Articles written for article marketing purposes are meant to be informative and useful. Articles that are overly or blatantly self-promotional will almost always be rejected. People reading articles want to learn something useful, not a marketing pitch.
One concern I hear from clients regularly is "why should I publish articles that don't promote ME specifically?" That's a logical question. It may seem counterproductive to expend energy writing generalized articles that aren't outright selling your product.
How Article Marketing Benefits You And Your Business
There are many benefits of an article written solely for marketing purposes:
- Backlinks to your site in the "about the author" from every site that republishes the article
- Helps to establish you as an authority on the topic
- A well-written article on a general topic can "sell" the reader on need for the product. Once a need for the product has been established, your is right in the footer to provide the solution
Choosing Topics For Article Marketing Articles
One of the most common mistakes I see companies make when writing articles for article marketing is their choice of topic. Oftentimes, they choose to write articles about themselves rather than articles that are genuinely useful to the target audience.
In an age where search engines rule, the rules of marketing have changed. Search engines don't offer visibility in the natural search engine rankings to companies who are the most promotional. They provide greater visibility to those who are most useful to the population of search engine users.
Your article topic should be useful and informative to a general audience - and not outwardly promote your company or services.
Article topics can be:
- How To...
- 3 Ways To...
- Comparisons of 3 or more different products/solutions
- 3 Things to Consider Before...
- 4 Reasons Why...
- A Unique Solution for...
- A Guide to...
- X vs. Y: Which is Right for You?
Just because a topic is not outwardly promotional does not mean that is does not create a need for your product or service! A great article topic is one that builds up a need for the type of product or service that the client provides - without specifically mentioning the client in body of the article.
For example, I read a great article the other day about how to design an effective trade show display. Realizing that I did not have the skills nor the desire to learn the skills necessary to build a professional trade show display, I followed the link at the bottom to visit the author's website.
How to articles work great for this reason - especially for service businesses. Many web surfers think that they can do something themselves so search for a "how to" solution. However, after discovering how complicated or involved the process can be, they may decide just to hire a professional. And hey - there's a link to an expert right at the bottom of the article!
Writing The Title
Once you have chosen a topic for the article, it is important to write a title that is equally as effective. The title should contain the keywords you are targeting in your overall marketing campaign whenever possible. Article titles often become the title tag or URL of the web page. This means that search engines are going to use them to determine the topic of the content and how to rank the page.
The title tag also often appears on a search engine's results page as the dark blue title of the page. This will essentially be what readers use to decide if they are going to click through and read your entire article or not. That is why it is important in article marketing to write titles that are compelling and attractive to readers as well as containing keywords.
Writing an article that is objective, informative and contains a captivating title will ensure that it's accepted by both distribution sites and readers alike. Article marketing as part of an overall link building campaign can be extremely effective -- when done correctly!
Christine O'Kelly is co-owner of SEO Content Solutions, a leading SEO copywriting firm. The company provides SEO press releases, articles, blog content and web content to resellers and end users alike.