Recently someone asked this question on an article directory (hubpages.com): Is article marketing a dead form?
The short answer is a definite NO.
In fact, this ONE strategy accomplishes TWO goals for you at the same time… provided you follow a few techniques.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Three essential article marketing tips
The reason why people still ask if article marketing is “dead” is because article marketing simply does not work for most people. And if you visit even one article directory and poke around (such as ezinearticles.com) I think you’ll figure it out soon enough.
It takes skill and expertise for this strategy to work for you.
And most people tapping away at their keyboards simply don’t have a clue.
In fact, there are three elements that simply must be in place for your article to have a chance of doing work for you. They are:
That’s basically it in a nutshell.
And done well nothing else you do online can generate EVERGREEN traffic to your site day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out like article marketing.
For example, here’s the link to an article I published about Costco merchant services (guess the keyword?) that has been on page 1 of Google since 2009, despite Costco and Elavon’s best efforts to bump it down the “Google ladder” or discredit the contents altogether.
Alrighty then, let’s talk about…
There’s more to writing a winning article than typing any old thing on the keyboard.
This takes skill to pull off effectively, and part of that is how you “format” your article. Some of those elements involve the SEO components to your article (i.e. how it gets found online) and part of that is how your readers INTERACT with the article (i.e. readability, tone, layout, links, etc.).
In other words, your article has to “attract” the search engines while “appealing” to readers.
Does that make sense?
Here are SEVEN components your article must have for it to have a chance of working for you:
- keyword targeting
- keyword placement (article title)
- meta description
- use of “white space”
- backlinks to your site
- call to action anyone?
When you write an article, what keyword are you going to target?
Between you and me I NEVER start an article without knowing the EXACT keyword I am going to target. And there are two reasons for this: knowing the keyword helps you focus your writing – i.e. what problem are you going to solve/discuss in the article, and having the keyword in mind gives you the title for the article.
Next up, make sure you use the darned keyword in the title.
Missing this critical point means your article has ZERO chance of getting found… and I’m not even kidding about this.
Now, you can add words to the beginning or end — for example the keyword I’m targeting here is “effective article marketing.”
You get the idea (I hope!).
The next bit is a bit tricky… here’s what I mean. In order for your article to have a chance at climbing the “Google ladder” you need to include the exact same keyword phrase in the title AND meta description.
What’s a meta description?
Well, when you google something have you noticed that black text that shows up below the green link text on the search results page? That’s the “meta description” for the webpage associated with the link that Google displays for results to your search.
In any event, don’t worry too much about it. Just know that some directories give you a place to enter this for your article (hubpages calls it your “summary”).
When it comes to writing your description follow these rules:
- don’t leave it blank
- keep it less than 160 characters
- include your keyword phrase
- write copy that makes someone WANT to click the link
When it comes to writing copy I can’t go into a whole lot of detail here. Just be sure your copy:
- is conversational in tone
- is about their problem/issue/concern (use at least 3 “you/your/yours” for every 1 “I/me/mine”)
- inject some freaking personality, will ya
- avoid “corporate-speak”
- no press releases please – no one cares and nothing screams “waste of time” quite like a press release
As for white space, avoid huge chunky blocks of text. If it looks like too much WORK to read, folks aren’t going to read it. Period. End of discussion.
Break up your text (look at me!)
You’re not writing “War and Peace” for goodness sakes!
The last two bits are important as well:
- link to your website 2x per hub/post
- link to your action page (if your talking about earrings, link to your earring page)
- use keywords for your link text
- ask people to click the link
And that leads us to the “call to action.”
The whole point of article marketing is to publish an article about your service/product on another site that links back to your site. The goal is to presell your products/services by focusing on the needs of your customer and than getting them to visit your website.
After all, it’s about them.
So when you wrap up your article it’s time to ASK them (the reader) to do something — typically to click the link to your site for more info/etc. Hopefully you get the idea.
If you don’t ask them to click to your site, they wont. And all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Do I really need to point out that you’re not going to generate much traffic, or business, with ONE article or post?
Or FIVE… TEN… etc…
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your online empire!
You get the idea.
Here’s what I’m driving at —
Activity is the engine that drives your online business. Case closed. Nuff said. Want better rankings from Google? Add more content to your site. Want more social media exposure? Add more content and distribute it online.
It really is that SIMPLE.
Don’t believe me?
Look at the graph above… it comes from ONE of my hubpages accounts, and shows the direct correlation of pageviews/visits to my articles and the number of hubs posted in a given month.
And the reason is simple when you get right down to it:
- each article/hub/post can only target ONE keyword
- as you write more articles you are creating a larger SEO footprint
Meaning… effective targeting of MORE keywords related to your product/business which can bring in more traffic to your site.
And if you’re asking how many I publish each month (including clients and myself) it comes out to roughly 40 per month.
This is probably the most important element, for the simple reason that not all article directories are created equal.
Why do I use hubpages, for example?
There are a number of reasons, including:
- article placed there rank better than other directories for the SAME keyword
- allow contextual links (2 per website)
- easy to use
- have helpful modules that improve effectiveness of your post (hub)
- an active community of readers/users
- can make extra money from your hubs
And the best part?
You don’t have to work to hard to promote them, unlike Squidoo which routinely downgrades your lenses from “Featured” to “Work in Progress” if traffic falls off even a little bit.
What’s more, some directories don’t allow for contextual backlinks (boo!), and some don’t allow you to earn extra money for your effort (they want to keep it all for themselves).
So be careful about WHERE you publish those articles, because it really does matter!
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