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Article Marketing Expert is a free guide for anyone involved in article marketing and contains some great tips and techniques to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes made by authors and marketers. A good guide that will help anyone improve their article marketing results.
Welcome - Thank You For Downloading Article Marketing Expert - The Report You Have Permission To Give This Book Away or Resell It You Do Not Have Permission To Alter The Content In Any Way This Digital Product Was Written & Produced By The CaymanHost http://www.thecaymanhost.com Copyright Maurice Snell - 2008 Proudly Hosted By Kiosk.ws - Hosting That Pays Created With eWriter Pro http://www.thecaymanhost.com/ewriterpro/ Page2 Of 51 Article Marketing Expert - The Report Are You Making The Most Of Your Writing? “Maximize Your Results Through Expert Use of Article Marketing!” LEGAL NOTICE - DISCLAIMER The Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this report, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents are entirely accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, the Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Any perceived slights of specific persons, peoples, or organizations are unintentional. In practical advice books, like anything else in life, there are no guarantees of income. Readers are cautioned to rely on their own judgment about their individual circumstances to act accordingly. This book is not intended for use as a source of legal, business, accounting or financial advice. All readers are advised to seek the services of competent professionals in legal, business, accounting, and finance field. You are encouraged to print this book for easy reading. Page3 Of 51 Table of Contents Page 4 - Article Marketing Explained Page 7 - The Importance Of Quality - Essential Article Guidelines Page 13 - How to Create an Outline For Your Article Page 15 - Get Your Creative Juices Flowing Page 19 - Before Submitting To Article Directories Page 24 - Tips To Ensure Your Articles Are Read Page 28 - Writing a Resource Box that Makes People Click Page 32 - If You Hate Writing Articles… Page 36 - Insider's Guide To Article Directories Page 42 - Special Notes For Affiliates & Adsense Publishers Page 46 - In Conclusion Page 47 - Recommended Resources Page 51 - Unannounced Bonuses Page4 Of 51 Article Marketing Explained Articles are a very effective way of promoting your website, products and services and the fact that it is a free method make it even more attractive. If you are looking to boost your site's visitors, search engine rankings and your online sales there are few other methods that offer the same level of bang for your buck. However, there are many things you need to know before getting too excited about hordes of eager buyers rushing to your sales pages with credit card in hand. In this report I aim to give you a solid grounding in the art of writing articles and using them to best effect. How Does Article Marketing Work? It's a simple process. You write articles on a subject relating to the site you are trying to promote and submit them to free article directory sites. This is relatively easy to do and can, over time, increase your website traffic, sales and resultant income substantially. Sounds great in theory, so......... How Can Article Writing Boost Traffic And Income? Once your article has been submitted and accepted at the article directory or directories, you will have gained a link or links to your chosen website(s). After reading your articles, visitors may choose to click on these links and pay you a visit. Because you agree to the syndication of your work by the free directories, your work is available to other webmasters who may wish to publish your articles on their own sites. Most directories also offer RSS feeds, usually arranged by article category, and this makes it even easier for bloggers, ezine publishers and other website owners to syndicate the feeds on their own pages without having to constantly update them. This gives them a ready stream of freshly updated content with very little work and gives you, as an author, potentially massive exposure. Page5 Of 51 Anyone who publishes your work agrees to do so on the condition that your article and resources, including live hyperlinks, must remain intact, (giving you more links from more domains). Visitors to those sites will see your articles as well as your links, giving you even further exposure and greater potential for more new visitors. As the list of your published articles grows larger, and more and more of them are picked up by other webmasters, the total number of links to your site grows in direct proportion and the number of eyes on your website(s) is multiplied. The benefit of more incoming links to your site is that search engines place much significance on these "backlinks" as a measure of authority and relevance. In theory, this additional benefit, will increase your site's visibility in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) and perhaps, in the case of Google, boost your visible page rank score. All of this translates into, yes, more traffic to your site(s). Increasing the visibility of your sites is never a bad thing because even if visitors are only casual browsers, they may well take note of a well written and informative article, and of course, the person who wrote it. There is a fair chance that they might become more regular visitors, subscribers or even paying customers at some point in the future. . Most people online are searching for something specific. If one of your articles answers that need, or offers to provide a solution, or a signpost to that solution, they are likely to go to your site to find out more. See how simple and potentially powerful it is? Search engines index the individual pages of sites, therefore including your published articles residing on the article directories' sites as well as the pages where others may publish your work . People who search for a specific topic are far more likely to find you if you have published articles that are spread across the internet through your article marketing efforts. The only effort required on your part is to write a good informational article. Submit it to some directories and let the search engines do the rest, and hopefully other webmasters will pick up your message too, and spread it even further afield. Page6 Of 51 It is no wonder that many webmasters, business owners and bloggers are suddenly taking time to write more articles about their chosen topics and concentrating on such an effective and free method of online marketing. However, despite all these positive benefits, there are also some pitfalls and potential problems associated with article marketing that authors need to be aware of. If you want your article marketing ventures to be successful, you must avoid the common mistakes and learn how to write content that will squeeze every ounce of value out of them. Yet far more people fail to capitalize on this wonderful free promotional avenue than you might imagine. There are lots of reasons for this which I will talk about later in this report. Your aim is to start writing articles that will compel readers to seek more information from you, either by visiting your website or perhaps taking some other form of action such as subscribing to your newsletter or blog. If you tackle article marketing correctly, you will be very pleasantly surprised by the increase in visitors and readers you can achieve. I will certainly not claim that it will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. Neither will I promise you results overnight, although some people have seen major successes within a matter of days. Patience however, will be rewarded. Some niche markets will benefit more, and more quickly, from article marketing than others. A lot depends on competition in the marketplace too. Speed of results will often be influenced by how specialized your market and area of expertise happen to be. Money may not even be your primary motivation for writing, but the benefits of article marketing for anyone trying to increase their visibility on the internet are well worth the effort. There is no other method of online promotion and advertising that offers such exposure for free. The Importance Of Quality Page7 Of 51 Essential Article Guidelines Having looked at the benefits of article writing and distribution, let's move on to the mechanics of the whole process. If you can avoid the mistakes that so many hopeful article marketers are making, you will accelerate your success and start to see positive results far more quickly. One of the first and biggest errors people make is to misunderstand the whole purpose of writing an article. Because of all the hype regarding traffic generation, back links, search engine rankings and claims of money flowing regularly into bank accounts, fledgling article marketers overlook the core reason that anyone would want to read their glowing prose. Information - You Must Give Your Audience Something Worthwhile. This is what internet users crave. They search the web looking for answers, for help and guidance, on a huge range of subjects. Their reasons for seeking out information online are manifold, but often they are looking to fulfill a need, to solve a problem, or simply to learn. A well written article needs to address these needs and provide something of value to the visitor. If it doesn't do this, they will move on and look for their answers elsewhere. When composing your articles, you must therefore look at it from your reader's perspective and decide what they are likely to be looking for, so that you can best satisfy their needs. Any subsequent call to action on your behalf will then be far more likely to succeed. So how do you compose a good article and one most likely to give you all of the benefits that you now know they can provide? Let's address some of the myths, truths and misconceptions that you may well have Page8 Of 51 already seen elsewhere. Keywords and Keyword Phrases. This is without doubt a very important aspect of your article composition. However, it must also be remembered that it is not the primary reason you are writing articles. Your intended audience are human beings - not search engine spiders, but to get one you have to please the other. If you want your article to be found by internet users SEO cannot be ignored. You need to try and ensure as much relevancy as possible in both your title and your article body. You should also be making full use of the keyword field if the article directory provides one and making sure that it is completed correctly with targeted and relevant keywords. It is obvious that if your website is about, let's say, weight loss, your articles need to be written around a similar or related theme. Nowadays there are an abundance of people submitting articles on subjects that are not even remotely related to the links that they provide in their resource box. Not only is this rather pointless, it can also cause problems in getting your work accepted into directories. One of the root causes of this is probably the use of private label rights (PLR) content. This is content that is made available with absolutely no restrictions on how it can be used, altered and claimed as original material by the "author". Don't think that this is a shortcut to article marketing success because it isn't. Perhaps it might once have been a good tactic, but, things change quickly and it's not so likely to succeed nowadays. There are just too many people hawking the same tired old PLR content around hundreds of directories. The inherent problem of PLR articles is that they don't remain new or unique for very long at all, and are soon diluted to such a level that they are often basically useless. Let's go back to our weight loss website owner. Having read about the importance of backlinks, they decide to use a shotgun approach, using pre-written material on every subject under the sun, they slap their URL in the resource box and copy and Page9 Of 51 paste these articles and mass submit them to the directories. This is a recipe for failure and has become commonplace because so many people misunderstand the whole article marketing model. It is NOT about gaining backlinks and article directories are not link directories. Think of the backlinks gained as a bonus rather than the focus of your efforts. Editors at directories are usually on the look out for this kind of thing and as a result your submissions will probably never be published - at least not on any sites that are worth submitting to. People who read an article about snowboarding, even if it's a very good article, are highly unlikely to click your links in the resource box if they are all about dieting and weight loss! You are wasting your own time and that of the directories, probably because you have been caught up in poor advice gleaned from others about articles and search engine optimization. Remember, your article needs to be informative and should hold a reader's attention and lead them through to the end, where you have the opportunity to persuade them to find out more - by visiting your site for example. Clever writers know how to persuade, by giving enough information, but holding some things back and giving the reader good reason to click through to one of their web pages to find out more. Our weight loss webmaster or blogger, therefore needs to focus on relevant and associated subject matter if they are to gain visitors to their site(s). Let's assume that they decide to write an article about the pros and cons of weight loss drugs. This is relevant to their overall niche market, although they do not sell weight loss drugs themselves. However, what they do offer on their site are various herbal or natural weight loss supplements through a couple of affiliate programs. By providing readers with information about the downside of prescription medicines and offering them alternative choices and a little information about what might be suitable products for them to try, they are baiting the hook that will hopefully lead some readers to visit their site and find out more. Page10 Of 51 With a little thought and some keyword research the website owner can increase their chances of being found through the search engines. They must think of the terms that people will use when looking for the information their article will offer and by carefully selecting their keywords and writing a good title for their article, they will have a far greater chance of being found and of being ranked well in the SERPS. So, keywords are important without a doubt, and if you do your research, you can fine tune them for maximum effect. There are many keyword research tools available to help you in your selection, a few of which you will find in our resources at the end of this report. Keyword Density Once you have picked your keywords and keyword phrases, you must use them to good effect. An article must have good keyword density for a search engine to “feel” its presence. It is said that you should look at having at least have ten to fifteen percent keyword density in order to rank highly in the search results. I'm not sure how accurate this is, like any guidelines it's probably open to debate. Keyword density is the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase is used, expressed as a percentage. An effective article in terms of SERPS performance must have a keyword density that is neither too high or too low, and this is not easy to judge, because different search engines have different ways of determining relevance and authority. Too many keywords (often referred to as keyword stuffing) will usually result in an article that reads very poorly and will turn off human readers as well as the search engines and directory editors. Not using enough relevant keywords however can mean a far poorer performance in the SERPS. My advice - use common sense and remember you are writing for human visitors despite the fact that you want to optimize your chances of a good search ranking. Look at this example and it's plainly obvious what you should not be doing:Natural weight loss pills are becoming more and more commonplace. Natural Page11 Of 51 weight loss pills are a viable alternative to prescription drugs from the pharmaceutical industry. In this article we will look at the benefits of natural weight loss pills and why they are the choice of many people who are looking to lose weight without the use of weight loss drugs. Because natural weight loss pills are far less likely to have damaging side effects, many women are turning to these natural weight loss pills and finding that they are superior in so many ways.......... I don't know anything about weight loss pills, natural or otherwise, but you see how badly it reads - robotic and phony and without any flair whatsoever. It's a turn off not only for editors but for anyone unfortunate enough to come across it in their search for information. It will also never be picked up by other publishers, because it's basically crap. If you think that people don't really submit this kind of thing, believe me they do, and it's often a whole lot worse. Many article directory operators could probably tell you that it is not uncommon for them to be deleting 80% or more of submissions on the grounds of poor quality alone. Using proprietary article writing software is often party to this problem, working as they do on the basis that the user selects a keyword or phrase, for which the software then crawls the internet and returns a list of sentences containing the words. Users then select a string of these and try to spin them into an article, often, judging by so many examples I have seen, failing miserably. It is not that this kind of writing software is necessarily bad, but in the hands of some it's on a par with giving a loaded gun to a four year old and being surprised at the disastrous consequences. Good Article Content So, riddling an article with excessive keywords is bad. First and foremost, the article has to offer a good read. If you can write well enough to entertain as well as inform, using good grammar and spelling, the reader's opinion of you will be automatically enhanced. Professionalism will encourage trust, whereas sloppy spelling, construction and grammar can well make you look foolish and consequently damage your credibility in the eyes of your intended audience. Page12 Of 51 Just because you have seen it written that "anyone can write articles and make a killing online", does not make it so. It is imperative that you have at least some writing ability because sending out bad articles can actually do you a lot more harm than good - something the experts usually fail to mention when trying to sell you their software or ebooks. It is said that people respond well to figures, facts and statistics and that they like lists. How accurate this is I can't confirm or deny, but there are a huge number of articles to be found using this style and technique. The main thing is to offer useful and helpful information that is accurate and factual. A well written article will boost your reputation as an expert in your chosen field or topic but only if you really know what you are talking about! Offering facts and examples is a good way to back up your suggestions and opinions. Remember that gaining the trust and respect of your readers is the ingredient that could well convert them to regular visitors and perhaps loyal customers. Linking From Your Articles If you are going to submit articles to E-zines and/or contribute content to newsletters and other sites, don't ever forget to include a link to your site. That sounds rather obvious, but many authors still manage to overlook this. A helpful and tempting resource box with a brief description of your site and what you offer should always be placed at the foot of your articles. I will talk more about the importance of a good resource box a little later. Page13 Of 51 How to Create an Outline For Your Article Some people recommend creating an outline before sitting down and writing an article. If you find that this is helpful in marshalling your thoughts, by all means do so. Personally speaking I rarely do this, relying rather on a rough first draft and subsequent re-writes, but it is probably a good idea for some. If you feel it will help you, then it probably will. Creating an outline for all your articles is all about preparedness. You have an idea of what to do first and plan for each successive step.You may find this makes the job of actually writing, easier and faster. An outline acts as the design or blueprint for your planned work. It will help you create the introduction, body and conclusion of your article. You may decide to write down some of the ideas and sentences that you feel will look good and from this, select the focal point of your writing. Have a brainstorming session first and jot down your ideas. Think of ways to attract the interest of your reader and of making your article unique. At this stage you should have already done the neccessary research and gathered your factual information. Review your ideas and notes, which should be focused on how you are going to turn facts and advice into an engaging piece of writing. The next step is to think about your sub topic(s) and sub titles. You need to construct an attention grabbing first sentence for your article, and also perhaps some effective sub topic headings. Think of your outline as the skeleton or framework on which you will then build up the flesh. The introduction will usher in the topic of your article, and again, this needs to be written well enough to pique a reader's interest, and offer the promise of Page14 Of 51 answering their questions or providing at least some of the information they are seeking. Remember that a lot of article directories will show this snippet on their index page, and if it reads poorly, or is no different from thousands of others, readers will pass by. You will only have a few lines for this introduction, so you need to make them count. The body of your article should flow naturally from one subject or viewpoint to the next, and not jump back and forth, so construct your sub topics, bullet points and paragraphs with this in mind. The body of your article needs to encourage the reader to keep going, and your writing style is one aspect that leads them to continue reading. Just as the introduction will usher in the ideas of your article, so the conclusion will round things off. This is where you will wrap up your points and drive home what you have covered in your article. You may also want to give readers just a little encouragement to check out your resource box for more information and extra reading or resources. This little reminder can sometimes be really beneficial. Once you have an outline, write a draft. The purpose of a draft is to get the article written without having to worry too much about the finer points of construction and accuracy of spelling, grammar and the like. Proofread Everything After your first draft, it is time to proofread - in other words, to start going through the article and correcting all the mistakes you made in your first frenzy of typing. These will include simple typing mistakes, spelling and punctuation errors, and grammatical goofs. Proofreading will also serve to give you a feel for how the article reads. Compare it to your outline, add or remove pointless copy, rearrange things if necessary and basically start polishing your article for publication. If you feel it would be helpful to let someone else read through your work, by all means ask them. Sometimes another pair of eyes can be beneficial and will notice things that you have not spotted even after a few passes. Page15 Of 51 Get Your Creative Juices Flowing Talking about writing articles is all well and good but like any form of writing it does involve a creative process and therefore requires a creative mindset. Whether you are writing business related articles or something for hobbyists or collectors, you have to capture the interest and imagination of your readers. While such creativity may come naturally to many people, others can find it extremely difficult. Even those who are blessed with a creative nature will sometimes experience a block that can drive them crazy. Many writers, musicians and artists have experienced the extreme frustration of "writer's block" (or the equivalent in their field) when they just can’t seem to get their creative juices flowing. If you are able to paint pictures with words you have a great talent, but depending on the type of writing you are doing, it is not an essential one. For most articles a clear and crisp style is required, but unless you are writing fiction, or a descriptive form of non-fiction, the ability to carry someone off to another place with your words is not essential. Article marketing, as we have already seen, is more about your ability to inform and persuade. The use of similes and metaphors can help, along with examples and hypothetical situations but the flow of your writing and the ability to capture and maintain attention is not always an easy skill to master. If your subject allows it, keep your writing simple and as concise as possible. Don't use ten words when one will do. You will have probably seen articles yourself where the writing is padded out with far too many superfluous words and phrases. So, if you find yourself stuck for article inspiration. just what do you do when nothing comes to mind? Stephen King claims that the most common question he is asked by aspiring writers is "Where do you get your ideas from?" and laughs at the assumption that he has some amazing "idea bank" to which only he has the key. His response Page16 Of 51 is a simple and not very mysterious one - throughout his life he has been intrigued by the simple question....."what if?" and finds himself applying it to everyday events in his life and experiences. So, maybe there are no surefire ways to find the perfect idea but there are various ways to try and kickstart your creativity and deliver inspiration, if you really feel you need them. 1) Try Keeping A Diary, Journal or Notebook With You At All Times. Ideas can be triggered by anything you may hear, see, or smell. Your senses are your friend when it comes to finding and forming ideas for any kind of writing. You may also write down anything that you have read or heard, someone’s ideas could be used to develop your own. Remember that ideas and creativity can come from anywhere; it’s the development of the idea that makes it unique. 2) Relax If you do find yourself in a rut, staring at a blank screen and growing more an more frustrated, have a rest. A cluttered mind is not a good environment as it leaves little space for new ideas. Try to get rid of any mental obstacles before focusing on your writing. We all need time to relax and this time can be the most productive in terms of formulating new ideas based your experiences and interactions with others. Life experience is what shapes your mindset and your opinions and these are often reflected in your writing. Understand what triggers your emotions, what inspires you, your passions and likes and dislikes, and use these things to help you express yourself and your ideas using the written word. 3) Find A Working Space That Inspires Your work space can be quite a hindrance if it doesn’t make you feel happy or relaxed. Creativity stems from your state of mind and a distracting or depressing workspace won’t be conducive to your creative talents! Think about the environment in which you work and personalize it. Page17 Of 51 A clean and well organized working environment, free of distractions allows you to work in peace and the time will fly by. 4) Self Analysis In addition to the physical settings of your work space, explore the things that make you tick. There are many ways to set the mood. Some writers have been known to use alcohol, a little sip of wine to stir up the imagination, for others it might be a cigar or cigarette or even drug use - not that I advocate getting yourself stoned or breaking any laws just for the sake of an article :-) The point is, the creative process is vastly different for everyone. Some like some mood music, others let the lighting of their environment create the mood or rely on a great view or the sound of the ocean. There are no rules because the things that inspire us will always vary from person to person. I appreciate that we don't all have a choice about where we do our writing, but make yourself as comfortable as you can wherever you are forced to write and allow your mind to explore. 5) Give Yourself Time To Do Something Entirely Different. Often the best thing to do if you are experiencing frustration and the inability to put anything down in words, is to leave it alone for a while. Allow yourself some downtime, and do something that you enjoy to take your mind off of the task at hand. Have a little adventure, take off on a walk or a drive, just something that is not a regular part of your daily routine. Don't feel guilty about taking a time out, often it's all you need to get your mind back on track. Whether or not these ideas apply to writing articles for the internet will depend on you as an individual. Personally I find that I can sit in my front room with the overhead fan and the tropical breeze keeping me cool, tapping away on the keyboard and taking the occasional break to sip on an iced tea, cold beer, or a cup of coffee depending on the time of day and my mood. Short breaks can be Page18 Of 51 rejuvenating for some, for others, once they are "in the zone" they become almost unreachable. As the saying goes - "different strokes for different folks." But hey, we're talking about writing articles here, so let's not get overly analytical and pretend that we have to be Yeats or Dickens to achieve our goals! One final thought - internet forums can be a great place to find ideas for your next article and there is bound to be one related to your preferred subject. Go and see what people are asking about, come up with some answers and construct your article around that. You can be pretty sure there is an audience. The same applies to any kind of discussion groups and newgroups. The information highway is packed with ideas for you to exploit if you do a little digging. I often look at my website stats to see what people have been looking for before arriving on my sites which can give plenty of ideas on subjects to research and write about. Page19 Of 51 Before Submitting To Article Directories This is one of the most important sections of this report and the advice is based on my own work as an editor and webmaster of an article directory. I'm going to give you some of the most crucial guidelines to help you ensure that after all this creativity, thought and hard work, you get your articles published. What is more, following these guidelines will ensure that those published articles really work for you in your promotional efforts. There are already many tools and services that you can use streamline the process of distributing your articles to the internet community at large. These are invaluable in the quest for exposure of your content, but this exposure is only half the story. I should quickly mention the sign up process at the directories. You will normally be required to register before being allowed to submit your work. If you are using software to distribute your articles to a large number of sites, the software will often automate the sign up process. This is great, but it can make you overlook one little thing that could help you get even more backlinks to your site. Often, you will have the option of listing between 1 and 5 links in your profile information. You will miss this if you are using software, so it's worth visiting the directories individually and gradually adding your links to your profile over time. Due to spamming and abuse of this feature, you may find directories who have disabled or restricted the option. However, if you are sensible, it can be another positive benefit of having an author account. Moving on, let's first take a look at the common mistakes that people make before submitting their content to article directories : 1. Confusing The Reason To Promote The Articles With The Reason For Writing Them. Page20 Of 51 The three key benefits of writing and distributing articles are branding, lead generation and promotion which are all part of your optimization efforts. However, these benefits must not be confused with the reason for writing articles. Articles have one overriding purpose and that is to inform your audience. If the article is not focused on this primary and most important purpose, it will largely fail to achieve the three promotion benefits because no one will be interested in reading it. You can only achieve the entire package of benefits by producing quality original content. 2. Failing To Maximize The Promotional Opportunities. As already discussed, the SEO benefits of article distribution are not inconsiderable. Provided this benefit does not blind you to the point made above, you must know how to ensure that your articles give you the greatest returns from a promotional standpoint. Your articles, if published, can and will generate backlinks to your sites, but only if you do things correctly. We have already discussed the use of keywords, and concluded that you must be careful not to overdo them. Some directories will allow live links in the body of your article, but most will not. If they do, take advantage of them. When using links in your writing, there are two ways to do it. You can use a straight URL, as in the following example, http://www.thecaymanhost.com/blog/ Or, you can use "anchor text" linking like this Internet Marketing Blog Page21 Of 51 In the second example, the text that you turn into a live link is called "anchor text" and this kind of linking has obvious SEO benefits which will be explained in the section about resource boxes. For now, just be aware that the majority of directories do not allow any kind of links in your article body. The exceptions are often sites with a strict editorial policy who only publish the work of invited authors - sites like Buzzle.com spring to mind. Remember that not only the links back to your site from the individual directories are important, the real viral effect of article marketing can take off to spectacular effect when your work is picked up by other publishers, particularly if they have a large audience. Better search engine results are a great knock on benefit, and if you follow the strategies outlined in this book, there is no reason why you cannot reap the rewards. At this point I should mention that none of these benefits will necessarily translate to money in your bank account, if that is your ultimate goal. There are other factors affecting the ability of your articles to become profit generating tools. 3. Publishing Content That Does Not Help Your Readers. Maybe until now you have only seen the process of writing articles, as a way to generate links back to your website and take the view that any additional visitors you get as a result is just a bonus. You're just counting the links........ However, not all article banks and directories are going to accept your content automatically. Each repository has its own standards and guidelines and some will be very specific about what type of articles they are accepting and exactly what is required from you as an author. Never ignore the submission guidelines or terms of service of a directory. You can vastly increase the number of sites you can submit to by writing articles on subjects that the directories and publishers will really want to share with other people. Remember, all it takes is one publisher with a hundred thousand readers to increase your potential audience overnight. Page22 Of 51 However, it is also important to target your audience and you should be thinking about that before you even start to write. You must obey the standard guidelines, of grammar, spelling, language and construction. Whatever your chosen topic, demonstrating poor literacy will not help you at all. In actual fact, ignoring the basic tents of good writing will invariably do you more harm than good and will usually result in your articles being consigned to the garbage bin of cyberspace in very short order. You are writing with the aim of being syndicated by other publishers and webmasters - if your writing is not up to par, you stand very little chance of being picked up by any quality websites with a decent level of traffic. Why would they tarnish their hard won reputation in such a fashion? The simple answer is that they won't. If you really can't write, article marketing is probably not going to help you, or rather you are unlikely to be able to reap the full benefits, unless you are prepared to pay someone to write for you. As for your potential level of success, it all really comes down to what you want from article marketing and how much work you are prepared to put in. You can start getting a little exposure from increased backlinks but on a very basic level, or you can enjoy massive exposure by taking the time to create truly quality content and targeting it at exactly the right audience. It will be your choice. If you are intending to submit your article to a large number of general directories, you have to remember that big numbers are not the only ingredient for success. Sometimes, writing in a particular niche or specialist subject can produce better results if you limit your submission to a few niche specific sites. Some publishers prefer not to use free content that is being picked up by too many others. A niche specific directory or Ezine may not see as much traffic as one of the bigger names, but that traffic is likely to be far more interested in what you have to say and offer and in the case of an Ezine it may have a huge subscriber base. Page23 Of 51 Understanding these differences and the best way to promote your articles will help you know what type of articles to write and the most effective submission strategies for each. To clarify, perhaps you are knowledgeable in a very niche specific subject - let's say, completely at random, nursing careers. That is still a pretty large topic with countless sub-niches, but it is only of interest to a certain group of people. Sometimes, rather than posting your article to hundreds of general directories covering subjects from knitting to asbestosis and everything in between, you may well get better results from a few select directories and websites that deal with the niche in question. You are certainly more likely to be picked up for publication from the more tightly focused sites. Personally, I have used both tactics in my own article marketing, depending on what I am writing about and my specific goals in terms of that single article. Remember the various benefits and think about what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes, submitting to a few high ranking general directories and those in your specific niche, will be just as effective as taking the scattergun approach. Probably more effective in fact. Page24 Of 51 Tips To Help Ensure Your Articles Are Read Well, you've got this far so maybe reading is not a chore for you, but there are many people for whom both writing and reading are viewed as rather too much hard work. Articles are supposed to be read, their purpose being to impart your message and provide information. If they are never read, then it is a waste of time and effort. It’s your responsibility as the author to ensure that your articles are worthy of people's attention. Write well and your articles will reach your audience. With practice and experimentation writing articles can be fun, as well as profitable for you and your site. . Stick to things you know - another basic rule of writing. If you need to research some things before you begin, then do so. When you follow this advice, making your articles creative and interesting will come far more easily. It can be very hard to write on some topics without coming across as rather dull. In fact some subjects almost require a staid and stuffy approach. Those areas aside though, try to inject a little life into your writing whilst staying focused on the task at hand. Don't fall into the trap of trying to "wing it" as so many others do. The arena of online marketing and search engine optimization are two fields where thousands of people try to sound knowledgeable and basically end up proving that they have no idea what they are talking about, usually just rehashing a few garbled statements that they have picked up during their brief brushes with the subject as they chase the internet gold rush. More often than not, their articles will remain buried in the mines! Positioning yourself as an expert on Search Engine Optimisation (sic) when you can't even spell the word, is not the best way to portray yourself. Think about this - is this kind of sloppy approach likely to cement your authority and make people want to link to you or visit your site? Unfortunately, there are many who put forward the theory that writing Page25 Of 51 articles makes you an authority in the eyes of others but fail to qualify the statement. Only good writing will do that. In life, respect is something we have to earn. The same goes for trust. Neither one is anybody's by right and can be just as easily taken away as they are given. Your articles are your brand, so don't burn yourself. General wisdom is that the following tactics can be useful in improving the chances of your articles being read. 1) Use short paragraphs. When paragraphs are too long, readers often find them too difficult to concentrate on and they become just too hard to read. The attention span of your online visitors does not stand up to too much scrutiny people are so often in a hurry and this can cause them to disregard huge blocks of text and move on to much easier reading - articles that are good to look at as well as read. Paragraphs can be a single sentence, sometimes even just a single word. 2) Make use of numbers or bullets. When stressing a point or several points, numbers and bullets can make them easier to remember and digest. Format your bullets and numbers with indentations so that your article won’t look like a single block of square paragraphs. Always try to construct your articles to be easy on the eye. This helps the flow just as much as your writing style. 3) Use Sub-headings Doing this will break each point into sections but still would be incorporated into one whole article. It also makes it easier for people to "scan" and move on from one point to another and makes the transition smooth and easy. It all helps to prevent losing your reader's attention as well as re-enforcing the direction and Page26 Of 51 point of your article. Both sub headings and bullets are useful, but they are not always appropriate, so use them with care. 4) Provide a good attention-grabbing title or header. This has been said a thousand times before, but your title is one of the most important aspects of your article. If you can write an attention grabbing headline that arouses curiosity and entices people to click, you have won a major part of the battle. If you can incorporate relevant keywords in your title, do so. However, don't overcompensate and try to be too clever. I'm sure many copy writers must laugh at the amateur attempts to hook a reader with an astoundingly ridiculous title! There is no doubt that knowing the right combinations of words can make an amazing difference in persuading internet users to click, but it is a skill that a lot of us probably don't possess in abundance. Keep it simple, try to think what your intended audience want to know and cater to them as best you can. you can always try a couple of alternative titles if you're unsure of which to go with. Sometimes, even the smallest difference can have a huge effect. Often, reaching out to a person's emotions, using commands in your titles or promising a solution to something can work well. If you really want to get into the psychology of what makes people click or pass on your titles, you can read up on the skills of copy writing. Once they've opened your article you need to keep them interested from start to finish. Use real life situations, use examples, offer advice and solutions that are factual and solid and that can be adopted by the reader. Be descriptive, sometimes even a little humor might be appropriate, but don’t overdo either. Humour is a difficult thing to convey in writing. People's senses of humour vary greatly and with a global audience, you could fall flat or even offend. Try to make the the experience pleasurable and enjoyable for them, but don't forget your primary focus. Page27 Of 51 6) Utilize facts and figures when necessary rather than vague statements. Using specific facts and figures can strengthen some articles and adds authority. Depending on your subject matter, the level and importance of statistical information will vary enormously. Some subjects will call for a lot of facts and figures but if you're writing about cats or fish keeping, you probably won't need them too much. Just consider if it's necessary to your message and don't turn off readers by sounding like a scientific journal (unless of course you are writing for a scientific journal). You get my drift. As already discussed, know your audience and think about what they want to know. Page28 Of 51 Writing a Resource Box That Makes People Click This is a very important topic and another area where authors make so many mistakes. Let's take a look at the do's and don'ts of writing a good resource box and reaping the maximum benefits. The resource box is the place where you finally get to place those all important links and give the visitor a prod to stay with you rather than clicking away from your article never to return. Let's first understand how to gain the maximum SEO benefit from the resource box. As most directories do not permit any live links within the body of an article, your resource box is the prime spot for gaining those backlinks we have talked about. The best way to explain this is by way of an example - so here are two fictitious resource boxes found at the foot of a fictitious article about web hosting. Any resemblance to people real or living are entirely unintentional. Bob lives in the Cayman Islands with his wife and pet dog Rufus. He has lived a really interesting life and frequently writes articles on a wide range of subjects. You can find out more about his business and how much money he makes by clicking here . For more information on renting his condo in Jamaica you can go here http://betyourjealousofmycondointhecaribbean.com/ Bob has been involved in the hosting industry for over ten years. Further information on this topic can be found by downloading the free Beginners Guide To Web Hosting and by visiting his web hosting directory and review site . Bob also writes regularly at his internet marketing blog where he is focused on helping other people achieve their online goals. OK, I hope you can see which is the preferred option. But, all sarcasm let's look at why. aside, Bob had written about web hosting, in particular it was about helping beginners to Page29 Of 51 find their way through the minefield of choices. It was a good article, but the resource box in the first example is a disaster. Firstly, the reader probably does not care about Bob's private life and circumstances. It's nothing personal, but they don't know him. They liked his article and it was useful, but why should they visit his website? It doesn't promise to give them anything of further use, so despite being impressed with what he may have taught them, they will move on and search elsewhere for answers to any additional questions they might have. The resource box has therefore failed in one of its primary goals - to draw visitors to Bob's website. Additionally, the vague reference to Bob's business is useless - what does he do? Let's face it he could be a fisherman, an airline pilot, he could run a nursery...who knows? Why would the reader want to find out more? For all they know Bob's link could lead to a porn site for seniors or, even worse, a site dedicated to the Brady Bunch! As for the totally irrelevant link (poor joke I know, forgive me) why on earth is that there? Is Bob trying to educate people about web hosting or attempting to sell condo rentals? That resource box alone could well be enough to have have seen his article rejected or deleted in many directories. Don't underestimate this - if you submit an article about dogs and link to sites about payday loans or debt counseling services you are waving a huge red flag at directory owners. Besides which, it is unlikely in the extreme that anyone is going to visit your site if it is not remotely connected to your article's topic. It's annoying too. These are all good reasons not to do it. Aside from the rather silly resource box, look at Bob's linking strategy - it sucks. First of all, if the directory allows you to hyperlink text in the resource box, you need to be using keyword rich anchor text to feed to the Search Engines. "Click Here" is rather a silly term to use as anchor text for a link but it's a very common Page30 Of 51 sight in article resource boxes; "find out more", or "related articles" are just two more examples of pointless anchor text. Who is going to search for those terms? Only very strange or bored people presumably, so even if you managed to rank right at the top of every major engine for the phrase "more information", it would be somewhat of a hollow victory. Use anchor text wisely, or you are missing out on an important promotional benefit. His second link is not even live so gives him no optimization benefits and no backlinks whatsoever. This point however does depend on the article directory in question and also the software that runs it. Sometimes, just typing in a complete URL will convert to a live link when the article is published. Some directories won't allow linking to anchor text and instruct authors to just use complete URL's. If you don't know how to insert anchor text - it's a simple piece of html code. Just bracket your text between the following code and it will appear as a link:<a href="http://www.yourwebsiteaddress.com"> Your Text Goes Here </a> The number of links allowed will also vary, but it is unusual to be allowed more than three. This type of mistake is far more common among authors writing on subjects not related to computers or the internet, and is understandable - having read this book I'm sure you will use your new found knowledge wisely. Read The Terms Of Each Site You Submit To - Ignore Them At Your Peril OK, in the second example Bob has made full use of both anchor text and uses all of his three links, each one linking to a different page of his site. He states his qualification, a reason to trust and believe what you have just read, and he invites you to further your knowledge. He uses the carrot of something for free and the link actually takes the reader to a page for a free digital download of a book. This will help Bob build his online business through permission email marketing Page31 Of 51 and sending a newsletter out to a targeted audience who have "opted in" to his list and agreed to receive email from him. He also invites people to a blog, covering a specific niche market that offers his readers another way of staying in touch with his business and learning more on a particular subject that is likely to be of interest to them. Three links - three different URL's. This is good use of resource box linking. It can be beneficial to link to deeper pages on your domain - in the example above, if there was a relevant article on the blog, linking to that would probably be preferable to the main index page. There is aschool of thought that says "deep linking" carries more SEO benefits but whether that is the case or not, keep relevancy uppermost in your mind. Sending a reader to a page that further enhances the ideas and suggestions outlined in your article is likely to keep them interested enough to spend even more time on your site, and hopefully persuade them to make return visits in the future. I'm not claiming that the second example is the standard by which all should be judged, just pointing out the glaring differences in a really poor effort as opposed to a halfway decent one, to highlight the most common mistakes. Tailor your own resource box to add value to your article and if you can get some SEO benefit at the same time, it's a nice bonus. Affiliate marketers take note - one other important thing to remember the majority of article directories do not permit affiliate links in the resource box. Some, like EzineArticles.com even frown on straight redirects, so be very careful. The ideal solution is to send visitors to your own domain, usually an article on your own blog or website that is about the product or service in question. This is the safest way to avoid deletion of your article. Never underestimate the power of the resource box. It may be small in size but it will provide significant benefits in driving traffic to your site if you use it properly. A boring resource box will never get the job done. Page32 Of 51 Be creative but be honest, show that you have a great deal to offer and people a good reason to click. give If You Hate Writing Articles… Well, perhaps article marketing is not for you! However, you have seen the potential for traffic and search engine optimization and don't really feel you should ignore it. We have established that quality articles are very important to a site and to business; as a free promotional avenue there is little to rival them. There is nothing wrong with admitting to yourself that you have neither the aptitude, or perhaps the time, to run your own article marketing campaign. It is not a good idea to submit poor quality articles - it will harm your brand and your credibility, so what can you do? Alternatives To Writing Your Own Articles The obvious answer is to pay someone else to do it for you. There are plenty of places online where you can find freelancers and "ghostwriters" who will write for you for a fee. As well as the larger and better known sites such as Elance.com there are plenty of other places where you can hire writers on the web. Try a search for the term 'ghostwriters' or 'ghost writing'. If you are an accomplished writer looking for payment for your work, these kinds of sites may be of interest to you too. If you don't want to write for clients but would like to earn money from your articles, there are places that will pay you just for submitting to them such as Associated Content (they only pay US citizens). There are other sites such as GoFreelance who can help you find a variety of paid writing opportunities. (Do your research though, there are plenty of hucksters in this field). Naturally, paying for content can work out to be rather expensive, so if your budget is limited or you just don't have money to spend, this will be of little help. Page33 Of 51 For those who do want to outsource, you will need to do a little homework to make sure that you hire someone competent. There are plenty of examples of very poor writing on display from those who claim to be professional writers so be sure you see samples of their work and that you know exactly what you are going to be getting for your money. Private Label Rights (PLR) Articles This is an option for those who have little or no money to spend, although I hasten to add that I would not wholeheartedly recommend it. Nevertheless, it deserves a mention in this book. PLR basically works like this: the original author of the content sells it to anyone who is prepared to pay their price. Once someone has bought PLR content they are free to do whatever they want with it. They can edit and change it without restriction, they can claim authorship and ownership, pretty much whatever they want to do, including selling the work on to others, altered or unaltered. You can see where this leads, and although PLR works really well for things like software and even ebooks, when it comes to article content it is fraught with problems. Despite this, a lot of people have grabbed the chance for what they see quick fix to their article marketing dilemma and a shortcut to riches. as a Once again, what the PLR article peddlers neglect to mention is that many article directories specifically prohibit the submission of anything but original content this extends to the exclusion of PLR. Of course, it is practically impossible to police, but it is surprising just how often the same rehashed content turns up for inclusion and if the directories are on the ball, it will usually end up on the cutting room floor. Of late, a lot of these PLR articles appear to be written by people for whom English is not a first language and whilst I am sure their English is way more competent than I could ever claim to be in their native tongue, it is still a long way from being good enough for an English speaking publisher with an English speaking audience. Page34 Of 51 Free or Public Domain Articles There is a lot of confusion about this, so let's clear it up. I have seen an increasing number of people advising others to go and visit free article directories where they can grab as much free content as they want - so far, so good. However, they then go on to say that because there is no copyright on these articles, you can change them, call them your own and do whatever you like with them. This is wrong and it's plain bad advice. These articles do not come with PLR as discussed above. The articles hosted on the free article directories belong to the original authors.They are made available for publication on the strict understanding that they are not altered in any way, and can only be published with the author's resource box intact, including the live hyperlinks. Using them in any other way constitutes plagiarism. Why would anyone think that they can take this content, change the resource boxes and submit them to the same directories all over again?!! There are of course any number of people who abuse the system and they are thieves, pure and simple. Many will take the article you have written and publish it on their own sites without any of the required attribution. This is most common on poor quality low ranking websites or "splogs" (the moniker given to a spam blog) filled with scraped and stolen content. (usually for the purpose of trying to generate Adsense income or similar) If they are caught and reported they may or may not suffer any consequences - if you're lucky you may be able to get the offending pages removed and you can always try reporting them to their host. If of course, you can find out who they are. You can also complain to Google if they are using Blogger and/or Adsense. Unfortunately that is in an ideal world and once again it rarely happens. A lot of the time the offender will be in a country on the other side of the world and be almost impossible to call to account. As an author, there is little you can do, and you will have to accept that article marketing works on the basis of a certain Page35 Of 51 amount of honesty and good faith which some idiots just can't help but abuse. If you put your work out there, sooner or later, someone will use it without proper credit and you will gain no benefits. You just have to look at it on the basis that the other ten, or fifty, or one hundred publishers who used the article correctly, outweigh the downside of the occasional thief. There is nothing that beats quality original content, whether you do it yourself or pay a writer to do it for you. The now famous phrase "Content Is King" is still true, but perhaps, "Quality Original Content Is King", is far more accurate. Page36 Of 51 Insider's Guide To Article Directories As an article marketer, how much do you know about the sites you are using to facilitate the distribution of your work? The following insights will ensure that you do not make the same mistakes as many others who are then left wondering why article marketing doesn't work. 1) Read the Terms of Service and the Submission Guidelines of Each Directory You Intend to Submit to. This might seem a rather obvious piece of advice and rather tedious and if you are using submission software to submit to hundreds of directories, almost impossible to achieve. However, you should still educate yourself on the basic rules which are often pretty similar. Things to be aware of are listed below. 2) Ensure that your article complies with any minimum word count specified by the directory. This can vary, with some requiring a minimum of 400 words and others wanting at least 500, down to those who will accept even less. In my opinion, anything less than 500 words is likely to exclude you from too high a number of directories and is a good base to work from. Blame the spammers and advertisement brigade for that one. If you have read elsewhere (as I did a few days ago) that 'articles should be short and snappy, around 300 words is fine and anything more will turn readers away', feel free to test the theory, but don't expect to get published in a whole lot of places. 3) Make sure that the body of your article complies with linking rules most directories do not allow live links outside of the resource box. 4) Does your resource box comply with the rules? Sometimes you will be allowed three links, sometimes only two and occasionally only one. Ensure that the format of your links will make them clickable. Again, some directories to not permit anchor text linking whereas with others it is the only way to make a link live and typing in a straight URL will not work. There is no point in having no working links in your resource box! Page37 Of 51 Be careful with affiliate links - most directories don't allow them. You can use a redirect from your own domain but even this is not allowed by some. Your links are often checked by a human editor, so ignore the directory's rules at your own risk. It's another common reason for rejection. If you don't have a website or domain of your own there are alternatives. You could, for example, consider using the services of a site like Squidoo to build your own "Lens" or even a free blogging platform such as Blogger where you can post links to your affiliate programs. I have added an extra section dealing with article marketing for affiliates later in the book. 5) Don't submit articles on topics that are cited as unacceptable to the directory. A golf niche directory will probably not want your wonderful prose on PPC Advertising. 6) Most directories will not accept adult content - there are specific directories for this sector of the market so use them. Other subjects often not welcome in general directories are pharmaceutical related (you know the kind of pills I mean) and sometimes gambling. If these are things you are trying to promote, you will probably have to search a little more diligently for places to submit to. 7) Always pick a relevant category for your article. Some places will delete your submission automatically if you don't bother to do this, so don't overlook it. 8) Keep your resource box links relevant to the content of your article. Whilst there may be the odd occasion where this may not apply, as a general rule editors look for obvious discrepancies and often remove links or even delete the article entirely for this transgression. 9) Do not SPAM directories. If one thing is sure to get your work deleted and your account too, this one will do it. You may well have a pool of content that you have built up over the past year, but mass submitting large numbers of articles will hurt only you in the long run and none of your articles will make it to publication. Use your common sense and stagger your submissions over a period of time. I Page38 Of 51 would say submitting anything more than ten articles in a 24 hour period is likely to cause problems, sometimes even less. 10) Use your real name, or at least the name of your business or website. Some directories insist on a first and last name, others will be a little more flexible. Read the rules. Let's be honest here, if you consider the branding benefits of quality articles, what is the sense in hiding behind an alias or a stupid and totally unprofessional "handle". Readers like to know who has written the great article they just read and it could make all the difference between getting picked up for publication or discarded. Many webmasters don't want to publish an article on their own site attributed to "BobbySox1954", so don't shoot yourself in the foot this way. It's lame and it looks unprofessional. Be proud of your articles and stand behind them to help brand yourself and your business. 11) Do not submit articles that are poorly written. Your spelling, grammar, punctuation and layout should be spot on. I probably delete more articles on a daily basis for this reason alone than any other. Here's just one example I received today that illustrates with some irony how to get your article declined before the editor even gets beyond the title - "Targeted Aricle Marketing - 6 Improtent Keys to Excel at Article Marketing" Remember, the article directory has a reputation to build and protect too. Failure to weed out the rubbish will damage their visitor loyalty, and besides, do you really want your decent work buried beneath piles of garbage? Neither, presumably, do you want to attach your name and your business to low quality articles, when your aim is to enhance your reputation. It is in the interest of everyone - authors, publishers and directory owners, to ensure a reasonable standard of quality. In the long term, failure to do so would spell the death of article marketing. 12) If you are writing and submitting articles for someone else as part of a freelancing arrangement for example, it can be all too easy to fall foul of an editor's eye. Page39 Of 51 You may well be writing articles on a huge variety of subjects, and consequently you are going to be using different resource boxes all the time but still submitting everything under one name. This will be very noticeable to a directory owner or moderator. Some places may be fine with this but others may view your activity as borderline spamming. I look at this type of thing on a case by case basis before deciding. What I really don't like is when these authors make patently dishonest claims in their resource boxes. Do they really think claiming expert status on everything from cake baking and wedding gowns, to industrial plastics and avionics engineering is not just a tad unbelievable? To my mind that is paid spamming and rarely sees the light of day for long. Article directories are NOT link directories or link farms and if you are perceived to be treating them as such you could be out on your ear in short order, regardless of the quality of your writing. 13) Never confuse the writing of articles with the writing of ad copy. Blatant advertising will almost invariably be deleted. Articles should be informative and not just a PR piece for your website, company, services, affiliate program or products. Remember, articles inform and educate, if they lead to sales in the long all well and good, but don't try to use them as a direct sales tool. term, 14) Article directories will invariably require authors to register before they are able to submit their work, just like any other membership site. Many people are tempted to use a phony address or a junk email account that they will never read. If your email address returns undeliverable errors, you stand a chance of losing your author privileges or having your account and all your articles removed from the site. Some places are far hotter on this than others, but when you sign up, one of the terms is usually that you agree to accept the occasional email from the directory in question. It is part of the conditions of the service that they are providing and it really isn't unreasonable. Page40 Of 51 Whilst a minority of directories might abuse this, it it is the only way the operator of the site has of contacting you with updates, changes in terms and the like. If you never see those messages, you could inadvertently damage your reputation by continuing to fall foul of new rules and end up with one less directory to submit your work to. In my experience, very few directories have ever bombarded me with emails. Those that do send me occasional promotional messages have earned that right by hosting and disseminating my articles across the web, and I did agree to receive them as part of the deal. As a directory owner, I spend hours poring over submissions every week. It is a labor intensive and tiring task to manually approve every article I publish, but it is the only way to maintain the level of quality that I think my visitors deserve. Like many other one man operations, I do not have the time to correct spelling errors, poor grammar, and the multitude of other mistakes in so many articles. If your article is declined by a directory, you will usually be told the reason and have the chance to correct it. If it is so badly written that it makes no sense or resembles the scribblings of an infant, it will be deleted. 15) If you are using a submission service choose it carefully, as a lot of the better quality directories abandoned them after becoming inundated with floods of distinctly sub-standard submissions. They may well save a lot of time, and they do submit your work to a large number of sites, leaving you free to do other things. However, if you want any level of control, and want to submit to a large number of places, using submission software might be a better option. These pointers will not apply to all directories. It has to be said that a lot of them exercise virtually no control over what authors submit and will publish submissions with little or no editorial intervention. If you break a few rules, you will still get published in some places and perhaps for some that is all that matters. If you wish to leverage your articles to best effect though, I would try to adhere to most of the suggestions to ensure publication in the top directories and those that practice some form of quality control. Page41 Of 51 I decided not to mention specific directories in any detail, there are just too many but you can find a list of the top fifteen article directories here . If you invest in some submission software, or even use one of the free submitters listed in our resources, you won't need to hunt for them in any case. Once you have started submitting articles you will start to notice the ones sending you the most traffic and giving you the best search engine rankings and may prefer to concentrate on those but don't neglect the smaller sites either. Sometimes having articles listed in very high traffic sites won't always bring a lot of visitors simply because there is just so much content for people to browse. Smaller less well established directories may have an advantage here in terms of human readers being able to find your work so submitting to a cross section won't do any harm. Page42 Of 51 Special Notes For Affiliate Marketers and Adsense Publishers I have mentioned affiliate programs several times throughout this book and advised against the use of direct affiliate links in articles and your resource box. However, don't think if you are promoting affiliate programs that article marketing is not for you. The following suggestions will help any affiliate marketer to effectively increase sales and traffic too. Let's assume that you don't have a website or blog and are trying to make money with affiliate programs. If you can't use the links provided by your merchants, what are you supposed to do? I've already mentioned things like free blogs, but there are alternative, and perhaps better, ways. Instead of trying to sell directly through a link, use your resource box to send people to a page where they can sign up for more information. These are known as "lead capture" or "squeeze" pages. So how do you get one and what do they do? Let's get a few quick definitions out of the way first. Ideally, you need to be hosting your own domain and to have access to an autoresponder service. To be honest, if you are still resisting these online expenses you are giving yourself a huge handicap. Autoresponders come in different guises - there are paid third party services who normally charge a monthly fee, there are free third party services who fund the service by placing advertisements on the emails you send out, and there are scripts that can be hosted on a webmaster's own domain. All of them do basically the same thing. Usually a web page will be used to collect information from people - as a minimum their name and email address, but sometimes more. The page commonly offers the visitor some kind of incentive to provide their information - perhaps a free book or report. When the visitor leaves their details, the autoresponder kicks in and sends them a message asking them to confirm their request by clicking on a link within the email. This is referred to as Page43 Of 51 "double opt-in" and ensures that the owner of the email list cannot be accused of sending unsolicited email. If the visitor completes these steps, the autoresponder then sends another mail, usually informing them of how to get the gift that they signed up for. From that point on, the visitor is a member of your list until they unsubscribe or "opt-out". The autoresponder can be pre-programmed with a number of messages timed to be sent out over a period of time and frequency set by the owner who can also send mails manually when the need arises. As you can see, the power of this kind of email marketing is tremendous if used wisely. So, in your articles, instead of sending someone to your affiliate link, you send them to your lead capture page and then offer them a great reason to sign up. Your article marketing is what you use to drive traffic to this page which then enables you to offer more useful information and market your affiliate products and services via your opt-in list or newsletter. Most people's reluctance in using this technique is usually because of perceived cost, or, because they think it is going to be too difficult to set up but nowadays, there are a huge number of tools to help you out. If you already have your own hosting, you could use the very professional and comprehensive services of someone like Aweber Autoresponders. If you don't yet have your own hosting account, I recommend Kiosk.ws who not only provide very reliable hosting, but a great collection of marketing tools including an unlimited number of professional autoresponders, thus killing two birds with one stone and saving you the monthly autoresponder fees. Now, at this point I will mention something for those who still don't like the idea of trying to build a squeeze page. You can easily create opt-in forms with free software such as Squeeze Buzz Elite which is very easy to use and works perfectly with Kiosk's Supersponder service. For more information about setting up your first web hosting account, and to claim your 47 page free ebook just click here to download your free copy Page44 Of 51 For the small extra effort, there is no reason why you shouldn't use a squeeze page. If you're still hung up on the price of web hosting, as a reader of this report you'll be pleased to know that I can hook you up with a great free service where you can host your pages and not have to suffer the indignity of third party ads all over them. You could of course host a whole lot more than just squeeze pages as you'll see when you go and check out the Free cPanel WebHosting service I'm recommending although for mission critical sites I would not suggest you use free web hosting. The next common objection is that you have nothing free to offer your visitors to persuade them to sign up to your list. So let's solve that one too. These new services are entirely free and will provide you not only with a wealth of free products to give away, you can also brand them and turn them into money making tools in their own right. How cool is that? Free Viral Ebook Explosion - not only can you use a variety of free ebooks and rebrand them, the service will also host them on your behalf. Butterfly Reports - this brand new site offers free rebrandable viral reports and ebooks delivered to you every month so you will always have new freebies to give away and profit from. Free Viral Spiral List - If you really don't want an autoresponder this option not only gives you rebrandable products to offer, it also gives you a webpage to promote for each one and will build you a list at the same time. You will be able to send mail to your customers every three days via a web interface. Free Squeeze Page Generator - if you've got your autoresponder service already but are still struggling with the idea of building and hosting your squeeze pages try this. All you have to do is follow some easy step by step instructions and this will churn out a pretty reasonable looking squeeze page with a choice of free gift and your autoresponder all plugged in and ready to go. They will even host the squeeze pages you generate. Very simple and free. I hesitate to recommend a free autoresponder service because if you are doing business online, they can be perceived as unprofessional and also because I've never used one myself. However, for some people's purposes they might be just fine - do a search for "free autoresponders" and you will be presented with several Page45 Of 51 choices. So, now you have countless ways to set up pages to send your readers to via your resource box. Once you have a system in place, and if you follow the techniques n this book, your article marketing will have a profound impact on your affiliate marketing results. See the resources listed at the end of the book for more great tools and ideas. Notes For Adsense Publishers If you are using Adsense on your websites, article marketing can of course help boost your earnings simply because you will drive more traffic to your sites and hopefully see an increase in click throughs. Some people have made very good money just relying on the power of articles to achieve this for them. In the resources section at the end of this book, you will find a link to a free report that will give you some great insights into maximizing Adsense revenue through the application of high paying keyword niches and article marketing. I'm not going to give away the information here but it will give you even more great ideas on how to increase your income. In Conclusion Article marketing is a powerful method of online promotion only if you go about it correctly. if you have never made any of the mistakes outlined in this book, you can congratulate yourself. If you are still learning the ropes, I hope it has been useful. Perhaps at one time, before too many people had discovered the power of articles, a lot of this advice would have had little relevance, but the competition in 2008 is far greater than it has ever been. Give yourself and your writing every edge you can to stand out from the herd. It does take time for the results of your article writing and distribution to become Page46 Of 51 apparent. Patience and hard work will be rewarded, although how those rewards will manifest themselves will vary. Increasing your visibility online, a growing number of backlinks, perhaps more subscribers to your newsletter or your blog's RSS feed. You should also see your articles showing well in the search results for your chosen keywords, you may even achieve an increase in your visible Google page rank. Hopefully, if you are marketing your business, products and services you will grow your customer base, make more sales and earn more money. This probably won't happen overnight, although there have been tales of great successes within days that have been attributed to a single article. Article marketing is not generally a quick fix and should not be thought of as such. As we have seen, there are no real shortcuts. Persistence and continuity should eventually give you some or all of the aforementioned benefits. On the following pages you will find a host of additional resources that will be extremely useful in your ongoing article marketing ventures. Before you go and check out all the goodies, please don't forget to swing by and check out our quality general article directory. We are always seeking new authors who can offer quality work, so if you fit the bill, we'd love to see you. If you're a webmaster looking for good content, you are more than welcome too, we have thousands of free articles on a huge range of subjects all ready for you to download and use on your blogs and websites. The CaymanHost Free Article Directory Recommended Reading And Resources Article Submission Software Article Post Robot Submit to hundreds of directories. Visit the site and request a free demo version. One of the best on the market today and consequently the most expensive, but does represent great value if only the best will do for you. ($127 at the time of writing) Page47 Of 51 Article Submitter Submit to over 600 directories. Select by user preference based on Page Rank etc. Download your free trial here. The cheapest out of this selection but very good value for money. Does leave out some of the major directories, but submitting to those few by hand is no big chore. Usually the program I use myself. (Only $47 at the time of writing) Brad Callen's Article Submitter Free download available - submits to a wide variety of directories selected by user preferences. The standard version is free and will allow you to submit to 85 directories. The gold version which submits to over 660 is a paid upgrade. ($67 at the time of writing) Instant Article Submitter The price tag might be a little high when compared to the other submitters and its submission base is not as comprehensive as either Article Post Robot or article Submitter but it does come with several bonuses. If they are something you feel you might want it could be the software for you. ($97 at the time of writing) Article Distribution Services Article Marketer One of the biggest article submission services. Free and paid memberships available depending on your needs. You send your articles and the service will then post them to a huge variety of article banks and directories. Great if you don't have the time to do it yourself Further Reading Article Marketing Domination In my opinion one of the definitive ebooks on article marketing. Great value and highly recommended. The author, Josh Spaulding, makes a full time living online and has walked the walk in this field. He shares with you all his tips and secrets on how to make a success of article marketing. Article Directory Scripts For those who are thinking of setting up their own article directory, you will Page48 Of 51 need to get hold of a script and install it on your server. There are several options open to you. Instant Adsense Article Directory An excellent script that comes with full resell rights and includes help and advice on how to benefit from running your own directory. For the price it offers excellent value for money ($27 at time of writing) Article Directory Pro Another good alternative but looks expensive comparison. The site includes a demo of the admin area which is a nice touch and customers are given some bonuses by way of PLR articles. If you've got the bucks and like the idea of the bonuses on offer it will do the job ($67 at the time of writing) Article Dashboard This is one of the most common scripts in use, largely because it's been available for free for some time. However, potential users should be aware that the script has had no official support or development for quite some time. There is an active forum and some enterprising individuals who are still writing add-ons for the script, and out of the box it needs them. There have been various security holes in the past but they can be fixed. The bigger problems revolve around the standard admin functions, which are adequate until your directory begins to grow and then you will soon want to improve a lot of things just to make your life easier. The add ons do not come for free and will cost you (around $50.00 at the time of writing). Article Writing Software Content Infinity I hesitate to recommend any of these types of tools, because, the potential for misuse is undeniable. However, I know that some people will go out and look for them regardless, so if you really want to invest in something that claims to take the pain out of writing this is probably about the best one available according to several people I have spoken to. I admit to having no personal experience of the product. Just remember it is not human, despite it's clever features. Page49 Of 51 More Handy Tools For Writers and Editors Dictionary.com - Always handy to have it open whenever you're unsure Word Count Firefox Add-on - very useful little tool. Highlight the text instant word count. eWriter Pro - Excellent software enables you to turn your articles and other writing into professional digital products. Includes internal word processor and easy one click PDF creation. It's all you need. Keyword Research Tools and Software Google's Own External Keyword Tool Keyword Discovery Micro Niche Finder Good Keywords (Freeware) For those unfamiliar with keyword research this free report on building niche minisites will give you some very eye opening insights into increasing Adsense revenue through article marketing. Download The Report Here I recommend this report because it ties in very nicely with much of what I have mentioned on keyword research, Adsense and articles and also because I know the author and am confident that anyone can benefit from his online marketing experience. Helpful Webmaster Resources There are always going to be some projects that are just beyond the scope of our experience. Blog templates, website design, software development, anything outside your technical comfort zone, you can always find someone to take on such work at RentACoder where no jobs are too big or too small. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page50 Of 51 All that now remains is to wish you every success in your article marketing adventures! I hope you have found this report useful and gained at least one or two useful pointers. If you have any feedback on this report you can write to me at the following address:email@example.com And please feel free to offer this report to your own list or blog readers if you think it will help them. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But Before You Go.................. Page51 Of 51 Congratulations! “As A Thank You For Reading My Book I Am Offering You FREE Lifetime Access to The Following 3 Membership Sites Which Can Help You Develop and Grow Your Online Business Ventures” PLR Wholesaler A $197 Value Click Here For Immediate Access Page52 Of 51 Free Gold Membership At Resell Rights Mastery Worth $197.00 Grab Your Lifetime Membership Here
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