Nov 03

writingI’m too young for World War II, too white and well off to join the native street life, and I’ve never stepped on the back of an Iditarod dog sled, either coming or going. Never lived in a native village in the bush of Alaska or walked ninety miles through the wilderness.

But I know about them.

When my novel required me to be able to present the difficulties, dangers, and human frustrations of the protagonist who did know these things I had to find out what he went through and how he felt and thought and acted in these circumstances.

Books, and doing a portion of each of these, got me through.

I’ve never hunted bear, but I have hunted for sixty years, so hunting the bear was just one step from where I had been. I have seen hundreds of bears while hunting in Alaska, black and brown, but never had the desire to shoot one. You won’t talk to many Alaska bear hunters before you hear about a grizzly that caught and killed a black bear and ate it right there. They also kill and eat smaller brown bears. The grizzly bear is at the top of the food chain until you introduce mankind with a .300 Winchester rifle.

Then, when my protagonist decided to walk ninety miles on a trail along the Chandalar River from Arctic Village to Venetie I fell back on two hikes I have made. One was around and around a municipal track for twenty-four hours for the Walk for Life where I walked fifty-one miles. Another was to hike Resurrection Pass Trail which is either thirty-eight or forty-two miles, depending on which sign you believe, on the longest day of the year-straight through-without camping-in twenty hours. The blisters, dehydration, exhaustion, sour taste of food and water, dullness, and the experience of night travel all come to play in those. Now I’ll admit, forty-two miles isn’t ninety, and one day isn’t four or five days, but you can extrapolate from that and get to the thoughts, feelings, and conditions of someone who did it.

The book shelves in my library/den contain about eighty books on WWII, including Time/Life photo books which depict the photographer’s detail of actions in dreary weather, snow cover, and the weariness of the soldiers. I read six books about the Battle of the Bulge, the Golden Lions Division, and the end of the war in Europe. I also contacted a researcher who sent me details of the POW camps on the Rhine River, and the kind of trees (poplars and willows) that would have been blooming on May 7th, 1945 at the end of the war in Europe.

About fifteen years before I wrote the book I was a passenger in a small plane that landed at Arctic Village. The Chandalar River, the village setting, and the remoteness stayed in my mind after we dropped off a young man who was to meet one of his school teachers and kayak down the river.

There is a giant file cabinet in a writer’s mind that holds things like the smell of the dust on the road into town, the hordes of mosquitoes, the easy laughter and humor of the resident natives, the one store and the squeak of the screen door spring. These mental scenes were added to, cut up, and reassembled into the village life of my protagonist.

Most of the questions from readers come from the native street life and the Iditarod. Did I participate in each of these? No. I didn’t and don’t want to either. But I did watch and follow their actions from my car and on foot. Continue reading »

Oct 30

writingIf you want to work online, you’ve probably run into many philosophies about niche marketing. A niche is a narrowly focused, highly defined subject. When you write for a niche, your writing can be very deep, but it cannot be broad. For instance, sports is not a niche. Tennis is not even a niche. But if you wanted to write about learning to play tennis after the age 50, you have a niche. Another great niche might be how to teach your young child how to play great tennis.

Many writers have the wrong idea about niches. As writers, we tend to go for the scoop. We seek the unusual story and the odd angle no one has ever used before. We writers cross article ideas off the list as soon as we see other people writing about them.

After all, in the ink-on-paper world, the fastest way to get a rejection is to propose an article on a subject that a competitive publication recently wrote about. If you’re writing for a magazine or newspaper, a very unusual, one-of-a-kind story can be an easy sale.

Internet marketing does not work like that.

When you write for online sources, your work can be deep, but it has to be narrow. The Internet has become the medium for specialists. It’s the best place to get information on how to grow roses in the tropics or make your own yogurt or learn about the symptoms of Brugada’s disease.

The risk in focusing so sharply on a specific subject is that it is much easier to miss the mark than to hit it.

A good writer is looking for readers and a good online writer is looking for customers. So online writers need to become marketers in terms of finding their niches.

Most online marketers research niches to find traffic before they embark on projects. The idea is that you don’t want to venture into a niche where there isn’t already at least some conversation and activity going on.

That’s right, online marketers want to find competition in their niches of choice, because competition means there is already interest, buzz, and business in that sector. Continue reading »

Oct 20

Just thought I’d add a little note to tell all the great members of the ABC Article Directory that I’m extremely proud of their contributions in making this article directory such a success.

Our traffic numbers continue to rise and the good news is that it is largely organic. Google, Yahoo and Bing still make up a huge portion of our traffic and our articles are continually being indexed and added to these search engines immediately after acceptance.

Spam authors and spam articles continue to be a problem but that is the nature of the beast. I weed these out as best I can in order to salvage the integrity of the content that is available for visitors to view.

Alexa page rank is still a mystery to me as our numbers get lower as our traffic increases. I suspect that their ranking system is a mystery to other website owners as well.

To all the great authors making a concerted effort to submit high quality articles to this directory…a sincere Thank You.

To all the great people that visit our site on a regular basis for their content needs….Thank You.

To all the great people that visit us occasionally….Thank You and come back.

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Emmanuel DeFreitas

Jun 25

In this  post I try and show, once again, that you can easily add floating social media buttons to your website without any special  programming skills whatsoever. Believe me….if I can do it, anybody can do it. The full article can be seen at

Remember…this is for websites…not blogs.


I had been looking to get this social buttons script for a while and was fortunate enough to come across something that I could fiddle with and adapt to my script. I first saw this vertical floating collection of social media share buttons on and immediately said to myself “I gotta have this a.s.a.p”. Continue reading »

Jun 03

quality firstOne of the greatest obstacles many writers face when attempting to start a new project is how to format the article. I know I used to spend a great deal of my preparation and brainstorming time trying to sort out the answer to that very question. Similarly many of the writers that I work with as a writing instructor and consultant were struggling with the same issue. If you are reading this article then probably you have as well.

Writing a short article can be even more challenging because you need to stay focused and organized, however writing a short article really can be very easy if you work with a simple structure. In fact it only involves three steps:

Step One: Write a thesis statement

I know you just had an ugly flashback to freshman composition class and I apologize for springing it on you like that, but really your English teacher did know what he or she was talking about when they insisted you have a thesis sentence for your essays. A thesis is key to all successful essays and articles because it is the heart of your paper. It is simply the main point you are trying to make with your article. As the central or controlling idea, your thesis statement holds the article together. Your thesis statement is a promise to your reader�”I am going to say this”. If you do not have a strong thesis you run the risk of confusing your reader or even losing the reader entirely. Continue reading »

May 17

writingEveryone is an expert at something.  Whatever product or service you provide in your business is your area of expertise.  Writing articles about what you are an expert at and distributing those articles online through various article submission directories is a valuable marketing strategy called Article Marketing.

How will writing and submitting articles help your business?

Here’s how it works.  You will:

Gain more exposure - When you write an article and submit it to various article directories it will be posted online for anyone to read.  Surfers find your articles when they type related keywords into search engines to find what they’re looking for.

Generate more traffic to your site - You will create a ‘resource box’ that is included at the end of each article you submit.  The resource box is a short bio about you, the author, with a link to your website.  When someone reads your article and wants to find out more about you, they will click thru the article resource box at the end of your article & will be taken to your website.

Build trust - When you provide value to the reader by sharing information on your expertise through your articles, you gain their confidence in you, your products and services.

Grow your list - Make sure you have a ‘call to action’ in your resource box and a sign up form on your site to capture names and email addresses of those who visit.  Offer a free report or a subscription to a newsletter that visitors can sign up for.

Boost business - When you build your market reach, name recognition and credibility, an increase in business is sure to follow.

Remember, no sales pitches.  The directories are looking for content-rich articles of about 400-750 words.  The only place you can promote yourself is within the resource box.

But what do you write about? Continue reading »

May 04

reading web contentIf you are an article marketer, or you have entertained the possibility of writing articles, then keep reading…

In this article, I define the Six Essential Elements of writing articles that generates traffic and produces sales for your website…

It will all begin to make sense to you when you step into the shoes of your readers… Because once you understand how your readers read your articles, it becomes rather obvious what your articles need to include in order for you to generate interest in your article, and successfully deliver visitors to your website…

Once you understand the “how and why” of writing great articles, you will have the knowledge necessary to help you join the ranks of the article marketing superstars… But if you miss the point of this article, you are instead likely to join the ranks of the people who whine about how Article Marketing a scam…

There Are Six Essential Elements of Successful Article Marketing:

1. Title - Many people suggest that you should put your top keywords at the front of your article title, but I don’t subscribe to that methodology. I do include my target keywords in the title, when I can, but an article that is well-optimized for the search engines is worthless if it does not get published… The #1 goal of your articles’ title is to get the article opened!! You must present a title that is going to get the attention of publishers and readers; you must present a title that is going to compel a person to at least open your article to see if they will want to read it…

2. Opening Paragraph - The title got your article opened, but now you need your reader to read the article… Tell your reader why they should keep reading your article and read it to its conclusion… Any reader who does not reach your website from your article is a “missed opportunity” to sell your stuff… Show people why it will be in their best interest to finish reading your article…

3. The Article Body - The article body must meet the promise of the Article Title and the opening paragraph… The article body must retain the interest of the reader to the last word… The article body should tell a story people want to read, and leave them wanting more… The article body must successfully carry the reader to the articles’ closing paragraph and to your Author’s Resource Box…

4. Your Closing Paragraph - Ideally, when your reader reaches the last paragraph of an article, the reader should be happy to have read the article to its conclusion. This is the first point about your closing paragraph. The second is that the closing paragraph should successfully bridge the reader from the article to the Authors’ Resource Box. After all, the Authors\’ Resource Box is where the writer will get paid for having invested the effort into writing the article. When the reader reads the resource box and takes the action the author asked him or her to take, then the process of writing has the opportunity to offer the writer great rewards.

5. The Authors’ Resource Box - The Authors\’ Resource Box needs to transition the reader from your article to your website, by offering a compelling call-to-action to get the reader to go to your website… Tell who you are, but don’t go overboard… People do not care who you are or what you have done - they only care about what else you can do for them… Jeff Herring wrote a great article that elaborates a bit further on how to construct an effective Resource Box here ( )…

6. Your Landing Page - You should never try to sell your products or services in your Authors’ Resource Box. Instead, you should try to get the reader to your website, where you have an unlimited number of words, videos, pictures and testimonials to tell the real story of your products or services. Few vendors have the ability to sell a product or service in 500 characters, so you should use your Authors’ Resource Box to get the reader to your website, where you will do the real selling…

Tell A Story People Want To Read

Often, the difference between someone who will try to write an article for $5 and the professional writer who understands the value of his or her work can be defined simply… Continue reading »

Apr 18

A few quick updates on the most current goings on as far as the ABC Article Directory is concerned. First and foremost, I would like to state that the site is doing great.  Our traffic numbers are consistently good and articles that are approved are enjoying pretty good exposure.

I am still a little disappointed  that the new improved Disqus commenting script does not work without it totally distorting the screen width in Internet Explorer. It seems to work well in Firefox and Opera but since the majority of people use IE, I am forced to remove the script.  I researched the anomaly in the search engines and found that I am not alone in experiencing the distortion that this universal  javascript code creates.

I deleted approximately 6000 spammy authors this past weekend. They all seem to have come from one location and 99.9% of the articles that were being submitted were terrible. To make matters worse, the same articles were being submitted twice. Made it easier to weed out the bad authors but then again, I am pretty good at weeding out bad authors (lots of practice).

I added 2 new members to my article directory toplist within the past week. I want to welcome  ArticleCompilation Article Directory and to the growing list. There are currently twelve article directories that are being monitored. Article directory owners that want to become members can show potential authors and advertisers exactly what kind of exposure their articles receive regularly. Since there are literally thousands of article directories currently on the Internet, Its good to know that some owners are brave enough to show how good they are actually doing. Its also a good place to get additional referring traffic from the collective group of article directories.

I’ve added the Google/Youtube videos to the article pages again. Anyone that reads the articles can now see related videos on the subject they were researching/browsing. These videos load rather quickly and do not take up too much space. I hope visitors find it useful.

Apr 11

spammers are like robots in George Orwell's 1984There has been an absolute explosion of activity regarding recent new author signups to the ABC Article Directory. Having up to 2000 new authors added on a daily basis is something to be proud of, isn’t it? What article directory owner would be sad to see such a gargantuan interest in their website? Well, I for one, am that owner and I am going to explain why.

It is indeed the primary goal of any website owner to have mass acceptance of their site and receive tons of traffic. It can also be said that the primary goal of any article marketer is to have their articles accepted by high ranking article directories in order to promote their products or services as well as gaining valuable backlinks. However, it is of primary significance that the majority of this mass influx of new authors actually have something of value to add to my article directory.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these new authors are nothing but clueless spam artists. I have to filter through so many useless articles on a daily basis that its making me dizzy. Thank goodness for some of the software I have to filter through this garbage. It at least makes things manageable. I wonder where these people are coming from and what they think they can accomplish. Submitting bad articles can only give them as well as the article directory that approves them, a bad name. I only accept approximately 10-15% of submitted articles.The good thing about all these terribly written or software generated spun articles is that they are easy to spot. The bad part is that sometimes, I miss the odd one and it gets accepted. Oh well, that’s the life of an article directory editor/owner.

There is a bright side to all this from my perspective and that is that some of these articles are so bad that they actually give me a chuckle every now and then. I am going to share a few of my most recent article submission deletions and give you a taste of odiforous literature at its finest. If you wish, you can probably find similar clippings from other article directories that do not filter their members’ article submissions. Continue reading »

Mar 24

quality firstNo matter where you go online, you are bound to find someone complaining about the quality of content available online. When we want to find information that answers our questions for us, the last thing we want to do is to land on a MFA (Made For Adsense) website with questionable content. And yet, many of the people who complain about this state of affairs also contribute to the problem.

Believe it or not, you have the ability to become part of the solution, rather than to continue being part of the problem. Keep reading to learn how…

As the people who create the content that the world consumes, through the World Wide Web, we are in a very unique position. We have the power to change the future of the Internet… We have the power to change the world for the better…

We have the power to turn the Internet into something our children and grandchildren could value…

People who do not market goods and services online wonder why the Internet has become a cesspool or irrelevant and badly written content… They wonder why the information they find online is littered with so much junk and garbage… They wonder why marketers are willing to ruin the Internet in a quest to make a few extra dollars…

Google, more than any other website, understands the battle that they must win… They must devise systems that will conquer and destroy the wealth of junk content online… It is a battle that that Google must win, in order to ensure the longevity of its value in the marketplace…

Over the last year, Bing has been eating into Google’s market share, in its effort to capture more eyeballs and more advertising dollars…

The wizards behind the curtain at Google understand that Google needs to change to survive. They know that Bing is winning market share, because Google’s search results are littered with a vast empire of junk content, masquerading as quality content. Information consumers have begun to take notice the heaps of junk in Google’s search results… And they are starting to notice in large numbers… Continue reading »