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Article marketing is an awesome way to promote your website/business, build backlinks, or sell affiliate products. If you enjoy writing then this will be a piece of cake for you. If writing is your worst enemy, you can always outsource your article marketing . Before I talk about outsourcing, let’s go over some basics of article marketing .
You don’t need any special programs for writing articles. You can use something as basic as WordPad to type your article because most article directories will make use you their formatting when you submit an article (so all you’ll have to do is copy and paste then submit). So don’t worry about going out and getting the latest and greatest word processing software, you don’t need it. You are going to need to check your word count and although I use Microsoft Word for that, there are plenty of websites that will give you a word count for whatever you’re writing. A very simple, free to use one is Word Count Tool.
You need to write about your niche, that is whatever your website/business is about or sells. You could be selling posters of celebrities and write an article about how to change the oil in an aircraft engine with a link back to your website in the article, but your traffic would go to your website looking for more information on aircraft engines. What that means is your traffic would be poorly targeted and although you would probably get more traffic, it more than likely would not result in more sales. So make sure you’re writing about topics that are relevant to your niche. If you can’t stand writing about it, you either need to outsource your article marketing or simply get into a new niche.
Article length can be difficult to decide on. Generally article directories require your article to be a minimum of 250 words. If you think about it, that is a pretty quick read for most people. You won’t get into great details with a 250 word article which could be a good or a bad thing. Some people may follow your link hoping for more information (which you should be generously giving them) or they may think there will be no more information available if that’s all you had to say in your article. At the same time, you don’t want to make your article too long. You’re trying to entice people into visiting your website to get more information on a subject/product and possibly get them to buy your product. With that, I recommend keeping your articles under 1,000 words. I personally like to have my articles right in the 450-700 word range. Give your readers plenty of info but leave them wanting more.
You can add links in your article that point back to your website, but it makes it look more like an advertisement. You want your readers to feel like you’re giving them genuine information and asking nothing in return. Most article directories will allow around 2 “self serving” links in an article. Now don’t misinterpret that, “self serving” actually means 2 links not just links pointing back to your own website. One should go in your resource box (keep reading for info on resource boxes) then the other can go wherever you please, although I generally find there’s no real need for the second link. If you’re writing an article that’s promoting an affiliate product then you can put the affiliate link in your resource box if you don’t have a website set up with the product on one of your pages. Even if you do have a website, I recommend putting the affiliate link in the article. You want to send possible customers to the product as quickly as possible. If they have to keep jumping between pages then you risk losing their interest before they get to the order form.
You’re probably wondering just how many articles you should publish. Hopefully you like writing because your article marketing campaign is going to need a lot of articles. If you’re doing internet marketing full time then 2 articles per day is a good amount. But if you’re like many people and you’re simply doing internet marketing as a hobby or after work in your spare time then 5 articles per week would suffice. If you’re outsourcing your article marketing then you can aim for more if your budget allows it.
As your reader comes to the end of the article they’re going to see 2 things. The first should be the author’s name. You can make up an identity or you can use your real identity. Sometimes using your real identity may turn readers away. If you’re in the pregnancy niche then women probably aren’t going to want to read just “Joe Rutherford” has to say about it. Maybe “Nancy Hutchins” would be more in touch with them. See what I’m getting at? You have to be someone that your readers are going to trust.
Now the second thing your readers are going to see at the end of the article is a resource box. This is where the information came from, which should be a link back to your website. Sometimes just putting your link in there will work but if you want to use the classic “click here” method then you need to listen up. You can’t ask your readers to click the link. If you give them a choice, they’re more likely to hit the back button and see what the next article has to say. You need to tell them what they should do (people want to be guided, especially if they’re looking for help on a topic). Instead of saying “Click here if you’d like more info,” say something like “Click here for more info now.” I know, to you and I that wording probably doesn’t effect us because you now understand it. But to the average person surfing the web for information, it is more powerful.
As I mentioned before, you can outsource your article marketing if writing just isn’t your thing. There are websites like Fiverr where people will write articles for you for $5 each. If you have a child, friend, niece/nephew, or just someone you know that likes to write then you could see about having them write your articles as well and possibly pay a little less than $5 each. Basically you just need to find someone to write your articles for you and make sure they’re writing them well and with good information (don’t let them fake their way through it and include bad information).
Article marketing is also a decent want to build backlinks. Some article directories allow dofollow links so when you add your links to your resource box then you can get a backlink from those. I recommend submitting your article to as many article directories as possible. EzineArticles is the highest rated artilce directory with real humans reading over each article before they’re published. Make sure to submit your articles here first because they won’t publish articles that they find elsewhere. If you like the idea of submitting your articles to huge numbers of article directories with ease, you could use a program like Article Submitter Platinum to submit to over 600 article directories. It’s not required, but it can definitely help you get your name out there and draw in more targeted traffic.