The Misunderstood Marketing Method
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do you hide a tree? Put it in a forest.
This is what many authors have effectively done when
they suggest that you should use articles to promote
your website. The technique that these authors suggest
can be summarized as follows: write something you
know about, add your resource box, submit your article
to tens of thousands of free reprint directories and
distribution groups, and wait for publishers to pick
up your article.
But this is entirely the wrong method.
If you were to follow the advice of these authors
you may see some traffic, receive a few inbound links,
and gain some publicity for your website, but how
does this make writing articles different from any
other basic promotion technique? Rather than writing
an article to bring in this traffic, why not just
participate in forums, submit to niche directories,
or pay for quality traffic? Articles can do so
Why The Current Thought is Bad
Ask yourself this question: what are publishers looking
for? If you said content, you are wrong. Publishers
(or at least publications worth reading) are not looking
for just content – they are looking for original
content. They do not want an article that is going
to show up on 500 other websites, including free reprint
directories. They want an article that people will
link to, that only they offer. It is their unique
content that will allow them to separate themselves
from their competition.
But don't publishers use free reprint articles? Some
do, many do not. Those that do tend to be extremely
selective with free reprint articles, often using
them more as filler content rather than featured material
which is aimed at getting high readership. The fact
is, most worthwhile publications that use free reprint
articles are either moving away from these articles,
or have eliminated them altogether.
So what does that mean for that article you wrote
and submitted to 50,000 publishers (as promised by
the article submission tool that you used)? It means
that it did just that – it was submitted
to 50,000 publishers. You do not know who it
was submitted to, whether they are a respected website,
whether they actually have any reasonable amount of
traffic, or even if they will publish your article
without your permission. You have no control over
what happens to your article.
An Example of What Can Happen
What is so unfortunate about what article promotion
has been reduced to is that many website owners do
not realize just how much traffic they could receive
from just one article. A single, well-written, well-thought
out article, has the ability to drive literally hundreds
of thousands of visitors within a very short amount
Surprising Truth About Ugly
Websites, an article recently published
on Site-Reference.com, single-handedly brought in
over 200,000 unique visitors – in less
than 24 hours. Initially it was featured on
Slashdot, and subsequently it was featured in hundreds
of blogs and forums, and thousands of new websites
added a link to the article.
Well-written articles that are properly promoted have
the ability to bring fresh traffic, many times in
Writing Articles That Actually Succeed
The idea of submitting an article to as many publishers
as possible is obviously contrary to what a publisher
is looking for. At the same time, though, it is also
contrary to what you should be looking for. The secret
to writing successful articles starts with a simple
concept: you want to control who publishes
your article, and you want to help promote that article.
If an editor chooses to publish an article and sees
that it was well-received (and brought in a lot of
new traffic), they will be more inclined to publish
future articles from you.
So instead of signing up for the latest article distribution
program that promises to blast your article to a gazillion
publishers that you may not even want publishing your
article, choose one or two initial publications that
you would like to be featured in, then work on developing
a relationship with them.
Starting that relationship can often be the most difficult
part. Often times, though, simply sending an email
to the editor informing them that you would like to
write an article exclusively for them on “___fill
in the blank___” subject is enough to get their
attention. If you happen to send them an email, they
may give you some guidelines on what they look for
in an article. Or, they may tell you that they simply
would not be interested in an article on that particular
topic (if that were to happen, you could ask what
they would be interested in).
Spend time writing your article – do not expect
to finish it in one day, and certainly do not expect
to finish it in a few hours. A quality article takes
time to write, takes thought to organize, and may
require research on your part as well. Remember that
publishers are looking for unique, well-written, well
thought out, and insightful articles. Ultimately,
publishers are looking for the same content that their
readers are looking for – your job is to simply
create that content.
Promote Your Articles
Articles that are published on well-respected websites
tend to be viral in nature. Once you get your article
published (and you may be surprised at how easy it
is to get your article published), you will find that
your article will show up in various forums, blogs,
and other websites. This is good – in fact,
this is very good and is the very goal that you should
be aiming for. You want to encourage this viral behavior,
help it grow, and even give it a shot in the arm when
To find whether your article is being discussed elsewhere
on the web, you can do a search in Google for your
article title in quotes (as shown below):
you see that your article is being discussed in forums,
join the forum and join the discussion. Having your
input will encourage more conversation, which will
in turn encourage more people to participate in the
conversation. Take advantage of the buzz and use it
to create more buzz. For example, if you find that
a blog owner read your article, disagreed with it,
and took the time to create a post disagreeing with
your article, send them an email asking if you can
respond through their blog.
Find websites that feature important stories. The
technology field has websites such as Slashdot and
Digg – find out if your industry has any equivalent
websites that feature important or interesting stories
and submit the location of the published article to
Ultimately, you should promote your articles as if
they were your actual website. Not only will this
draw attention to the article (which is a showcase
of your website's credibility), but it will also demonstrate
to the editor that your articles are worth publishing
and make it easier for you to be published in the
Ultimately It Is An Ad
An article is ultimately an advertisement for your
business, even though you may not mention your business
anywhere in your article (actually, as a general rule
you should not). The article demonstrates your knowledge,
draws attention to your business, and creates valuable
exposure to your website.
A properly written, distributed, and promoted article
can be far more effective than any other form of marketing,
and far more cost effective.
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