Article Submissions in 10 Minutes a Day – Part 1

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 12, 2010 in: Business Marketing, Tips in 10

Online article distribution presents a huge opportunity to small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to grow their business. Compared to other forms of advertising and marketing, I think articles are among the best value for the investment that you’ll spend on them.

Although most of you already know what online article distribution is, I’ll give you a quick description here, just to make sure that we’re all on the same page: Article distribution is when you write an article and submit it to a site that posts the article online and makes it available for blog and ezine publishers to use. They might republish it on their website or in an email newsletter that they send to their subscribers.

In this Tips In Ten, I’m going to start talking about articles and article submission. This is the beginning of a series in which we need to cover several helpful sub-topics. So, by the end of the series, you’ll be able to create and submit articles like a superstar and it should only take you about ten minutes a day. (I’ll show you how). But we need to “lay some groundwork” and that’s what this Tips In Ten article is all about: “WHY article submissions?”

Reason #1: Positioning

In general, articles are about 300 words or more, but usually less than 1000 words; and often the average of 500 words is a good word count to aim for. In theory, they could be shorter than 300 words or longer than 1000 words but there’s the issue of practicality that needs to be considered: People may not read content that is longer than 1000 words and anything shorter than 300 might not allow you to cover the topic at hand.

In that space, you have the opportunity to show yourself to be an expert on the subject at hand. By writing high quality, compelling content on a topic, you’ll show your audience that you know what you’re talking about and that you not only have a command of the problem but that you also provide a solution.

And, multiple articles contribute even more to your positioning. By writing an entire series of articles on your subject, you’ll demonstrate your deep expertise, which will help you to win the respect of your audience… and more business from them.

So, how can you position yourself effectively? Identify topics that your audience wants to read about, and then write about those topics.

Reason #2: Higher traffic to your website

Website owners are always on the search to find more channels to generate traffic to their site or blog. Articles give you another channel.

People might search for a topic and not find your website or blog, but they could find an article by you which has been disseminated around the web. Think of it like a bricks-and-mortar business. If you only have one location, you only make money off the people who actually walk in your door. However, if you have several kiosks around town, you’ll increase the likelihood that people can see your brand and buy from you.

When writing your articles, write content that is helpful and compelling. That will increase the likelihood that it will be distributed around the web, creating more ways for people to find you.

So, how can you generate more traffic to your website? Think about writing articles that will be popular to your audience.

Reason #3: Back links

Google transformed the internet with their idea that any link to your website is a vote for your website… and the more votes a website has, the higher it will be placed in search results. In this one “rule”, Google made “back links” (that is, getting links to point back to your website) an extremely important part of an entrepreneur’s marketing plan.

Articles give you back links. When you write an article and submit it to an article distribution site, you get a back link. And, when that article is picked up by bloggers and syndicated around the web, you’ll get many more back links as each posting of your article points back to your website.

So, how can you get more back links? Think about writing articles that will be widely distributed.

Reason #4: Search engine optimization

The fourth reason to write articles is to improve your search engine optimization. We’ll talk more about this in future articles of Tips In Ten, but one of the ways that articles gives you search engine optimization is through anchor text. Anchor text is the text that is turned into a link. Here’s an example: My link is http://hireheathervilla.com. If you click on it, you end up at my website. But, I can use an anchor text like “Productivity Coach” and link to the same domain, like this: Productivity Coach. Google will still credit me with a back link (see #3) but they’ll also note that the link to my website is describing the website as “Productivity Coach”.

Now, doing this once or twice is okay but when you write several articles and they are widely disseminated around the web, Google will notice that many of the links pointing to that one site all refer to the same thing; that’s good for improving search engine rankings.

So, how can you improve your search engine optimization? Use your articles to link back to your website (I’ll show you how).

Reason #5: Cost effective marketing

Google AdWords costs you money every time someone clicks on your ad. It’s effective and ROI can be easily measured. But it still costs money and, depending on the keywords you’re bidding on, it can cost a lot of money. Other types of advertising and marketing also cost money. If you send out newsletters, you might need to pay for your list management and distribution service. If you advertise, you probably need to pay for ad design and placement.

Articles, however, are quite affordable. If you write them yourself, they cost you nothing but time. If you hire a writer to write them for you, you can have them written quite affordably. And distributing articles costs little or no money, too. Some article distribution sites will charge nothing and others might charge a modest sum. We’ll talk more about what these sites charge in an upcoming issue.

So, how can you generate more cost effective marketing? Write articles; lots of articles!

Reason #6: Clearer thought processes

While the reasons I’ve listed above are good, immediate, business-building reasons to write articles, I think there is another reason as well, which might not be as obvious: Clearer thought processes. If you write articles, you’re forced to think through what you want to say. In a way, articles are like laboratories where you can get your ideas down and test them out. If you write a hundred articles with fifty on one topic and fifty on another, and you start getting call after call from new clients because of one of the topics (but nothing from the other), you’ve just done some easy market testing. And, I’m willing to bet that your thinking evolved between the time that you wrote the first article and the time that you wrote the fiftieth article!

I do this all the time. I sit down and write content even if the ideas aren’t fully formed yet. During the writing process, many of those ideas crystallize. And, over the course of several articles, many of those ideas transform into something better.

So, how can you focus your thinking and improve your expertise and offerings? Write articles.

The purpose of this article is to set you up so that as I talk more about articles, you’ll be better prepared to take advantage of this huge opportunity.

Heather Recommends:

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