5 Steps to Marketing Your First Article
Table of contents for Article Marketing
- Can Your Business Benefit From Article Marketing?
- 5 Steps to Marketing Your First Article
- What Makes Quality Content?
- What Kind of Articles Work Best?
- Offline Article Marketing Secrets
- How to Find Article Writers and PLR (Private Label Rights) Articles
- How to Write a Killer Resource Box
- Top 10 Article Directories
- Five Tips to Marketing Your Articles to Get Them More Exposure
- Tracking Your Article Marketing Results
5 Steps to Marketing Your First Article
Words are timeless. You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of their timelessness. ~ Khalil Gibran
For many people, the idea of actually sitting down and writing an article stops them cold. You may wonder if you have anything worth saying, or if your writing is “good” enough for publication. If it makes you feel any better, virtually every writer – even the professionals – start out with the same fears. In fact, author Jeffery Deaver is quoted as saying, “I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block.”
But once you have one article under your belt, the next ones become much easier.
Here’s a five-step plan to have you on your way to your first article:
1. Brainstorm topics.
What questions do you get about your topic area? What are the sticking points for newbies to your field? What equipment or specialized knowledge do people need to get started? Make a list of the most common questions you are asked about your business.
For instance, I recently suggested to my Veterinarian that we add a blog to the website that we built for him last year. He immediately reared back with terrified look in his eyes and did his level best to convince me that he just didn’t have a darn thing to write about.
My response? Nonsense! Apart from treating the animals in his care, his day is spent soothing anxious pet parents and answering a myriad of questions ranging from the best nutrition products to care of a pet in declining health and everything in-between. Once he understood that he did indeed have a wealth of information to share with the community, he then offered up the excuse that he just doesn’t have time to sit down and write. I kindly agreed with him on this one, but noticed that the office manager who has been with the practice for many years was very engaged and interested in the conversation. Long story short, she is now writing a very popular blog and article series for the veterinary hospital. Just by sharing information that comes up during the course of a day, they have found that they actually have more article ideas than they ever thought possible.
Are you an ardent home cook? Do you continually receive praise for your cooking and regular requests for recipes? Perhaps your cooking niche is cooking small meals to be frozen for later use. People would want to know:
- How will cooking and freezing small meals benefit me?
- Is this a cost effective method of cooking and shopping?
- What equipment will I need? Do I need ziplock bags? Air tight containers?
- What type of spices and seasonings freeze well?
- Do I have to season the food less because the seasonings will get stronger with time?
- What are the problems I might encounter?
- Should I label my containers and date them? What are the best tools for this?
- What are some basic recipes?
- What foods last the longest and what foods will be prone to freezer burn?
- How do I avoid freezer burn?
By brainstorming with your family, friends, and even just yourself, in just a few minutes, you can have topics for your first dozen articles.
2. Choose one to begin with.
Pick one of your topics to start with. Forget about choosing the “perfect” topic – there is no such thing. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, a note pad, or sit down in front of your computer, set the timer for 10 minutes and jot down everything you can think of related to that topic. Don’t worry about complete sentences, formatting, or spelling, just get the ideas down. This is your “stream of consciousness” exercise which will then lead to more tangible ideas.
For instance, if my topic is “How cooking and freezing small meals can benefit you,” I might write;
- Save money
- Healthier diet
- Control portions
- Lose weight
- Time saving
- Social – can do with family or friends
- Organization – helps me plan my time better if I don’t have to cook every night
- Less stress
Some people like to use mind maps to create these lists. If you’d like more information on that process, I suggest googling “mindmap software.”
3. Organize it and flesh it out.
The next step is to take the outline you created in Step 2 and organize it into common themes. You’re aiming for an article about 400-700 words, so three to five main points is ideal. If you have more than that, never fear! You can turn that information into another article or an article series. This article is actually #2 in a 11 part series.
Then take your outline and build on it. If this is where you start feeling butterflies in your stomach, relax. Imagine you’re writing an email to a friend to explain to him or her the topic of your article. Again, don’t get stuck on grammar, spelling, etc. Just get the info on the page – you can always go back and edit it. Professional writers often create several drafts of their work. Very few people get it right the first time! I do recommend you write in your own voice and your own style. You will be more comfortable and so will the people reading it.
Now’s the time when you can go back through the article and edit and polish, making each sentence say what you want it to. Be sure it’s cohesive, that the statements flow together, and that it makes sense. Also be on the lookout for places where you can tighten your writing – where you use three words when just one will do, or where there are redundancies. Ensure that each word, each sentence, each paragraph have purpose.
When you think your article is finished, walk away from it for an hour or even a day. Then go back and read through again. By giving yourself some time away from your article, you will pick up previously missed errors or ones that spell check didn’t catch.
After you’ve written your article and polished it until it shines, it’s time to submit it. Most article marketers submit to online directories – clearinghouses where experts post articles and editors find content to publish. While there are hundreds of online article directories, there’s no need to submit to more than a few. Each has its own pluses and minuses, so take some time to pick the best for your niche. A quick search on Google for “article directory” will bring up dozens of options. In part 9 of this series, I will give you the top 10 article directories and tips on how to use them.
If you know of large circulation newsletters or ezines in your niche, submit directly to those publishers as well. Make sure you follow the article directories guidelines exactly, as some have minimum and maximum word lengths, as well as other requirements. And if you have your own blog, absolutely publish it there. Break it into smaller pieces if you must, but publish away!
Article marketing is a valuable free marketing strategy, but it must be used consistently— and often — for the best results. So once you’ve finished one article, go back to the beginning and start writing your next. Keep the content flowing, and soon you’ll see the results of your hard work. You can’t buy better promotion than that!
Free Report: 5 Steps to a Big-Profit, S.M.A.L.L. Report Business by Jimmy D. Brown
Easy PLRis a wonderful resource that will help you find an ongoing supply of fresh content for your blog or article marketing efforts. However, I highly recommend that you edit and re-write these articles in your own voice. Use them as a jumping off point and then take it from there.
Need an Article. When you need well-crafted and well-written content for business, for website, or for personal reasons Need an Article has the solution to your writing needs. Again, the same suggestions about editing and re-writing these articles in your own voice applys.
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