Today I am delighted to welcome as a guest Karen Cioffi, writer, editor and marketing expert. Karen's children's book Walking Through Walls is riding high in the Preditors and Editors' 2011 Poll and you can vote for it here.
For those who aren't familiar with the book, it's a children's middle grade fantasy adventure. Find out more about Walking Through Walls.
If, like me, you were lucky enough to enrol in the course she co-hosted with Magdalena Bell at Muse Conference last year, you will already know how valuable her advice is.
Without more ado--over to Karen.
|How to Attract Customers with Informational Marketing|
7 Steps to Writing for Article Directories
( from How to Attract Customers With Informational Marketing)
by Karen Cioffi
Among marketing strategies, writing for article directories is certainly up there. It offers a large readership with the advantage of having those readers click back to your site. It also offers the opportunity of those readers reprinting your article on their blogs and in their newsletters.
While it is writing for free, it should be considered a part of your business expense, at least your time aspect of it. Just like any other form of marketing it is used to create and increase your visibility. It’s an investment.
While it can get tedious having to write and submit articles to the directories, the articles don’t have to be long. Here are seven steps to writing for the directories:
1. Create a title
Your title is by far the most important element of your article. The keywords in the title will allow the search engines to categorize your article properly. This in turn provides a trail for online searchers looking for the topic of your content to find your article.
The title and title keywords should accurately reflect what the article is about. If they don’t, you’ll lose credibility with the search engines.
To check out the effectiveness of your keywords try:
2. Write an outline
This is optional, because there are many writers who can write with the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method. But, if you are more comfortable with an outline, that’s fine. It does provide structure.
3. Create List, How-to, and Step-by-Step articles
This is a popular way to go. Readers love to see simple 1 2 3 lists of what they should do or should NOT do.
Be sure to include your keyword/s in the title, subtitles, first paragraph and a couple of times throughout the article. Just don’t overdo it.
4. Parts of the article
Your first paragraph should be interesting and let the reader know what the article is about, but don’t give away too much – you want the reader to continue reading.
Your second paragraph or section should inform and elaborate on the first paragraph. This part should fulfill the reader’s expectations.
Your last paragraph should sum up what the article is about and conclude with a lead-in to your resource box.
5. Write the minimum word count or just above
Check the guidelines for each particular directory. The minimum word count is usually around 400. But, check the site to make sure. Burn-out is easy with article marketing, especially when you’re writing for your own sites also. Keeping the articles short and to the point helps in this area.
6. The resource box
Some sites allow you to include a resource box which is about you and what you can offer the reader. Check the site’s guidelines because they may have specific requirements for the length of the resource box in relation to the length of the article. And, they may prohibit links to affiliate sites or promotional sites.
Once your article is complete, submit to a number of article directories.
Note: If you are submitting to a lot of directories, try to change the title of the article and spin the content a bit for each directory. This will make the search engines think it’s new content.
If you want to be sure your content won’t be picked up as duplicate content by Google, check out the site below; it will give you a duplicate content score.
WordsFinder Duplicate Content Checker and Article Rewrite Comparison
Karen Cioffi is a published author, freelance writer, and marketer, and to start the New Year with a BANG, from January 1 through February 28, 2012, she is offering all her writing and marketing e-books (purchased directly from her site/s using the Paypal SHOPPING CART) for $1.19 each. And, this will include new titles added within that time period.
For a complete list of the available titles and links to more information, visit Karen's website.
For a complete list (with brief descriptions of each ebook) go to: http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/p/karens-books.html