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Bill Platt of the Phantom Writers, invites you to reprint this article in your publication, ezine, or on your website.

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    Beware of Accidental Promotions
    Copyright © 2006, Bill Platt

    As an article writer, I am always on the search for additional 
    information to give my readers, and I often refer my readers to 
    external websites for extra information. 
    
    There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, many publishers 
    prefer that you do. They like the fact that the many resources
    presented can teach a lot of information to their readers.
    
    
    ARTICLES SHOULD AVOID THE APPEARANCE OF SELF-PROMOTION
    
    The trick in this methodology is to avoid the appearance of 
    self-promotion. 
    
    For example, I could say that I like buying printer toner from 
    http://www.tonerr.com . I could say that I like shopping with 
    Toner-R because they provide me access to all of the brands of 
    printers that I have in my office, and they have good prices.
    
    If the link that I provide is pertinent to the information I am 
    presenting in the article, then my recommendation is generally 
    viewed as acceptable content within the body of my article.
    
    Another example I might show you is one of my favorite ezine 
    publishers. The thing that makes the Your Membership Newsletter 
    - http://www.yourmembership.net - stand apart in my own mind is 
    that they provide a combination of informative articles AND 
    people-helping-people features. The people-helping-people 
    features include Website Reviews by other subscribers, and 
    Questions submitted by subscribers followed by Answers submitted 
    by other subscribers a few weeks later. It is a nice combination.
    
    I don't own either of these websites, so the recommendation is 
    within the scope of acceptable content for most publishers and 
    webmasters, who might choose to use my articles. 
    
    
    THE GENERIC DOMAIN QUESTION
    
    There are times when we write articles that seek to teach others 
    about the website design and construction for the purposes of 
    ease-of-navigation or search engine optimization. 
    
    In August of 2005, I had done this myself. My point in that 
    article was to show how the constuction of imbedded anchor text 
    could dramatically affect how well your website performed in the 
    search engines. If you are interested, you can read that article 
    in one of my other favorite ezines, Site Pro News: 
    http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2005/aug/31.html
    
    This is important to this story, because when I was writing this 
    article in August, I realized a major problem with my previous 
    articles.
    
    In order to write the article that was published in Site Pro 
    News, I needed to show links to a Sample Domain URL in order 
    to teach people how to construct their links.
    
    
    THE SCARY PART
    
    I set off to use my old stand-by, YourDomain.com.
    
    Then I was struck with a thought...
    
    Is that domain registered to someone else? And if so, who 
    owns it? So, I looked it up. On that domain, you will find 
    a Pay-Per-Click Directory.
    
    I realized that I did not necessarily want to promote someone 
    else's website, if I did not believe that what they were offering 
    was of good value to my readers.
    
    After all, in the course of my article, I was using the domain 
    URL in such a way that it might end up a live hyperlink on some 
    websites. 
    
    I would be giving the owner of the website free advertising, free 
    link popularity, and free PageRank. 
    
    So, I looked up my next old stand-by, SampleWebsite.com. This 
    domain is owned by a Domain Name Speculator and Broker. Most of 
    these brokers are waiting for poor, ignorant souls like me to 
    come along and build the links for their site, and then they will 
    turn-around and sell the domain for big bucks, because the domain 
    will have tons of inbound links already built. 
    
    
    THERE HAD TO BE A BETTER OPTION
    
    In August, I was in a hurry to get my article finished and into 
    circulation. So, I just hooked my article up to Blogger.com. 
    
    Blogger.com being owned by Google is awash in cash. They really 
    don't need my free advertising. Next time, I would need to find 
    something else to use as a Sample Domain URL. 
    
    I wondered if there was a way to get a domain that would be 
    treated as "community property" that people could use in their 
    articles. I also wondered if there was some way that this 
    "community property" website could benefit the people who used 
    it as a sample domain url, without being perceived as direct 
    self-promotion.
    
    The light bulb went on.
    
    The only way that I could assure a domain would be given to 
    "community property" status is if I bought the domain and made 
    a commitment to myself to that end.
    
    I found a couple of generic domain names that were fixing to 
    expire. When they came open, I snapped them up.
    
    It is a real simple website. And, it is Free to use by anyone.
    
    If you need to use a Sample Domain URL in your article, then use 
    Your Domain URL.com or Sample Domain URL.com. 
    
    Once your article is published on a website, go to the site and 
    submit your personal information as well as the URL where the 
    live link exists in one of your articles.
    
    On verification of the live hyperlink, then your personal domain 
    will be available in the website's Random Page Generator. Any 
    visitor to the website can choose the random links they want to 
    look at, by "one" or "all" of 24 topics / categories.
    
    Although I might own the domain names, the only advertising on 
    the website is a Paypal banner. Like I had mentioned before, 
    participation is open to anyone who wants to use this "free 
    community resource", so long as there is a live link back to the 
    site from somewhere else. The only limitation that applies to 
    this program is that each submission must use an unique Proof 
    URL that links back to one of the two Sample Domain URL sites. 
    



    Writer's Resource Box:
    Bill Platt is the owner of http://thePhantomWriters.com 
    Article Distribution Service. He has been providing a 
    number of free resources to the writer's community 
    since 2001. Check out the Text-to-Hyperlink Converter 
    at: http://thephantomwriters.com/link-builder.pl




    More Articles Written by Bill Platt

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