Wednesday

The Misunderstood
Marketing Method



How do you hide a tree? Put it in a forest.

This is what many authors have effectively done when they suggest that you
should use articles to promote your website. The technique that these
authors suggest can be summarized as follows: write something you know
about, add your resource box, submit your article to tens of thousands of
frëe reprint directories and distribution groups, and wait for publishers to
pick up your article.

But this is entirely the wrong method.

If you were to follow the advice of these authors you may see some traffïc,
receive a few inbound links, and gain some publicity for your website, but
how does this make writing articles different from any other basic promotion
technique? Rather than writing an article to bring in this traffïc, why not
just participate in forums, submit to niche directories, or pay for quality
traffïc? Articles can do so much more.

Why The Current Thought is Bad


Ask yourself this question: what are publishers looking for? If you said
content, you are wrong. Publishers (or at least publications worth reading)
are not looking for just content – they are looking for original content.
They do not want an article that is going to show up on 500 other websites,
including frëe reprint directories. They want an article that people will
link to, that only they offer. It is their unique content that will allow
them to separate themselves from their competition.

But don't publishers use frëe reprint articles? Some do, many do not. Those
that do tend to be extremely selective with frëe reprint articles, often
using them more as filler content rather than featured material which is
aimed at getting high readership. The fact is, most worthwhile publications
that use frëe reprint articles are either moving away from these articles,
or have eliminated them altogether.

So what does that mean for that article you wrote and submitted to 50,000
publishers (as promised by the article submission tool that you used)? It
means that it did just that – it was submitted to 50,000 publishers. You do
not know who it was submitted to, whether they are a respected website,
whether they actually have any reasonable amount of traffïc, or even if they
will publish your article without your permission. You have no control over
what happens to your article.

An Example of What Can Happen

What is so unfortunate about what article promotion has been reduced to is
that many website owners do not realize just how much traffïc they could
receive from just one article. A single, well-written, well-thought out
article, has the ability to drive literally hundreds of thousands of
visitors within a very short amount of time.

The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites, an article recently published on
Site-Reference.com, single-handedly brought in over 200,000 unique
visitors – in less than 24 hours. Initially it was featured on Slashdot, and
subsequently it was featured in hundreds of blogs and forums, and thousands
of new websites added a link to the article.

Well-written articles that are properly promoted have the ability to bring
fresh traffïc, many times in astounding numbers.

Writing Articles That Actually Succeed

The idea of submitting an article to as many publishers as possible is
obviously contrary to what a publisher is looking for. At the same time,
though, it is also contrary to what you should be looking for. The secrët to
writing successful articles starts with a simple concept: you want to
control who publishes your article, and you want to help promote that
article. If an editor chooses to publish an article and sees that it was
well-received (and brought in a lot of new traffïc), they will be more
inclined to publish future articles from you.

So instead of signing up for the latest article distribution program that
promises to blast your article to a gazillion publishers that you may not
even want publishing your article, choose one or two initial publications
that you would like to be featured in, then work on developing a
relationship with them.

Starting that relationship can often be the most difficult part. Often
times, though, simply sending an email to the editor informing them that you
would like to write an article exclusively for them on "___fill in the
blank___" subject is enough to get their attention. If you happen to send
them an email, they may give you some guidelines on what they look for in an
article. Or, they may tell you that they simply would not be interested in
an article on that particular topic (if that were to happen, you could ask
what they would be interested in).

Spend time writing your article – do not expect to finish it in one day, and
certainly do not expect to finish it in a few hours. A quality article takes
time to write, takes thought to organize, and may require research on your
part as well. Remember that publishers are looking for unique, well-written,
well thought out, and insightful articles. Ultimately, publishers are
looking for the same content that their readers are looking for – your job
is to simply create that content.

Promote Your Articles

Articles that are published on well-respected websites tend to be viral in
nature. Once you get your article published (and you may be surprised at how
easy it is to get your article published), you will find that your article
will show up in various forums, blogs, and other websites. This is good –
in
fact, this is very good and is the very goal that you should be aiming for.
You want to encourage this viral behavior, help it grow, and even give it a
shot in the arm when necessary.

To find whether your article is being discussed elsewhere on the web, you
can do a search in Google for your article title in quotes (as shown at):

http://www.site-reference.com/article_images/search_title.jpg

If you see that your article is being discussed in forums, join the forum
and join the discussion. Having your input will encourage more conversation,
which will in turn encourage more people to participate in the conversation.
Take advantage of the buzz and use it to create more buzz. For example, if
you find that a blog owner read your article, disagreed with it, and took
the time to create a post disagreeing with your article, send them an email
asking if you can respond through their blog.

Find websites that feature important stories. The technology field has
websites such as Slashdot and Digg – find out if your industry has any
equivalent websites that feature important or interesting stories and submit
the location of the published article to them.

Ultimately, you should promote your articles as if they were your actual
website. Not only will this draw attention to the article (which is a
showcase of your website's credibility), but it will also demonstrate to the
editor that your articles are worth publishing and make it easier for you to
be published in the future.

Ultimately It Is An Ad

An article is ultimately an advertisement for your business, even though you
may not mention your business anywhere in your article (actually, as a
general rule you should not). The article demonstrates your knowledge, draws
attention to your business, and creates valuable exposure to your website.

A properly written, distributed, and promoted article can be far more
effective than any other förm of marketing, and far more cost effective.

Mark Daoust

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