Have you ever been frustrated by the appearance of your article when you submit them to an article directory?  Have you felt lost as you tried to figure out how to format your text so your article is easier to read? HTML code will help you format your articles to get the look you want. Using HTML codes will make your articles attractive, easy to read, and gain the credibility and readership to draw prospects to your message.

Why Staging Your Article Is Important

Staging is an important activity when selling a home.  Staging helps prospective buyers see the potential of a house and leads them to seriously consider buying.  If the house is cluttered and messy, most buyers will walk away, even if the home is the best deal on the market. For most buyers, it’s too hard to look past the clutter and see the gem in the rough.

Similarly your article should be “staged” so readers will want to read it. Just like a cluttered or sloppy house, if you article appears sloppy and difficult to read, readers won’t take time to read it, even if it’s full of great, valuable content. If your article appears neat and easy to read, you’ve made great strides in getting readership.

What Readers Want

Readers want articles that are easy to read and informative. They don’t want to work to get the information out of your article, just like home buyers don’t want to look past the clutter to see the potential in a home. You get one shot at enticing someone to read your article. They don’t want to reread your article (and they won’t) if they don’t get it, so it’s imperative to make a good impression the first time.

The reason your article is being read is because it’s relevant to the reader’s problem. Your job, as the writer, is to lead the reader through your thought process and influence them. Most readers don’t expect a Pulitzer Prize winning article, but they do expect to get answers and value from reading your article.  After all, they’re reading your article to get informed about their problem. Don’t lose your credibility by causing your reader to say “huh?” as they’re reading.

HTML Code, Your Staging Tool

Just as furniture and cleanliness are the tools of staging a house, HTML code is the tool to stage your articles. For articles, all you’ll need are basic HTML codes to “design” your article so it’s attractive and easy to read. You can learn more advanced HTML coding by goggling HTML code. You’ll find plenty of tutorials that step you the why and how of HTML, which is very much like computer programming. However, unless you’re into designing your own web page, simple HTML codes should be all you need.

The basic codes you need to know are paragraph, bold, underline, italics, paragraph, and line break. The basic format for these codes (except for line break) is <code> and </code>, where “code” is the type of formatting you want to use. You place the “start” code at the beginning of the text you want to format, and place the “end” code at the end of the text. For example, if I want to bold some text, I would place <b>, the start code, in front of the text I want bolded and put </b>, the end code, at the end of the text.

Simple HTML Codes To Get You Started

Bold Text:  <b>you text</b>

Underline Text: <u>your text</u>

Italicize Text: <i>your text</i>

Paragraph: <p>your text</p>:  This code places a blank line between your paragraphs. Some HTML coders argue that you don’t need the end code, but some consider it good practice to use.

Line Break: your text</br>:  This code will allow you to create a line break without starting a new paragraph. This is a simple code to use when you have a numbered or bulleted list.

The Use of HTML in Article Directories

Most article directories allow some simple HTML coding.  Some directories only allow the use of a few, and others allow more. For example, one of the directories I use does not allow the use of underline or line break, but they do allow bold and paragraph. Unfortunately, this makes using HTML a little tricky to figure out when you submit your articles.  You’ll have to preview your article in each directory to see how the coding affects your article.

There are some article directories that use a feature called “what you see is what your get” (WYSIWYG). With this feature, your article is formatted as if you had typed it in MS Word.  But fair warning-WYSISYG isn’t always what you get. You still must preview your articles to make sure they appear like you want.

Another point to keep in mind is that HTML doesn’t care if all your text runs together. If you submit your article, preview it, and don’t like what you see, you can edit it, but you may return to an article that looks like one big paragraph. You’ll have to reformat your article so you can edit it more easily.

Recommended Approach for Using HTML

In order to help you format you article, I recommend you write your article and format it the way you want to look. Use this format for directories that use WYSIWYG. Then copy your article, paste it below this version, and add the HTML codes that represent the formatting that you want, i.e., add the codes you need to get the formatting you want.  Use this version for article directories that don’t use WYSIWYG. You’ll end up with two versions of your article.

Summary

Staging is an important aspect of your article marketing, along with providing valuable content.  Staging makes it easy for your reader to read your message and understand it.  Although there are some challenges with using simple HTML code, the challenges are more tedious than technical.  Don’t be afraid to use HTML to draw more readers and potential customers.

 

Happy Business Building

Yoli

Yolanda Allen is a home based business expert specializing in a financial services and education product and marketing system, where you learn to be a master marketer. Learn how Yolanda’s business partner made over $140K in one month using this system. Yolanda’s on her way and now you can be too. http://YBAMarketing.com/?t=abhtm.

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