use of Images Within Your Content

Written by Kyle. Posted in Using Images

Can you think of the last time you read an article “without” a visual representation associated with it, and could truly picture the circumstance of that article.

An image can add a lot in terms of readability to your article. It doesn’t seem apparent, but until you can see the difference between the same article with and without an image, then it is tough to truly comprehend.So, let’s have a look a couple examples here from one of my articles “Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot 2011“.

Here is an article WITH a relevant graphic.

An article with an image - Street Articles

And here is the same article, but without a graphic at all:

Article without an image - Street Articles

Which one tells the story better?

The one with the image in my opinion, and from all usable reader metrics I have ever analyzed, readers think it is FAR better! (which I will discuss in more detail below)

Being able to have a visual connection makes the story far more readable as it gives you a mental picture to help walk you through the text.

A relevant and descriptive article carries many author benefits. “Relevance” is also a critical component. For example, I am going to to take this exact same article and add a random image that has no relevance to show the adverse effect it can have.

Irrelevant Image - Street Articles

As you can see, there is not “instant’ visual connect, because a “stethoscope” makes absolutely no sense nor does it have relevance to the actual topic. One of the most common mistakes I see is people adding their author image as the article image…and unless the content is about you, this is not relevant.  Save your personal images for your author bio. :)

It is better to have no image at all than an image that is not a relevant to the artcile concept…but it is better to have an image than not to have one, so I suggest you aim to add relevant images to all of your articles!

I would like to spend a bit of time discussing article benefits in more detail, as some of them may not seem so benefit at first.

5 Important Reasons to Add Images to Your Street Articles

Reason #1: Time on page

An instant visual connection we remove a lot of the bounce rate issues that people have with “pure” content. The problem is that readers, in particular ones that are visual learners, can become overwhelmed when they see a sea of text.

An image will increase the time on page, which will lead to many further upside benefits, the main one, they will actual READ your article.

Reason #2: Reader association with the content

When we grow up, we start reading books that have pictures in them. Is there a reason for this?

Yes. Image association gives people a better understanding of the content. In my Vancouver Riot example, you instantly can picture the event through the picture, then as you are reading the story your insight and understanding of what went on is much more graphic. More graphic means a better read.

Reason #3: Lead to More Engagement (Comments)

Obviously if somebody is more inclined to read your article because of image association, they will be more likely to engage in the article and comment on it. Some people really get fired up or emotionally connected to a topic when there is image representation. For example, when someone sees a “riot” image within my article example, they get angry at what happened and want to comment. This goes for any topic.

Images lead to great reader emotion, connection, and ultimately more comments. Comments are a good thing! :)

Reason #4: Increases Sharing

We are living in a world of sharing.  People love to share content, and people love more importantly to share content that will make them look like the source of news, important information, controversy, funny stuff, and opionated debate style content.  What most authors don’t understand or care to appreciate is the fact that when their content gets shared, it can become viral quite easily.

BUT, the image associated with your content has a huge impact.  For clarity purposes, I am going to show you exactly what I am talking about.  When someone shares your article using Facebook or Google Plus, it passes the article image through.   We have set Street Articles up so it works like this.

I clicked the Like button within my Vancouver Stanley cup article:

Facebook Like Click - Street ArticlesAnd then it is added to my Facebook Wall with the associated picture, as denoted below.

Facebook Wall with Image - Street Articles
Now all the people who are friends of mine will see this wall post.  Also, all the friends of anyone else that shares your article will also see this.

The visual appeal of this and relevance will lead to people you don’t even know sharing the article, discussing it, and visiting your article.  It is a big deal!

Reason #5: More Page Views

If someone reads one article of yours and like it, they will likely want to read more articles.  The better your article is formulated, meaning, if it has a relevant picture, is well written and is engaging, the greater the following you will have within Street Articles.  When people start “watching” for content that you create, you immediately have a platform to generate immediate article success.

This should be your ultimate goal and having relevant images is a large component of this.  Images lead to more traffic, more views, more sharing, more comments, and a better overall authoring brand!

What is your reason for not adding images? (HINT: You don’t have one!)

Hope you enjoyed this article and do let me know if you have any questions by using the comments below.

Cheers,

Kyle
Co-owner and author @ StreetArticles

08
Dec

Properly Formatting Your Articles – Make Them Reader Friendly

Written by Kyle. Posted in How to Use Street Articles

A well formatted article is a readable one. Some of the most common mistakes that authors at Street Articles make are related to how they format Formatting an Articleand “show” their content to the end users. It can make a big difference to the readability, and whether or not someone will take the time to read your article.

If someone doesn’t read your article and does not become engaged in it, you lose all the benefits of authoring content. Because of this, I am going to explain the top 5 ways you can improve your content formatting within Street Articles.

(1) Proper spacing

Welcome the “social” millenium, the days of creating smaller paragraphs.  People are becoming more and more accustomed to reading information in smaller chunks.  If you think about this, it makes sense.  Twitter, 140 characters max.  Texting, very short.  Facebook messages, typically even more brief than Twitter.

It is becoming harder and harder to engage people enough to read a massive block of text, without separating it with white space.  Because every type of reader is a bit different and every market/niche is different, we suggest you use your best judgment when deciding on paragraph size.

I have provided an example of one of my articles below.

Smaller Paragraphs

As you can see, I keep my paragraphs to readable chunks of information.   This is what people tend to read with more ease, and as a writer you need to consider the reader.  If people are not reading your content, then you have not done your job as an author.  Again, use your best judgement as there is no “specific number”, but try to partition your ideas as best as possible.

(2) Using headings

Along with smaller paragraphs, utilizing headings is a great way to “compartmentalize” your articles as well as dinstinguish one concept from another.  A headline is simply a textual descriptor outlining what is going to come in the upcoming paragraphs.

Here is an example of a heading:

Creating a Headline
In this case, I was describing the “impact of social activity”, thus my headline being appropriate.  For a reader, you can quickly scan articles that have headlines and determine quickly what the main concepts of the content are related to.  This makes your article very reader friendly.

You should break up your article into main concepts, so it is OK to have as many headlines as you want, depending on your article length.  An average 400-500 word article would typically have 2-5 headlines.  It doesn’t have to, but it can encourage far greater reader rates.

(3) Using lists

Lists are wonderful organizational tools.  If you have an a list of related ideas, a sequence of events or items, or you are creating a numbered list, then using lists should be something that you start doing.

Here is an example use of a “bulleted” list.

Bulleted List

As you can see, I have broken down a list of ideas into a list.  Instead of using sequential “commas”, this breaks apart the text with some white space, adding to readability.  The same can be done with numbered lists (as shown below).

Numbered List

To create your own list, you will want to use the “list” buttons when within the editor (inside Street Articles).

List buttons

Simply click the area of your text where you want to add your list, and then click the appropriate list button, and it will insert your list.

(4) Don’t overuse text formatting

You want your text to flow naturally.  The worse thing you can do is overformat your content.  This means adding too much BOLD, Italics, and underlined text within your article.   If you have a tendency to do this without an underlying “point”, stop.  It only makes your article a more difficult experience for a reader.

This is exactly what I am talking about!

Not that easy to read is it?  Take care when adding text formatting to your article, it can add value if done correctly (and in moderation), but it can also detract from your content.

If you are looking to format your text, the functionality to do this is again within the Street Articles editor.

Bold Button

You simply want to highlight the text that you want to format, and click the appropriate format button.  In this case, I chose to bold the text. The I represents Italics, and the U represents Underline.

(5) Avoid uppercase

“DO YOU FIND THIS HARD TO READ?”

It is much nicer when it is written like this…

“Do you find this hard to read?”

I know that it is a male thing to write by hand in all BLOCK letters, however it doesn’t translate well in the online world. People want your text to be written in an easy to read way, and all uppercase does not accomplish this.

If you want to emphasize a POINT (as you would in your speech by increasing your tone), sure you can use the odd uppercase word, but it should be used very sparingly.

Some Extra Formatting Tips:

Microsoft Word Issues

Don’t copy your article from Microsoft Word directly into StreetArticles.com. MS Word has some very strange code that it adds to any text that you copy and paste and this can create automatic formatting issues. If you are using MS Word, I suggest that you copy the article into another editor like Notepad/Textpad first, or you use another editor like Google Docs that does not add the strange code when you copy and paste into StreetArticles.

Use Google Docs

Google Docs is a web based editor (and a free one) that works very well (I am an avid user). It allows you to access any of your content, regardless of your location…meaning it is entire web based (just need an Internet connection).  There is nothing more annoying than having to email documents to yourself.

You can also share your content with others before your submit it to get them to review your content.

If you have a Google account, you automatically have access to Google Docs through your account.  If you don’t already have a free Google account, you can set one up here:

http://docs.google.com
Hope you enjoyed this article!

Cheers,

Kyle
Co-owner and author @ StreetArticles

06
Dec

Street Articles Blog Announcement – Help us Help You!

Written by Kyle. Posted in Help!

Here it is, the long awaited Street Articles blog!

This is the post where you let us know how we can help you out. Street Articles Help & Ideas

The Street Articles blog is dedicated to helping you become a better author and to help make your experience at StreetArticles.com a great one!

If you EVER have any feedback about Street Articles, please let us know within the comments below. This includes:

(1) Requests for System Improvements (BUGS)
(2) Requests for new training on how to use certain aspects Street Articles
(3) Frustrations with using Street Articles (how can we simplify things for you)
(4) Things that would be cool at Street Articles

Again, thanks for using Street Articles as your authoring site and we look forward to hearing your feedback.

Cheers,

Kyle & Carson
StreetArticles.com Owners

 

Chatter

  • Jonathan Lambert

    February 20, 2012 |

    Ok thank you, maybe I'll give a try !

  • Maurice Savaryego

    February 20, 2012 |

    Great! Thanks! I will be looking forward to it when I get back in April.

  • Robert Świerkosz

    February 20, 2012 |

    Kyle Wa ok my Opera was fail Javascript :) now is ok :) Signed up.

  • Kyle Wa

    February 20, 2012 |

    Robert Świerkosz It is below this line: Simply fill out the form below and I will send you Day 1 of the 30 in 30 challenge. Good luck!

    Try in a different browser. Also, if your browser does not allow Javascript, this is why (you probably want to update your browser if this is the case).