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Speaking and Marketing Tips, Issue 1 -- Using Articles to Promote your Business
September 09, 2005

Using Articles to Promote your Business

This Issue at a Glance

  1. What makes people want to read an ezine/newsletter?
  2. Where to find thousands of articles for your publications.
  3. How to get other people to use your articles to promote your web site and ezine.
  4. Ezine publishers want these 5 things from authors – by Christopher Knight.
  5. A final word from Rikki.

Hi

Well here it is finally – the first edition of my Speaking and Marketing Tips Newsletter. The theme for this first issue has arisen from the personal journey I have travelled in trying to get the whole thing off the ground. This and all my newsletters will evolve from looking at the current challenges I and other small business owners are facing in communicating with their marketplace, and provide practical solutions and ideas that seem to be working.

We live in a world where the only constant is change. What worked yesterday will probably not work today, yet there are still basic rules that have to be observed, blindingly obvious things that we all start to forget in the fog of information overload. I hope that over the coming months I can help you to clear some of the fog and start to really Get Attention and Be Remembered by the people you want to do business with.


What makes people want to read an ezine/newsletter?

One of the reasons I have not produced a newsletter earlier is because I kept thinking, "Why would anyone want another newsletter? I don’t read most of the ones I receive." So I started to look carefully at those newsletters I did read. What were they doing that others failed to do? Eventually I came up with a set of criteria which I have set as my formula for success.

  1. There needs to be a clear theme to each edition of the ezine.
  2. You need to be able to see instantly if there is anything worth reading.
  3. You need to be able to read the whole thing in less than 10 minutes.
  4. The topics need to be relevant to problems you are facing today.
  5. There are links to good resources for more detail.
  6. The advertising must be kept to a minimum.
Is this going to work? Well you tell me. I am still researching this because it is such an important issue. I have created a short questionnaire to gather views not just of this ezine but of what people are looking for in any ezine and I’ll feature the results in a future newsletter. I want to make this a useful resource that is worth receiving otherwise I will spend my entire life maintaining a revolving door mailing list. Just go to Ezine Preferences Survey and complete the 10 questions. You can find that link again at the end.

Many ezines are "I" focused. They have one aim - to sell - and even what appears to be useful content turns out to be a pre sell. Hey, I will be promoting a few products, mine and some I am reselling, but they will be secondary to the content. Ezines that sell, sell, sell, mean that people stop reading, so there is no point. The key to getting a regular audience of people who read your ezine, especially when many of them are friends, is to deliver interesting, useful content.

If this ezine was forwarded to you by a friend, Subscribe Now and claim your complimentary eBook How to Get Customers Queuing up To Buy.


Where to find thousands of articles for your publications

I had a second challenge when I sat down to write this ezine and fill my web pages. Some of the topics I want to cover are not areas in which I am expert, in fact like this months theme, it was something I was very much learning and updating myself about. Then I remembered what inspirational author Richard Bach said in his book Illusions. "You teach best what you most need to learn." There’s a profound thought.

Sometimes I suffered from writers block, no inspiration. Sometimes I wanted a different angle from my thoughts. Then someone pointed me to EzineArticles, one of dozens of directories containing thousands of articles written by experts on every subject under the sun, and all available to publish without charge. There are conditions.

  1. The articles must be used in full without alteration or edit.
  2. The author’s short biography must be included at the end.
  3. All live web links must be retained.
Sometimes authors abuse those rules making their material unpublishable, but I have already found and reproduced 6 excellent articles in web sites, blogs and this ezine. What a saving in time – I get great content with a fresh perspective and the author gets me promoting them to my visitors and subscribers – more on that in a moment.

I am building a list of links to those sites I like and post my articles on at Ezine and Article Directories together with listings of other useful resources like basic HTML tutorials and Keyword research tools.


How to get other people to use your articles to promote your web site and ezine

Ezine article directories rely on authors contributing articles and this is becoming probably the hot business promotion technique of the 21st century. It’s not an area new to me, but it is one I have had to rapidly update myself on. In the past 20 years I have had over 600 articles published in trade press, some ghosted for clients, many of which I was paid to write.

However the explosion in internet publishing has opened up a huge market that I had not even looked at. There are over 300,000 ezines some with distribution lists from a few hundred to millions, and that’s in addition to gazillions of web sites all of which face the same problem – A never ending demand for interesting content.

A good proportion of your network of contacts probably has an ezine or web site that will remain static and die without a weekly injection of fresh content. So this is where you come in. Start writing articles around the subject of your business. Not overtly advertising your business, but providing information for people who would be interested in your products and services. Write as if you were writing to a friend or member of your network.

The key to promotion is what is called the resource box, the bit at the bottom of the article with the web site address and details about the author. Getting this published by other people will help get you better search engine rankings, attract visitors to your web site and establish you as an expert in the business.

You are going to need to write a lot of articles. It’s an ongoing process. However rather than me tell you how to write the articles let me demonstrate how this all works and introduce my guest contributor this month. Christopher Knight runs EzineArticles as well as an ezine directory and a number of successful ezines. In other words he is an expert in online publishing and knows what publishers want.


Ezine Publishers Want These 5 Things From Article Authors/Writers

By Christopher Knight

Want your articles to get picked up and reprinted by top name brand ezine publishers?

While there is no shortage of authors willing to give their articles away with hopes of attracting ezine publishers who will pick up your article to send to their list as supplemental content or 'guest expert' - there is a gap between two very different types of articles:

Type 1: Those That Get Reprinted
Type 2: Those That Get Passed Over

Article marketing can help you achieve fame, traffic, credibility, sales, referrals and much more, but not if your articles don't make it into viral distribution.

Here are the top 5 factors that ezine publishers look for when they decide which articles to publish:

1) Does the article have zero self serving links in the article body? If so, good.

Loading up the body of your article with affiliate links or other obvious self-serving links is a liability. Your short-term thinking or scarcity based thinking (that you need to get an immediate return from your article) will keep your article from ever seeing top results.

2) Does the article have no more than 2 self serving links in the resource box? If so, good.

Your resource box at the bottom of your article should be short, sweet, succinct, to the point, and be less than 10% of the total word count of your article. Ezine publishers don't mind giving you name credit and a link for sharing your article with them, but they don't want to look like a fool by being required to reprint a short novel about all of your websites and accomplishments.

3) Is the article short (250-700 words)? If so, great.

We live in a 'sound byte' economy. No one has time to really go deep when it comes to reading email newsletters. It's proven that the shorter articles achieve a much higher distribution than the longer ones.

4) Does it deliver quality original content with numbered lists, bullet points or easy to glean information that their audience would find valuable? If so, good.

Key point: Make sure your articles are 100% original content. Anything less is really an insult.

5) Is the author well recognized or respected within their market niche. If so, excellent!

Ezine publishers have an ego just like you do. They want to use articles in their email newsletters that make them look good. The more you use your articles to help yourself gain credibility for your unique expertise within your niche, the greater the chances you'll find your articles getting picked up by your ezine publishing peers.

Hint: You'll need to write at least 100 or more articles before a top dog takes your credibility seriously. The greater majority of authors think they can put 1-6 articles into distribution and that's all that they will need to make it big. How erroneous their thinking is... You can quickly separate yourself by putting 100 more articles into distribution before this quarter is over. Yes, it is possible; Yes, it has been done; and Yes, you can do it.

There are many other considerations that ezine publishers look for, such as:

  • Relevancy of the article to the ezine publisher's core focus
  • Timing of the article and its relevance to current market dynamics
  • Grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure are perfect
  • Simple, clean, neat and no abuse of the bold/italics/underline attributes
  • Formal approach to the article vs. blogging loose style
  • How well referenced the article is
  • About The Author:

    Christopher M. Knight invites you to submit your best articles for massive exposure to the high-traffic http://EzineArticles.com/ directory. When you submit your articles to EzineArticles.com, your articles will be picked up by ezine publishers who will reprint your articles with your content and links in tact giving you traffic surges to help you increase your sales. To submit your article, setup a membership account today: http://EzineArticles.com/submit/

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


    A Final Word from Rikki

    One thing that surprised me was how few of the people I know are using articles to promote themselves and their businesses. If you have a book – you have dozens of articles without giving away the whole book. Remember the articles are going to be picked up one at a time by different people and every article based on your book is an encouragement for someone to buy the whole thing.

    Does it work? Well this is what I know has happened for me just this week – there may be others I don't know about.

    • How would you like a Luxury Cruise for two anywhere in the world, at no cost?
      The catch? You have to deliver three or four one hour lectures while onboard. The trick is knowing who to approach and how to sell yourself. Author Daniel Hall saw one of my articles and emailed to offer a joint venture deal I accepted to sell his book How to Speak on Cruise Ships

    • Professional speaker Graham Jones has used one of my articles in his ezine this month and listed it on his web site. It is already on Google. Graham and I are competitors but Google likes that, and of course I will be using one of his articles very soon so we both help each other to get more web traffic.

    • I was going to remove an article I thought was too long and break it up into three shorter ones until the Malaysian Junior Chamber of Commerce asked if they could use it in this months newsletter to their 1200 members.

    The hard work is paying off – Type "Rikki Arundel" into google and you will see what I mean.

    As Featured On Ezine ArticlesIf you are interested in publishing any articles I have written please click on the star for details.


    Seminars and Events

    I am conducting two open events next week and there are still a few places left if you are interested. Details on the web site

    One Day Presentation Skills Workshop - September 14th London

    Embracing the Global Gendershift Keynote – September 15th Blackburn

    Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

    I need some help. I have developed a eCourse Overcome Fear of Public Speaking in 7 days. The problem is that the course uses techniques I normally deliver face to face in a seminar or consultation and I need to make sure that the way I have presented the material in an eCourse works.

    Do you know anyone who is literally terrified of public speaking or finds it so distressing that they avoid it as much as possible. I am offering 50 complimentary places this month in exchange for their feedback after the course. This is not a marketing ploy – the eCourse is scheduled to be available for $27 or £15 in October but they can sign up now on the web site.

    And Finally…

    Don’t forget to please take a few minutes to complete my Ezine Preference Survey and help me to make this even better in the future.

    If this ezine was forwarded to you by a friend Subscribe Now and claim your complimentary eBook How to Get Customers Queuing up To Buy.

    If you like Speaking and Marketing Tips this month why not forward a copy to people in your network who might find it useful.


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