In this article I am going to tell you about six crucial things which most article marketers don't follow. I hope these tips would make some difference in your article marketing campaigns! :)
Before I go on to the main topic, I wanted to share a funny spam idea with you! I hope you have a good laugh at the end of it :)
Disclaimer: I neither use this technique myself nor advocate its use in any shape or form!
So here is how it goes:
The Cash4Spam Method
Ever seen anyone paying you through Paypal just to send you a spam message into the Paypal message box? Well, that is exactly what this dude does!
It so happened that a year ago I had purchased an ebook creation software from this guy. The software was okay but I didn't use it much, and eventually abandoned it altogether. Anyway, this guy got hold of my Paypal address that way and began sending all kinds of stupid stuff.
I started using filters to block him out, so that every message he sent got into my trash bin. It went like this for sometime until this twist in the tale happened.
I saw someone sent me a $0.04 payment through Paypal. At first I thought that it was an attempt by a scammer to grab my WSO for free, but later I found that it was this guy who sent me the payment! His rationale? He did this to get past my spam filters ;)
And in the Paypal message section, he had his ad. Nice way to spam me, eh? :D
He thought that he was finally able to hit upon an idea to have all his spam messages delivered without a hitch. Who knows he might have created a WSO product too on this very topic! Anyway, the grand finale hasn't come yet.
I guess I proved to be cleverer than him. I engaged two filters to block him out in a way that only HIS Paypal payment notifications would be sent to my trash bin. Well, guess that wasn't enough for him, as I got yet another $0.04 payment soon after that. I neither replied to him nor refunded him, since that would have made him suspicious that he has been able to hit his target right. Instead, I created two more filters to block him out.
Now it looks like I have finally got relief of him, or have I? Well, only time will tell for sure ;)
Can you count the no. of filters I used to block a single spammer? If all spammers were like him, guess we would have to abandon our respective email accounts pretty quickly! :D
End of the story…
Onto the article writing tips:
1. The 3 baby steps: The first few steps you should follow (even before you start the actual writing process) are:
a) Get yourself in your prospect's shoes
b) Think about them, and the problems they are facing
c) Do market research to find out what solutions they're buying. Are the existing solutions really effective? If not, can you come up with something better?
2. Copywriting and article writing: As you can see, there is not much difference between copywriting and article writing; in fact, this is where the two meet! When writing a salesletter, all those 'emotional stuff' you use is the direct result of the market search you have done!
If you know your market well you really don't need to hire a 10k copywriter for the job; in fact, I would say that you would do a better job than your copywriter buddy.
3. Sell what sells in your niche: When doing your market research, you should not only look at your prospects' problems and the solutions they are looking for, but also what they are actually BUYING! The last thing is probably most important. Very often, your prospect will tell you that they want one thing but eventually would end up buying something else; more often than not, buying is an emotional rather than logical decision.
I know that people want to learn how to write good articles, and if I write a short guide on this, they might appreciate it, but I won't make as many sales as I would if I sell ready-made, private label articles. I have done my research in internet marketing and I can say that:
1. People are looking for softwares and tools that can help them 'set and forget' their 'chores'
2. They are also looking for ready made minisite templates, plr content packages, etc. that would enable them to setup a site with simple 'click and edit'
3. They are looking to buy ready-made, ready-to-go, traffic generating websites instead of building one themselves.
People in the IM niche would pay you with both hands for any solution that helps them 'be lazy' or saves them time. They are not looking for information products as much as the above three things, because information products require hard work and most people don't like to do that (including myself).
Of course these are some sweeping generalizations and may not apply to everyone; so please don't get offended if you are different :)
I have done my research in the weight loss niche too and I can say that even though they don't work, people still buy diet pills and supplements more than a weight loss guide. Exercise gadgets will sell more than an 'exercise guide;' because the former is a 'set and forget' solution while the latter requires hard work!
People don't want to work hard to achieve the results they want to! They want it all on a silver platter!
Once you get this in your head, both copywriting and article writing would come easy for you!
In short, whether you write a salescopy or an article, you should get yourself in your prospect's shoes and speak their lingo. The only difference between the two is that unlike the salescopy, you don't hard sell your prospect in your article :)
In simple words, when you are writing an article, you should enhance the problem of your prospect, make it clear that you are the one who has the solution to the problem, and then offer them your solution.
Once you know the problems your prospects are facing, you will be able to make a direct, personal connection with your prospect very easily!
Here is a step by step approach you can use when writing the article:
a) In the article intro, tell a little story that is related to the prospect's problems.
b) Next, aggravate your prospect's problems by mentioning the many different types of troubles your prospect is going to face over and above what he is currently facing, something your prospect may not be aware of! This is like adding insult to the injury! :D
c) Offer your prospects some tips, but make sure you don't giveaway all of your knowledge in the article. Hold something back. 3-5 tips are generally okay for an article.
d) Tell them that if they want to get more information on the topic, they can visit your site.
Now you have got three options. You can either:
=> Send them to another article that is on your site, and have an inline optin form there, through which your visitors could subscribe to your newsletter!
=> Send them directly to a squeeze page
=> Send them directly to the salespage
Needless to say, I recommend the first option since that is what I follow myself. With almost 70% of web pages being either squeeze pages or salespages, your prospect doesn't want to see another, not at least at the first contact. Treat them as your friends; as you give them more and more they would feel more and more obliged to give you back :)
You would find it easier to sell your prospects if you give them first. That is the whole Mass Control concept in a nutshell :)
4. The ultimate solution to your major stumbling blocks – the title and resource box: People struggle with coming up for the perfect title and resource box for their articles. However, once you know your prospect's problems inside out, this won't be a problem.
With most of the articles I write, I usually write the body of the article first, and then come up with title and resource box. Sounds funny I know, but it is not possible for me to come up with a great title every time I start writing the article, so most of the times I relegate that task to the end! That saves me a lot of stress and I can concentrate on the quality of the article first.
5. Write what they WANT you to write: Once you write about what your prospects want to hear from you, you will set yourself apart from other authors who write about the same old 'commonplace' stuff again and again.
When you have something new and unique to offer to the market, the market will recognize and respect you. Your article will get published more and more, you will get lots of backlinks…the process will never end.
Here is an example. Let's say that you are writing an article on home business.
You have two options:
a) You can either write the same old rehashed stuff such as:
=> What is home business?
=> 5 reasons why you should do home business (financial freedom, make money while you sleep, complete automation, blah blah blah)
=> Here is my product that will make you Richie Rich overnight!
b) Or you can follow this approach:
=> Give your prospects a step-by-step home business plan that can stand on its own and yet is not wholly complete (meaning that there are some 'missing links' in the plan)
=> Offer your product as the thing that would fix those 'missing links'
Much better, eh? I am sure you will be more inclined to read an article written with the second approach than the first. The same goes for your readers too!
6. Patience is the key: This won't happen overnight; so don't be disheartened if you don't get it right at first. Choose a niche you want to remain in for a long time. As you write more and more articles on the same niche/topic, you will gain more and more experience regarding your prospect's problems!
How? As you write more and more content on the same topic, you will be compelled to do more and more research on the niche. Consequently, you will become a lot knowledgeable about your niche. With proper knowledge at hand, writing a great article won't take as long as it would when you write your first article!
I know this from my experience. Take for instance, the weight loss articles I write. There was a time when I would take an hour or even more to write an article; in fact, more than that, I would fumble at every point of the article.
However, as I wrote more and more articles on the same topic, I found that writing a quality article on weight loss came easy for me! After being in this niche for almost one year, I can write on almost all weight loss topics fluently (with the exception of the 'technical' stuff)!
I would be the one to acknowledge that even after knowing all this, I sometimes make the mistake of writing a stereotyped or 'formulaic' article. Bad habits die hard, I guess :)