Articles – Free and Marketed

Article marketing is one of my favorite forms of traffic generation. Although it builds traffic slowly and sometimes sporadically, I like it because the clicks are generally from people who already like me.

What I mean by ‘already like me’ is that they already identify with my style, and like it enough to click through to my site. This makes this person a far more qualified lead than one that clicks through from just about any ad source out there.

How does article marketing work? Article marketing involves writing articles that pertain to the subject matter of your website, and submitting these articles for publication online.

There are many online directories that publish articles for the purpose of disseminating good information, or even to add web pages to their own site. Whatever their purpose, it doesn’t matter to me. I simply like the fact that they publish my article, market it online, and people have a chance to read my article.

One of the keys to the effectiveness of article writing is to include a link back to your site at the bottom of the article. When the reader has finished reading your article, if they like your style and want to know more about you, they will click through to your site. Now, if you set this process up for maximum list building effect, you will have that link go to a squeeze page that collects their information first, then they will directed to your site after they have submitted their name and email address.

You will write informative articles about your web site topic. One thing here about giving away information. Sometimes you may feel as though you don’t want to give people your best information, especially if you sell information on your web site. However, people will evaluate your for-sale information on the quality of your free information. If you are just giving away useless ‘filler information’, your reader will assume that that is the same quality information they will receive from you when they pay you for it.

If, on the other hand, you offer truly valuable information in your articles or other free content, then your potential customers will be able to effectively evaluate the quality of your material.

What to write about? Write about anything that gives your potential customer information that they can really use. For example, if you have a web site that sells office supply products, then the following are good topics:

How to select a good printer

The five steps to selecting a good pen

How to choose the best accounting software

The best ways to purchase office supplies in bulk

These are all topics that potential office supply customers will be happy to read.

How to write a good article?

Keep your ultimate purpose in mind as you are writing and balance that with providing good information.

Remember, your primary purpose when writing is to compel the readers to click through to your squeeze page, submit their name and email address, and eventually become a purchaser of your product online.

Follow these steps for writing an article:

1) Select a topic. This can be anything related to your line of business. For example, if you sell shoes online, the following topics would be good:

How to find shoes that fit right

Best brands of shoes for durability

Best brands of shoes for comfort

How to choose a shoe company

How to find your perfect shoe

You should be getting the idea here. Simply choose topics that people ask about everyday. Answer people’s questions.

2) Write a title. The title is extremely important. If the title does not strike a reader’s fancy, and compel them to read the article, they will never have a chance to evaluate your through your article, or click through to your site.

Here are several suggestions for article title formats:

How to…..

The (insert number here) ways you can benefit from __________

The top (insert number here) keys to _______________

What do _____________ like (need, love, hate, etc.) the most (least, worst, greatest, etc.)?

What is the best (worst, hardest, lousiest, etc.) way to _______________?

When you first start writing article titles, it will be difficult at first. It may not feel natural. It may feel awkward at first. The easiest way to get better is to write many article titles. You will find that after writing a hundred or so titles, they will begin to flow more easily.

So give it a try. Using the above suggestions for titles, try to write one hundred article titles. Get creative. Experiment with adjectives. Try using many different adjectives in your article titles.

Once you have become comfortable writing titles, and you are going to write the title for your article, type it in quotes into some of the big search engines. You want you proposed title to come back as having no results found. The reason for this is that after you have submitted your articles, you can monitor their propagation on the web by typing in the article name in quotes. Since you started out with no results, unless someone else just happens to write something with exactly the same title, you will have an idea of how may sites have your article.

3) Organize your article. This is important, because you want to have a natural – feeling flow as you go through the article. This will be different each time you write, based on the article content and style.

If you are writing an article about the five aspects of something, then you would naturally have an introductory paragraph, one that simply introduces yourself or your topic. Next, you would have five paragraphs, one for each of the five aspects (or keys, points, ways, methods, whatever). Following this, you will have a concluding paragraph, one that simply sums up the five aspects of your topic, and how they can benefit the reader.

4) Writing your article. It is important that you write in a friendly, easy to read, style. You are not writing a scientific article that has to have perfect grammar and multiple cites (unless of course you quote something). You are writing an informative article that should be extremely easy to read. Grammar is not extremely important, although if it is too out of control, you may turn a reader off. Generally, you should write like you are talking to a friend, telling him the information you are writing about. One note here: your article should typically be between 500 and 700 words long. Many directories will not publish shorter articles than that, and many of the ezines that will utilize your articles will not publish anything much longer than 700 words.

5) Adding your biography. This is one of the most important things you can have in your article, since this is how the reader will click through to your squeeze page, if they want more information.

A biography might look something like this:

Sean Mize is a successful entrepreneur, both in the offline and online arenas. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here: (your URL here)

Now the reader can click through to your site to get more information.

6) Submit your article to multiple article directories. Go online and search the term “article directories” to find current lists of directories. Once you find the list, you can begin signing up with each one. Nearly all the article directories require you to have an author account, so you will have to manually create an account with each directory. Most of them will require a confirmation email, so what I find easiest to do when I am signing up to many new directories at a time is to do it assembly line style. I will fill out their online forms, one at a time. Then, once I have done that, I will check my email and there will be a confirmation email from each one. I will click through each of the links in the confirmation emails. Next, I will go back to each directory and submit my article.

After a few days, I will begin to notice traffic from my articles. The traffic tends to come in spurts, as the biggest traffic you will receive will be after and ezine or online newsletter publishes one of your articles in their publication.

Article marketing is not something you can do just once and see results, typically, and certainly not in any kind of long-term nature. Just like any other form of traffic generation you do, you need to consistently get new visitors to your pages everyday. With article marketing, that means writing an article and sending it out to article directories every day. It is time-consuming, but remember, it produces some of the best-qualified leads, and at a low cost—only your time. If you are just getting started, this is one of the best ways to utilize your time.

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