Using Article Marketing-Part Two

In part one, I covered what article marketing was and what the requirements to do it. In this blog, you will learn what it takes to get an article published in an article directory.

Getting Published

In order to get published in an article directory, your article has to go through a review process. The articles submission site editor is responsible for reviewing your article. He/she will then accept or reject your article. If you read the guidelines ahead of time and follow them, you stand a great chance of your article being accepted and published.

As you know, the key to publishing to an article directory is to get your article noticed. There are steps you need to take, that if followed, will give you a better chance of your article getting noticed and picked up.

These steps include the following:

  • Category and keywords: The category you choose will determine who picks it up. If your article is about gardening, naturally, you would place your article in a gardening category. As for keywords, you need to use certain words you believe someone will use to find your article. What is your article about? This will help you decide what keywords are necessary. For example, if your article is about gardening, you may use keywords like “garden,” “gardening,” “flowers,” “roses,” and many others.
  • Title: The title needs to be impressive and related to the article. The title has to grab the reader’s attention quickly.
  • Description: The description is next. The description is often about 200 characters for EzineArticles.com 500 characters for other article directories. Make sure your description entices the reader to go on and read your article.
  • Topic: The topic you choose for your article must be interesting. It has to be up-to-date. It needs to be a hot topic. Remember, your article has to interest readers, so make sure you choose a topic that people want to learn about.  Some ideas can be how-to, a trend of some kind, or you can surprise the reader.
  • Good writing: If your article is not written well, it won’t gain the attention of webmasters. An editor may not care, but webmasters will. If you want to stand out, make sure your article is of highest quality.

Once the article is done, go back and do extensive editing. This editing should include the spell checker. Also, check for grammar and syntax. Some people print out their article and read it aloud. This helps them catch mistakes. Cut any unnecessary words. When in the writing stage, the words come out of your subconscious. Now your conscious can go in and edit the document, removing anything not necessary or related to the content.

Before you submit the article to the search engines, create a signature to go at the end of the article. The signature should include your name, email, and website. This way when people read your article, they can also notice your signature, and end up clicking the link. Make sure to include why your an expert on the topic of the article. As for link to your site, give a taste as to what your website is about. This will give readers an incentive to click the link.

By following these points carefully, you will find just how success you can be with article marketing.

Using Article Marketing-Part One

If you have a website, your first inclination is to get people to it, especially if you are selling something. In order for people to know your site exists is by promoting it. This is also referred to as Internet marketing. Internet marketing can be done in various ways from making and distributing videos, doing podcasts, and writing articles. In this post, I will present article marketing, and why it is important to use as a marketing tool.

What is Article Marketing

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of article marketing, let me go over the basics of what article marketing is.  Article marketing is the process of using articles to promote your website. What you do is write articles about something related to your business, product, or website. Then you take those articles and publish them somewhere on the Internet, preferably, article databases. You could also have your articles published by other site owners, with a link back to your website.

The Danger of Article Marketing

Just as their is an importance to article marketing, there are also dangers to be aware of. In the past couple of years or so, there have been massive spamming of article directories by way of article submission software. It is because of this problem, Google came up with a way to stop it. They developed a system that can detect spam. At one time it was good to submit your article to hundreds of article directories, now, it is can hurt you. The best way to avoid the danger is to only submit your articles to top article directories.

The Science Behind Article Directories

The biggest reason to publish your articles with the top article directories is the exposure your articles get. When a website owner searches the article directories for an article and finds yours, if it relates to his website theme, he’ll use the article, with your signature file included.

In order to publish your article in an article directory, you have to meet certain requirements or guidelines. Here are the guidelines that fit most directories:

  • You own the copyright
  • No affiliate links
  • No links to your site, except to what is in the signature file
  • Length of article is usually 400 to 750 words

If your article is well-written and informative, there is a good chance your article will be read and used on many websites. Think how many backlinks you can earn, just by publishing articles in an article directory. A lot of backlinks means great ranking by Google. This means first page in search results for a particular keyword or two.

So how can you get your article published? Go on to part two and learn how to write and format an article so it will be accepted by article directories.

Don’t Make These Content Marketing Mistakes

As an Internet marketer, your goal is to attract traffic to your website. Many marketers aren’t familiar with ways to do this that are the most effective. Those that fail to do the proper steps end up not getting much needed traffic. What does that mean? No sales, or very little sales. Marketing involves various strategies that when done right will get their business, website, product, or name out there for many to see. One such marketing strategy is content marketing. This involves writing content (articles, blogs, whitepapers, e-books) that include the marketers email and website. This way, when the reader clicks on the link within the content, they are lead to the marketer’s website.

Unfortunately, many marketers fail to use content marketing in the proper way. They make mistakes can hurt their chances to get much needed traffic. In this blog post, I will present the eight most often mistakes marketers make and how to avoid them.

1. Do your homework

Before you start any project or campaign, know what you are going to do? Too many marketers just type away, or hire someone to write articles, and then publish them. This isn’t sound strategy. You need to know who you are going to market to. Who is your audience? What do they need to know to succeed? You also need to know if your marketing is about sales or lead generation?

2. Always focus on the buyer

Never focus on yourself. The buyer’s needs are what is important here. You want to focus your attention on education. You are trying to teach others how to do something. When you teach others, you are communicating with them. For this reason, your content should have your reader in mind.

3. Don’t pitch your product every moment

One mistake that can hurt your marketing is by being a salesperson in your content. It doesn’t matter what type of material you use, the content needs to be moderate in terms of its approach. Every piece of content you have can be used at some point in the sales cycle. Till those documents are required, give the people interesting and informative content that benefits them in some way.

4. Use a call to action

It is important to use a call to action when creating your content. Every single piece of content you create is supposed to do one thing: provide a call to action. The content should make the reader do something, whether it is to buy a product or provide their email address.

5. Content marketing is a two-way street

Someone once said that creating content is not enough. To make your audience so something, you need to engage the audience. You can do this by responding to questions. You can also reply to blog posts. You need to develop a two-way communication base. This is what will bring in the customer, as they crave interaction.

6. Don’t create content with substance

When creating any kind of content, you need to make sure it is of high-quality and is beneficial to the reader.

7. Don’t look as content marketing as unnecessary

Content marketing should be as much a part of your marketing strategy as learning to drive a stick shift is to a manual transmission. You must make it a part of your marketing plan. Content is important for many reasons. It educates, informs, and instructs. It is a wonderful way to spread the word about one’s business to readers.

8. Write content in many formats

Don’t think content has to be strictly written. It can be in the form of video, audio, or worded. You can create videos to highlight certain aspects of your business or product. You can create a podcast to talk about certain aspects of functions of your business. You can even create slideshow presentations. Don’t be afraid to use the content in more than one way.

The bottom line is to use content marketing effectively. Don’t make the mistakes mentioned in this post. If you truly want to benefit from content marketing, avoid the mistakes as outlined here, and focus on the needs of your readers (customers).

Hitting the Emotional Hot Buttons

Why do people buy? They buy because of what the product can do for them. They buy because of the feelings they get when they see or buy the product. They buy because it helps shape their identity (how they see themselves), and their image (how others see them).

Yes, people buy for the above reasons. In this blog, I will cover these areas, otherwise known as emotional hot buttons, more fully.

There are certain emotional hot buttons that when triggered will force people to take some kind of action. As a copywriter, you need to know them, as they will help improve your ability to write more effective copy.

Often, people don’t show their desire outwardly. They rather keep their desire to themselves. However, by knowing the emotional hot buttons, you can appeal to their desire, even if it isn’t known. Why do people respond when such hot buttons are triggered? It stems from fear. For example, people have a desire for control. If they don’t have control over their lives, they develop a fear of losing control and being in want.

When you use the emotional hot buttons, do so with the intent to help them. You don’t want to be cruel. Your goal is to show that they need to take action if they want to solve their problem.

The emotional hot buttons are provided below:

1. Control

If you were to talk to a friend, you may be surprised to learn his life may be out of control. There are those that have lost their job, loved one, home, etc. It is human nature to have control. It is for this reason, you, as a copywriter, need to show them that your product, or your client’s product will help them regain control of some part of their life.

2. Better than Another

People have egos. They want to buy products to elevate their status. They want to appear better than other people. Basically, they want their self-esteem fed. As copywriters, you may want to focus your copy so as to appeal to these types. You can use such words as elite, unique, exclusive, distinctive, and state of the art. By using such words, you are hitting the hot button of these people and will find they will purchase what you have quickly.

3. Discovery

People are curious by nature. They love to investigate. When they are bored, they want to buy new things to stimulate them. When they discover something of interest, they will pursue it, as they will feel it satisfies a longing. The product feels unique and special to them. What words would best work as discovery tools for such curious people? You can use such words as at last, improved, original, innovative, secret, revealed, find, introducing, finally, learn, and new. In a situation like this, people would love to learn of any discovery you have that may be new, or refurbished; as long as it solves a problem.

4. Family

One big hot button to hit would involve family. Since the economy has changed in recent years, time and other pressures have changed the way family thinks about buying. If you focus your copy on family and not on each individual of the family, you stand a better chance of selling to that market. The basic premise is to sell a product that will help the family better themselves. For example, can your product help a father be better toward his kids? Can your product help the wife take better care of the home?

5. Belong

Everyone has the desire to belong. They are social. They have a need to belong to someone, who shares the same interests, desires, and needs. This type of people will buy from those they know or trust. This also goes for products. They will usually buy products that others recommend. For this type of buyer, you need to learn what they want and use a certain language to gear them to purchase your product. If you can match what you have to their needs, interests, or values, they will buy from you.

6. Time

In this case, we should focus more on the shortage of time. Every person has a certain amount of time to use each day. Because of this lack of time, they want to be instantly gratified. They want the quick fix now. If you provide a product they can get fast, you can win over this type of consumer.

7. Be the Best

People will spend a lot of money if they can set themselves up to be the best. They do this to satisfy their emotions, desires, and passions. It could be they desire to live in luxury, or to live a certain lifestyle. If you can provide a product that will boost their ability to be the best, they will pounce on your order form.

8. Self-Achievement

Self-achievement is a goal that most people want to reach. If you watch sports games, the goal or object is to win the game. Well, many people have this same spirit. They want to win. They want to feel good about themselves. They will do anything to feel good, even improve themselves in some way to get there. Create copy that helps consumers feel good and they will buy from you.

9. Sex

Do you know that sex is the biggest seller on the market. If you create a product that helps people do better in bed, they will jump at the chance to buy it. Besides sex, people want to feel loved. So if you can provide a product that helps people attract the opposite sex, or same sex (whatever the sexual preference is), you can guarantee a well sold product.

10. Be Smart

Most people love to learn new things. Why do you think there are so many schools, colleges, and universities. Even now, many educational facilities are going online. If you have a product to help consumers learn something new, they will jump the chance to get it. Write copy to emphasize their desire to learn more, and you will have it made.

These are the most common emotional hot buttons. If you focus your copy on one of these areas (depending on your audience, or your client’s audience), you will be able to sell your product, or help your client sell his.

 

 

 

How to Create an Effective Sales Letter

Your job as a copywriter is to create copy that will sell your product, or your client’s product. If you are new to copywriting, the idea of creating a sales letter may be intimidating. If you are experienced in creating a sales letter, it may be a piece of cake. Even if you are experienced, you can always learn how to better your copywriting skills so you can produce more effective copy.

The actual sales letter can be broken down by including the following: 

  • Attention and Interest
  • Credibility and Trust
  • Desire and Need
  • Proof of Claims
  • Elimination of Objections
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Provide Benefits
  • Motivate To Take Action

Each of the following can be found in well-developed sales. Some sales copy will use all the above, whereas, other copy may not use but two or three. It depends on the prospect you are targeting. If you are writing for your client, you need to know who his target market is. You need to know if the client’s prospects have already been qualified (clicked an AdWords ad or banner ad). Is the prospect new? Does the prospect know what your client is selling? If you are writing copy for yourself, you need to ask these similar questions. If the prospect is cold (new), then you will need all the above that is listed to win those prospects over.

If the prospect is new, he/she won’t know the product or the seller. If you are writing copy for a client, and the client is new to selling online, he needs not only to get the attention and interest of the buyer, he has to establish credibility and trust, or the buyer won’t buy from him. This is where you will need to make sure these elements are added to the sales copy. A copywriter once said that one way to provide credibility is to provide content that demonstrates the seller’s expertise, authority, and credibility. When content is not written like a sales pitch, it stands a better chance of being read.

When you educate your prospects, instead of selling to them, they will be more prone to listen. I don’t know about you, but when I go into a store, I don’t like a salesperson to come up to me and start selling me something. That turns me off. If the person came up to me and relayed a story about his product, then I would be interested and would stop to listen. This is why when I write copy, I do it in a story format. It makes it more interesting. I still cover all the elements in the list above, but in an entertaining and informative way. This means when I write copy, whether it is for myself or my client, I include proof of any claims presented in the copy. I also eliminate objections.  The bottom line is that when I write copy, I create it like a story. In some cases, I create it like I am talking to a particular individual.

I relate to the person the problem they may be having, by way of a story. I then provide evidence that their problem is not an isolated case, that many others have the problem. Then I tell them that if they take a certain course, it will lead them in one direction, but if they take another course, they would benefit greatly. I give them proof of my claims by relating certain stats. If the copy is for a client, I write the proof the client has.

Not all copywriters are comfortable telling stories. As such, there are ways to provide good copy that will help sell products. 

Besides using storytelling, you can also use straight talk. When using straight talk, you are talking to them like they are your friend. You are being frank and compassionate when communicating with them. Basically, you are being straight up with them. It’s like one friend talking to another friend. You can also use hypothetical scenarios when writing your copy. When writing such scenarios, you can describe what can happen if the buyer continues in his/her course of action. Then, you can  describe what will happen if they go in a different direction; the direction that you are trying to convince them to go.  You can also use fact and figures as the basis for your sales copy.

Facts and figures provide certain stats about whatever the client or you are selling. These facts and figures can provide certain stats about an industry or problem and what the product can resolve. For example, if the product is about weight loss, one fact may be something like this: “About 95% of females in the United States are overweight.” Then go on to state why that is so. After describing the reason, explain how the product can help these females lose weight.

The best way to write the first part of your copy is to do the following:

1. Describe their problems: You can start out by describing what their problem is. By doing this, you can acknowledge you know the problem. When buyers realize you know their problem, it helps to build trust. It will give them hope you know their problem.

2. Remind them of their problems: By continuing to remind them they have a problem, they won’t forget the reason for reading your sales copy. They will be reminded that you have the solution. It will force them to read onward.

3. Question them: When you ask them questions, it will help them to think about the answer and will also guide them, or motivate them to seek out a way to get their problem resolved. When you ask them questions, they will realize you have a possible solution and you want them to realize this. Asking questions also builds anticipation. The reader will expect some kind of answer, so they will keep reading, expecting the answer.

4. Give them content: This content must relate to the product you are selling. This content can be in any form: story, anecdote, facts, figures, etc., as long as it leads the buyer along and he continues to read.

5. Provide an introduction: This is where you introduce who you are. If you are writing sales copy for a client, you will provide an introduction about the client. By doing this, it will help the buyer realize the client, or you, are an expert and will listen to what you have to say.

6. Provide proof: If you don’t provide proof, your visitor, or buyer, will not believe what you say and will leave. The person will think you are just a crap pot or a scammer, trying to get his money.

After you provide proof, your next obligation is to provide all the benefits you can about the product you, or your client is selling. Once you have provided as many benefits as possible, then motivate them to take action.

So what you need to do is introduce the product. Provide as many details as possible about the product to wet the appetite of the buyer. A good way to do this is by using bullet points. Bullet points make it easy to read the benefits as they are not clumped together. They can draw the attention of the reader.  They are normally short and to the point.

After you provide benefits, wrap up your copy by sum up what the offer is. Let the buyer know what he or she will get for his or money. This is very important, as the buyer wants to know what he or she is buying has enough value to compensate for the money he/she is willing to spend. Once you do this give the buyer the price. When you mention price, also mention an alternative way the buyer could use that money, but not get good results. For example, you could say the price is $19. Then you can say the $19 is about the same as a night at the movies for a couple, yet the product will give them more for the money.

After providing your price, make sure to mention a guarantee. The only way a customer will buy is when he/she knows if something went wrong, he/she can get his/her money back. Guarantees are very important. This is one great way to provide proof and to build credibility. Once you provide the guarantee, close the sales letter. The best way to do this, is by including your signature, and a P.S. In the close, ask for the order and provide a method of ordering. Make sure to tell them their order will be secure and safe. You know some people are hesitant about ordering online. You can easily add a signature to your copy. Just write out your signature on paper and scan it. Then place it on the page as an image. As for the P.S., do you know that is often the first thing people read. Make it count. Just use it to recap your sales copy.

This is sales letter writing 101. There is more to it than that, but for now, this is the basics. Hopefully, this is a start to your career as a copywriter. If you are an experienced copywriter, it will remind you of what the basics are.

What Is Behind a Great Headline

The headline is what drives people to want to read your copy.  It is the hook that pulls the reader in. It grabs the attention of your visitors and forces them to read further. The headline should also express relevance to the copy itself. If your visitor clicked on an ad from a website, AdWords, or banner ad, they expect the headline to introduce what they clicked on. If it doesn’t, they will go elsewhere. Headlines also help to overcome objections.

When writing good headlines, keep in mind that you are getting your visitor to read your copy. The best way to do this is to avoid using words or phrases that may cause the visitor to react negatively to it. Basically, if the claims you make in the headline are too big or outrageous, it  makes the headline not believable enough. The best way around this problem is by avoiding such phrases as “get rich quick,” “lose weight fast,” and “make money instantly.” These are phrases that have been used by scammers for many years.

Instead of using phrases that can trigger a bid response, use a headline that can trigger a good response. Many copywriters call this a “conditional” headline. You start out the headline with an easy requirement, then finish it with a strong promise. If you are a programmer, you may be familiar with the IF… THEN statement. If this happens, then something this happens. If you are not a programmer, however, you are a copywriter, you may have seen this format in headlines.

An example is like this: “If you’ve got 5 minutes to spare, then I’ll show you how to lose weight quickly, using only natural means.”

By using the IF…THEN format in your headline, it makes it more believable.

Now, you may be wondering what is behind creating a great headline, besides what was talked about above. There are three methods you can use that will help you learn to write great headlines. These methods are practice, read, and swipe file. I’ll look at each one below:

1. Practice

The old adage is that practice makes perfect. The more you practice writing headlines, the better you will get at it. Before you know it, you will be churning out great headlines every time you try.

2. Read

Let me stretch this a bit and say it involves reading anything that contains a headline. The more headlines you read, you lean how to recognize the good ones and their structure. This will help you develop great headlines you can use for your copy or your client’s copy.

3. Swipe File

What does a swipe file have to do with great headlines? If you keep a swipe file, you can always go back to those headlines when you need inspiration to write one. You can use the idea and structure of such headlines, while constructing your own.

If you take to heart what is said in this blog post, you will be on your way to creating copy that will sell.