Posted Friday, January 14, 2005
Are you writing articles?
I know. You've already heard it 100 times before. The question is not IF you're writing articles, but WHAT you're actually writing. Simply throwing a bunch of words together isn't going to get you very far.
Here's a blueprint that outlines the 7 keys to writing successful articles. Follow the 7 keys and you're guaranteed to get more exposure with your articles.
Key #1: Choose a HOT Topic
You'll need to do a little research on this one. If you're already in touch with the target market for your article, this should come easy.
Research, spy, observe. Do whatever it takes to understand your target market. What issues are hot? What topics currently appear within top ezines, messageboards, ebooks?
It's also a good idea to frequently visit article directories and content sites. These sites contain current articles on a variety of popular topics. Here's a shortlist:
(http://ezinearticles.com) (http://www.certificate.net/wwio/) (http://www.ideamarketers.com) (http://www.marketing-seek.com) (http://www.goarticles.com) (http://www.netterweb.com)
Key #2: Choose a "Magnetic" Title
Magnetic title? That's right. Your article title is your headline. If it doesn't pull the reader into the article, nothing will. Just think ... what if I called this article:
"Tips For Article Publishing" "What It Takes To Write An Article"
See what I mean? These don't pack much "punch", do they?
Your title is just like a classified ad. Look at it this way. If your article title is crowded on a webpage with 100 others, what will make it jump off the page?
Key #3: Use The AIDA Principle
This universal formula applies to your articles as well. Once you've enticed your reader to read your article (via a great title), you need to keep them reading.
The first paragraph of your article is critical. If it's dull, boring and lifeless, your reader will surely bail out. You must keep their interest right from the start.
Try using short paragraphs, sentences and words. This will keep the tempo upbeat and make your article much easier to read (or skim, as most do online).
Key #4: Create Several Sub-Headings
To better organize your thoughts, divide your article into sub-headings. At times, writing a 500-700 word article can seem insurmountable. Sub-headings make things easier. Instead of tackling the entire article at once, try writing one paragraph at a time.
Key #5: "Close The Sale" With A Resource Box
One of the worst things you can do is to leave your reader hanging. They've just read your great article, now what? A resource box appears at the very end of your article. It's the last line that your reader sees. It's your chance to set the next step.
Make sure that your resource box is compelling. Make the reader jump over to your website, sign up for your ezine, download your latest ebook, claim their free gift -- get creative!
Key #6: Poofread Your Work
Did you catch that? It should've read, "Proofread". Nothing hollers out amateur, newbie, or just plain unprofessional than an article filled with typos and bad grammar. If you don't have an English major in the family, hire a proofreader. Their rates are reasonable and they can save you from damaging your reputation online.
Key #7 - Promote, promote, promote
Let's make one thing clear. Without key #7, keys 1-6 are a waste of time. Bottom line, no one will read your article if you keep it stored on a floppy disk in your desk.
You've got to promote it!
How can you promote your article? There are well over a hundred article directories, article banks, free content sites, article announcement lists, and article syndication services out there. And the best part is ... 95% of them are FREE!
Plus, there are thousands of ezines that are looking for article submissions. Develop a list of ezines in your target market. Next, e-mail each ezine publisher a copy of your latest article. There are countless stories of individuals who have succeeded using this exact same approach.
Wouldn't you like to get your next article picked up by an ezine with 32,000 subscribers?
Now go on, and get writing!
About the Author
Jason Potash, the creator of EzineAnnouncer software, makes it easy to put your ezine and article promotion on auto-pilot. Learn the 7 essential keys to ezine success. Click below for your free 4-part mini-course: (http://www.ezineannouncer.com)