Article Marketing: What Do I Do First?

Article Marketing: What Do I Do First?

Over a series of articles, I’m going to briefly discuss the components of becoming a successful ePublisher and what you should do first to get on the road towards that success. In today’s article I’m going to talk about one of the easiest facets of ePublishing and that’s article marketing. While I cover a lot of things on article marketing on this site, I think one of the most common questions that beginners will still continue to ask me is “What do I do first?” And I’ve really recently discovered that this is the one question that has stopped a lot of entrepreneurs and marketers from moving forward with their article marketing. They just don’t know where to begin.

So let’s talk about effective article marketing…

The key to making article marketing work for you is to write about things that your readers are interested in and that is useful AND to be consistent about it. If you write about only what you think your readers are interested in, chances are your article marketing will not be effective. If you do write something that your readers love BUT you only write on topics like that when the mood strikes you or one and done — then your article marketing efforts will do little for you.

For some reason, a few bad apples have spread an internet marketing tale, and that tale is that you can retire rich in 30 days when you do whatever it is that they are promoting. That’s simply not true. You will not make a million dollars on the web by not meeting the needs of your target marketing and by not performing some sort of marketing action on a consistent basis. You must.

That’s why I balk when people complain about how many articles they will have to write, the time it will take, etc. The fact of the matter is that generating income takes work. It always has and it always will. Any consistent, targeted effort will provide desired results – and the #1 effort I chose to make on a regular basis is writing articles.

1. Article marketing is easy.

2. Article marketing builds credibility.

3. Article marketing builds links.

4. Articles can be repurposed into many income streams.

5. Article marketing is tested, proven, and works for as long as the article is relevant.

So now that I’ve given you a decent dose of reality soup, I’m sure you’re asking to hear the point of this article – What Do I Do First?

The first thing that any new article marketer should do is make the commitment to write and write consistently. If you are going in this thinking you are going to write 5 articles and then wait for the money to roll in, you are not committed to article marketing.

Next, you should then do the research you need to identify 7 points of interest and/or sources of frustration for your market. What do they need help with? What do they want to learn?

You now have your first seven articles. You first short report. Your first seven video articles. Your first seven podcast episodes. Your first seven feature articles for your ezine.

You are ready to ROCK!

Next Up: Article Blogging: What Do I Do First?

Public Service Announcement: Don’t Write While Sleepy!

Writing While Sleepy

This is a public service announcement to all the digital writers and ePublishers of the world! Do NOT write while sleepy. This is why…

1. You’re writing in an impaired state and so you think everything that you’ve just written sounds good!

2. You will make major typos.

3. You will make grammar mistakes that your 8 year old can identify.

4. You will probably not proofread your article because you are already falling asleep.

5. You may rush the article because you just want to finish it.

6. You will run into the dreaded writer’s block because all you can think about is your bed!

7. If you’re falling asleep at the keyboard, your life is seriously out of balance. Make some changes!

8. Perhaps you are really in a “groove” and you don’t want to stop. I hear you – just don’t press publish. Stop when you’re ready and proof read the next day.

9. Which leads me to my next gem – don’t publish while sleepy.

10. Finally, sleepy writing is typically not your best work. If you are writing for your blog or as a guest blogger, this is a bad move. You want to submit your BEST work to yourself and to sites you are submitting to. First impressions do matter. No one wants to buy or learn from someone who can’t spell or write a decent sentence. Sorry – but it’s the truth.

Off Topic Article Marketing Traffic

What To Do About Your Off-Topic Article Marketing Traffic

There are some entrepreneurs out there who believe that article marketing doesn’t work (at least for them) because there is a chance of receiving off-topic traffic to your site. This is a topic that I’ve meant to write about for a while, it was in my “draft” section for months, but thought it was really important to write about today because of a look I took at my statistics recently.

Okay, So What Is Off-Topic Article Marketing Traffic?

Imagine that you own a cake business. You make custom decorated cakes and you send them all over the country. People love your cakes. I can taste the carrot cake now:) Now while you have built this cake business, you have learned some great things along the way about running a business that you’d like to write about and share.

You signed up for Articology or worked with me privately and so you already know how to write a keyword rich article title. You know how to sprinkle your major keyword term through your article naturally and you know how to write an irresistible resource box. So needless to say, people find your cake business tip articles easily via the major search engines.

You check your stats and notice that your traffic has steadily increased and one of the major traffic sources is the referral traffic coming from the articles that you’ve written on building and marketing your cake business.

The people visiting your site because of the articles you’ve written on the cake “business” are off-topic article marketing traffic sources. They are NOT visiting your site to view cakes, to order cakes, etc. They liked your business tips and wanted to read more –  period.

Now some would argue that this result is a major waste of time, but I strongly disagree and this is why…

1. While not all traffic is created equal, ANY traffic to your website is better than none at all. People interested in reading how to build a cake business may be so curious about your success that they order a few cakes just to test out the competition. Hey – a sale is a sale. By a fan or a competitor. They both pay.

Any traffic visit gives you a fair chance to convert. Some visitors are easier to convert then others – especially when they are “on topic” but I say an opportunity is an opportunity. Take it and make the best of it.

2. I think that including some off-topic articles in your arsenal gives you a depth as a business owner and as a person that your prospects are interested in. Just the fact that you’ve written articles about how you built your cake business, you have now planted the seed in my head that you are a successful entrepreneur with a passion for cake baking. I’m now all that more interested in whatever it is you have to to offer. Hey, your articles may have just catapulted you in a new stream of income “consulting”.

3. The traffic that I get to my website that would be considered somewhat “off topic” are articles that I purposely wrote because I knew I had some great tips to share about the topic. Now I get a lot of traffic from those articles and some would argue that this only increases my site’s bounce rate because people read that article, don’t see anything else on that topic from me, and then move on and leave the site.

I’m not denying that those articles convert differently then say my article marketing 101 articles, but the key to maximize traffic is to either :

A. Add a call to action to a related offer you may have and help explain the connection between the two topics.

B. Suggest more articles that are indirectly related to the topic you’ve written about to keep these visitors reading your content.

C. Or at least monetize the article with Adsense, Chikita, Amazon, Clickbank, etc.

Off topic articles in the directories or on your blog do not have to be the kiss of death. At the end of the day it’s more important that you are writing PASSIONATELY – and if it happens to be about motherhood or your mother-in-law that day, so be it.

Also, let’s not forget that to get better at writing, you must practice. Off topic articles are simply a great vehicle for this.

So tell me, what do you think? What’s your opinion on off-topic articles and article marketing? I’d love to hear ’em in the comment section below.

Resource Box Vs. Bio Box

Resource Box or Bio Box – Is There A Difference?

When you write and publish articles on the web, do you write a resource box or a bio box at the end of your articles? Are you sure that you even know the difference? It’s important that you do because one will convert readers into subscribers, customers, or clients. The other will probably put the reader to sleep! So let’s clear it up right now so that you see better results with your article marketing this year.

Bio Box

Many writers and even article directories refer to the last paragraph of their articles where you can place links to your website, etc. as a bio box. While most use the terms bio and resource box interchangeably (including myself), unfortunately many writers treat their bio boxes as just that – A place to add biographical information about themselves at the end of their articles.

ex. Lisa Angelettie is a published author and mother of 3 from Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. She writes about article marketing, newsletter and ebook publishing from her home office. Visit her at http://LisaAngelettie.com

I could write a little more, but you get the drift. It’s biographical. It’s boring. And only people who were truly interested in me before they even read my article will click the url. Most others will click away.

I think that a lot of people write bio boxes because they’ve seen it done before. If you read major magazine articles, you will often see a short bio blurb at the end of a freelance article. Most of us grew up reading these types of bio blurbs, so they are familiar to us. We think that that is what we should be doing, but the reality is that this “old school” bio box format does not work on the web — especially with article marketing. Instead we all should be using a…

Resource Box

Resource boxes are different. In this paragraph we should make sure to include some sort of additional resources for our readers. The point is to keep the reader interested and to motivate them to take a next step, also known as a call to action.

ex. If you’d like more article marketing tips like this one, grab my all-new article marketing report at: http://LisaAngelettie.com

Again, I could write a little more, which I usually do about why folks should take action, etc. but I just wanted you to see the essential difference. It’s not necessary for me to add biographical information about myself in a resource box, it’s more important that I get the reader to take some sort of action other than clicking away.

You only have a certain amount of space to write a resource box. So it’s important you write with maximum impact. Do not bore the reader. In fact, after just reading one of your info-packed articles, the reader probably wants more tips from you. That’s why it’s best to lead the reader to a page where they can read more, get something free, or opt-in to gain more access to your information.

What If I’ve Already Written Bio Boxes?

If you have bio boxes at the end of articles that are getting views, then you are wasting prime article real estate. You need to update them.

So if you’ve already written a lot of articles and have included a bio box instead of a resource box, most article directories have a place in their interface for you to write a resource box that you can use for all of your articles on that particular directory. So instead of manually adding a new resource box to all your old articles – you should be able to rewrite your resource box and then add it to the end of your old articles.  This is a task you could also outsource to a virtual assistant or intern.

What’s A Good Resource Box Call To Action?

After years of article marketing, it’s been my experience that resource boxes that offer a free resource such as free book chapters, free audio, toolkits, ebook, videos, templates etc. are the ones that convert the best. People love free stuff. Make it a high value item such as a multimedia resource (audio or video) and people will really bite.

Conclusion

Are you willing to share a few of your resource box secrets with the readers here? We’d love to seem them. Share your resource box examples or your resource box tips in the comment section below. One external link allowed this time:) So make it a good one!

When You Hate Your Own Writing

What To Do When You Hate Your Own Writing

1. Stop Judging Yourself.
How do you know your writing is bad? Isn’t much of that relative to who is reading what you wrote? Some will hate it but some will love it. You never know who your writing is going to resonate with – so judging your writing too harshly would be a self-destructive mistake.

2. Practice Writing Anything.
I know you may be in business selling insurance, but if you want to write about how your mother-in-law is driving you crazy – then write it. Just get into the practice of putting your thoughts down on paper. Start writing more crazy family stories and you might find your business writing voice as well. It’s in there you just have to exercise the muscles!

3. Find A Writing Buddy.
I have a writing pal who sends me over her work and vice-versa and we give each other quick and we offer each other suggestions about what may be missing from an article, or just praise when one of us has written something really good. A writing pal will give you added support and encouragement when you desperately need it. It’s kind of like having an exercise buddy. Who wants to go to the gym alone.

4. Try Not To Outsource.
You may be really tempted to outsource your article writing when you hate everything you’ve written, but I’m asking you not to do that at this point. You will never fall in “like” with what you write if you become dependent on another person’s voice.

5. Accept The Average.
Listen, not everyone is going to write a masterpiece. It’s just not in everyone’s DNA to write really engaging articles. And that’s fine. Your an average writer, and that’s okay.

While there are many marketers out there who will scare you into believing that you must have wonderfully distinctive content, blah blah blah, the truth is – is that you just need to be able to hold potential clients/customers attention for a few seconds. Enough for them to click on your call to action link. And you can do that without all the bells and whistles. All you have to do is to make sure that you answer a question, provide a resource, or meet a need.  That’s how most people make money. Not by being the most “clever” writer.

Article Marketing For Beginners

Are you an article marketing beginner? No worries because…
If you received mediocre grades on your papers in school, you can do article marketing. If you have never considered yourself a “writer”, you can do article marketing. If you write a list of things to buy from Walmart or Target, you can do article marketing. If you know how to retell a recipe or how to fix something, you can do article marketing. If you have very limited experience on the web, you can still do article marketing.

Guess what? All the internet marketing pros online who are truly making money at this write articles. They may try to sell you some other fabulous NEW marketing product, software, service, etc., but trust me when I tell you that article marketing is part of their overall marketing strategy for their online business. I know multi-millionaires online who STILL write their own articles. They do not outsource. That’s how important it is to your business. It works. It has always worked, and it will continue to work. Content rules the dancehall!

That’s why I created a article marketing training course specifically and especially for beginners that will teach you ALL the pillars of article marketing but in bite-sized lessons. Ones that you can digest and actually implement on a weekly basis. It’s called Articology and membership has been sure and steady over the past year.

I teach this course in 7 modules over the year, but you will be writing and publishing your first article within the first few lessons. So don’t worry, you don’t have to wait a whole year to get going!  Here is what you’ll learn:

MODULE 1 – The Nuts And Bolts Of Article Marketing

In the very first few lessons you will learn what you need to do in order to get writing and published now.

MODULE 2 – Master Your Writing

You will fine tune your articles, bio box, titles, and learn how to write articles that get you Google love – every time.

MODULE 3 – Publishing Your Articles

You will learn every credible, & valuable place on the web where you SHOULD publish your articles and get results.

MODULE 4 – Article Promotion

Now that you’ve written articles, you need people to read them. Learn how to attract & get in front of new readers.

MODULE 5 – Article Shortcuts

Could also be renamed, Article Secrets! These are the strategies that the pros use to produce more in less time.

MODULE 6 – Article Maintenance

It’s not sexy, but it’s gotta be done! Stop article theft. Avoid top article marketing blunders. Track your articles.

MODULE 7 – Article Profits

The big finish! Learn how to repurpose your articles into profit generating streams of income. Over 11 of them!

Remember that this is the most time-tested, proven, and smart way to boost traffic and build your list – hands down. You won’t get banned for slick marketing tricks and you won’t spend hundreds of your hard earned dollars investing in “how to do it”.  So here’s what I want you to do…

1. Learn more about Articology and see if it’s the kind of training you’ve been looking for since you started online.

2. Read a few of my articles written exclusively for beginners. Leave comments on them if any help shed some light on a question you may have about writing on the web.

Article Marketing Terms

Not so long ago, I noticed that I use a lot of article marketing terms in my articles, and while I do attract intermediate and advance article marketing clients, I get a tremendous amount of article marketing beginners as well. So I thought it would be a good idea to get everyone on the same page, and make sure you know what I’m referring to when I use these terms.

Article Marketing
The online marketing strategy for using articles to promote a product, service, or website.

Article Marketing Directory
Websites where you can submit articles for more exposure, traffic, syndication, republishing, etc.

Search Engines
These are sites that people use to search for internet for information. Examples include: Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

Search Engine Optimizaton (SEO)
This is a technique used for making your content, in this instance our articles, more favorable and appealing to the search engines. This is what will help improve your ranking the search engines.

Search Engine Ranking
This is the position or spot your website or individual articles holds when someone searches for your keyword terms. For example, at the time of this writing when you search for the keywords “article marketing strategies” in Google, my site ranks #1.

Search Terms
These are the words that person types into a search box to find information. This is important to marketers like us, because we want to optimize our articles for the search terms that people typically use to find our content.

Link
A connection from one web page to another. This connection is made by using a url address. For example, http://Articology.com is a link to my article marketing course for beginners. That url address will connect you from this page to that page. Links are important to us because when you write and publish articles, each article you create will have it’s own individual link. A connection created for the reader to find your content.

URL
A url is a web address that you will see or type in the top of your web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) to go to a website. The letters stand for Uniform Resource Locator. When you publish an article, it will have a unique url, such as this one: http://lisaangelettieblog.com/top-21-wordpress-plugins-for-article-marketing/

Backlink
This is an outside or incoming link that is made from an external website to your content. Backlinks are important because search engines like Google base your site’s importance on the number of backlinks to your content. Also, when you publish an article to an article directory or 3rd party blog or website, and you have a link to your site in the resource box,  you are creating a backlink to your site from that directory or website.

Keyword
Keywords help identify what a website (or articles) is about to the search engines. What keywords you choose are quite important because they help Google and the other search engines determine where to place your content in the search engine rankings. For example, if your article is about Christmas Trees, then you should optimize your article (in the title and the body) for the keyword term Christmas Trees.

Long Tail Keywords
These are keyword terms that are typically 4 or more words. These keywords are usually easier to rank for in the search engines because there is less competition for them.

Traffic
This is the number of visitors to your article or website.

Qualified Traffic
This is the term I typically use in my articles to describe traffic that is looking specifically for your content. This is the best kind of traffic because they are visitors that are already interested in your topic, in other words “warm prospects”.

Articology article marketing course

What Is Article Marketing?

What Is Article MarketingToday’s frequently asked article marketing question: What Is Article Marketing?

Q: Hi Lisa. I have a small hair care retail business which I run from home. I have had a beautiful website built for me but have no idea how to tell people that it is there. I mean other than existing clients. My husband is a half decent writer, so a friend told me that perhaps writing articles would be the way to go for us. But can you please explain to me and my husband – what is article marketing? How do we get started and is it the right marketing strategy for our business? Will it cost me anything?

A: What a powerful question! One that I sometimes take for granted when I get online everyday. So here it is. Good article marketing is the strategic and purposeful action of writing information-based articles which include a resource or bio box at the end which promotes something or someone. Typically these articles are made available for publication, distribution, and syndication which leads to a steady stream of traffic and new prospects to your site. It is a zero cost strategy.

All you would need to do to get started is to consider the needs of the consumers of your products. What problems do they need solving? What is their biggest issue with their hair? What kinds of tips would your customers like to learn. If you don’t know for sure – just ask them. Since you have a current client list, it will be easy to simply start by asking them. Then write articles that answer these questions.

This strategy will work for ANY business. That’s because if you have a website or blog online, then you must have content on it for it to ultimately succeed. So since you are writing articles and blog posts anyway, you might as well tweak those articles and submit them to article directories, ezines, and other people’s websites.

*Just as a side note, article marketing will actually work great in your niche. Hair care is a highly searched for topic online.

So what is article marketing? It’s the #1 time-tested and proven marketing technique that costs you nothing but yields real results – traffic. It is an essential part of any good overall online marketing strategy and I look forward to seeing your results.

If you are also new and really want to learn what is article marketing, get simple writing & publishing how-to steps with this article marketing training course for beginners.