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What are Promotional Articles and How Can They Work for You?

By Susan Dunn
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004

One of the most effective ways for attracting attention to your business on the Internet is to write articles. The most popular ones are how-to articles, which also establish your expertise. People are always looking for articles for their websites, ezines and brochures, or for general information. They search in article banks, article sites, specific subject sites, and yahoo lists. Here’s an example of each.

These articles are NOT advertisements. The “advertisement” portion is your byline at the bottom. If they use your article, they must use your byline. It’s generally 5-7 lines long and includes your URL, email address and information.

Here is an example: ©Mary Smith, Relationship Coach, (http://www.relationshipcoach.com). Coaching for relationships. Let me help you improve this important area of your life. Mailto:msmith@relationshipcoach.com for free ezine.

(www.ideamarketers.com) is an article bank. You submit your articles there, and people come there looking for articles. The latest 30 days’ worth of articles is available free. Beyond that, the seeker must pay. Your articles remain there under your account and you can edit, change and delete them.

Here is an article website: (www.zinos.com). People go here to read the entertaining and informative articles, and your articles can be featured there, giving you publicity.

Here is an example of a yahoo list: The-Article-Depot@yahoogroups.com. You must join each list in order to submit to it. People who are looking for articles also join, and receive the submissions you’re sending in. From these, they select articles they want to use.

Most lists require special formatting, which is called a “wrap”. Here is site that will do this for you free: (www.formatit.com). To investigate groups to join, go to (www.yahoogroups.com).

A specific subject site would be (http://www.cokus.com), which features articles on food and entertaining, and (http://top-7business.com/submit) which features special kinds of business articles.

Now, how can this work to give you publicity?

Let’s say you have an online furniture store. You can write an article about how to make your home warmer for the winter, and submit to (www.zinos.com) in the Home/garden section, to article banks and to the yahoo lists. Then you could write an article about arranging furniture for casual entertaining and submit it to (www.cokus.com).

Or lets say you’re a professional coach. You could write an article on how to communicate better and submit it to those sites, and also to the business site, because communication is crucial for business as well as family and relationships.

HOW TO START

Decide if you want to write the articles yourself, and if you want to submit them yourself. There are services which will do both for you, or either, for a reasonable fee, or you can do them yourself. Then brush up your byline, and think about topics.

TOPICS

1.Make a list of things you know about or know how to do.

We are all on the learning curve somewhere. Do you know how to change the oil in a car? Potty train a child? Communicate well? Build resilience? Fire someone?

2.Become alert to things you’re just learning.

No matter how much we know, there’s always something knew to learn! These will always provide article topics. For instance, I just learned last week that Medicare doesn’t cover medical needs on international cruises, and there are others who don’t know this and need to, so I wrote some articles on this. Anything you learn new on the Internet is likely to be needed by someone. It moves particularly fast. Now that you know about the (http://www.formatit.com) site, pass it on!

3.Seasonal.

I’m writing this in early February. It’s time to be writing articles about spring, St. Patrick’s Day, tax time, and gardening. You could also still squeeze in a few about Valentine’s Day and romantic trips.

4.Events.

An article I wrote about entertaining for Super Bowl brought me some exposure on some new website. Other ideas would be Wimbledon, Kentucky Derby, and Chinese New Year.

5.Be curious and pass it on.

I was wondering if there was an online store that sold party goods for Super Bowl parties, so I did some research. I found interesting recipes, favors and games as well and that’s how that article got started. I also researched good barbecue recipes, and grills and really had a good time, learned a lot, and produced a good article.

LENGTH

Most popular length is between 700-1200 words. There’s also a market for short, 300-word-articles. For those, make sure your byline is also short, just 2 lines. These are used for fillers. Humor, day-to-day events, and "did you knows” are good for this.

About the Author
©Susan Dunn, Marketing Coach,
(http://www.webstrategies.cc). Let us submit your articles for you, edit and promote your ebook and launch it on the internet, market your services and products online and help you grow your small business or practice. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for more information.