I don't do bum marketing nowadays as much as before! But I still visit the ezinearticles.com directory and submit articles (for my existing sites, that is). You see, this is a good place where you can pick up trends in article writing and marketing. One of the trends that I still find at large is that of boring resource boxes. If this could have been the case two years ago, it could have been acceptable.
But now, when there are so many ebooks available on the subject and almost every one of them discusses the elements of a good resource box (including my own one), it looks like people are not going to change. I see the same old stupid stuff as I used to when I first started bum marketing; they have as though become the norm as much as the bland article titles. :(
In this article let me share with you a few tips on what makes a good article resource box. Even if only one person can write a better resource box after reading this article, then my purpose would be served! :D
1. Is it a resource box or a bio box: The major reason behind those boring resource boxes is that people often confuse resource box with bio box. The two are DIFFERENT. While the resource box describes your site, product or service, the bio box describes you. Many writers would simply put the same stuff both in the resource box as well as the bio box section. This is plain WRONG!
Bio box, as you might know, is totally optional (but in my Nuttiebums ebook I do recommend using it). Crafting a good resource box, on the other hand, is a MUST, because it is the only 'fee' that you get for submitting your articles for free. A good resource box would make people click through to your website; a bad one would make them click away.
For example, here is a bland resource box I picked up from ezinearticles.com the other day:
James Copper is a writer for http://www.newcareerskills.co.uk/
The person is apparently a freelance writer, but with the kind of resource box he has, I doubt he gets as many clients as he ought to. Here is how he could have made his resource box stickier:
"Would you like me to write custom content for you at an affordable price? I not only write unique, high quality content that is guaranteed to pass Copyscape, I also meet my clients' deadlines. Plus I charge much lower than other writers. If are disappointed with crappy articles, why not try my services at http://www.newcareerskills.co.uk/"
OK, ghostwriting is obviously not my forte but still I think I have managed to bring a new life to the resource box. The new one looks more like a personal, conversational, mini-sales copy, and that is how every resource box should be!
2. Test, test and test again: I have been writing and submitting articles even before the word 'bum marketing' was coined, and let me tell you, so far, no one resource box has stuck with me for a very long time. Even before I start writing the articles, I create at least three resource boxes and store them all in the respective author's profile at ezinearticles.com (Profile Manager=>Edit Author Resource Boxes); plus I also keep them in a text file as a backup.
When I submit articles, I randomly use a different resource box for each submission. I have noticed that some resource boxes work great for some types of articles, but those same resource boxes won't work for other types of articles. I have tested different resource boxes, plain text vs. HTML, short vs. long, etc., and in my opinion there is no set formula for creating the perfect resource box. You need to create several resource boxes, and test each one of them again and again, until you find one successful.
That is not the end of the road. You continuously need to develop and test new resource boxes. Who knows you may create something that gives you even better CTR than the one you thought was your 'best' resource box? :)
3. Use your target keyword in the resource box: This is extremely important, and again another area in which the writer in my example fails miserably. He didn't use even a single keyword of his niche in the resource box (he could have at least used words like freelancer writer, custom content provider, etc.). Apart from the title, intro, body and the close of an article, you also need to use your target keyword in your resource box.
Better yet, use the target keyword as your 'anchor text' by linking it with your landing page's URL; that way, your site will get good search engine ranking for that keyword!
4. Size doesn't matter: As I said previously, different resource boxes work for different situations. I use short, plain resource boxes most of the time. Some people argue that in order to get the maximum number of clicks from your article, you need to make full use of the 1,100 characters available to you in ezinearticles.com resource box. That is wrong!
In principle, a short ad can be as powerful as a longer one, and the same applies to resource boxes. It all depends on how you POSITION your offer. In fact, my opinion is that the person who can describe everything in a two-line ad is a better copywriter than one who takes pages to describe the same!
5. Formatting does matter, but only in certain cases: With ezinearticles.com and a few other article directories, you can use HTML formatted article resource box. I mainly use plain text and they work great for me. However, I have noticed that in case of over-competitive niches such as internet marketing, self-improvement, dating, etc., an HTML resource box (with bold, italic, underline, etc.) sometimes gets better CTR than a plain one.
The reason is obvious: there are simply too many articles written on these niches and people see the same old stuff again and again, so if you do something different, even if that means formatting your resource box differently, you get noticed! :)
Remember though that when creating HTML resource, you should use the WYSWYG editor of ezinearticles.com instead of your web design software; that way, your resource box won't be a mess of unnecessary codes that may or may not be allowed by the article directory.
I mostly stick to plain text resource boxes because many publishers would publish my articles in text format and therefore using HTML formatted resource box wouldn't serve any purpose outside the article directory itself!
There, I have given you some tips which I hope you'd put to good use the next time you start article marketing. I wish you the best in your article marketing journey!
As always, feel free to post your comments below!