Perhaps you’ve heard of the concept of article marketing, but have never really understood what that means or how it can be a critical factor in the online visibility of your business. Article marketing is a strategy that leverages the power of the Internet and combines it with consumer’s insatiable need for information. Distributing articles around the Internet allows solopreneurs to share their expertise, knowledge and experience by writing about relevant subjects and making the content freely available for others to read and use.
Your first question is probably “how does it work and why should I do it”? First, you’ll want to write an article on a subject that you have expertise in. (If you need help learning how to write articles, check out my friend Vrinda Normand’s program, E-zine Articles Made Easy. She breaks it down for you step-by-step. Don’t we always love that!) Next, after you’ve written your article, you’ll want to submit the content to any number of RELEVANT article directories online, which will allow others to ‘reprint’ your article at no cost. (You’ll want to do some research on which article directories best suit your topic and attract your target market). The benefit to you is that each of your articles will include a short bio (or resource box) where you can include a link to your website, blog or Facebook Fan Page. You’ll want to select the links use in this section strategically and make sure you include one that is relevant to the article. (It goes without saying that the link you provide should offer the reader the opportunity to “opt-in” for a sample of your expertise like an audio file or special report).
The fact that these links will drive traffic to your website is a fabulous (and FREE marketing strategy), but it’s not the traffic from the article directory site that is the real benefit. If you have written a high quality article, it’s likely that the article will be picked up on a number of websites, likely all relating to the same subject matter. You will get additional traffic from these websites as well. So that one link you included in your article has now turned into several links without any additional work on your part. That is the true benefit!
Sharing your expertise online via article marketing will have a positive impact on your search engine rankings. Not to get too technical, but it is a well-known fact that that the more backlinks (links from other websites) you have to your own web pages, the greater the perceived importance of your website, in general terms. The more your article is picked up by others, the more backlinks you’ll have to your site and the more often your content will show up in consumer search results.
Don’t make the mistake of distributing less than stellar content and expecting mind-boggling results. Your articles should ALWAYS the same level of quality as if someone was purchasing this information from you. If it’s not, you are telling prospective clients that you are not committed to delivering high quality services. Also, don’t worry too much about writing optimized copy. Yes, you want to include relevant keywords as they fit within your content. But you’re writing to humans, not search engines. So, write your articles as if you were writing to a friend, with a specific problem that you have the answer too.
Writing high quality articles on topics that showcase your expertise will to build your reputation as an expert who knows their subject and is willing to share generously with others. I recommend writing and submitting articles online each week. Overtime you’ll consistently drive traffic to your website and attract new prospects that can benefit from the solutions you have to offer.
If you have other tips on effective article marketing or resources to share, I’d love to hear about them. Please share your thoughts and experiences below!