A Website Promotion Plan Using Article Marketing

A Plan For Website Promotion

Image by Bohman via Flickr

Promoting a new business isn’t easy, especially if the amount of work involved (and the type of work involved) comes as an unpleasant surprise. You need to stay on top of the workload and to avoid distractions. One of the best ways to do that is to have a plan.

Yesterday I got a call from an old friend who is just taking his first steps on the web. Like many of us he had thought he would make an income on the web, and jumped in with both feet, only to find that the one task he had to do most often wasn’t web design or business strategy, or even dealing with customers. His business dream is turning into a business nightmare because he has to spend a lot of time doing something he hates.

And that something is, you guessed it, writing.

Bloggers have a pretty good idea that they’re going to spend time writing, but estore owners always get a nasty surprise when they realise just how much promotion needs to be done, and that most promotion is done through some form of writing.

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Product descriptions
  • Tweets
  • Newsletters
  • Video scripts
  • Tweets
  • Press Releases
  • Facebook updates

All the above take time. You need a strategy, a timetable and a plan to follow so you can stay focused, so we spent some time brainstorming and here’s what we came up with. This is just one of many possible approaches to the problem, I can’t tell you what his chosen niche was, so lets use an old favorite, underwater basket weaving.

The first task is to revise the webstore pages and descriptions to include text which will appeal to search engines, in other words, original content. Its also important to check out the meta title and description field on each product and category page.  Don’t try to do this all at once.

Launch the site with a press release which mentions a unique feature of the site, perhaps by targeting a specific group of customers  ‘Pregnant Underwater basket Weavers get their own store’  or
‘Teen underwater basket weavers get their own store’ you get the idea.
Join a forum for underwater basket weavers
Set up a facebook page and a twitter account. Use a simple interface, such as hootsuite, to manage all your social media efforts together.
Write 8 articles (2 per week) and submit each article to

www.ezinearticles.com and then to
www.ezinemark.com
www.goarticles.com
www.articleengine.com

What to Write About

So far, so good, but the same problem always crops up. So we have to write, but what do we write about?
Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Reasons This is the ideal hobby for X
  1. Where X is any easily identifiable group, (teens, seniors, Moms, golfers, cooks, men etc. ) or simply ‘you’. You can write this article again and again (but not all at the same time) aimed at another group. Rewrite the article and reorder the points, get rid of at least two and bring in two new points applicable to the new group.
  2. You’ll need around 50 -75 words as an introduction, explaining to your readers why they should care, 50 -75 words as a conclusion and only 30-35 words (a couple of sentences) for each of the 10 points.
  3. Take each reason and turn it into a blog post. Blog posts can be shorter than articles, but you may find that once you start writing it’s fairly easy to get to around 250 words which is perfectly OK for a blog post.  Brian Johnson, of 300 Internet Marketers and Commission Ritual fame suggests taking a good look at the Google keyword tool and at YouTube to get inspiration. You might also try Yahoo answers as a way to find the questions people have in your niche, and if you follow the conversations in niche relate forums, you should soon be able to come up with original article titles of your own.
  4. Make sure to write a good article summary and put two good links in your resource box using useful anchor text.
  5. Set up your blog to post one of the posts each day.
  6. Tweet each post as it is posted, then two days after that, then 4 days after that and so on. Vary the text of the tweet to appeal to different groups, and vary the time of the tweet.

Every article should follow roughly the same format. List articles like this are easy to put together because you don’t need to write too much on any one point.

Here are some other title ideas.

  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving for Beginners: 10 Simple tips and techniques.
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: Answers to the 10 most asked questions.
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: Ten Ideas for Beginners
  • Article Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 reasons to love this simple and effective hobby.
  • Article Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 things to beware of.
  • Article: 10 Myths About Underwater basket Weaving and Why You Should Ignore Them
  • Article: Underwater basket Weaving: 10 current trends
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Predictions for 2012
  • Article: Ten Things I’ve Learned from Underwater basket Weaving (this can cover self development as well as underwater basket weaving itself, and can be made specific so you can have several versions, such as ‘Ten things I’ve Learned About Swimming from Underwater Basket Weaving’, or Underwater Basket Weaving, Ten things Ive learned about Success’
  • The Ten Best Places for Underwater Basket Weaving and
  • The Ten Best Courses in Underwater Basket Weaving
  • Ten Ways to Save With Underwater Basket Weaving
  • Ten Problems in Underwater Basket Weaving
  • Underwater Basket Weaving: Ten Symptoms of X (one of the above problems)
  • Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Traditiions and why you should follow them.

By a process of simple extrapolation, you can end up with an article schedule that looks a bit like this.

Month 1 Press Release

  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Reasons This is the ideal hobby for Moms
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving for Beginners: 10 Simple tips and techniques.
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: Answers to the 10 most asked questions.
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: Ten Ideas for Beginners
  • Article Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 reasons to love this simple and effective hobby.
  • Article Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 things to beware of.
  • Article: 10 Myths About Underwater basket Weaving and Why You Should Ignore Them
  • Article: Underwater basket Weaving: 10 current trends

Month 2

Press Release:

  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Predictions for 2012
  • Article: Ten Things I’ve Learned from Underwater basket Weaving
  • The Ten Best Places for Underwater Basket Weaving and
  • The Ten Best Courses in Underwater Basket Weaving
  • Ten Ways to Save With Underwater Basket Weaving
  • Ten Problems in Underwater Basket Weaving
  • Underwater Basket Weaving: Ten Symptoms of X (one of the above problems)
  • Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Traditiions and why you should follow them.

Start to comment on other blogs on the same or related subjects.

By the beginning of month three you should find the writing easier and know more about your subject, so you can revisit some of the original articles and write something a little more adventurous.

Month 3

Press release

  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Reasons to go Advanced.
  • Article: Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving for Beginners: 10  tips and techniques.
  • Article: Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 New Tools. (or Ideas)
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: Ten Project Ideas for Advanced Students.
  • Article Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 reasons to Love Complexity
  • Article Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 things to Avoid.
  • Article: Ten things You’ll Learn From Advanced Underwater basket Weaving.
  • Article: Underwater Basket Weaving: 10 Ways to Improve Your Technique.
With eight articles a month, and each article having the potential for 10 posts (lets say actually 5) you’ll have 40 posts each month or 120 posts at the end of three months. That’s enough for one post a day every week day for 24 weeks – almost six months!  And when you get to the end of the three months, you can start exploring another keyword phrase connected with your niche ‘underwater basket weaving’

By this time time, the site should be seeing some traffic and may be time to consider a newsletter signup, but tweeting and article marketing has to take precedence because without traffic there really isnt much point in anything else. Bear in mind that some ecommerce sites see a conversion rate of 1%, which means you need 100 visitors to make one sale.

No matter what the gurus say, running a webstore, or any webrelated business isn’t effortless, and the likelihood of sudden overnight success is low.  But with a consistent plan of attack it is very possible to build a good income online.
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Article Marketing Case Study: Thor’s CB Radio

What do you do when your website/store or blog is brand new?

Do you wait for visitors to turn up in droves?

A lot of people do. I was one, but I soon found out that no-one will come unless you rope them and bring them in.

The power of article marketing is one of the many things I discovered through the Chris Malta forum and Brendan Will’s mastermind.

One of the guys on that forum was Jeff Thorson. He had built a store to sell CB radio and accessories. Now all he needed was some traffic. On the forum we were supportive. Jeff has spent a lot on his site, ThorsCBradio and it looked really good. Once it was online he had two goals; they’ll probably sound familiar.

  1. Bring traffic to the site
  2. Convert that traffic into money/paying customers.

His first thought, pay per click, wasn’t a big success.

The solution was article marketing designed to drive traffic AND increase backlinks to the site and as a result improve its search engine ranking.

“Like most e-commerce professionals article marketing is a vital weapon in my overall link building strategy. I know watching the bottom line is important but my efforts to save a buck cost me hundreds.

My biggest mistake was trying to use cut rate article writing services.  The articles I received were of such poor quality that the better article directories refused to publish them. The directories that did publish the articles were largely ignored by Google, and the articles themselves were almost never syndicated and delivered little quality human traffic. I simply didn’t realize how poor implementation was sabotaging any chance for success. It was like being caught between a rock and a hard place, I didn’t want to spend more money because I was experiencing such terrible results, but I also knew what I was doing simply wasn’t working.”

Jeff concluded that article marketing doesn’t work. And in his case, given his experience, he was right.

Surprisingly, the solution was – more articles!

CB radio is a technical subject. It is difficult to write about without doing some research. Just scratch the surface and you find a fascinating subject and many tales to tell; tales of rescues, discoveries, even astronomical phenomena; tales which even hardened web surfers would find interesting.  I bought a book, researched, and wrote some articles. I know Jeff was happy with the result, but it wasn’t till I came to write this case study that I asked him for numbers, something we could measure success by.

Article marketing took my business from 0 to 100 visitors a day. My web site is on page one for 6 different keyword phrases, and in the top three for my top keyword. On average, the business earns between 4000 and 6000 a month, and best of all,  I got here within 6 months.

There are a lot of people out there who think the quality of articles doesn’t matter, that fluff brings in just as many customers as carefully crafted prose.  As a writer it is  good to be able to look that theory in the eye and dismiss it. As a business owner – how does Jeff feel about it?

“Thanks to Lesley all of that is behind me now. Following her instructions I learned how important article quality and proper syndication techniques are. I no longer lose targeted human traffic with thoughtless resource boxes and article summaries. I don’t know what bothers me more, the money I wasted or the time I spent ignorant of  how much there was too know”

There are many marketing methods which are designed to cheat Google, but can you keep up?

How about using a strategy which means you don’t have to worry about Google and changes to the algorithm?

The Google webmaster guidelines, in fact everything that comes out of Google, says the same thing. Write good quality content and think about your readers when you write, not about search engines.

Jeff’s experience (and that of many others) is that it works.

And the best thing is that you need never fear change.

You don’t need to keep up with Google if you write good quality content.

As the algorithm changes, it is keeping up with you.

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How to Write an Article Summary

Each time you submit an article to an article directory, you have to submit a summary.  The summary shows up when the directory is searched, and web publishers often use the title and the summary (and not the actual text) to make the decision whether to publish or not. If you want your article to be picked up by blogs and e-zine’s all across the Web you summary has to show why your article is worth publishing.

A summary is usually defined as a condensed version which gives a good overview of the whole, but that’s not what the article directories are looking for. In fact it’s difficult to say just what their version of an article summary is. It’s a lot easier to say what it is not.

  • An article summary is not a longer version of the article title.
  • An article summary is not a true summary of the article.
  • An article summary is not just a couple sentences. If it’s less than three sentences long some directories ignore it and publish your first paragraph instead.
  • an article summary is not more than 100 words in length
  • an article summary does not include the authors name. (However, when your article shows up in a search the name will also be displayed.)
  • An article summary does not include HTML. And finally.
  • An article summary does not include any how information you need to save that for the article itself.

The purpose of an article summary is to promote the article. It’s not there to promote you and it’s not there to promote your business. Its sole purpose is to get your article published.  In that respect, you can think of an article summary is rather more like the trailer for a film or the teaser for a TV program. You need to include some keywords, because otherwise your article won’t be found in the first place, but apart from that your summary needs to put forward a compelling reason to read your article.  Tell them what’s in it for them if they spend valuable time reading your stuff.

One of the best ways to create an article summary  is to pose an interesting  question and then imply that the answer to the question is in the article. Of course, you then have to make sure you deliver.  Whet the reader’s appetite and build anticipation. Like movies and trailers, you might even find it best to have the summary and the article written by different people.

Many article directories take a very strict view of the article summary. If it doesn’t meet their guidelines, if it’s too long too short or in any other way inappropriate, they will junk what you’ve written and use your first paragraph instead. This is not what you want.  The article summary is a very valuable piece of directory real estate. Don’t lose control over it.

Don’t just throw your summary together.  Spend some time on it.  Only then will you be sure to get the most from your article writing efforts.

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How to Write A Resource Box

How do you get visitors to your website from articles you supply to article directories?

It’s simple, you add a link to your website, usually in a sort of signature box at the end. On ezinearticles.com, and many of article directories, the part of the article which contains the link is called the resource box. You can take a very simple approach and just include a link to your site, but research shows that you are more likely to get a response from your reader if you include some sort of call to action. Tell the reader what you want them to do, and also, tell them what’s in it for them if they do.

A lot of people write the resource box as an afterthought, a quick two minute job done when the article is complete. Like many of the parts of an article, the resource box deserves more thought. Unless it provokes action, unless it contains the right mixture of link and anchor text, your effort in writing the article will be wasted. So please give the resource box the attention it deserves. You’ll find in most cases you can craft a good resource box which is useful for a whole series of articles, not just one.

Here’s a video from the guys at ezinearticles.com so you learn how to write the perfect resource box. Find out  how they like to see it done, but remember, not all article directories allow two links, with some, you only get one.

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Article Marketing Is?

Gimli, my fluffy foot warmer

Gimli my fluffy footwarmer who keeps me company while I write.

This is another question people often ask, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide the answer.  It’s Sunday afternoon, I have a plentiful supply of tea and shortbread, so here goes.

Article marketing is a way of promoting a website. That site can be a webstore, and authority site or a standard blog, it really doesn’t matter. The process is pretty simple.

Write an article

Post it to an article directory

Wait.

That third part is important, and it’s the bit most people miss out. They want instant results. The bad news is, they won’t get them. Social sites bring instant traffic to websites. Tweeting works. So does article marketing, but not in the same way, and not in the same timescale. Article marketing is effective, but it takes time.

Article marketing works in three ways.

  1. Visitors to the article directory read the article. If they find it interesting they visit the web site it is promoting.
  2. The same visitors are often content publishers who will use the articles they find in the directories and publish them on their sites. The article directories publish terms of use which require publishers to include the article as published as a whole, including links to the original website.
  3. The article directory and any subsequent publishers of the article include a link to the website, thus generating internet gold – backlinks.

The big problem with article marketing is that reputable article directories require original content, and lets face it, it would be a bit odd if they didn’t. Hence anyone attempting to promote a website through article marketing needs lots and lots and lots of content.

And that’s where the problems start. As always there are hordes of site owners trying to convince the directories into accepting articles which are identical in content, but use different words. Automated article spinner programs use dictionaries and thesauri to change the words of an article for words which supposedly mean the same thing. The result is often very funny, and rarely useful. Google has said the will try to weed them out.

I love them.

The best things about article spinners is that they are so bad. They have no idea how to write.

And as long as it stays that way,  real content will stand out.

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