Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Article Marketing: 13 Tips For Making The Perfect Resource Box

by Steve ShawA resource box is basically an author bio that accompanies your article. Whenever your article is republished, that resource box will also be republished.

The resource box is extremely important because it contains a link to your website (this is how submitting articles builds links), and it's your chance to try to lure the reader back to your website. It also helps you gain the confidence of your reader by sharing some info about yourself that shows them why they should take your article/advice/teaching seriously.

When you're writing resource boxes, it helps to have a little formula to follow:

1. You can just launch into your bio--there is no need to start out by saying "About The Author" or anything like that.

2. Include your name and a brief bio that would let the reader know why you are qualified to provide them information on your topic.

3. Write in full sentences--don't just put your keywords or a website link.

4. Include the fully qualified URL for your website.

A fully qualified URL starts out with 'http'. If you're not sure what this would look like, go to the main page of your website and just copy the URL that is listed in the address bar. That is your fully qualified URL. Of course if you're using a HTML resource box, you can hyperlink your keywords. Even with a HTML resource box, it's a good idea to include a written out URL.

5. Give the reader an incentive for clicking the link--why should the go back to your website?

6. Keep your author bio 450 characters or less.

7. Customize your author bio to suit your article.

The first sentence of your resource box can be a transition from your article to your bio. By linking the specific topic of your article to your resource box, you invite readers to keep on reading and hold their interest longer, which maximizes click-throughs to your website.

8. Use a single link.

This is not a rule with publishers--most will allow you to link to multiple sites (although many publishers do limit the number of links). But linking to only one site increases the chances of the reader clicking the link--the more choices you offer the reader, the less likely that they will click any of the links.

Also, you have a limited amount of space to convince a reader to click through to your site, so it helps to spend all of your effort to directing the reader to do one action--click the link.

9. Be sure your links work.

This may sound obvious, but it is very important to test your links. You can test your links by previewing your article and just clicking the links--if they take you to your website, then they are working.

Don't try to italicize or bold the URL--that can mess up the link and make it not work.

11. Do not put punctuation directly after the URL--there is no need to put punctuation after a URL as it can mess up the formatting and cause the link to break.

12. Try putting your website address on a new line.

This helps bring attention to the link, and it also helps the formatting to stay in tact and the link not to be broken.

13. Keep your URL to 60 characters or less (when using a text resource box).

The reason for this is that longer website address have more chance of being broken due to page width of publishers. Most publishers prefer to receive articles that are 60 characters per line, so having a link that is bigger than that can result in the link breaking. If you would like to link to an inner page on your website (and inner pages tend to have longer URLs), then you might save that link for a HTML resource box.

In the HTML resource box you can use anchor text to form the link, so the URL length doesn't matter. For a text resource box, you could link to the main web page of your site.

I know it's tempting to make up an author bio on the fly as you're rushing to get the article submitted, but the resource box is such an important part of your article submission that you will want to spend some extra time on it and follow these tips.

About the Author

Submit your article to more publishers, and your article will be seen by more people. You'll also build more backlinks and drive more traffic to your website. Steve Shaw created the web's first ever 100% automated article distribution service, SubmitYOURArticle.com, which distributes your articles to hundreds of targeted publishers with the click of a button. For more information go to=> http://www.SubmitYOURArticle.com