Article marketing means writing articles and having them published in ezines (electronic magazines) and on other people’s websites in the hope that visitors who read the articles will visit your website. The presence of your articles online also earns valuable links to your website and this increases your standing with the search engines.
Article marketing is one of the best methods of free online advertising. There are many sources of free advertising online but, sadly, with most of them you get what you pay for: nothing. Article writing and publishing is different: it is both free and effective.
There are some people who simply cannot or will not write. A webmaster who can’t write or refuses to will have the choice of hiring a ghost writer (expensive), buying “limited edition” pre-written articles that will be sold to a few hundred other webmasters (cheaper but still a significant dent in the advertising budget) or republishing articles offered on article directory websites (free). The free option is the most popular and, if you can write, you get the chance to have your article with a link to your website used by the webmasters who republish articles from the directories.
Writers can be divided into two categories: the ones who find writing easy and the ones who don’t. There is such a thing as a “natural” writer just as there are natural born artists and musicians. The natural writer can produce an article in the time it takes for a cup of coffee to cool down to drinking temperature and, at the same time, be planning the next article and the one after that. If writing comes easily to you, you will probably find that the process of submitting your articles to other webmasters and directories takes longer that the actual writing.
Being a natural writer is a matter of luck just the same as being double jointed, blue eyed or tall. Unlike these characteristics, which you can’t change, the ability to write is something many people can learn. Many people who say they can’t write, have never tried it but, if you know how to get started, you can become a proficient writer. If writing ability was not given to you as an art, you can make it your craft provided you have the ability to spell and a grasp of the rules of grammar. You probably won’t be able to train yourself to be a great poet or a world-renowned literary figure but, with a little effort, most people can train themselves to produce decent ezine articles.
The most common problems quoted by people who want to try writing ezine articles are that they don’t know what to write about and that they can’t find enough to say. If you are not an experienced writer, always write about something you know: if you are having a struggle with the process of putting ideas into writing, you don’t need the added work of carrying out time consuming research. When you have managed to craft a few articles you will find that thinking up subject matter and finding enough to say is no longer a problem (trust me here, even though it might seem unlikely it’s true), so just start writing.
Make the subject of your first article something you understand and, preferably, enjoy. The subject, for the purpose of this exercise, is irrelevant. You could describe how to saddle a horse correctly, the right way to swing a golf club, the best way to spring clean a house, the history of pizza, how to keep your fingernails in good condition or literally anything you can think of. The list could go on and on, everyone has an interest or an idea about how to do something. It doesn’t matter if your first article never gets published, use it as a test run, concentrate on the technique of article writing.
For this exercise aim to write an article of not less than 500 words. That might sound a lot but it is about one page of a word processor document with the font set at 12. Having decided upon a topic for your article, imagine you are telling a friend about it. For ezine articles it is normally better to adopt an informal, conversational tone that lets the reader know you are sharing information, not lecturing or talking down to him.
Start with a general introduction to your subject, follow that with 3 or 4 paragraphs dealing with different aspects of the topic and finish with a closing paragraph. The closing paragraph can be very brief but it is better to round the article off than just appear to stop because you ran out of steam. It’s a bit like “that’s all, folks” or “The End” when a movie finishes.
When you have written your article get a friend or relative to read it and give an honest opinion. The two most important things to find out are whether the article was interesting and whether it succeeded in explaining what you set out to convey. You can ask for points for artistic merit but style can be polished as you gain more confidence in your writing. The ability to get your message across is vital. The next step is to write an article, using the same format, on a subject related to the business you want to publicise.
The final thing required is to invent an attention grabbing title for your article and the transformation will be complete. You are now a writer.