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Effective Article Marketing

Articles are one of the best and popular ways to generate traffic for any online business. This is mainly because it is articles - written content - that search engines primarily catalog. From blog to websites to news, it is the information contained in articles that many are after.

Articles come in many format. You can find them as web copy or the content in your typical website. Blog posts can also be considered articles. You have news articles and press releases, reports, review articles, feature articles and how-to articles.

When using articles for marketing purposes, there are 3 main things that you need to have all the time - they should be relevant, they should be inclined towards pre-selling, and they need to be well written.

Article Development - Being Relevant

As internet marketers, it’s very tempting to use keywords that we know our customers want to see because we know that it will entice them to click through to those links or articles. But it is also important to make sure that when they do click through, the page they will see is really about what you say it’s about. Otherwise, they will leave as quickly as they came, rendering your efforts useless.

Remember, there is a face behind every keyword. For each keyword, there is a question that begs to be answered. When choosing and using keyword, you need to find out what it is that your users are looking for, and try to give them the information that they need. Do this to build credibility and expert status in the mind of your visitors. They will be more likely to take your advise on products and ebook recommendations when they believe that you know exactly what you are talking about.

Keyword spamming, which happens when you use keywords for the sake of using them, even when it doesn’t make sense for those keywords to appear is a big no-no for anyone who wants to build a good online reputation. We’ve all encountered keyword spamming at one time or another, and we all know how annoying it could be. Which is why it’s very important you develop articles that are relevant to the keywords you wish to use.

Another thing to consider when developing your articles is to put good research behind your articles. One well researched quality article is worth more in the long run and will give you better returns for your efforts.

For more tips on writing relevant articles that get good search engine rankings, see our video on article writing tips.

The Art of Pre-Selling

Pre-selling is one of the misunderstood and underutilized marketing tools out there. When done and used correctly, it can be one of the most effective marketing tools you can use. It’s the one thing you can do to improve conversion rates. And as an affiliate marketer, pre-selling the product will be one of your main responsibilities.

Pre-selling is defined as conditioning a potential customer into buying a product. This puts the potential customers in the right frame of mind before they even encounters the product.  And when the potential customers are in the right frame of mind, they are more willing to browse through the seller’s site and eventually buy the product.

Pre-selling avoids putting the potential customer in a defensive stance, which usually happens with a sales pitch.

How does pre-selling put potential customers in the right frame of mind and open up to the idea of buying a product? Mainly, by not selling. Pre-selling is not a sales pitch, you are not selling the product. Pre-selling suggests a product that you may want to buy.

To show you the difference between a sales copy and a pre-selling copy, let’s use some examples

  • Sales Copy: "Our 'XY' cellulite removal cream is so effective, it'll remove your cellulite in 2 weeks. It will improve your life! Get our cellulite removal cream today!"

  • Pre-selling copy: "To remove and prevent cellulite, you should have a healthy lifestyle. Keep a healthy diet, drink lots of water, and exercise at least 30 minutes a day, every other day. You can also try using cellulite removal creams like 'XY' cellulite removal cream, to help remove cellulite faster."

As you can see, the sales copy is selling “XY” cellulite cream. A pre-selling copy doesn’t sell anything.

A sales copy tells you that “XY” can remove cellulite in 2 weeks. The pre-selling copy is giving you information on how to remove cellulite. It suggests that you use a cellulite removal cream and recommends a brand.

The brand “XY” is recommended because it simply works, that’s why it was mentioned in the copy. A pre-selling copy is written with the potential customer in mind, not the potential sale.

Pre-selling copy mainly provides information. Information that’s useful to the potential customer and relevant to the product. People are more open to buying a product if it’s been recommended by a friend or an expert. A friend would have your best interest in mind and if a friend recommends a product, it means the product works. 

Potential customers also listen to experts because they exude an air of authority. Experts know what they’re talking about and know what works and what doesn’t. It should be written in a conversational tone, like a friend giving advice.

The information should be up-to-date, applicable to the needs of the potential customer, and accurate. The information must be extensive, in the same way an expert gives a recommendation. And most importantly, pre-selling copy must be subtle.

Do not sell. Information about the product you are selling must come as a suggestion and not the main topic of the copy. Keep in mind while writing the pre-selling copy that it must be something that would interest you as a reader. It’s the suggestive tone of a pre-selling copy that gives it its power.

SEO Tips on Writing Articles

When writing articles for SEO, there are some technical considerations you need to cover. Here are some of them:

  • Keyword placement. Make sure the keyword you want to target appears once in the title, once in the first paragraph of your article and 1 to 2 more times in the body of the article. You don’t want to go over 3, especially when you have a short article (400 - 500 words), because you don’t want the search engines think you are spamming them.

  • Article length. A good article length is necessary for your article to get indexed. Many internet marketers agree that articles need to be at least 400 words long in order to be properly indexed.

  • Articles should be original. Duplicate content are usually only indexed by google the first time they see them. And so, it is important that your articles are unique and original. This is also why when you see our affiliate tools for our various products, we always recommend that you personalize those articles whenever possible.

  • Articles should be interesting to read for humans. There’s no point getting readers to find your article with SEO if they’re not going to enjoy reading it. Write the articles carefully. Make sure the information they contain is accurate. Proofread your articles before posting them to filter out grammatical errors. Well written articles are more effective than poorly written ones.

  • When using articles in your own website, fill in the meta tags of your web page with the appropriate keyword and description meta tag for your article. It’s very easy to do. Go to the code view of your web page. And look for your title tag. That’s near the top of the page where the name of you website is written, in between these commands: <title> </title>. Then put the commands for keywords and description to indicate the keywords and a short description of what your article is about. Here’s an example:

<title>Internet Marketing Affiliate Secrets</title>
<meta name="Keywords" content="keyword 1, keyword 2, keyword 3" />
<meta name="Description" content="Find out what you need to make it as a successful   internet marketer. Informative tips, techniques and advice you won’t find anywhere else." />

  • When submitting articles to article directories, check out the editorial guidelines of each site. Some article directories do not allow affiliate hoplinks. This means you should connect to your own site (perhaps a product review site?) or connect to your site first, and then redirect using your affiliate hoplink. For more information on submitting articles, check out our video on how to submit articles to article directories.

  • There are plenty of article directories you can submit your articles to. If you only plan to submit to a few sites, then choose those that have a high GooglePagerank and one that does not have a NoFollow link. You can find a complete list here:

            http://www.vretoolbar.com/articles/directories.php

  • Many article directories have what you call a “resource box” and you are only allowed to put outgoing links in this portion of your article. Because this is the only place where you can place a link back to where you want your readers to go to next, it is vital that you make your resource box so compelling to encourage your readers to click through. And so, in the next section, we will talk about the resource box and how to make one that will get you the clicks you need.

There are many styles that authors use for the resource box to get readers to click, and by looking through the other articles in article directories, you can get a good sampling of the different formats that you can use. A good tip when writing your resource box is to think about the “what’s in it for me” principle. What’s in it for your readers to click? What benefit will they gain when they click through?

If you’re not too sure about what would make your readers click through, then think about what got them there in the first place. What is your article about? That certainly is a topic that your readers found interesting. Offering to give them more information on the same topic or on a closely related topic is a great way to entice them to click.

When creating the text link, don’t forget about relevance. You want them to land on a page that fulfills your promised information. Also, it helps to use keywords or key phrases on your text links because that will help in making your landing page more optimized.

Here’s a video that talks a bit more about creating compelling and effective resource boxes:

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