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Article Marketing Strategies: Can You Write An Article To Promote Your Business?
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I considered making the title of this post “How To Write An Article That Promotes Your Business”, but I thought that would be a “trick” title.

You see, one common rule in article marketing is that you cannot promote your business in the title or article body. The only place where you can draw attention to yourself, your products, your website or your business is the resource box.

A common reaction to this industry-wide guideline is this:

“Why not? It’s my article! And if I can’t write about my business or products, then what am I supposed to write about?”

I can totally relate to those questions, and I know it’s a bit of a shock if you’re used to marketing your business with sales letters and straightforward pleas for business. Article marketing (and a lot of marketing on the internet) works at a more subtle, and I think more effective, level than that though.

I’m happy to address those questions today, and I think that by seeing the answers you will start to have a whole new appreciation for the way that article marketing works to attract customers.

Why Can’t You Write Articles About Your Business Or Products?

It’s your article after all–why do you have to adhere to other people’s guidelines?

It’s because your free reprint article only has value upon publication. You could write an article that ignored every rule in the book, but what good would that do you if publishers reject the article?

Publishers have guidelines for the type of content that they want to publish on their sites, and most quality publishers will review each article to determine if that article “has what it takes” to appear on their site.

The publishers are looking for content that serves their readership. Their readers are visiting their site looking for educational information–they want to learn more about particular topics and how to do specific things.

Neither the publisher nor the reader is interested in sales oriented content. The publisher does not care about helping you get customers coming to your site. He has a different agenda–he wants readers coming to his site, so he chooses content that will appeal to them. And readers certainly do not want to spend an afternoon reading sales letters.

But, even though the publisher does not want to publish veritable commercials for your business, if you play by the rules and create content in line with what publishers want, you will end up drawing readers to your website and marketing your business and services.

How Can You Create Articles That Publishers Want?

Publishers want educational content, content that teaches how to do something specific or teaches about something specific. Whenever you create content for article marketing, your general topic will be the same general topic of your website.

Example 1: If your website is about mountain biking or sells mountain bikes, your articles will be on the topic of mountain biking. You can write about the different characteristics of mountain bikes, how to choose which mountain bike to buy, how to get started mountain biking, where to do mountain biking–anything having to do with that overall general topic of mountain biking.

Example 2: If your website is for your business coaching business, then all of your articles will be on the general niche of business coaching. Any advise that you might give to a client could be fodder for an article. If you teach clients how to set up their businesses, you could write about that. If you help clients organize their daily operations, then that would be a great topic for some articles. If you help clients figure out how to “take their businesses to the next level”, then you could also write about that topic.

Example 3: If you are a wedding planner, then your website will be on that topic as well, and your articles will all be about different aspects of planning a wedding. You can write about how to choose a location, the benefits of big versus small weddings, where to honeymoon, and how to choose a dress (or a photographer, florist, etc).

You get the idea! You see, when you look at your overarching topic, you can come up with any number of article topics that would be useful to people looking for information. And if your articles are useful and reader-centric, they’ll be exactly what publishers are looking for.

There’s just one thing to remember–don’t talk about your business in the title or the article body.

So where can you talk about your business?

You can talk about yourself, your business, services, products and website in the resource box. The resource box is like the “about the author” section of your article submission. You’ll have anywhere from 400-450 characters to get your point across, so you need to choose your words carefully.

Here’s my advice in creating a resource box:

  • Include your name. Doing so lends credibility to your article, and it helps fulfill the author bio purpose (it’s hard to write an author bio without mentioning the author!). In talking about yourself, focus on conveying reasons why the reader should listen to you. Why should you be regarded as an expert on this topic?
  • Tell about your business or products. This is your big chance! You only have a short area to work with, so you need to laser beam in on something that will catch a reader’s eye. What is a selling point for your business? How can your business benefit the reader?
  • Give the reader a reason to visit your website. The ultimate goal is to get the reader to click the link in your resource box that leads to your website. You have a much greater chance of doing that if you give the reader specific reasons for doing so. Maybe you have a newsletter that the reader can sign up for at your site. Maybe you have a blog that offers more information on your topic. Maybe you have a free report, a coupon, or some other offering that will be enough of an incentive to get the reader to make the jump from the page he’s looking at to your website. Use that offering to lure the reader to your website.
  • Include a link to your website. That goes without saying, right?

Your Articles Are “Relationship Sparks”

Once at your website you would ideally have something set up so that the reader could leave his name and email and get added to your list. This happens naturally if you have a newsletter sign up page, but you could still use that sort of “email capture” page for other purposes (the free report, the coupon, an online tutorial that you send through email, etc).

When the reader gets added to your list, you have an easy way to stay in regular contact with him or her. This is a big part of converting sales because oftentimes a person will not be ready to buy initially.

You know how that is–you just aren’t sure and the trust level between you and the business has not built up enough. By staying in regular email contact with the customer (through helpful newsletters, etc), you are building a relationship with the customer that will ideally bear fruit over time.

Now, this is all a bit more subtle than writing a sales letter on the merits of your product, but it’s also a lot more relationship oriented and effective at growing your customer base. You create content that your target customers will find useful, and each article is like a “relationship spark”.

The Resource Box: Lure The Reader To Your Site

You don’t need to tell every last thing about your products or business in your resource box. Just tell a little, with the idea that more information can be found at your website. The ultimate goal with your resource box is to get the reader to make the jump from reading your article to browsing around your website.

(BTW–Your free reprint article also draw readers from search engines to your website, but that’s another story. Today we’re talking about the getting visitors directly from your articles.)

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

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