Writing Articles That Create Immediate Results!
Writing Articles That Create Immediate Results!
The quality of your articles is the core of article marketing. Even if you’re not a writer, you can still make this method work for you. In this issue, I’ll share my tips for writing articles, how to use resource and author boxes effectively, how to outsource articles and how to use the same ideas again and again.
1: The Best Possible Article Title
I have a few rules for article writing. If you follow them you’ll stand the best chance of getting the results that you want. The fi rst rule is to select the best possible article title that you can. It’s a key factor in getting your articles viewed by others and getting traffi c back to your landing page.
In order to have a great title, you should write it as if it’s a “mini-headline” for a sales letter. Make it a powerful message, state the benefi ts for the reader and keep it short. For ideas, look at the most viewed articles in your niche to see what is working for other people.
Here are some examples that have worked for me in the past:
“6 Ways to Kick Your Junk Food Habit Today” “3 Stock Investment Nightmares You Must Avoid.”
“3 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Win Your Next Argument”
If SEO is your primary purpose, you should start your title with the keyword. For marketing and sales purposes however, I’ve found this to be less effective in getting those page views, click-throughs, and sales. Try to incorporate your main keyword if you can, but otherwise don’t sweat it.
2: Short Articles
When it comes to article length, between 450–500 words is the sweet spot. You can go up to 600 words but, if you find that the article is going over 600, you’ve probably got enough material to break it up into two articles. The shorter length is necessary because people don’t read online – they skim. When you present them with a shorter article, they can read it more quickly and get to your resources box and links faster.
3: Short Paragraphs
Your paragraphs should be short; three sentences at a maximum. This is for the benefi t of your reader because their eyes can’t easily scan through a large block of text. The same goes for short sentences. If you write conversationally, you’ll fi nd it easy to create short, easy-to-read sentences.
4: Use Boldface
A further method of assisting the reading process is to split up your articles with boldface formatting. Use boldface for all of your lists, headings and subheadings.
5: Readers Like Lists
If you’ve having trouble finding inspiration for an article, try writing a list. When you write a list, all the organization is done for you. You don’t need to make an outline; just write your list and expand on each point. Not only are they easy to write but they work incredibly well. Readers – and people who reprint articles – like lists.
The preceding five rules cover many aspects of article marketing but there are still some essential elements that you need to consider. The resource box is one of the most important parts of article marketing and most authors do it fl at-out wrong. It’s not the place to brag about yourself or share your biography. If you want your resource box to get clicks, you have to write it in such a way that people will want to take action.
Start by showing the reader what’s in it for them. Try offering something for free so that they’ll click your link. For example:
“For more free articles on winning arguments and getting what you want, visit…” “Get your free report on negotiation skills at…”
“Get our free newsletter filled with more tips on conflict resolution and team building. Go to…”
Turn your resource box into a bribe that will get people to visit your site. Limit yourself to three or four short sentences and use the maximum number of allowed links. Each article directory is a little different, but most allow two to three links. One of your links should be a hyperlinked keyword and the other should be your full URL. The hyperlinked keyword is good for SEO but, in my experience, people click the full URL more than the anchor text link. Include both whenever possible.
Be sure to vary your text links so you can test their effectiveness. For example, I’ll start by testing out four articles. In the first two I might use a resource box that has the anchor text link first and the full URL second. In the other two articles, I might use a resource box that flips the links around. I’ll see which bio box works best and use that as my template for future articles.
Testing and Tracking
I’ve been talking a lot about testing certain things in this process, so next I’m going to show you how to track the results of your articles by using unique URLs. By utilizing unique URLs you can figure out how much money each article is making.
Here’s how to set it up:
- Always drive traffic to an offer page. This is a page that has some kind of offer, like an opt-in to a free newsletter, links to more free articles, a free download, a comparison of three products, etc. Always make sure the visitor has something to do.
- Duplicate the offer page on a unique URL. For example, if your offer page is on http://www.mysite.com /index.html make a copy of that page and call it http://www.mysite.com/index2.html. Upload that page to your web host and use that new URL in your resource box in your next article.
- Since each article resource box has its own URL, it’s easy to see which resource box is attracting the most traffic. Watch your web statistics to see how well your resource boxes are converting.
One you know your stats, you can calculate what each article is worth. For example, if you write three articles to point to your site and it results in $40 in commissions within the first week, that works out at $13.33 per article. You can then use this fi gure to estimate how much you can expect to earn per article in the future.
By knowing the return on investment (ROI) on your articles, you can determine whether or not you’ve made a good niche selection. If your ROI for your articles is very low, you might want to consider finding something more profitable or try to better target your articles.
ROI can also help you determine what you can afford to pay a writer to create articles on your behalf. Before you hire a writer, test a few articles in the niche yourself and calculate the ROI price. This way you’ll know how much you can pay for articles and still make a profit. It’s essential to do the first articles yourself so you have a price to work with.
If you’ve never hired a ghostwriter before, I recommend starting with Guru.com. I’ve had the most luck with writers there. Prepare titles for the writers so you can ensure that you’ll get the right angle for the articles. Most freelancers don’t understand how to write high-traffic titles, so make it easy for them. You can, for example, write list-based titles to get good list-based articles. In addition to the title, you need to send them three to four keywords to be used in the articles.
Always look for writers who have feedback. In your bid request, ask if they have experience with article marketing. Many of them will and those writers are worth trying out. Ask for samples of articles written for article marketing so you can see the quality of their work. If they don’t have samples, you can test them. Give the writer a title and ask them to create a single, original article.
Offer 10 articles at a time to get the best bids. I’ve found that more experienced writers don’t bid on small jobs and if they do they’ll likely bid a higher price per article. A batch of ten articles is more likely to be worth a writer’s time.
Mix It Up
What happens when you run out of article ideas for your niche? Once you get heavily into article marketing, you may eventually burn out on a topic. In some niches, you might totally run out of ideas after 15–20 articles. This doesn’t mean you have to stop working on the niche. Do complete rewrites of your own articles and mix in concepts from other articles. Try these ideas to squeeze more articles out of the subject.
- Turn a positive article into a negative article (or vice versa)! If the original article is “7 Things You Must Do Before You Try To Quit Smoking,” reposition the article as “7 Things You Must NOT Do If You Want To Quit Smoking Forever.”
- Split two or three articles into pieces, and rearrange them into new articles. This is easiest to do if you have “list-based” articles. Simply take all the things on the lists and rearrange them into new groups. Finally, rewrite the text and you have a brand new article.
- Research the “most viewed” articles on EzineArticles.com and other article directories to get ideas. Do a little research in your niche and related niches. If your niche is “acne,” do some research on “skin care,” “scar treatments,” etc, and you can get a whole bunch of new ideas.
- Use other people’s content as inspiration for your own articles. For example, if you read an article on “3 Ways to Trim the Fat Off of Your Grocery Budget” come up with three new ideas of your own and use them to create your own version of the article.
Rewriting private label rights (PLR) content is another way of coming up with fresh articles. Most PLR content isn’t very good so you’ll really have to work on them to get them into shape for publication. Nonetheless this can still be easier than writing your own article from scratch. But beware: make sure you rewrite PLR articles completely. Other people will be publishing the PLR content without changing them and, if you do the same, you could get hit with a duplicate content penalty.
Here are some quick tips on the subject of rewriting PLR content into unique articles:
->Strip out the specific ideas, tips and facts from PLR content and turn it into a list
-> Edit the article for spelling and grammar. Just because it is paid content doesn’t mean it’s been checked by a proofreader.
->You will probably also need to adjust the length. PLR articles may be longer or shorter than the 400-500 word sweet spot.
->PLR articles are always written for a general audience so rewrite the article for a specific audience. Think about your target market, and rewrite it in a way that will appeal to their age, gender, education, and income level.
->Chop up articles and combine them. You can change the focus of the articles by simply combining multiple articles in creative ways. Copy and paste, add some personality and you’ve got brand new articles.
->PLR articles can simply be a great template for creating your own unique articles.
If you’re tapped out on ideas, they can provide some fresh inspiration.