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Article Marketing Success: The ’5 Things To Look For’ Template
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In the last post I was preaching to you about how important it is to NOT try to sell anything in your articles, but to rather discreetly, indirectly, subtly engage your readers through your article content.

This template I’m about to share with you is a perfect way to do that.

This template is ideal for

  • people whose businesses are service oriented (plumber, accountant, article submission service owner (that’s me!), business coach, etc)
  • or can even be used by people who own product based websites (that would be a website that mainly sells products rather than provides services.)

The Ground Rules:

You know your industry inside and out, so you have valuable insight into what a person should look for when searching for someone in your field. Now is the time to share that knowledge, in a way that does not mention you or your business personally.

  • Do not write about yourself or your business in the article (save that info for the resource box)
  • Do not even allude to yourself or your business in the article–don’t even think about it!
  • Write objectively, like you are an outside expert consultant who is helping people to choose the right XYZ (lawyer, plumber, product, etc)
  • The most powerful article will be one that is truly helpful to a reader who is trying to choose a plumber, accountant, etc. The article should provide serious, helpful tips.
  • It is not necessary to talk about yourself at all in the article–no need to mention anything like, “Because I’m such an experienced and skilled lawyer, I get people asking me what to look for in a lawyer all the time…” No, don’t do that–it weakens the piece of content. Put that you’re a lawyer (or whatever) in your resource box. People will put two and two together without having to be beaten over the head with it.

Your mindset for this article should be…

For just a few minutes, pretend like a close friend of yours has asked for your advice on how to choose a great lawyer. You are a great lawyer, so that is why your friend asked you.

You personally are not in the running to satisfy your friend’s need for a lawyer for one reason or another, so your reply is very objective and aimed at helping your friend do the detective work in locating the best person to help him or her.

This is the attitude that you are to take when writing this article. It’s not about you and it’s not for you, but you do have special knowledge that can help someone else.

This mindset is extremely important, or else this article could very easily become a “5 Reasons To Work With Me” type of article, which is not what we’re going for here.

Here is your article title:

5 Things To Look For In A [Whatever your occupation is]


5 Things To Look For In An Account

5 Things To Look For In A Plumber

5 Things To Look For In A Camping Tent (if your business is selling camping gear, for example)

The Article Body:

The Introduction

This is a list article, so it is necessary to put an intro paragraph before the list starts.

Your introduction should tell the reasons why it is so important to choose the right lawyer, accountant, camping tent, etc. If you like, you may also tell what might happen if a person doesn’t pick the right one.

The List

List 5 of your top crucial things to look for when searching for a lawyer, accountant, plumber, etc–whatever your field is.

Put your strongest item at the top of the list, and your second strongest at your last item in the list. The reason for this is that you want to strategically arrange your items so that the reader is drawn into reading your article and so that your article finishes strong.

When creating your list, be sure to number each item, like this:

1. First thing to look for

2. Second thing to look for

3. Third thing to look for

4. Fourth thing to look for

5. Fifth thing to look for

Readers really appreciate numbered lists in articles, as that makes it easy for them to glean information. Be sure to number clearly.

After each list item, elaborate a bit. You want to be sure that your point is clear. Why should the reader look for this thing that you’re recommending? Why is it important to watch out for that certain thing?

The Conclusion

After your items are all listed and explained, write a conclusion. You might do a recap of the most important things to look for, or you might pick out one item that is important above all the others listed.

Remember, you are giving advice to a friend–it may help to end your article with an encouraging word that makes the reader feel like he really can find the right person or thing for the job if he’ll just follow your steps.

The Resource Box

You’ve just written an extremely helpful article where you educate readers what to look for when they’re in need of someone in your field. You were totally objective in the article–you did not mention yourself at all. You were writing as an expert adviser.

Now, the resource box is your chance to stand in the spotlight a little.

Tell your name, what you do for a living, what makes you an authority to be handing out this type of advise, a reason to go to your website and finally, a link to your site.

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"

8 Responses to “Article Marketing Success: The ’5 Things To Look For’ Template”

  1. Tom Justin says:

    At first Steve’s article sounds like an overreaction to some past negative event that he may have suffered. However, within it we see that these ground rules are for a “list’ article.

    These are very good points for the latter, but not always in general, which a novice might mistake in misreading this. In a general article, it’s not only okay to write in first person and use personal examples, it can enhance your image as an expert or authority figure.

    Again, Steve makes a great point about not “selling” or boasting. I use examples of working with clients, telling a story that exemplifies my main point. While I’m not crediting myself with any great wisdom, my example might make it obvious that I’ve worked with major clients like American Airlines, Entrepreneur Magazine, etc.

    The previous paragraph is an exemplifies this. I’ve made the example of my point by blowing my own horn, but hopefully without seeming to. Just the facts. Not that any of these clients gave great testimonials, etc., but that they were simply clients of mine and I’m telling a story (without breaching any confidentiality) that both makes my point and shows that I might well be an expert in marketing strategy.

    You are an expert or authority figure on something and have real wisdom to pass along. I would say that one use of your wisdom would be to continue to read what Steve Shaw has to say. I know I will.

  2. Wayne Turner says:

    I Agree 100% with Tom.

    I often refer to issues or questions asked by my students of photography. Number one it establishes me as an authority and gives me credibility. Number two it uses real life examples that anyone could face.

    Although I do this, the content of my article follows very much on the lines of Steve.

  3. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Wayne and Tom,

    Thanks very much for your comments!

    Yes, Tom you have detected that in my background as an online content distributor that I have routinely run across articles that are very thinly disguised sales pieces. “Promotional article” is the #1 reason why articles are declined by publishers by far, so I just want to give advice that will help authors get their articles republished as many times as possible.

    Yes, I agree with you–in a general article you can mention experiences with clients, advice you gave, etc. as long as it’s subtle. I do that in my general articles too, and it can help convey your expertise.

    But it’s a different story if you’re writing an article about how to choose someone in your own line of work. If I was writing an article called “5 Things To Look For In An Article Distribution Service”, I would be extra careful and not mention my own business at all in the article, because it could be too easily interpreted as a promotional article.

    So, the advice about not mentioning yourself in the article applies to this template only–not really meant to be taken as advice for articles in general.

  4. Magy says:

    Well I really liked your ideas about numbers and bullets they are great way to break up the page and I think common sense would tell us to mix it up a bit. Taking Steve’s advice will work great for some articles so just your your common…..
    Thanks again Steve

  5. This pretty well mirrors my most used strategy, except I often use 3 things because I get a bit winded when explaining my “things”. I tend not to promote myself, but am trying to get an optin with a free offer. Of course I am not famous and at 65 don’t concern myself with branding, if I was real energetic and rising in my field, I might do it different.

    Thanks Steve,

  6. JAMES UDEMEH says:

    Thank you Mr.Steve Shaw for your concern about the above items you just gave me.I must say that you are truly a god sent in terms of business opportunity and may you never cease to get that which you aiming,whether now or in the nearest have really shown that Article Writing is the best key to the success of every citizen in the country.thanks for your Unending support.

  7. [...] Article Marketing Success: The ‘5 Things To Look For’ Template 6 [...]

  8. Khairul Azan says:

    This really helpful.
    The numbered list technic, the not-selling style in writing really make sense.

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