When you are submitting articles online, a knowledge of HTML is usually not required.  Most of the article directories where you submit articles come with an editor that can handle simple formatting actions like bold, italics and lists.  But there are still some directories that accepts only text, and the HTML formatting must be included within the text.

This article is about the following HTML tags: bold < b >, italics < i >, underline < u >, line break < br >, unordered HTML list < ul >, list item < li > and anchor < a >.  These tags are usually all that is accepted, and is all that is needed for a simple article.

For the purposes of this article, the HTML tags shown have spaces before and after the opening and closing angle brackets.  This is to make sure that they will not be mistaken for actual formatting tags.  The spaces must be removed in the actual case.

It might look difficult but I promise that you will end up with better looking articles, and it really is easy once you get the hang of it.  Okay?  Let’s continue…

Opening And Closing HTML Tags

In most cases, HTML tags comes with an opening and a closing tag, although some tags are used singly.

As an example, the italics tag has to be closed and is used as follows:

< i >This whole sentence is in italics.< /i >

Notice the opening tag, < i >, and the closing tag, < /i >.

Unlike the italics tag, the line break tag can be used by itself thus:

There will be a line break after this sentence.< br >

Nesting Of HTML Tags Within Each Other

Nesting basically means that the tags can be used within each other.  But do be careful not to made the common error of interlinking instead of nesting the tags.

This is how it should be written:

< i >< b >This sentence is bolded and in italics.< /b >< /i >

This is another way that tags can be nested:

< i >The word < b >bold< /b > is in < b >bold< /b >.< /i >

This is not right:

< b >< i >This text will not be bolded and be in italics.< /b >< /i >

Bold, Italic And Underline Tag

The underline, italic and bold tags are < u >, < i > and < b > respectively.  They have their respective closing tags as follows: < /u >, < /i > and < /b >

The following will be in bold, in italics and underlined:

< u >< b >< i >This line is in italics, underlined and bold.< /i >< /b >< /u >

The Line Break HTML Tag

Among all the tags in this article, the line break tag <br> is the only one that does not need to be closed.  It is used to insert a line break.

The following is an example of how it can be used:

There is a line break after this line.< br >

You can also put 2 or more line breaks together:

You have inserted 2 line breaks after this sentence.< br >< br >

The Anchor Tag

This is the most important tag and is used to provide a link to another web page or web site. It is used with another HTML element called an attribute, and the attribute that you need to be concerned with is the href attribute.

Let’s say you want to link to your website or blog at MySiteDotCom.  you would write something like the following:

Click < a onClick=”javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’);” href=”MySiteDotCom” >here< /a > to visit my site.

Take note that only “here” will be underlined and can be clicked.  In addition, MySiteDotCom must be an actual url.

The Unordered HTML List And List Item Tags

The unordered HTML list tag < ul > and the list item tag < li > are used together to create an unordered list. The unordered HTML list tag is used to indicate a list of unordered items while the list item tag is used to indicate each individual item on the list.

For example, a list of 3 items would look like this:

This is a list of 3 items:

< ul >< li >First Item< /li >

< li >Second Item< /li >

< li >Third Item< /li >< /ul >

Observe the nesting of the list item tags within the unordered HTML list tag.


Well, we are done.  If this is your first time, you will probably need to try it out once or twice.  After that, I guarantee that it will be second nature.  And remember that there will be some differences in which tag are accepted by which article directory.  So, before actually submitting your article, always use the preview button to check that your article displays correctly.

David Lim is the webmaster of A Guide For An Online Home Based Business, a site offering information, advice and resources for a newbie looking to start an online home-based business. Probably the best thing about this site is that it tells it like it is, without any of the hype that is so typical in other similar sites.

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