Writing Content to Generate Search Engine Traffic

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Website Promotion
Publishing articles on your website is a great way to generate AdSense income and get search engine traffic. As we know, "Content is king".

Writing content for the major article directories and including a few lines of signature or "about the author" at the end of the article with a link back to your website is one of the best ways of generating FREE traffic. If the article is well written and about a strong niche topic, the article will get picked up by many websites for their own sites, which can provide you with a wonderful set of viral links to your site. The more frequently your article gets picked up, the more opportunity there is for another webmaster to see it and pick it up, too.

However, you have a problem if your article is filled with spelling and grammar errors. Webmasters don't want ERRORS on their websites, tarnishing THEIR images, so they don't pick up your error filled article.

There is good news, though. Only a few types of errors account for almost all the mistakes article writers commonly make. You only have to master a few simple concepts to stay out of trouble.

One of the most common errors showing up in article directories is the hated "run-on sentence".

Read on.

Run-on Sentence

A Run-on Sentence error occurs when two independent clauses are run together without punctuation or are joined with a comma when a period, semi-colon, or the use of "and" is required.

Incorrect: "Content is king it's the heart of a website."
Incorrect: "Content is king, it's the heart of a website."
Correct: "Content is king. It's the heart of a website."
Correct: "Content is king; it's the heart of a website."
Correct: "Content is king, and it's the heart of a website."

OK. What the heck is an "independent clause"?

An independent clause is a complete sentence when taken by itself. It has a subject and a verb AND EXPRESSES A COMPLETE THOUGHT. "Content is king" works as a sentence, with no additional words. "It's the heart of a website" also works as a sentence. They are independent clauses, each able to stand on its own.

It's an error to run them together. You must make some grammatical acknowledgement of their independence. The easiest way to show their independence and fix the error is simply to put a period after the first one, making each one explicitly a separate sentence. Don't forget to capitalize the first word of the second independent clause, which you've now made an independent sentence.

OK. That's how to FIX it. How did you get yourself into the mess in the first place? Wouldn't it be better to keep OUT of trouble to begin with?

Most people get into "run-on" error trouble when the two independent clauses are closely related, with the second one adding to or expanding upon a thought contained in the first. The other common characteristic of a run-on trap is the use of a pronoun to start the second clause.

You probably would NOT write "Content is king content is the heart of a website" without punctuation or the word "and" in between them.

When you are writing, notice when you use "it" or "it's" to refer back to some subject you just wrote about. You are probably in danger. Try the sentence using the actual word referred to by "it" instead, and see how you'd punctuate it. Try it without the contraction, saying "it is" or "content is" instead of "it's". Don't let yourself forget "it's" contains BOTH a subject AND a verb. Watch out for other pronouns such as "they", "they're", etc.

Run-on sentences are only one of about 10 common errors article writers make. Spend a little time with each one of them and you'll soon rid yourself of them all. Just do a Google search on "common grammar errors" and you'll see lots of sites with great tutorials.