Article Marketing Basics: The Free Way to Drive Traffic to Your Website
By Serena Carcasole, President, Virtual Business Solutions ON DEMAND

If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website and establish yourself as a go-to person in your field, I’ve got the answer for you: article marketing. Article marketing is a low-cost (or free, in most cases) yet highly efficient way to grow your business online.

Article marketing isn’t as simple as throwing together a few thoughts and sticking your so-called article on your website. No, there’s much more to it than that. Before you start to panic, take a deep breath - I’m going to tell you the basics to help you get started. In fact, by the time you’re done with this article, you’ll have everything you need to start driving more traffic to your website today.

First, let me assure you that you don’t have to be the world’s best writer to succeed with article marketing. On the contrary, what you really need is a few good ideas, knowledge of your target market’s needs, and a sincere desire to help them find answers. Oh, and a good spell checker or editor to catch the little typos that will annoy your readers and, quite possibly, make them lose the credibility you’ve worked so hard to build up.

But enough talk; let’s get started already!

1) Pick a topic
Your first step in article marketing is to pick a topic. It needs to fit into your business goals (in other words, don’t write about gardening if you’re a dentist who’s trying to use article marketing to grow your dental business).

Think about the problems you solve for your clients and start talking about the steps you take to solve them. You may lose a few do-it-yourselfers who will take your tips and run, but most readers will be touched by your helpfulness and, when they give up on doing it themselves and decide to outsource the work, who do you think they’ll turn to?

2) Choose relevant keywords
Once you have the topic picked for your first article, you need to choose the keywords that will get the most attention from your target market.

If you put all of your time and effort into an article about “widgets” but most of your readers use the word “gadgets” in their searches, you’re missing out on some prime opportunities.

How do you know which keywords to choose? Just use a keyword popularity tool (look it up in Google and you’ll find a few free options).

3) Start writing already!
Here are a few tips to help you get started with your article marketing campaign.

a) Don’t worry about the title at this point - that’s best left for the end, when your article is polished and ready to submit.

b) Keep it short and sweet. Your readers have a lot of competing demands for their time, so you need to grab their attention with short sentences and paragraphs.

c) Use subheadings as much as possible. Most readers skim articles looking for specific information, so help keep them reading by offering sub-headings to pique their interest.

d) Use lists - numbered or bullet points. Another method to help readers get the most from your article marketing efforts.

e) Use your keywords! Try to use your keywords as much as possible without going overboard (if every other word is “widgets,” you’ve gone too far). Try to use the keywords at least once in the introduction, again in the conclusion and a couple of times within each paragraph - again, without overdoing it.

f) Put some thought into the title. You can go bold with an attention-grabbing title (Is Your TV Making You Fat?) or a tips list (Top 10 Ways Your TV is making you fat).

g) Proofread, proofread, proofread! Look over your work with a fine-tooth comb or, better yet, ask a friend, trusted colleague, or professional editor to check it for you. As stated above, you don’t want to lose credibility.

4) Publish your article
Once your article is polished to your liking, you’ll want to publish it on your site. After all, the search engines love fresh content!

b) Your next step in your article marketing campaign is to submit your article to article directories. You can find various free and paid versions online…just do a search for article directories.

And there you go! Now that you know the basics to help you get started with your article marketing campaign, you can get started sending more traffic to your website and generating more hot prospects who will be interested in learning how your products and services can help make their lives easier.

---Source: Duct Tape Marketing April 19, 2009 ( Serena Carcasole is a marketing consultant and president of Virtual Business Solutions ON DEMAND (










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