..A Crucial Part Of Your Business Plan by:Erick Engelhardt
Article marketing is a critical part of any successful internet business plan
. It is an amazingly effective way to get traffic-building backlinks and a reputation as a reliable source of knowledge. Remember that good businesses are built on sound fundamentals. Article marketing fundamentals are like the parts of a house; you must have a foundation, a frame, walls, and then, if you like, trim and decoration. Follow this blueprint and you will become a successful article marketer.
The Foundation - What You Know
Your display of knowledge in the articles you write is your primary key to success. Just like the foundation of a house, if there are too many cracks in your knowledge base, everything you try to build on top of it will fall.
Expanding your knowledge base is not difficult, but it requires some effort. The rewards of a successful article marketing campaign are well worth that effort. Here are a few tips to help you get the information you need:
1. Read articles about your topic
A glut of good information is available online, much of it written by experienced, knowledgeable article marketers. These articles are easy to find. Use your preferred search engine and you will be presented with plenty of content. You will find relevant articles in blogs, news websites, article directories, and other information-rich sources. Read them, and absorb the material.
2. Participate in online forums
Forums exist for nearly any subject you can imagine. Forums allow you to get fresh information from people who are currently engaged in the topic at hand. For example, if you sell birdhouses on your website, go to a bird watching forum. People will be sharing their stories, photos, and more from the field!
Many people who are new to internet marketing shudder at the thought of interacting in online forums. It is natural to feel a bit intimidated at first; it has the feel of joining a very exclusive club where members of the "old guard" scoff at the uninitiated. In actuality, that is not the case. Forums are designed to facilitate the free exchange of information among interested parties, so most of the users are happy to answer questions - even those posed by newbies.
3. Go to the library
I know that one of the big advantages of article marketing is that you can do it from home, but libraries are invaluable resources for information gathering. They are a great place to work, as well. Whether you prefer to compose your first draft on paper or on a word processor, libraries fit the bill.
4. Find a mentor or instructor
The aforementioned online forums are a very good place to make connections. When you find a knowledgeable and helpful person, ask if they would be interested in giving you a little guidance. Try to set up a time to get in touch by phone or instant message, and ask them questions. Do not be shy. The philosopher Goethe said, "Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
The Frame - Shaping Your Article
Once you have gathered the necessary knowledge and information, it is time to organize it into an actionable plan. I have one word for you - outline. Outline your articles - before you begin composing - every time, without exception. Outlining gives you three significant benefits:
1. You can clearly see where there are gaps in your knowledge, so that you can fill them. (You didn't think that the research part was over, did you? It never stops!)
2. You can easily rearrange the parts of your article to give it a better flow and feel.
3. You will often find that you can break the outline up to make two or more articles, instead of just one. In this way, simply creating an outline can multiply your article marketing productivity. How can you even think of skipping this critical step?
The Walls - It's Article Writing Time
Just as a house needs four walls, a well-written article requires four essential building blocks:
1. Strong Headline
This is what hooks your readers and induces them to read your article in its entirety.
Explain your premise and topic. Briefly mention each point you intend to make. Make sure you tell the readers how they will benefit from reading this article.
3. The Body
Elaborate on each point that you laid out in your introduction. Be concise, but informative.
Wrap up the article with a recap of your major points, and maybe give an encouraging word.
A house without walls is just a plot of land. You can bury your article marketing career there if you do not include these four elements in each of your articles.
The Paint and Trim - Revising and Redrafting
It is a good idea to put the first draft of your article away for a while before revising. Be sure to have a clear head and a fresh perspective when you come back to it. Edit for conciseness and readability. Try to make your article an efficient conveyor of information.
At this stage, you can also optimize your article for the search engines. Reword your article to use your top one or two key phrases as often as possible without rendering it unreadable.
Deep knowledge of your topic, an organized outline, a solid format, and a bit of revision and optimization - this is the blueprint for article marketing success. You have the tools, materials, and a plan. Now go to work!!
About the author
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