Article marketing is a low cost strategy to direct traffic to a website and begin to develop one-way backlinks to its pages. For new online ventures it offers a great way to build traffic to a site and to establish its authority in a particular niche.
Article Marketing is also an excellent strategy to quickly get a new site listed in search engines like Google and Yahoo!
The basic process for article marketing is this:
- Write a series of short 350-700 word articles related to the content of your website
- Add an author’s resource box to each article that contains links back to one or more pages on your website
- Upload the articles to various article directories like www.EZineArticles.com or www.GoArticles.com
- Wait for other publishers to reprint your articles and resource links
- Wait for search engines to index your articles (and the links back to your site) from the article directories and also from the websites that reprint them giving you relevant inbound links and new visitor traffic
- Wait for new visitors to flood your site
The process works. I wrote my first small batch of articles over a year ago and continue to see traffic from them today. I even make a dollar or two every now and then from ads on the pages that the resource links are pointing to. If I had more articles out there, the overall traffic would rise. But those first articles were a test to see if the process worked and were not well written for the task of making me money (or even getting me good search engine ranking.)
Once I proved to myself that the basic system worked, I next had to learn how to write articles that compel people to click on the resource links and how to optimize those links to improve my search engine rankings. The best SEO in the world won’t help if your content isn’t compelling and the most compelling articles are pointless if they don’t improve your business.
Optimizing the links was easy. I just had to include the primary keywords for the page I was directing traffic to in the anchor text in the link. Like this: Energy Efficient Home Construction information. Every article gets unique words based on the page that is being linked to. When multiple articles link to the same page I make subtle alterations to the link on each article so that the search engines don’t always see the exact same text and devalue it as duplicate content.
Making the articles compelling so that readers want to follow the links and come to my site is more challenging. The most effective articles for this marketing method give readers a taste of the topic and lead them to deeper subjects they need to explore to really be satisfied. The resource box should promise them this next level of information and the links will lead them to the new information.
I realize that this explanation might not be clear enough, so I’ll give a quick illustration:
Say you are selling camera equipment for product photography – cameras, lights, display stands, backdrops, etc.
You write an article about how adding a photo to your eBay auctions can radically improve your profits. Your readers will be eBay sellers who want to make more money and your article leads them to realize that good product photos will improve their income.
In the article you make a special point of the importance of professional quality images to set yourself apart from the crowd. You further explain that with a modest investment in the right tools and some basic training anyone can learn to take the kinds of images that will make big money. If you write this well, the reader will now want to know how to take a good product photo and what equipment is needed to get professional results.
In your resource box you promise them free tutorials for taking product photos they can use in their auctions. These links will land them on pages where they will learn techniques and discover the basic tools they need to take good photos (with ads for the gear highlighted in the tutorials, a newsletter sign-up form, and maybe an offer for an e-book guide to taking professional product photos.) The link text might be something like “Learn 5 Simple Steps to Professional Quality Product Photos.”
Another article pointing to the exact same set of tutorials could focus on showing aspiring catalog photographers how to build their portfolios. Still another would entice model building hobbyists into taking professional quality photos of the models they build to show off their skills, etc. You can find dozens of different ways to approach potential audiences for your products.
The article introduces a need and builds the desire for a solution, then the resource box promises to satisfy this new desire.
Model building websites, photography websites, and auction business websites will all begin to reprint your articles and steer their visitors toward your site. The search engines will also start to recognize your site’s pages as authoritative because of the growing number of inbound links. Over time your search engine placement will also improve.
Creating articles that work at this level takes effort. If your main goal is to simply to gain backlinks to improve search engine rankings, this is overkill. But if you are trying to warm up a new customer for a sale, you have to make the effort.
If you would like to see some of the marketing articles I have published visit my EZineArticles profile. (While you are there, please rate my articles – every little bit of promotion helps.) Hopefully you will be able to see the improvement in my articles over the past year.
Now, get out there and start writing.
The Go-To Guy!