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Article Marketing - Pulling In The Cash - Part 3

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In part two of the article marketing series we looked at how to research and choose a great topic for our article.  As I've said before research is vital so don't miss out this step, you really need to have sniper like accuracy when writing articles.  I also showed you where to find out what the hot topics of the day are in a particular niche. 

Today we are looking at actually producing those "hot" articles that will send heaps of traffic to your site. I apologise for the length of the post but I wanted to give you guys as much quality, free, money making startegies as I could.

Writing quality articles that get picked up by other sites is not about being Shakespeare.  Far from it.  You simply have to follow a set formula that I'm going to share with you today.

Most articles that are submitted to directories don't even attempt to follow this formula and so it's not surprising they never get picked up. 

Most articles are put together in minutes and submitted to hundreds of poor quality article directories just to get links back to the author's site.  Most of the authors know their articles will never get read and in some cases are delighted they don't, as they have put them together in such an unprofessional manor.

So although there may be thousands of articles submitted daily to article sites only a small percentage of these actually provide any quality content. 

Article Marketing The Magic Formula

As I've mentioned earlier in this series, article marketing is all about highlighting a problem and offering the glimpse of a solution.  In fact the whole of internet marketing is about solving problems, in simple terms giving people information they want.

So your articles should always be about problems and your solutions.

Even the article headline (I will talk about headlines in detail later) should highlight the problem, but should do so in a focused way.   For example, whilst an overweight person obviously wants to lose some of that weight, they will in all probability think about their problems in a much more specific way.

In other words, rather than thinking about losing weight, they are far more likely to be concentrating on something like ‘losing belly fat' or ‘lose underarm fat'. For this reason, an article entitled ‘6 steps for burning that belly fat in fourteen days'  is likely to be far more effective than one with a more general, generic weight loss related title. Make sure that your article describes the problem in detail and in depth, and that a least half of your article is focused on that specific job.

Then, explain that you realize how bad the problem is (you've been overweight yourself, right?), and why your readers really must do something positive about solving the problem.

Make sure that you stress what will happen if they do nothing to address the problem.   For example, if they are overweight, then they are likely to be less healthy than they would be if they were slimmer, they might contract diabetes, have breathing difficulties, suffer from heart disease and even die prematurely!

Then point out that your webpage features one (or three) perfect and highly cost-effective solutions for these problems.

The formula for writing such articles is as old as the practice of writing articles itself.   This formula is "Problem - Agitate - Solution".

So in your article pose a question or state a problem, then agitate the problem and finally offer a solution. 

Do not write a mini book and don't show off with lots of facts and figures, people want quick fixes not a reference manual. Follow this pattern with every article that you create and you cannot go far wrong.

Article Marketing - The Structure

For most of the directory sites, an article of between 500 and 750 words will be more than adequate.   Any less than that, and you risk leaving out vital information, but any more than this is probably going to stretch the attention of your readers a little too far.   In fact, if you find that your article is over 750 words, then break it up into two separate pieces.

When formatting the article make sure you put between 55 and 65 characters per line to ensure the majority of directories can publish it.

Don't make the article an in your face sales pitch, otherwise other sites won't publish it. You should always think in the back of your mind, if you were an Ezine would you be happy to publish your article. 

If the article is just a blatant sales pitch for your site or an affiliate product, nobody will publish your article.  You get a chance to plug your site later in the resource box which we will come back to later.

Make sure that you check the spelling and grammar of your article, but do not lose any sleep over trying to turn it into a work of literature!  

Remember that, first and foremost, you are providing information in your article, and as long as that information is explained and can be clearly understood, then your article will achieve its objective.

Of course, over time, your writing skills will improve, but it is nevertheless critically important that you start creating and publishing articles as soon as possible.   Worrying too much about your writing style or abilities is just about the fastest way of killing your article writing career stone dead before it even gets started!  

I know I always bang on about this but I'm not a writer, far from it, but I've created thousands of pages of unique fresh content.  When I started the thought of writing one page terrified me, but then I realised the internet is full of people with poor writing skills and they are making a fortune!  I believe anyone can write an article, if you can read one, you can write one.  It's that simple!

Article Marketing - Where to Get Inspiration From

Once you have written your first article, I'd suggest you immediately start to write the second, then the third, the fourth and so on.   The reason for doing this is that by trying to write ‘batches' of articles at the same time, you will get into the swing of it much more effectively, and the articles will get written much more quickly and efficiently as a result.

One of the easiest ways to get ideas for your article (as well as Yahoo answers) is to manually search some of the bigger article directories for your given subject.

Copy and paste the most relevant articles into Word.  Now search for 10 hints, tips or pieces of advice that will help your target niche.  Write a paragraph on each tip (you already have content in front of you that you can put in to your own words) and you have one or maybe two articles.

How easy is that! 

The internet is awash with information and if you're clever you can use this to your advantage.  We have taken the best bits of a number of sources, re worded it and made a fantastic article.  Well almost.  There are a couple of other techniques you want to follow before you send your article flying around the internet.

Before we move on, one more bit of advice.  If anything newsworthy happens in your niche produce an article about it quickly.  Publishers love content that is current or "hot off the press", so keep an eye on the news in your sector.  If you're in the weight loss sector it could be that a celebrity has just lost a lot of weight, new obesity figures are released or maybe there is some controversy regarding a current diet regime.  A quick targeted article could be published by hundreds of sites, getting you thousands of visitors to your site!

Article Headlines 80% of The Result For 20% of The Effort

I'm sure you have heard of the 80/20 rule in sales.  Basically 80% of your sales come from 20% of your sales people.  This same rule applies to your article marketing success. 

Your headline will be responsible for 80% of your success.

If you are an Ezine publisher and you're looking for an article to publish do you think you would read every available article?  Not a chance. 

The Ezine publisher is looking in an article directory to save time, reading all the articles would be counter productive.  They simply scan the headlines and read the articles with the snappiest title.

So a good headline is vital if you want your article to bring you stacks of visitors.  But don't worry too much, most headlines out there are complete garbage.

Your article is going to be light reading and full of useful hints and tips, your headline should let the reader know exactly what your article is about and pull them in to the article.

Here are some great proven headlines:

  • 7 Tips To Improve ....
  • 10 Insider Secrets You Have To Know About...
  • 5 Deadly (Subject) Sins
  • 9 Simple Steps To Catapult Your Success In...
  • 8 Huge Reasons Why...
  • How To Improve (Subject) In 7 Days
  • Introducing The Guaranteed Formula To ...
  • 11 Revolutionary Strategies To...
  • 7 Shortcuts To (subject) Success
  • 3 Magical Ways To Astonishing (subject) Results
Now these headlines will all stand out.  You shouldn't just say "learn to be a hypnotist".  You would scream "10 Insider Secrets Of Becoming a Hypnotist".

Which of the two hypnotist articles would you read?  I'm sure it would be the second one, all because we took ten or fifteen minutes to think of an attention grabbing headline.

Another subtle insider tip regarding the headline.  Capitalize the first letter of each word, it's been proven to out sell non capitalized versions in a big way.  I'm not sure why but it is a well known fact in the copywriting world.  By the way never capitalize the whole headline, this is a big turn off for readers.

Article Marketing - Style & Language

Whilst you are writing the articles, do not be tempted to stop and edit them as you go along.   It is far more effective to write as quickly as possible because by doing so, your ideas will be put down on paper much more fluently and fluidly.   Only once the article is finished to your satisfaction should you go back and edit it for spelling, grammar and clarity.

Keep the sentences of your article relatively short, and use language that an average teenager can be expected to understand.   Remember that this is not intended to be a work of literature, so do not write it as if you're trying to make it into one.

Whenever there is a choice between a simple word and more complex one, use the simple one, because by doing so, you will make your article accessible and understandable to the widest possible audience.

Ask someone else who is not particularly familiar with what you're doing to read your articles.   Get them to answer these questions for you:

  • Can they understand your articles?
  • Are there are any places where they feel the articles can be improved? 
  • Does the article make them feel that they would take the action that you're trying to get your visitor to take (and is it clear how they can do so)?

If they answer all these questions to your satisfaction, then your article is pretty much ready to go. If, however, they have any suggestions or recommendations, do not necessarily dismiss them out of hand, because they are in exactly the same position as the majority of your readers will be when your article is published. Their viewpoint is, therefore, extremely valid and valuable and if there are any significant improvements that you can make, you should be more than willing to do so.

Once you have some feedback, tweak your article and you're good to go.  After you have done five or six of these, I promise you it will become second nature.

So to recap on our top tips for writing hot articles are

  • Always follow the problem - agitate - solution formula
  • Don't write a mini book, keep the article light and not fact heavy
  • Don't make your article a sales pitch
  • 500 - 750 words is the target per article
  • Have 55 - 65 characters per line so you get accepted by the article directories
  • Use other good articles as your starting point
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short and use simple words
  • Spend time creating a great headline
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word in the headline
  • Don't edit as you go along, it will take longer
  • Check spelling and grammar once you have finished the article
  • Ask someone else to read your article before submission and take on board their comments.
I hope you have found these strategies useful.  In the next article we will look at the all important resource box at the bottom of your article and look at actually publishing those articles.

Until next time, be happy.


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