Promotional articles are one of the most common problems new authors struggle to understand and avoid. To ensure your article is not promotional, keep the article body primarily informative in nature. The article body is your GIVE to the reader. It should include:
- Non-promotional tips
- Case studies
Do not include information on your company or services, yourself or your colleagues. Focus instead on delivering quality informative content that will show your expertise to the reader, rather than using promotional language to tell them.
Include all promotional content within your article's Resource Box. The Resource Box is your TAKE and is the appropriate space to include promotional information about you, your company, and your services.
Here are some common reasons articles are flagged as promotional and some tips to help you keep the author TAKE in the Resource Box where it belongs:
Author Name in Article Body or Title - Your author name belongs in the Resource Box only. Self-referential material should not be present anywhere else in the article body or title.
E.g. Stating in the article body that "the author of this article, Joan Doe, has published other articles on this topic" is considered promotional.
E.g. The title "Tips to Lose Weight from a Top Fitness Guru" is too promotional if the "top fitness guru" is actually the author.
Company Name in Article Body or Title - Readers are looking for information about the topic in your article title, not for content about your company or services. Keep all references to your company inside the Resource Box. It is also not permissible to talk about "our services" or "we provide." The use of "we" or "our" is considered self-referential and is too promotional for the article title or body.
E.g. "We offer the best pet grooming services like brushing and shampoo," is promotional, whereas "The best pet grooming services include brushing and shampoo" is informative and acceptable.
Using a "Sales Pitch" Tone - If your article sounds like an infomercial, it probably is. Avoid using testimonials and listing exact sale prices as they usually make articles promotional rather than informative. Be sure to remove any 'pitch' or 'hard sell' in your tone prior to submission.
A "Review" of a Product is Entirely Positive and One-Sided - While product reviews are not prohibited, a quality review will talk about both the pros and cons of a product or service. It will give a non-biased opinion and informational content about the product in question. A review that only raves about a product and then links to a place to purchase it is considered too promotional for our platform.
Product reviews are intended to provide the reader with a neutral review of a product that is relevant to your niche. E.g. If you are a softball coach and review products related to softball, you provide benefit to other "bat users" like yourself, and you're building credibility in your niche by reviewing products you've used or have experience with. There is trust in relevancy.
Be careful to avoid reviewing products which appear spammy, you know nothing about, or do not relate to your area of expertise. Major credibility points are lost when you review products simply for SEO purposes. Articles that fall into these categories or facilitate risky or unethical online practices will not be accepted.
All links must have relevant and useful content for the reader. Any direct link to a purchase page for a product being reviewed is considered to be overly promotional.
A "Call to Action" in the Article Body - A Call to Action (CTA) is one of the most powerful tools marketers use. It comes after you've demonstrated to the potential customer (in this case your reader) that you have something of value to offer them. The next step is to give them an invitation to take action on your offer. The typical CTA is a brief, simple statement inviting the potential customer to take advantage of an offer. E.g. "Click Here!" or "Visit your-company-name.com now!"
Placing a CTA inside of your article body not only drives readers away, it also drastically reduces your article's chances of being syndicated. The best way to make sure the reader goes all the way to the bottom of your article is to keep feeding them quality content the entire way, not telling them to skip over half of your article or click away. There should be NO content in the article title or body that qualifies as a call to action. Content that entices readers to "go to my link below" or "check out this Company Name" must be kept inside the Resource Box.
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