By: Susan Dunn, Internet Marketing Coach and Cons
Writing articles for the Internet is one of the most effective marketing tools available. Writing and submitting articles to article banks accomplishes many important things for you:1.It drives qualified leads to your website.People who arrive at your website via a link in the byline (or signature line, or resource box) of your article are what is called “pre-qualified.” It isn’t random. They are already interested in you and what you have to offer. This is advertising “gold”.
2.It establishes you as an expert.
The written word still has clout. When people read articles by you repeatedly on the Internet, they come to know you as the expert you are in your field.
3.It defines a niche for you.
Articles associate you with a certain subject matter. You can’t be everything to everybody. You need a niche. (Important point: You may in actuality do many things, as I do, but to market, you need a niche.)
4.It’s repeat and endless advertising.
My articles show up in the most amazing places. Recently I walked into a real estate office and there was one of my articles in their regional magazine. Articles in article banks and on websites stay around indefinitely. Someone has just written me they’ll be using three articles I wrote about spring activities for families over 3 years ago. You write the article once and the reach – in space and time – are unbelievable. They have a shelf life longer than Strontium 90, if that means anything to you. Lazy advertising, yes?
5.It increases your link popularity.
Each of those bylines contains a link to your website, and each time your article is used on another website, you’ve appeared there. Among the complicated methods search engines use for placement, link popularity is the most comprehensible.
Furthermore, people will start writing you asking to exchange links.
IMPORTANT TIP: Be sure and demand that if they use your article, links be “activated on the Internet.” Otherwise, you don’t register with the search engines.
6.Increases search engine placement.
I have made it to #3 under “personal coach” on google, an extremely difficult feat, eclipsing people who’ve been there much longer. It’s hard to bump long-standing people. I’ve done this without spending a dime. Let me show you how to do it with Internet articles and a few tricks of the trade.
7.It increases your knowledge and your ability to communicate about your specialty.
Especially if you offer a service, and are professional and serious about it, as I am, writing articles makes you grow professionally. It is entirely true that you don’t really know something until you teach it, and that’s what you’re doing.
If you’re serious about your work, writing about it keeps you on the leading edge. You have to keep researching new topics and learning more, and then developing new ways to communicate about it. This is good for you! OK?
WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT
So, within your given field, or consistent with your products, what do you write about?
I recently reviewed the hundreds of articles I have on one article-bank site which tells you how many “visits” each article has gotten.
And BTW, you MUST do this kind of “market research.” Don’t just write, click and send; analyze! http://www.ideamarketers.com tells you how many people have visited each article. Take the time to go over this data every several months. Then the formula is simple: win-stay, lose-shift.
If many people have visited the article, write more like it, and vice versa.
Now here’s the tricky part. The single most popular article I’ve written is – are you ready for this? – “Emotional Intelligence and the Gentle Art of Conversation.” (http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/article.cfm?articleid=18584&wherefrom=LOGIN )
What do you make of this? That question – “What do you make of this?” must always be your TOOL in marketing. Is it the title that’s appealing? Of course, Emotional Intelligence is a very hot topic, but I’ve written hundreds with that in the title. It must be the other part – the gentle art of conversation. Who knew?
In fact I was asked to be on a radio show, and was also interviewed for a national newspaper as a result of this article.
I’m sorry to say I’m not the genius who knew ahead of time that “conversation” would be a hot topic. I hadn’t a clue. I was just anticipating the holidays and wondering what people might be thinking about. I know family get-togethers can be trying … and a bit of formal conversation can make the occasion more pleasant and less likely to degenerate into turf wars and old-wound licking.
When the newspaper reporter called me to interview me about “dinner table conversation,” I was truly amazed at the questions she asked. I grew up being schooled in the gentle art of conversation. Evidently it’s one of those things that got lost along the way. Through her questions, I formed ideas for many more articles.
TAKE HOME POINT: Figure out what’s popular and why, and do more of it.
FURTHER TRICKY POINT: This website tells you which articles were VISITED, not necessarily used. Take this into account. For instance, catchy titles will definitely get someone to look.
My second and third most popular articles are “An Emotionally Intelligent Workplace Culture: Is It for You?” and “What’s Going on with Mobbing, Bullying and Work Harassment Internationally.” Since I write many articles for individuals, and social and relational applications of emotional intelligence, this is valuable information for me. The workplace may be a better focus for my work. And the Internet is becoming a smaller world. I do international work. I’m glad it’s becoming popular.
The fourth most popular article is also amazing. Never – NEVER – underestimate the public. While we are told that people on the Internet are idiots with short attention spans who want their articles written at the 8th grade level, my fourth most popular article is entitled, “Special Report: What Do IQ Tests and the SAT Measure, and Where Does EQ Fit In?” That’s not pabulum!
Tricky part about marketing, part II: Could it be the use of “special report” that got them to access this article? It sure could be. It’s the latest buzz word in business, along with “white paper”, so why not use it? I did, and either it alone, or an intriguing topic that raised the bar, or both, made this article a winner.
Coming in at number 5, “The Top 10 ‘Hurtin’ ‘ Breakup Songs.” Love and heartache. The dynamic duo that never fails. If there’s anything that’s part of the human condition, it’s that. This placed far above the other two in the series – the getting-over-it love songs, and the “I’m so in love” love songs.”
Yes, “love” will always place high on our readers’ lists. Number 6 is “10 Emotionally Intelligent Questions to Ask Before You Marry.”
This one, BTW, has been popular in other countries besides the US, and was featured in a magazine in India. The editor told me it would sell because his readers were interested in avoiding the marriage of convenience, or arranged marriage, and wanted to make their own romantic and reasoned choice of a partner.
If you can write about relationships, dating, and romance, you should do well. Nearly half the adults in the US are now single, and they’re looking. The success of such sites as eharmony.com should give you a clue.
Number 9 on my list is also romantic: “Some Tips About the Wedding Toast.”
Topical articles are a good idea. Editors will be looking for articles around Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Super Bowl, etc. I did something on guys grilling for Super Bowl that got placed on the splash page of a site that brought my services to the attention of a whole new crowd, and that’s what you want: exposure!
And what’s the #1 holiday? Christmas? Nope, guess again. My articles around Valentine’s Day were accessed far more often. It’s the love thing again, I guess. At any rate, if you can work Valentine’s Day into your products and services, do it, and write those articles.
1.Suggested length: 900 – 1200 appears to sell best but there’s also a market for short, pithy “fillers” of say, around 300 words.
2.Use an article-submission service ( http://www.webstrategies.cc ) .
The most labor-intensive part is submitting the articles.
3.Use an article-writing service –
Commission them to write articles for you, and about you. As I say in my ebook, “How to Write Articles for the Internet,” ( http://www.webstrategies.cc/wsearticle.html ) this amounts to 3rd-party endorsement which is highly effective.
Placing among my top ten most popular articles is one I was commissioned to write entitled, “An Interview with an Expert on Introversion.” This article has brought the IntrovertzCoach lots of business!
4.Commission the article written by a writer with a reputation on the Internet.
Their name will carry the article and get it noticed, whereas yours might not. For instance, I am rated “A+” on http://www.ideamarketers.com, so article-searchers know to look for my stuff. They know they’ll find quality, and their time is short.
5.Don’t be afraid to raise the bar.
Sometimes a marketing client will tell me “the stuff on the Internet isn’t very good.” Yes, in some cases that’s true, but that doesn’t mean your “stuff” can’t be “good.” I repeat: Never underestimate the public. Placing among my top 20 is “Corporate Ethics, Your Ethics, Intentionality & Emotional Intelligence.” You almost need a dictionary to get through the title, and it isn’t any easier once you get to the article. And it’s about ETHICS!!
We folks here on the Internet are good, smart, ready and willing to learn. Give us some substance!
About the Author©Susan Dunn, MA, Internet Marketing Coach and Consultant, http://www.webstrategies.cc . Our job is to make your business succeed. One-hour consultation, article writing and submission service; web design; web strategies; market research; marketing plans and implementation; ebook editing and Internet launch. Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for free ezine; put “Checklist” for subject line.