There are two primary factors in creating a successful
reference box, also called a bio box, that get the results
you want from your Internet-posted articles. The first is
adding the right keywords into the language. Second, is to
write tiny ads that led to a call to action. Neither is
going to be easy, but both are necessary and accomplishable.
Let's walk through the process together, and I will give you
a few techniques that have brought me large responses and
click through rates of upwards of 45%, sometimes even
higher, when averages usually run under 8%.
Beginning with understanding what an Internet article is and
its intention, creates a starting point for both of us.
Let's begin there. Simply, distribution of these articles
is solely for electronic publishing. Guidelines from
publishers prefer 500 to 1400 word counts with an average of
700 to 800. Creative intentions range from building an
expertise in a particular market, topic or industry, a taste
of a topic for marketing of a product, or as a paid writing
gig for others, so that they may complete one of the other
previously mentioned intentions. Publishing can occur
inside a newsletter, also called an ezine or electronic
newsletter, or be published on a website. Each has its own
pros and cons. Website posting does tip the scale higher on
the pro side.
The next thought process moves us up the railing to knowing
what action you want the reader to take. This ties in with
your intention and also making it a reasonable request.
Reasonable means not asking for the reader to leap and buy a
product or service based on the small amount of information
given in the reference box. For coaches or consultants,
it's even a leap for readers to commit to a complimentary
session based on that small amount of information. A
reference box builds only one point, far from the seven to
ten-points needed before people take an action that calls
for a higher commitment. Selling too soon always turns off
an action request.
Since publishers usually don't allow more than five 60-
character lines or 450 or less characters, focus is best
limited to one action request. The request usually requires
a "click here to" request, for instance:
* visit website for more information about product, service,
workshop, seminar, conference
* consider subscribing to
* find out more about the author
* call us for (something beneficial and free)
A reference box needs to have the following basics:
1. The author's name and background expertise on the topic.
2. The call to action request.
3. A benefit for readers to take the action.
4. Keywords for search engine optimization (SEO).
Developing the author's name and expertise sentence is easy
and the call to action addressed, let's move to the
remaining two items: benefit and keywords. Take the major
benefit for one of your calls to action. Here is an example
of a short-list of benefits to being a subscriber of my
nonfiction for-profit monthly newsletter:
* Learn additional avenues to make money with your writing
* Explore and improve your nonfiction for-profit writing
skills and techniques
* A metacenter site to find resources to ease your journey
in this area
How-to details on finding your features and benefits are
available at the Abundance Center's website.
Continue to create five or more benefit lines for each of
your action requests, products and services. You will be
able to use these in multiple places, not just your
reference box. The benefit line or phrase in the reference
box needs to build a curiosity or draws readers to want to
click and find out more. If the reader sees the benefit as
somewhat unbelievable, whether true or not, isn't always the
best way to get the preferred action. Sometimes it's best
to downplay the benefit, yet continue to make impact. For
example, articles I've written were published thousands of
times over the past year. Instead, it's best for me to
adopt the term, prolific writer. Hype is a big turnoff for
We have walked through the who and expertise lines, created
benefit lines, next you will want to create a list of
keywords for the topic, service and product, then sprinkle
them into the resource box information.
Keywords help Net visitors find your article (and you) and
the website where the article is posted. Keywords are words
people would search on to find information on that topic.
Using the keyword finder on Google or the new Amazon search
engine is one way to find what people search on most
frequently. However, the finder is limited to last month's
searches. The key finders will give you hints, however, I
believe your common sense will do the same. Additional
information on finding keywords are available in articles
section of the Abundance Center or search on "keywords" "how
to" "article" in Google.
Another tip, slightly outside the scope of this topic, which
will help the attractiveness of your article, is not to use
the same reference box, or bio box, repeatedly in all
articles. Density is important to increase attraction from
the search engines yet too much of a good thing shoots you
in the foot too. Too much density means 25 or more exactly
the same. Changing the benefit line, call to action, and
keywords broadens your exposure as well as the opportunity
for searchers to find the website that your article is
posted -- one key purpose people publish and host your
Writing tight copy, including a reference box, always
requires more time and focus even for the best writers. Be
patient through the development. Review other reference
boxes for likes and dislikes. More importantly, be creative
and test the response rate occasionally if article writing
is a major part of your marketing program.
In summary, the reference box provides author's name and
tied-in expertise, the major benefit for clicking and an
appropriate call to action that is reasonable for someone
reading the article. The sprinkle in or substitute search
engine optimizing keywords into the resource box to increase
exposure and attractiveness for both yourself and whoever is
publishing your articles.
Catherine Franz, a business coach specializing in marketing
and writing, presents multiple learning opportunities for
business owners at the Abundance Center or Catherine's blog.
Visitors experience the opportunity to increase skills and
knowledge through articles, newsletters, and programs.