Articles ... The Best Form Of Free Advertising
© 2002 Elena Fawkner
Those of you reading this who run your own online businesses know that aim of game is traffic - qualified, targeted traffic - and lots of it.
There are a number of ways to drive qualified traffic to your site - some of it costs you money, some of it costs you time. Some of it costs you both and doesn't work.
This article is all about best form of free advertising - writing articles.
How can writing articles give you free advertising? As you probably know, there are hundreds of thousands of people publishing an ezine (electronic newsletter) on a regular basis. For some of these people, publishing ezine is central plank of their business - they set out to create a business involving, primarily, publishing of ezine. Others, however, publish ezine only as an adjunct to their website - a way to get their site in front of their ezine subscribers in hope that this will generate repeat traffic.
Both types of ezine publishers have one thing in common. The need for great content. If you've spent much time online you'll no doubt have signed up for more than your fair share of free ezines. You'll have come across some that are really good, some that are OK and some that are nothing short of woeful, with content that looks like publisher has picked up first piece of regurgitated whatever he happened to come across today to fill up space between ads for his numerous affiliate programs.
Your site may include links to your affiliate programs. After all, that's how you make money, right? But rather than go road of ezine publisher who thinks she can serve up any old porridge to her subscriber base and they'll eat it up, spend same time writing just one good article on a subject matter relevant to your target market and invite publishers of ezines with complementary subject matter to publish that article, together with your resource box at end (the four or five line blurb you see at end of articles that give a little information about author and author's website together with a link to site).
Now, here's important point if you expect others to publish your work. Your ad is your resource box, it is NOT your article. Your article is content. Your article should not mention your product, your site or anything related to it. Your article must stand alone as an independently useful piece of work (and when I say useful, I mean it must be useful to READER, not author!). Don't insult your readers' intelligence by dressing up an ad as an article. They're not stupid - they'll see through it and you immediately, they'll put you on their blacklist for insulting their intelligence and no publisher worth their salt will run your articles anyway.
The whole purpose of writing article is to make it such a worthwhile piece of work that many publishers will want to put it in front of their subscribers. Get a good article published in an ezine with 10,000 subscribers and see what that does for your traffic when hundreds of those subscribers click on link to your site that you've included in your resource box.
Beginning to see how this works? And best thing of all is that it only costs you time - maybe an hour, two tops to write a decent article. Commit to writing one a week and getting them published and you'll have a nice little traffic flow going, believe me (AND, if you make sure that you write about subject matter relevant to your site, that traffic will ALSO be targeted, qualified traffic - so much better).