One of the most common blunders by those using article marketing to distribute free reprint articles is to include periods after domain names at the end of sentences. Surely those authors who have made this blunder realize that if that period gets included in the URL, the link will lead to a 404 error or "Page Not Found" message any time a visitor clicks on your link from any web site that used your articles. Publishers complicate things by not visiting links included in author resource boxes and failing to correct the address error in the URL once they do notice it.
To be fair to publishers, it is often difficult to edit within some content management systems and it simply takes too much time to make those changes. To be fair to article authors, we certainly ought to be able to use correct punctuation in our writing, even if it does cause problems with automated link creation in CMS (Content Management System) tools. To be fair to CMS programmers, writing exceptions into the software on CMS sytsems to remove that period leads to incomplete and truncated filenames along with other complex unintended consequences.
But the ultimate responsibility for this issue rests squarely on the head of web content authors who write articles intended to gain them links from other websites. Most have figured out the eccentricities of the web and know how to avoid this problem after seeing a few bad links or URL's that are not hyperlinked by web content publishers. You MUST understand these issues to successfully use article marketing to get your web content used by publishers.
For those web content authors who have NOT figured out the eccentricities of publishing on the web, here a a few guidelines:
1) I'll repeat the opening admonition here because it bears repeating as the most common error by article marketers - Don't follow web addresses with periods or the resulting link will lead to an error page. Include a space between domain names and periods if you must use a period following a web address. Content Management Systems (CMS) used by web content publishers will include that period in the hyperlink!
2) Never cut and paste from Microsoft Word documents or other proprietary word processing software, because most use non-ascii text which replaces common punctuation with code unique to their software to create punctuation marks such as hyphens, elipses, quote marks, accents, exclamation marks, dashes and underscores. It is very irritating to read articles that include those odd looking foreign characters on web pages. Most publishers cannot, and the remaining publishers WILL not take the time to fix those strange characters in your text before publishing them to a web page or pasting them into their plain text newsletter. So your article simply will not be used in most cases.
3) Start a new line each time you include a web address within the body of the article AND in your resource boxes, because email clients often "break" web addresses if they are longer than 64 characters. Count the characters in any web address you use in articles or in your resource boxes because if theyare longer than 64 characters, many will wrap onto the following line of text, those content management systems (CMS) will then ALSO truncate your web address and send anyone who clicks that incomplete URL to a "404 error, Page Not Found." Use one of the recognized URL shortening and forwarding services to make the longer web addresses short. My favorite is http://www.shorl.com
4) Don't use proprietary software to paste your articles INTO before distributing to ezine editors, article distribution and web content sites because that proprietary software converts both previous proprietary punctuation from word processing software and previously ascii text punctuation within your article to use IT'S own proprietary punctuation which shows up on web pages as bizarre foreign and unrecognizable characters as it sends that article to web publishers. Again, leading to your article not being used by web content publishers.
5) Always remember to use the leading http:// portion of web addresses that you want converted into links by web content publishers because, once again, their content management system (CMS) won't recognize it as a URL (web address) if that portion is missing from the domain name. Most will not take the extra time to add that required element to your address to cause their CMS to embed the hyperlink for them and almost nobody will return to add the hyperlink if their CMS fails to do it for them - many don't know how to write the necessary HTML to embed links but would be required to add it if their CMS didn't do it for them initially - so they can't link to you if they want to.
6) Use only those article distribution sources that embed hyperlinks in your resource boxes to distribute your articles. I've run across dozens of sites using my articles that referred me back to the articles distributor saying, "They don't provide the hyperlink from their site". If you do use an article distribution source that DOESN'T automatically embed hyperlinks for users of your articles, learn how to embed them yourself during submission. Most web content publishers simply will not take the time to add it if they use those article distribution sources that don't provide it to them.
7) Never distribute articles with HTML already included to embed links as it will result in web content publishers NOT using the articles because their CMS then DOUBLE embeds hyperlinks- often breaking those links and leading to further error pages. Even if it the resulting hyperlink works properly, it makes reading difficult since you'll then see the HTML code displayed in unicode characters on the page of some sites.
Learn the bugaboos of Web CMS and take advantage of the knowledge to out-perform your article marketing competitors who haven't yet learned how to manage Content Management Systems to their advantage.
Copyright © August 12, 2005
Mike Banks Valentine operates http://Publish101.com - a web content resource for article authors and publishers. He offers a Text to HTML converter for web publishers who don't have expensive Content Manangement Systems to automatically insert paragraph tags, create HTML lists and hyperlink domain names for use on the web without the need to learn HTML. Just cut and paste articles into the converter, click a few buttons and paste pre-formatted articles into your web page template. http://www.website101.com/cgi-bin/t2h/Mt2h.cgi