You have a new website, or a new business, or both ? or your site isn?t getting the kind of traffic you want and need. How are you going to tell the world about what you have to offer and where to find it?
If you have deep pockets, you can start buying ads in newsletters and ezines and hope somebody reads them. If you have even deeper pockets, you can have press releases sent out in major markets all over the country, even around the world. (Actually, those are not deep pockets ? they?re more like mine shafts!) OR...
You can write articles for other people to publish in their ezines and newsletters. Who, me? Write? Right. It isn?t that difficult, assuming you have an average command of the English language. Or, more correctly, the American language, which is quite similar yet substantially different from English. George Bernard Shaw said, "England and America are two countries divided by a common language." But, enough of that.
The Internet is awash in "gurus", the vast majority of them self-appointed. I make no such claim. I am a practical writer and editor who believes the primary goal of this kind of writing is clear, concise communication. On that basis, I offer some advice and tips:
- Write about what you know. If you?re Joe or Jane, an office worker whose hobby is gardening, don't write about search engine optimization. Your goal is to publicize your new gardening website or ezine (or both). Write about gardening, and let someone else handle the SEO.
- Write a "conversation". By that, I mean write as though you were speaking to another person, one-to-one. You?re not writing for some literary journal, but for folks pretty much like yourself. "Talk" to a friend, and avoid expressions like "some of you", which is impersonal and puts distance between you and your reader. Bad idea. Instead say "some people", or something similar. Keep it conversational.
- Facts count. If you?re not sure about something, find out before including it in your article. Otherwise, you'll become known as unreliable, which can be fatal in business.
- Grammar counts. Let me guess: you hated English class and just barely passed. Well, if achieving your goals is important to you, make the effort. Here?s a free site that can answer more grammar questions than you can likely ask: http://www.grammarnow.com.
For punctuation questions, get my free guide (in Adobe PDF) at http://www.catnipchronicles.com/ebook/punctuation_power.pdf
- Be concise. If you want people to read your articles, give them something of value and make them easy to read.
- Numbers count. The more your articles get published, the more you will be thought of as an expert, and the more people will visit your website or subscribe to your ezine..
Once you?ve written an article, how do you market it to publishers who might want to use it? Well, you can:
- Search for ezines and newsletters covering your topic and email the individual publishers, offering your article. I used to do that ? time consuming and frustrating. OR
- Do what I do ? use OpportunityUpdate.com and have them do it for you (No, I am not an affiliate, but we are friends.) Here?s what they do:
- Promote your article to hundreds of publishers
- Send it directly to all their registered publishers
- Give you the advantage of great positions with Google and Yahoo, and others (but they?re the monsters)
- List your article in their "Authors We Recommend" section
- List your article in their search directory
- Your article gets a full search engine optimized Web page, including your website (in your Author?s Resource Box).
- Promote your article for a full year ? or more
- Submit your article to 40+ search engines and directories
Is it free? Of course not ? would you do all that for free? But, I guarantee you this: it?s dirt cheap and much less than it would cost you to do it yourself! So what good is writing if nobody reads it? You want results, right? Go with the pros.
Recap: If you want exposure ? publicity ? and increased traffic/subscribers, write decent articles and have them extensively marketed by http://OpportunityUpdate.com/doorwaytosubmit.html .
I don't believe in "luck", so I?ll wish you: Good Writing!
About The Author
Kent Butler is an entrepreneur, writer, and editor, who publishes a free cat-lover?s digital magazine called Catnip Chronicles . He has a service that makes fully-personalized, custom-made crossword and word search puzzles at http://Personal-Puzzles.com, and he edits the weekly journal of iCop, the International Council of Online Professionals, where he is a Founding Member.
© 2004 Kent Butler All Rights Reserved
This article was posted on July 19, 2004
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