First - don't ever, ever, sign up with free emails to your article directories, even from gmail. What this does is get you rejected from a hand-full of ariticle directory sites. You just keep getting "your account is already activated/expired" notices. And then your article submitter hangs, waiting for input. Also, once you "blow out" an email address, your article submitter better be able to handle multiple/various logins and passwords. (My original one - bare bones - only handled one.)
Solution is to get an email account at your ISP and then have everything forwarded to your gmail account (or you can get gmail to pick these up, which it can then delete from your POP3 server - saving you the hassle of having to log in and do just that).
You then answer it from gmail (much faster) and you're away.
The next point is definately, definately get a good article submitter program. No, I'm not done with my review as yet, so I'm not going to name my preferences. Still some more work to go on this - and I have to finish fixing my own faux pas in that first point.
I've got a couple of really good ones I'm testing and they make my old one (a freebie and quite good otherwise) look like it has a lawnmower motor instead of a V-8. I liked my old one because it worked and was 2 or 3 times faster than doing it by hand - but these are probably 10 times faster, with extra features (which I'll tell you about soooon...)
For your info, I got a webhost that has cPanel, which is a very nice control panel. I do my own webmaster work, so it keeps pretty simple over there. You can have it install your ecommerce, blog, wiki, just about anything - all for the same price as having someone else do it for you. But doing it yourself gets you a nice learning curve to everything.
There's an interesting relationship I'm developing between blogs, articles, and Squidoo lenses. All of these are fairly easy to create as versions of one of the others. Blogs and lenses can cross link, especially to an opt-in list - which is where your articles should point to (not to websites, their commonest use).
With an article submitter, you can blog, then extract an article and post it, then build a lens from the same material. That's probably the sequence as well.
You blog from the heart. Then (as I pointed out about finding your natural keywords) you find the keywords you are using and set them in when you post your article (with any needed editing to ensure those keywords are actually used in the article). With title, keywords, and article in tow, you are ready to build a lens. That lens links to your blog and your opt-in ("squeeze") page to collect email addresses - which sales through your autoresponder email series supports your blogging addiction. ;)
You're then getting three sites linking to your opt-in page, plus the blog and lens link to each other (plus other blogs, other lenses, etc.)
The blog and lens get probably more views than your article, but the article gives you the back links you want to your opt-in. The three together boost exposure - especially since all of them are connected to on-site searching as well as global ones.
And all three have RSS feeds, so your fans can keep up with every word you right - in their own preferred format.
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Today is one of my "day job" workdays, so these ideas just 'burble' around and I note them down. Lots of stuff rackets in there as my job is sooo boring. Not just autoreponders, lenses, emails, sales funnels - but also, well can you give me a three-year crop rotation which uses rye as a cover crop for two of those years? Very, very busy in there.
Tonight, I'm checking out my mostly automatic article submitter, tweaking the logins (sigh) and so had some time to give you some upcomign tidbits for this next week - as I'll sit down with my notes and see what I have to do this week.