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
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:
This is important to this story, because when I was writing this
article in August, I realized a major problem with my previous
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
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
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.