The reading level for this article is Novice
First, Define your Bulls Eye
If you’re going to write and post articles on the Internet, be unambiguous about what you expect them to accomplish. Don’t start writing just yet. Think beyond the mechanics of writing an article or deciding where to post it.
It’s one thing to spin out an article or two. It’s quite another to incorporate them into a strategy that builds your website traffic, reputation, and business. All your marketing methods should work together—online and off.
Your Strategy Clarifies:
- Who you’re trying to reach
- How to find them
- What you want them to do next (does your website support that aim?)
- Your primary goal and message
- How articles (with particular titles and keywords) mesh with your other marketing
Article marketing is nothing more than a way to get information (not advertising) broadly distributed on the Internet. It can’t compensate for a muddled or dull message. And it won’t build your site traffic unless it connects to readers in an interesting way.
Write Articles that Trumpet a Unique Business Message
A frequent business error is treating each customer-attracting activity as though it stands alone. Yet each method works better when echoing a common message that links to the others.
To quote Roy Williams, the Wizard of Ads http://www.wizardofads.com “It’s hard to tell a powerful story badly. But it’s easy to tell a weak story well. I’ve never seen a business fail because they were “reaching the wrong people.” But I’ve seen thousands fail because they were saying the wrong thing&ldots; It’s amazing how many people become the “right people” when you’re saying the right thing. Believe it or not, it’s advertising third, customer delight second, strategy always first.”
Maximize your Customer-Attracting Methods
Last year I wrote an ebook showing how to make the business website and Yellow Page ad work together to bring new customers. It made the point that each promotional method has its own strengths, and reaches different groups http://www.yellowpagesage.com/smarts.html By them working together, each approach does a more persuasive job.
As an example, the directory ad should display a website address. A recent study found that over 60% of people surveyed only call Yellow Page ads that show a website (even if they don’t intend to visit it). Besides, the website lets the business provide information that won’t fit within the dimensions of an ad.
A single approach can’t cover all your bases. The same applies to article marketing.
Article Marketing Strengths
- Ability to deliver an interesting “sample” of your expertise
- Long enough to be informative (600-800 words)
- Reaches and speaks to tightly focused interest groups
- Quickly delivers the message throughout the Internet
- Long shelf life—some websites keep articles posted for years
- Builds on the keywords that your website uses
- Incoming-links from websites that post your articles
Plan More than One Article at a Time
You can’t develop much momentum with one article. That’s like shooting a gun with a single bullet, or a PPC (pay-per- click) campaign for just one term. The odds of hitting your mark aren’t too good. Several articles written to reinforce each other generate more mileage. As you get more articles out there, people start paying attention, and you can target more keywords. Repeated publications develop a personality that readers recognize.
Plan a number of titles in advance, with a theme building from one to the next. Keep each one tightly focused, but related to the others. In that way, you develop the in-depth “voice” of an expert. And your information won’t lapse into ho-hum generalities. Write first-rate articles when you rely on the extensive free resources http://www.promotewitharticles.com at Article Marketing Academy.
Try writing some in a series (like, Part 1 of 3 parts) to build anticipation for future segments. Also, your message won’t be confined to the 600 to 800 word article limit. Since each article in the series resides on your website, readers needn’t wait can to read them all (giving them an incentive to visit your site). Later, the whole series can be offered as a special report or ebook (once related material is added).
Write with your keywords in mind. Maintain your primary message, with a different twist for parallel niches. Go to the extra effort to say something new. That’s easy when you provide stories, examples, case studies from your own experience. As you dish out practical assistance in your articles, readers will be eagerly watching for your next ones.
© Lynella Grant, 2005