Category Archives: Internet Business Ideas

Can Writing Articles Help Market Your Online Business?

Yes, it can.

But you have to have the right expectations of the results.

How many times have you read one of those “courses” that claim to give you massive amounts of traffic just for writing articles and submitting them to directories (or even worse “without having to write them” using PLR garbage).

That is not the whole story.

Here are a few tips that you can use immediately in your article writing strategy to get that extra traffic coming to your site with just a little bit of work:

  • Write your own articles for submission to the directories like ezinearticles.com, don’t use those PLR articles, or rewrite them where you’ve changed them at least 50%.

Most directories will not accept direct PLR anyway, and that wastes your valuable time. Plus, you receive more credibility as a true author of the article written.

That leads to more traffic in and of itself. Remember that word…credibility.

That is what you are after anyway.

  • Avoid writing a novel. Keep article length to 350 – 700 words and not much more (unless you absolutely need to).

Remember, this is the Internet, and people are not going to read a long story from you just yet.

  • Use bullets (like I have here). Bullets get your intended points across easier for the Internet reader.

In most article submission directories, there are tools to use such as rss feeds that you can put on your own website linking back to your articles. You simply write about 10 good articles and then get the html code to place on your site.

This is a good resource for your website and leads to that credibility stuff again.

Your byline, or resource box as it might be called, is the absolute key to your article marketing. The main idea here is to provide value to your readers in the box…not to try and sell something.  And, make it a continuation of the article itself, not a boring resource like “hey look at me”.

Write a free report with valuable information and link to it from the resource box in your article. After you have written about 10 – 15 articles, you will see “autopilot” traffic start to come to that link.

Repeat…do NOT try to sell something here. Offer value to your readers. This is probably the number one reason articles are not as effective as they could be (plus, you’re not building a list).

If you write articles from your own experiences in your own industry, you can be perceived as an expert in your industry. This can lead to increased traffic to your sites from your articles.

Or, you can continue to try and use “spinners”, and shortcuts…sure, they save you time…but does a spinner write from the heart?

Think about that today…

Have You Ever Had That “Pulling” Feeling?

You know…

That feeling you get when you get ready to take on something big, try something new and exciting, start another business etc…

You get this tight feeling in your arms and chest, your breathing seems to be more rapid, and various thoughts of “Can I really do this?” start swimming in your mind.

This feeling seems to be pulling you back. Back to where everything is comfortable.

Is this a bad feeling to have?

Nope.

This feeling comes from the fear of the “unknown.” And it is actually a good feeling to have.

Here is personal example from my own “pulling feelings”:

Back in my last days of working in the retail field (a long time ago now)…I was thinking to myself…

“Self, can I really start educating business owners on how to market their businesses?

I mean, I am nobody when it comes to being recognized as an authority in marketing, my credibility is close to zero with few clients yet, and what happens if the money runs out?

How do I support my family?”

Man…I am thankful for that “pulling” feeling. I am thankful because that feeling made me sit down and create what I had created for a couple of business owners already…

A Strategic Marketing Plan. I figured out that day what I would do for the next 6 months to generate a steady stream of clients. Then, I mapped out a three year and five year plan to expand the business I started in my mind already.

Boy did that feel good. And you know what happened to that “pulling” feeling?

It went away. It has yet to come back.

I am a little past the other end of that five year marketing plan now (I started marketing consulting locally in 2001). My business and family life is so fulfilling…I cannot even explain it to you.

And it all came from that one moment. Can you create your own?

So what is the lesson here?

Well, this lesson is in two parts:

1) Get out of your comfort zone, often, repeatedly, and stay out of it. This is huge. If things are going as planned in your business…get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Otherwise, your business will get stale…and your results will start to match.

2) Set aside time to work on your business, instead of in your business. Until you master this…all you have is a self-employed job. And you do know what “JOB” stands for, don’t you… Just Over Broke.

The more you get that “pulling” feeling…the more success you can have…but you have to reach out and take it without fear.

My Thoughts On List Building…

There are 2 main schools of thought on building marketing lists in my opinion…

1)  Traditional, two-step “Give me yours and I’ll give you mine” style.  Online, this usually involves a squeeze page where someone has to submit their email address to gain access to a valuable piece of content (if your content isn’t valuable, you lose all trust and credibility here).

2)  A more viral, “I’ll give you a piece of valuable content that you can share and form an opinion on FIRST, and THEN you can decide if you buy from me.” Here, your content allows the visitor to decide if they want to take the next step with you, then you focus on your “buyer’s” list and serving it, instead of both an email list AND buyer’s list.

Interesting to think about both methodologies.

In my opinion, I will be personally shifting towards #2 thanks to the influence of David Meerman Scott , other influences I’ve tested, and my personal business direction.

—>  If you go to http://josephratliff.com right now, you can begin to see it in action (although the viral ebook isn’t yet there yet, I’m offering a sample of this blog as a download currently).

I feel (my personal opinion), that with the current way people are searching for information, and a sort of “numbness” to free in exchange for personal information marketing pieces…I would rather focus on building a list of buyers of my upcoming print book and products AFTER they’ve made a decision based on freely available content first.

My theory is, (actually proven by other marketers like David), that this “buyers list” will be more responsive because they have enough of a sample of content to make a decision to trust me first.

And that my friends, is where the gold is…in developing a solid relationship with people on your buyer’s list.