Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Better than offline promotion such as press releases, talks, or networking? Better than search engine placement, banner ads, ezines and news groups?
Yes! The number one way to promote your service and your products is through informational how-to articles that you send to top Web sites and dozens of no spam opt-in ezines.
Content is still King on the Internet. People want your free information. That is why they go Online. When they see your useful, unique information, they will be more inclined to click the link in your signature file that leads them to your Web site where your coaching practice or products are sold.
Where to Start?
1. Find an existing article, excerpt from your book, coaching sessions stories, or how-to information from your talks.
You already have a wealth of information to choose from, so this step is the easiest one. Once you get going, you can write an article in less than one hour.
2. Target your article to your Web site buyer or ezine subscriber to attract more interest to your service. Think of each article as a mini sales letter.
Without a specific audience such as entrepreneurs, personal growth seekers, or small business people, your article may lose cohesiveness and continuity. People lose interest if your article is too general. Your best audience is your online business audience because they want and need many kinds of information and services. The best part? No competition because the Net is still underused as a promotional tool.
3. Write a new introduction for each article.
An introduction leads to what you are selling--the valuable information you want to share. Your first line must hook your audience. Ask a question about its concerns or problems. Think what questions need answers. Lead your audience into the how-to's by writing a headline following the introduction, something like: Use These Five Ways to Boost your Ezine Subscribers.
4. Write what the opt-in ezines and top web sites want.
Most opt-in ezines and Web sites publish articles from 500-1000 words because they need new, fresh content almost daily. They need you to submit your articles in 65 characters per line. A good program for this is (www.text.pad.com), which automatically formats your articles to these specs. Make your articles useful, original, and written in a conversational way with how-to steps.
Don't worry about giving away too much. These articles put you in an advanced category of dedicated professionals that attracts new clients regularly.
5. Write for your audience.
Your online audience will be primarily other business people. They want and need your information. They will post it on their ezines and on their sites. Some people like conversational articles. Others want short and sweet, so they can get what they want fast! They like headings so they get the main points fast. They like tips, how to's, interviews, and question and answer formats.
After you write with one focus, change it slightly. Reinvent a new angle. Write for a different audience. I submit the same information about writing and publishing eBooks to authors, speakers, coaches, and entrepreneurs who subscribe to the multitude of ezines available.
6. Give the background of the problem.
You need to reach your audience where they are. Point out their challenge. Perhaps it is procrastination. What are its consequences? Include those. Write how many suffer from this malady too. Include your audience so that they will read on. Next meet them where they want to be--their problems solved. That's where you give your list or how to's. This is the formula put forth in the book, "How to Market your Business Online."
7. Write the benefits of your information.
If you don't give your reader a "reason to buy" in your article's title, headlines, or how to's, they won't go to your signature box and link back to where your products or services are offered.
For instance, the one main benefit to writing online articles is to quadruple sales within four months. Other benefits include raising your credibility, gaining subscriber and audience trust, and becoming a household name, so your unique, useful message can reach many more people.
8. Maximize the promotion power of each article you write. In less than an hour, your can revise one article to meet the needs of different audiences. Angle one topic like procrastination to business people, at home women, students, or personal growth. Include specific benefits for each audience. Put the benefit into a picture or feeling.
Like giving your book a specific angle these ideas can attract many new potential clients to your site. You'll only need to write a new introduction and conclusion to fulfill your endless creativity.
9. Give each article an introduction and conclusion.
Of course, create these in just a few sentences, because Online readers want shorter sentences, say under 15 words; shorter paragraphs, say under five sentences, and shorter length than articles for print media, say under 1000 words.
The best introduction can be a shocking, or benefit-driven sentence such as, “Stop Throwing Promotion Time and Money Down the Drain."
Your introduction hooks; your conclusion can sum up main points, or add another reason why your information will benefit your audience. You may want to include a consequence of not acting on your suggestions, too.
10. Finish your article with a signature box at the end that pulls people to your site for more information.
A weak signature file kills sales and contacts. Make sure your email address reflects your business name. Forget selling here. Instead offer free ezines, free reports and a link to where you want your visitor to go. Perhaps it would be to coaching information or ebook links.
Did I say include benefits? Yes! Use a concept phrase like 20-year coach helps manifest your online promotion dream. Include a local and toll-free phone number, email, and Web address.
Yes, it takes a little of your time, but these articles do make a difference in attracting your target audience to know and want you. They made your coach number one-three in Google with the sales to follow--and in a short time of eight months.
About the Author
Judy Cullins, 20-year book and Internet Marketing Coach, Author of 10 eBooks including "Write your eBook Fast," and "How to Market your Business on the Internet," she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, The Book Coach Says...and Business Tip of the Month at (http://www.bookcoaching.com/opt-in.shtml) and over 140 free articles. Email her at mailto:Judy@bookcoaching.com