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How (and How Not) to Write an Article on MLMSocial.com

Hi, everyone! This is not an actual article; it's a tutorial illustrating what not to do and what to do in order to get your submission not only published, but also featured on MLMSocial.com.

Understanding This Tutorial

First, I will be giving examples of incorrect "articles" or submissions, and underneath each example I will explain why each is incorrect and provide possible solutions.  Next, I will provide some "Dos and Don'ts" that should help clarify what will help you take your article-writing to the next level.  Let's face it, it's great to be published, but it's better to be featured!

Example 1:

Hi, I'm Bobo McDada! My new program ABCXYZ is awesome and I'm making thousands a day!!! Don't you want to make $ to? Of course you do:) If you want to earn more money than you ever have in you entire life then join this conference call! Every Tuesday at 7 pm EST call 800-555-5555 and enter the code MADMONEY See you on the call.

Notes:

- This submission is only one paragraph.  An article should be at least several paragraphs.

- Uses unprofessional, cutesy writing.

- Spelling mistakes.

- Grammar mistakes.

- Blatant self-promotion.  An article should always be objective, not subjective.

- No helpful information provided at all. 

- It's very suspicious that Bobo is making promises he can't possibly deliver.  (How can he honestly promise you'll make more than you ever have in your life?)

- In general, the tone of this submission is very conversational, rather than informational.  Articles are meant to report facts and educate. 

What should one do with this type of submission? Blog it or advertise it instead.  (See "Alternative Options" below.)

Example 2:

Check out this link to learn how to take your business from slow to fast in three easy steps! http;//www.BoboMcDadaBoomBoom.com

Notes:

- This submission is only one sentence.  An article should be at least several paragraphs.

- The link does ALL the work for the author, and the author does no reporting whatsoever.  So, even if the link takes the reader to a site that provides objective, helpful information (like an actual article) the submission itself is still not an article because the site to which the reader is led is the actual information source.

What should one do with this type of submission? Add it to the Video section or post it as a link.  (See "Alternative Options" below.)

Example 3:

Matrix pay plans are horrible because they have restrictions on how wide you can go.

Notes:

- This is an opinion, not a fact.

- This statement makes a generalization about an entire pay structure, which others may or may not agree with.

- Focuses on a single aspect of the pay structure and takes out of context by not balancing the point with other crucial information.  

How could this statement be made acceptable? Say something like the following instead:

Matrix pay plans often have width restrictions that cause new sign-ups to go under someone other than their direct sponsor.  However, people new to the MLM industry may find this program to be more beneficial than other programs because their own downlines get filled in due to the overflow coming from higher positions.

Notes:

- The opinionated tone is gone.

- Includes more helpful information.

- Allows the reader to make his/her own decision based on the facts.

Alternatives to Posting Articles

1) If you're mainly trying to promote a link, post it as a Link.

2) Links containing video should be posted as Videos.

3) Post something in the Blog section if your submission is particularly opinionated.

4) If you are trying to sign up people on your program, your best bet is to promote yourself and your business in the Advertise Your Business section of Forums.

5) The Classifieds section is another interesting tool to get the word out about yourself and your business.

6) Create a poll asking fellow members their opinions on important things.  (Take a look through the Poll section to get a good idea of how to word your poll first.)

7) If you're trying mainly to promote a conference call or webinar, Events is the place to make it known.

8) Use the Comments section of your own profile to encourage others to converse with you.

9) The Quizzes section is a fabulous place to get people actively involved in your interests.  Create a quiz that is relevant to the general MLM industry, your particular business, etc.

Dos and Don'ts

Dos:

1) Use good grammar! Anything from lack of sleep to Dyslexia and other learning disabilities can affect how people communicate.  However, it's important to try and make the best possible impression you can.  Internet marketing has really changed the MLM industry.  We use the phone less and meet face-to-face almost never nowadays.  So, your written word is all that your potential business associates have from which to formulate opinions about you.  Nobody's perfect, so don't stress about your grammar, but be sure to reread what you've written before you hit the "submit" button, because it's how you write that others will first notice about you.  If your grammar is not particularly good, have a close friend or family member go over your work for you.  If you don't have anyone who will help you, use the spell check and browse through some grammar sites to brush up on your language skills.  Even the most famous writers in the world make mistakes, but they've gotten to be so good because they've had a lot of practice. 

2) Inform the public.  If you aim to teach you will likely pick up students! People know when you're trying to "sell" them, so instead of trying to sell others on the benefits of your program, teach them things they didn't know before and they will undoubtedly follow you.  Teaching is very selfless, whereas selling can be very selfish.  Give something of yourself, and enjoy how the universe will give back to you.

3) Stay current.  Newspapers don't recycle articles from years ago.  If people want to learn about history they'll read a book or visit a museum.  Articles are about things happening right now.  There's always something new happening, even in the smallest industry... and MLM is NOT a small industry, so you should have plenty of topic options.  

4) Stay focused.  If you are not involved in MLM and print postcards for a living you can still submit and get published a great article about how direct mail plays a part in MLM.  However, an article highlighting an awards ceremony for the country's top-producing printing companies would not go over well on a site such as MLMSocial.com.  The people on our site are here because they are MLMers/Network Marketers and they want to get information about our industry and network with other like-minded folks.  So, give them what they want and you will likely receive a positive response.

5) Be objective.  This kind of goes hand-in-hand with keeping the public informed, but it deserves its own explanation as I find even bonafide news reporters are not objective these days.  If people want to read opinions, they'll flip to the Op-Ed section of the newspaper.  If people want to hear opinions, they'll call their parents.  When people want to get facts they'll read articles.  If you pretend you're a news reporter, the way a news reporter was meant to be (objective), you may see that the piece you are writing changes from a sales piece to a training piece.  That's when you know you're on the right track.

6) Be concise.  Some people think that using more words is better than not.  I'm here to tell you that's not the case! Novels are wordy.  Articles are to-the-point.  Save the pretty, descriptive, or flowery language for the Blogs, Comments or Advertise Your Business posts instead.

7) Surprise us.  If you are privy to information that others on the site may not be, now's your chance to be the "expert" on a subject.  Sometimes, the person who reports first is considered to be the one "in the loop."  Having that special reputation may compel others to naturally look to you for guidance.  Just don't abuse the trust that you've earned by becoming an expert, and you should stay well-respected amongst your peers.

8) Cite current, relevant references.  Provide inks to them if possible.  This helps people to understand that you are a trustworthy professional and are not simply making things up as you go along.

Don'ts:

1) Use hate speech, obscene language, defamatory statements, abusive and/or threatening comments, etc.  I'm not even talking about the implications of our TOS.  Seriously, in this day and age, no one will take you seriously if you engage in this type of behavior.  Experts don't stoop to that level.  Have you ever heard well-loved, prominent people behave like that? Oprah? Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? Now, they may FEEL one way or another, but rarely will you ever hear well-respected people behave negatively.  The reason only a select few are so well-respected by so many is that they know how to make everyone feel accepted/heard, and they can't make everyone feel that way if they knock entire races, religions, groups, etc.  In fact, even if EVERYONE else thinks that a particular person "deserves" a lesson, the well-respected person will choose not to engage-- he/she seems to "rise above it."  If you "rise above it" you will be rewarded with looking like (and becoming) the well-respected person you want to be.

2) Underestimate people's intelligence.  Trying to "sell" someone on your business or product in what is supposed to be a helpful, informative article just insults our intelligence.  

3) Submit an opinionated piece and expect to get it published.  For instance, if you submit a piece about different MLM pay plans, we want to hear how each one works, the possible benefits, the possible downfalls and MAYBE which ones are the most popular.  We DON'T want to hear from you that one is better than another (that's your opinion), why one is "bad" or "good" (again, your opinion) or why we shouldn't want one pay plan over another (your opinion).  People read articles so they can get the facts and make their own decisions based on those facts.  Your opinions belong in the Blogs or Comments section.

4) Submit a piece that's too similar to already published pieces.  It pretty much wastes our time and yours.  However, feel free to submit updates or changes to existing articles.  Notice how newspapers will report on the same item day after day? The topic itself doesn't change; the content does.  So, if you find that something has changed to make one of our current articles obsolete, please update our community with a new article explaining the changes that have taken place-- that's why we read articles in the first place.

5) Don't use exclamation points.  Do you ever see them used in USA Today articles? I don't think so.  Using exclamation points conveys emotion, and there's not supposed to be emotion in news reporting.  Use exclamation points elsewhere when you want to let someone know you're passionate about something-- when you're actually selling something, and even then don't use more than one in a row (it makes you appear desperate).

6) Try not to put any words in all caps, italics, bold or different sized font, colors, etc.  Your words themselves should do the talking; graphics are for ads.

7) Repost others' content as your own, unless you have the rights to the work (licensed or express consent).  Basically, don't plagiarize.  It's unethical, misleading and could get you into more trouble than just losing the esteem of fellow MLMSocial.com members.

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