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To make sure that writing and distributing FAQ would redound to me, I also composed last of 24 questions to read, "And who are you, anyway?" That gave me a natural way to present my credentials and titles of several of my books.
Although I believe FAQ format has particular power on Net, for you ticket might be an article along lines of "Five Things to Think About Before You Hire a ___," "11 Low-risk Ways to ___," "___ DeMystified," or simply "How to ___." Call your bait piece a "white paper" if you're appealing to a corporate population.
Resist temptation to devote any more than 10 percent of your bait piece to self-promotion. Doing so would make it less appealing for others to recommend or reprint it. Producing something that benefits your market without a heavy sales pitch attached puts you in a very positive light, and just a low-key business bio and contact information at end entices readers to get in touch.
Think broadly about what kinds of sites might be willing to host or link to your informational offering. In addition to resource sites that aim at a comprehensive collection of topical links, consider non-competing businesses whose visitors need to know about your specialty. For example, with some of my small-business-oriented bait pieces on marketing and publicity, I've had requests to repost them to sites for a stock photo company, a specialty printer, a crafts dealer and numerous trade associations. Always request a live link to your Web site and an e-mail link to you when someone reposts your piece at their site.
If you have a Web site, out-of-pocket cost to add a bait piece there will usually be zero. Mentioning your bait piece in your signature when you post to discussion lists is another way to spread it around effectively. If it has an appealing title and genuinely useful content for some well-defined, information-hungry audience, you'll find this piece soon funneling leads to you -- without big expense of a conventional push for traffic.
Copyright 2002 Marcia Yudkin.
Marcia Yudkin is the author of Internet Marketing for Less than $500/Year, Poor Richard’s Web Site Marketing Makeover and nine other books. Based in Boston, she provides business owners around the world with creative publicity strategies and performs marketing makeovers of Web sites and print materials. You can read more articles by her or subscribe to her free Marketing Minute newsletter at http://www.yudkin.com/marketing.htm.