Engaging in article marketing as an affiliate marketer is a great way to build links back to your website. Writing informative articles for your target audience establishes your credibility. It is a way to pre-sell potential customers. It is an efficient way to market your business at little or no cost.
Often times you can write an article off-the cuff concerning a topic related to your affiliate product. You can do this when you know a topic inside out from first-hand experience. At other times, your article writing efforts will involve research that is more detailed. Whether it's internet or otherwise, you have to put in some time gathering facts, data, and statistics.
However, sometimes you just have to go to the source, meaning a person, to gather information. This is when you just cannot seem to gather enough quality information. You may have a great topic; you may feel your target market would relish this topic. The problem is internet research is yielding you slim pickings.
What are you to do? It's time you go to the source and conduct an interview. With an interview, you get first-hand reports from knowledgeable sources familiar with a subject. You can ask them pertinent questions, gather quality information, and present this to your audience. The following are five tips for conducting quality interviews that can help your article writing efforts.
Do Your Homework
Before you interview someone, whether by phone or in person, know your subject matter. "But," you say, "That's why I'm interviewing them, to learn about the subject." That's true; however, you cannot appear as completely clueless before the person you are hoping will give you vital information.
First, it shows a lack of respect that you would not even take the time to learn a little about a person, what they do. Second, not knowing anything about the person and his or her specialty means you will not ask them appropriate questions.
Have a general idea of the person's profession, activities, and area of expertise. Show them you did your homework concerning them and they will open up to you and give you information that is even more detailed. This will make your article writing easier.
Prepare a List of Questions
Know what you are going to ask your contact before you meet him or her. Have a list of questions ready to go. Having a list does two things; it keeps you focused on the important areas you want to discuss with the person.
A list helps you avoid meandering off topic with your questioning. In addition, a list helps avoid uncomfortable lulls in the conversation as you try to conjure up another question in your mind.
Make Those Questions the Right Ones
Don't ask questions that only require a "yes" or "no" response. That makes for boring articles. You want your subject to expand on topics. Instead of asking someone "Is this your first award?" ask, "How did you feel when you won this ward, what was your first reaction?" The first question may elicit a yes or no answer; the second will encourage elaborating.
Take Great Notes or Use a Recording Device
Without looking like a lecture hall speed writer, try to take as many detailed notes as you can, as you talk to your subject. Alternatively, if they agree to it, record the interview. Many unobtrusive, quiet, quality devices can record interviews for you. You can then leisurely take your own notes off the device later.
Ask for Additional Resources
If you feel the interview subject is open to this, ask them for other resources. This may be directions to another resource to help you gain further information. It can be something as simple as a web link, or the name of a book to check out.
This can give you that extra information you need to make your article top-notch. This information can be fodder for future articles you may want to write on the topic. It's great when you can have a database of information to write future articles.
Consider interviews to garner quality information vital to useful articles. Plan your interviews so you do not waste your or your subject's time. Use interview information wisely in your article writing efforts. Your article marketing initiatives will pay dividends when your content offers readers information from the experts in a field.
Tiva Kelly is the Head of Article Coaching and offers advice to authors at
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