If you visit any internet marketing forum and see a topic on article marketing, you’re almost guaranteed that there will be a ton of replies.
Sadly, many article writers are doing it wrong as they focus on the task and not the end result…
In general, marketers will write an article with a resource box about their business, submit it to an article directory and move on to the next article.
This is not how you do article marketing.
The majority of marketers are doing it blindly.
They’re writing articles daily, believing they will get results because everyone else says so.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to write an article properly, so that you’ll generate traffic from it and avoid the article marketing mistakes.
Article Marketing – Objective
First, you need to understand the objective of writing articles.
The objective of article marketing is to generate targeted traffic to your website, so that you can make sales. This is achieved by a reader clicking on the link in your resource box.
If that’s not your objective, then you can stop reading this article…now.
The best place to generate traffic with article marketing, is your squeeze page so that you can follow up with your readers to promote your offers and build a relationship with them.
The place to insert a link to your sign up/squeeze page, is in the author’s resource box.
Your end goal, therefore, is to get readers to read your article, click on the link to your squeeze page and sign up to your list.
Before you start writing an article, remind yourself of this goal. It will make a huge difference in how well your article converts the readers to subscribers.
So if you think you’ve written a brilliant article, but it doesn’t get you any visitors/subscribers/sales, then the article is useless.
Hope everyone agrees with me so far.
Here’s an article marketing checklist on how to write that will help you generate targeted traffic to your website.
7 Steps In Using Article Marketing For Traffic
1. Keyword Research First
When you have an idea of what to write about, your next step is to do your keyword research.
You need to choose keywords which are being searched by your market and don’t have too much competition.
For example, if the keyword you’ve chosen gets over a thousand searches every month, but the ten listings on the first page are dominated by authority sites such as Wikipedia, about.com and authority blogs with a high Page Rank, then that’s too competitive for you.
Success with article marketing depends a lot on keyword research.
Beating these sites to rank on page one of the search engine listings will be a very hard task.
So choose keywords where the top ten listings include weak websites. This will give you a good chance to beat them and rank on the first page.
An example of a weak listing, is a website that has low page rank and few backlinks. A great target to use article marketing.
Getting your post found on the search engines’ first page will do wonders for traffic (duh!). So do the best you can by researching the keywords you want to rank for before you begin writing the article.
2. The title
Spend a lot of time when deciding the title for your article.
It should contain your keyword for SEO purposes and also make the visitor want to click on it to read your content.
e.g. The title “The benefits of article marketing in promoting your website” will not be as good as “10 article marketing strategies to drive a ton traffic to your business“.
A title that is boring will not get read.
It doesn’t matter if you’re listed on the first page of Google or at the top of an article directory. If the title is boring and the reader doesn’t think that there’s a benefit to reading the article, then your article is going to fail.
Think about newspaper and magazine headlines. The editor spends a lot of time in coming up with a great title because he or she knows that it’s very important in making readers buy the newspaper or magazine.
How many times have you bought a magazine just based on the title? You just can’t resist not reading what the title promises.
3. Opening With A Blast
Your first paragraph in the article, should create excitement for the reader so that he wants to read more.
It’s like a TV series. The opening first few minutes will make the viewer decide whether he wants to continue watching it or not.
So build excitement, make your readers curious and wanting to read the rest of the article.
When you’re writing the first few sentences, tell the readers what you’re about to tell them and how it can benefit them. This is a proven formula to get your readers looking forward to read the rest of your article.
4. Educate With Your Article
Now that the person is reading your article, you need to give him the feeling that you’re teaching him something useful.
Give some facts and give the reader some instructions to act on.
The majority of people go online for information. They’re searching for a solution to their problem.
If your article can give the reader some sort of a solution, he’ll thank you for it.
If a woman is searching online to find a cure to stop her child coughing at night, and your article recommends some methods that she can try out, she’ll read it carefully and will probably even print it out.
It is very likely that she will want to know who the author is and sign up from the squeeze page if there is a free offer that can further help her child.
However, if your article waffles about coughing in general and doesn’t really help her situation much, she’ll leave from your article and will continue to search elsewhere.
Once your readers find your article useful, they will trust you as an expert and like you.
And of course, when a person trusts and like you, he’s more likely to buy from you.
5. Entertain Your Readers
As well as teaching your readers on how to do stuff, you also need to entertain them during the process.
Educating your readers in the article is not enough. You need to make the learning interesting, funny or exciting.
Entertain your readers so that they will stay interested to know what your article is about. Without entertainment, your readers are less likely to read to the end.
If teachers in schools knew this, students’ grades would vastly improve.
To entertain your readers, write like you’re speaking to them one on one.
Use a lot of paragraphs in your article to break up the content and don’t use long words that not many people understand.
You can also make the article more pleasant to read by putting in bullet points and sub headlines.
Of course, if you’re a funny person, throw in an occasional joke to liven things up.
6. Your Conclusion
When you conclude your article, tell the readers what you have taught and how they can benefit from the information.
What you’re doing is reminding them how you have helped them with your information. This will put you on their good books 🙂
Your objective is to end their reading with a good impression of you.
In the last one or two sentences, tell the readers what their next steps are.
For example, “now that you know why Macs are better than PCs, go to your nearest Apple store to get your Mac now.”
This last sentence is very important because it increases the chances of the person clicking on the link in your resource box.
Let me explain.
7. Your Resource Box.
When you are doing article marketing, never start your resource box explaining who you are and what your company does.
No one gives a toss.
All they care about are themselves. So keep your ego out of the resource box.
Lots of authors love to start their resource box with something like this:
“Alan Cheng is a well respected internet marketing author, who has written many bestsellers such as Article Marketing Strategies and Strategic Blog Traffic. He was educated in the UK and you can check out his website at……”
The first few words of this resource box already has the reader closing the browser window because it signals the end of the article. This is why a lot of resource boxes don’t have many readers clicking on the links inside.
And of course, this is why I keep saying that article marketing does not generate traffic for many marketers.
Since you’ve ended the article by telling the readers what to do next, your resource box should help them take the action.
So going back to our Macintosh example, where the reader is instructed to check out a Mac at the Apple store, your resource box should begin with something like this:
“Download the free report on how to choose the right Mac for a low price at [the URL of your squeeze page]. Alan Cheng is the author of…(blah, blah, blah)”
Do you see how the resource box flows smoothly from the article?
If the person has read the whole article, it is very likely that they will click on the link, go to your squeeze page and sign up for the report.
This is the best way to write a resource box because you’re getting targeted subscribers and you can also insert your self promotional sentences after mentioning the link to your squeeze page.
Your Article Marketing Goal
This is how article marketing should be done. Remember that your aim is to write an article to generate traffic.
Just to recap…focus on keywords that you can rank for, an enticing title, good entertaining content, a recommendation of what the reader’s next logical step is and an irresistible call to action in your resource box.
Note: you can use this article to submit to other article directories, press release sites, as a guest post or on your own blog.
I would recommend putting the article on your own blog so that it can become an authority site in time on the web. Why give article directories your best content and not your blog?
Wouldn’t it be better to have all your top quality content on your own blog so that it can eventually become a huge, authority site?
This is what article marketing is really about. Don’t confuse submitting article to directories as the meaning of article marketing.
Now that you know how to effectively write an article for traffic, I would recommend you to to start a blog if you haven’t already got one.
Use it to showcase your best content so that you can attract targeted traffic, guide them to checkout your products/services and make some serious money.
Installing a blog on your own domain is one of the best things you can do to increase sales.
You can get access to some excellent video tutorials on how to design, monetize and generate traffic to a blog at strategic blog traffic.