You're finally done. After hours of sweating, worrying, writing and rewriting, you've got the perfect article. You can't wait to submit it, start drawing people to your website, and watch your sales soar. Wait! Don't put that keyboard away just yet -- you've got one last step. You need to write an author box that your readers can't resist.
The author box (sometimes called the "author resource box" or "about the author box") is essentially how you get paid for all that hard work you put into writing your article. It's the place you get to do the selling, and it's how readers will find their way to your website. Unfortunately, if your author box isn't strong and doesn't contain some key pieces of information, you'll have written your article for free because it won't draw any clicks to your site.
There are four things your author box absolutely has to have to be effective. First of all, don't forget to include your name! That sounds pretty funny; however, it's a very common piece of information that many people miss. Many authors get so caught up in explaining what they do and including a link to their site that they forget how important it is that people know who they are. Remember, your author box is the equivalent of introducing yourself, and you'd never do that without telling the person your name.
Second, you've got to include your website address using it's entire URL form. For example, if your site is supersales.com, write it in your author box exactly as it appears in the address box of your browser when someone visits the site (example: http://www.supersales.com/). Without a complete website address, your readers will have difficulty finding your site.
Third, make your sale. The author box is the only part of the article where you can actually try to sell your product. Since the body of the article cannot specifically mention your products or website or appear to be a sales pitch in any way, your author box is responsible for doing all the selling. Take the time to write up to three strong sentences that give the reader a quick, firm grasp on you and what you have to offer.
Fourth, ask for the sale. Your author box must contain a strong "call to action" that grabs readers by the hand and draws them to your website. Use only one call -- using more can turn the reader off or simply confuse them.
If your box includes those main ingredients, you're well on your way to bumping up your sales and profits. Still, there are a number of other items you might also consider including. For example, if you have an Ezine, you might want to include your Ezine subscription address so that you can capture the reader's email address and start building a relationship.
If you want readers to be able to reach you, you may also want to include your contact information. Tell readers how they can get in touch with you to request an interview, catalog, or other marketing materials.
Another strategy for drawing readers to your site is to offer something for free, such as a report or other downloadable item. We all love getting something for nothing, and this method will help you capture email addresses.
Although the author box is responsible for providing readers with a great deal of information, you still have to keep it pretty short. Many publishers recommend an author box that is no more than 20 percent of your total article length. Others suggest a length of no more than 300 words. In either case, make sure your author box is concise and to the point.