What's In An Article?
There's heaps of profit potential in an article, simple as that! Article writing has become an increasingly popular method of promotion with affiliate marketers. Good articles can be picked up by web masters, blogs and ezines and published all over the web.
Articles give your website backlinks that can last forever and help increase your site's ranking. The beauty of articles is that you can get free quality links you otherwise wouldn't get and you also become known as an expert in your field.You become trusted and people are likely to visit your site and purchase your products.
For those starting out in article writing the cost effectiveness and the possibility of quality links make it especially appealing. Compare this with most other forms of advertising such as pay per click, ezine advertising, search engine optimization which can be expensive and /or requires expertise.
Article writing may seem a daunting prospect; actually it's not difficult. If you think about it, there must be some aspect of affiliate marketing you could write about, even if it's titled "How I Survived Day One in Marketing " I find the best articles stem from your own experience. Once you get into affiliate marketing the hot topics will become apparent, you can pick a topic that appeals, research it, write it and publish it. Bingo! You're an author.
The way to tackle your article would be to outline a structure: Firstly decide your topic, take for example this piece on "how to write an article." I've got my topic, good, everything will flow from that. Next would come an introduction as I've done above.Then list several points to be developed; as I'm doing now, for instance how to outline an article, where to get subject matter as I've done below; then I would suggest how to submit an article and where to submit the article.I would then round the whole thing off with a nice conclusion.
Once you have the outline for your article it's easy to stay focused and methodical.My average article length is about 500-600 words however any length from 400 to 1200 words is generally acceptable.Use this as a guide only for sometimes the words flow, sometimes they don't. A good article is a good article.
If you are newbie there's probably only so many topics you may feel competent in writing about.To pursue new topics for articles try going to Google Groups,perhaps Idea Marketers or Ezine Articles, blogs, newsletters and forums to see what questions people are asking and the answers being offered.Find a topic that interests you,and is related to your website,do your research then outline and develop your article as I suggested above.All the information needed is out there waiting for you to shape into your very own article.
Another way of obtaining articles is by paying someone to write an article for you.For a few dollars someone will ghost write an original article for you on any subject ready to publish with keywords sprinkled throughout, you just add your bi-line. I've tried using pay by the month article suppliers but I prefer to run with my own ideas and research.That's a personal choice and not a criticism.
Your title should be eye catching and in a format that is appealing to potential publishers so that it's an easy decision for them to pick up on your article.
To help attract web masters and ezine publishers your article should have your keyword phrase in your title and scattered throughout your article; don't overdo it and end up watering down the quality of your article.Between 3% to 5% is good although not always achievable.
Some publishers want submissions formatted as a text document with 60-65 characters per line although this is not a hard and fast rule. What I do is weed out difficult submissions so that I basically need only two copies of my article in wordpad,one of them formatted, and I'm off and running.
Don't oversell yourself in the body of the article,many publishers do not allow live links in the body of the article and if they do it's limited to the enhancement of the article.Remember people are supposed to be reading something of interest not a self promotional speel.Most of the quality directories review articles before publication to ensure their clients are offered something of value.
Keep paragraphs short and sharp and to the point although I tend to wander a bit; I put this down to a natural narrative style. I'm told this turns surfers off, lucky for them I never include a photo!
Most directories require a summary of about 2 to 3 sentences.This, together with your title is often what readers see first,so it's important both title and summary make compelling reading.
The very very very important part of the article is the resource or bio box which goes either directly under the body of your article or in a special box provided by the directory you're submitting to. Here you place a brief description of yourself,your website and clickable links.This is where the traffic comes from when you place a backlink to your web site or sales page.Readers who enjoyed your article can find out more by clicking on the link you choose to offer them. You get the money here!
Now that our article is completed it's time for submission.
There are 100's and 100's of article directories to submit your article. The same goes for ezines.I only submit to article directories and let the ezines pick up their content from the directories (hopefully me)There are various article submission software options available at various price levels depending on each applications' sophistication.Their set up can be time consuming but once completed makes submission to hundreds of sites very fast.
Having said that I prefer to submit articles manually which I know I just said is a time consuming job nevertheless,I have found that some directories ban automated submissions,the criteria for submission does vary,some have security codes to be completed,some don't accept html either in the article body or bio box, others simply have funny little rules. I submit to about 40 directories' most with a Google page rank of 3 or better with easy submission criteria.I set up my articles in wordpad formatted at 65 characters per line with a suitable bio box and 2-3 line summary of my article. Some require keywords so I have a list at the ready.I then just copy and paste as required for each directory with minimal adjustment required.
To help my submission process I have a list of directories I submit to and I make a note of any special requirements or criteria that any directory on my list may have.Forearmed is forewarned. Most good directories have clear submission guidelines. Always read these guidelines on your first submission and make your own notes. It would be a waste of time making submissions that are rejected because of some minor adjustment you didn't know about or forgot.
Generally you will be required to select a category or categories you want your article listed under. This is a straightforward process.
Some directories eg Buzzle.com require a personal history and sample article prior to acceptance which can take several weeks. It takes some effort to such join sites but they do instill a sense of purpose and professionalism which I like.
I hope the foregoing will encourage those of you who are new to internet marketing and haven't attempted article writing to give it a try.It's a cost free method of advertising that actually gets results over time and creates a real feeling of satisfaction to see your article published.
Best of luck and pump out those words.