Article marketing is the act of writing articles and publishing them online (usually through an article directory or distribution site) to increase Web exposure, search engine ranking and website traffic.
Here are seven "rules" to help you get the most out of your article marketing program.
Rule #1 - Your articles must be your original work.
Article distribution sites require that any work you submit be your own. In other words, no plagiarism. But that's just one reason of many to create your own content. Aside from being the right thing to do, creating original articles will help you position yourself as an authority in your field.
Rule #2 - Your articles must be well written.
This does not mean your articles have to be literary masterpieces. It means your articles should be logically structured and easily readable, with proper grammar and spelling.
In truth, article distribution sites will publish your articles as long as they meet some basic criteria for length and formatting. But they won't check your article for spelling, or to make sure it's well written. You'll have to do that, and it's vital that you do.
Your articles will take on a life of their own after you submit them. They could pop up all over the Web (actually, that's the idea). And the last thing you want is a poorly written article circulating on the Web for months. That will do you more harm than good.
Rule #3 - Your articles must be helpful.
The articles that do the best for article marketing -- the articles that enjoy plenty of reprint and exposure -- are the articles that genuinely help readers. The Internet is choked with what I like to call "fluff" articles. Fluff articles are general to a fault. They don't offer any meat, any specific or helpful content. Avoid fluff articles. You can help your articles rise to the top by making them helpful.
This article is helpful because I'm showing you specific tactics to help you achieve something. I'm not just telling you what article marketing is ? I'm showing you, in detail, how to use article marketing for your own purposes. That's what you should strive to do with your articles.
Rule #4 - Your articles must be relevant to your services.
If your articles adhere to all the other rules but are not related to your product or service, they won't help you grow your business. You could write a well crafted, helpful article about home stereo systems, and it might get a lot of circulation and republication. But if you sell audio equipment for cars, you've given readers no reason to contact you about it. So make sure your articles relate to your product or service in some way.
Rule #5 - Your articles must point to your website.
One of article marketing's main objectives is to steer qualified prospects to your website. Another objective is to increase your website's search engine ranking. To support both of these objectives, you'll need to include a link to your website at the end of each article. If you don't have a website or blog, pointing to an email address is the next best thing. But I recommend getting a website before you begin an article marketing program.
Rule #6 - Your articles must give the reader a reason to take further action.
Educating your prospects is important. But the end goal of article marketing is to get them to act. You want them to visit your website, subscribe to your newsletter, download something, or contact you directly. So each article must have a properly constructed call-to-action at the end of it.
Rule #7 - You must submit new articles on a regular basis.
Believe it or not, it's possible to submit just one article and see an increase in website traffic, and possibly even acquire a new customer. But to capitalize on everything article marketing has to offer, you should make it a regular part of your business.
The point of article marketing is to produce a steady stream of well-written, helpful articles. So create a schedule for yourself. My schedule is to submit one article per week in three different categories. Maybe for starters your goal will be two articles per month (though I advise more). Article marketing is not a one-shot deal ? the more articles the better!
* Copyright 2006, Brandon
Brandon Cornett is the owner and publisher of MarketingSwap.com, a content exchange for writers and publishers. Submit your own marketing articles, or download a free 18-page article writing guide! Visit http://www.MarketingSwap.com today.