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Resource Box Rehab: It’s Not Just About Links…
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Recently we’ve been collecting resource boxes from folks who would like some pointers on how the author bio box that sits below their articles could be better.

I did an initial “triage” of the resource box candidates and this is what I noticed:

  • Some resource boxes were absolutely excellent, and I wouldn’t change a thing! :-)
  • Some resource boxes were pretty good, but could benefit from some simple tweaks to take them from good to great.
  • Some resource boxes were passable, but could definitely be made better with a moderate overhaul.
  • Some resource boxes were on life support and in need of attention NOW!

We’ll cover a variety of resource boxes and different types of challenges in upcoming posts, but for now in true “triage” fashion, we’re going to attend to the resource boxes that are the most needy.

You may be wondering, “What constitutes a resource box that’s on life support?”

Answer: One that only includes a link with no other information.

Eeek!

Why is that a bad thing to just include a link? I mean, aren’t we trying to build links with article marketing?

Yes, article marketing is great at building links, but that precious resource box has power that extends beyond basic link building.

Your resource box has the power to drive traffic directly to your website, and to act as your personal sales representative to each and every person who reads your article.

Having a resource box that just includes a link is like a door-to-door sales person walking up to a potential customer’s house, and then just shoving a card with a phone number on it into the homeowner’s hand and walking away without saying anything.

If you were that homeowner–would you call that phone number?

No!

Let me ask you–If you have the attention of someone in your target market, why not speak to them?

Why not tell them who you are, what you do, why they should trust you, and why they should go to your website?

Put yourself in your reader’s shoes–this is the kind of info a reader wants to see when they look at your resource box:

What is your name?

When you walk up to a potential customer, you introduce yourself, right?

The same applies to your resource box–you should always include your name in your resource box, not only because it makes a personal connection with your readers, but there are some publishers who will straight away decline your article if your resource box has no author info in it at all.

Having no author info makes the resource box look purely promotional, and that’s a turnoff to some publishers and readers.

Tell me a little about yourself–why should I trust you?

Imaging a reader thinking, “I liked your article a lot, but how do I know that you know what you’re talking about?”

Give the reader a little taste of your credentials–what do you do, why should anyone regard you as an expert on this topic?

What else have you got to offer me?

A reader was searching for info on your topic and found your article. Your article was helpful, but she would like even more info.

Do you have any more helpful tips you can direct her to or does she have to go back to Google and keep on searching?

If you don’t indicate that you have more info back at your website, then the reader doesn’t have a reason to click, do they?

Where can I go to get more info?

This is where you put your link!

Let’s take a look at an example from our entries for the Resource Box Rehab…

Kevin Boyle was gracious enough to allow us to give him some makeover suggestions for his resource box.

The Before:

Kevin says,

Usually I write an article on cold calling and leave this in my bio box.

So, his resource box has the keywords “Cold Calling” hyperlinked with the link leading back to a post on his blog about cold calling.
What do I find when I follow that link?
1) A professional looking blog that would catch the eye of most folks interested in this topic
2) Useful information that his target market would find valuable
3) An opportunity to sign up for Kevin’s newletter
4) A bonus FREE “8 part email home study course on how to dramatically improve your sales and marketing results and blow your competition out of the water!”
WOW!
The blog conveys authority and knowledge, and it offers readers useful content and some alluring extras.
What Kevin needs to do is channel his salesmanship and wording of what he does and what benefits he brings to his client’s lives into his resource box.
He can also use the bonus that he’s offering at his blog as an incentive for folks reading his article which will further entice them to click through to his website.
The After:
Here’s a possible resource box for Kevin (and I’m getting this bio info from his blog):
Kevin Boyle is a sales coach and trainer with 10 years experience who has helped thousands of people improve their sales results and turn their companies around. Would you like prospects to return your cold calls? Learn how to dramatically improve your sales and marketing results and blow your competition out of the water by claiming your FREE 8 part home study course at =>
http://www.salesmasterybook.com/wp_blog/
Where did we go right with this new resource box?
  • It’s 423 characters long, including spaces, so it’s of an acceptable length for most publishers. (450 characters is the upper limit for most publishers)
  • His name is in there, along with a little bio and a reason why we should trust his authority on this topic.
  • He’s engaged us with a question– Would you like prospects to return your cold calls?
  • He tells us why we should click through to his website–he has a free 8 part home study course.
  • He’s given us a link to his website.
This is just a suggestion, but I think that Kevin will get a gazillion times more click-throughs with that resource box than with his original one, don’t you?
Correct, this is a text resource box, and his previous one was a HTML resource box, but I really think that before moving on to the Advanced HTML Resource box, that it’s important to have a really strong basic text resource box.
If he wanted to do an HTML resource box, he could tweak this resource box to include the term “cold calling” and then hyperlink those words, or he could leave the resource box wording as it is and hyperlink the term “cold calls” which is a variation on his keyword term.
Let’s brainstorm–
Can you think of any other possibilities for a resource box for Kevin?
Also, from reading the tips in this post, could you make any changes to your own resource box to make it better?
If so, please enter your made-over resource box in the comments below so we can see another example of these tips in action!
Related Resources

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9 Responses to “Resource Box Rehab: It’s Not Just About Links…”

  1. This is Kenneth Young and I need all the I can get when come to setting up a good resourse box and good style format foo the resource box.

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    Kenneth–can you please share your resource box in the comments of this first Resource Box Rehab Post.

    Just add your resource box there, and we’ll take a look. I can’t promise that it will be chosen for a makeoever, it might be, so please share it with us over on the Resource Box Rehab Post.

    For some great pointers on the types of things you should include in your resource box, please see these posts:

    The Last Minute Resource Box

    5 Ways to Stop Singing the Resource Box Blues

    How To Make Your Resource Box Sticky (and Get Those Click Throughs!)

    3 Secret Tricks For Luring Readers Back To Your Website

  3. Kevin Boyle says:

    Wow, I can’t thank you guys enough. It’s funny when I got your original email, it made me think! I immediately went to all of my article submissions and started changing my bio box.

    Thank you so very much!

  4. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Kevin,

    You’re welcome! That’s one smart looking resource box you’ve got now :-)

  5. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Steve. The blog has great stuff. I didn’t even realize all the FREE training i would get when i joined SubmitYOURArticle.

    This is some of the best training i’ve seen on article marketing. What a bonus to the membership.

    I’ve really enjoyed my first month of service. I had to manually submit an article to one of the directories last week and it took me much longer than it does to submit one to your site for massive distribution.

    Great job.

    Jennifer

  6. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks so much for chiming in!

    Yes, it’s important to us not only to provide a useful service where people can easily submit articles for massive distribution, but also to teach people how to craft articles that will give them the results they’re looking for.

    Those two go hand in hand in my book, so we’re happy to offer the extra value of providing a “training area” in this blog.

    I’m glad you’re getting good value out of the service and the blog :-)

  7. Thanks Steve. I’m learning very quickly why just leaving a link without a name is too cold. It seems like a good resource box would need a link, a name, a short bio, and a reason to go to the author’s website.
    I’ll be including those in the future!

  8. [...] Recently we talked about how important it is to NOT just include a link with no other information in your resource box. [...]

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