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The Top 7 Article Marketing Mistakes Solo Entrepreneurs Make (And How to Avoid Them)

Aug 17, 2007
Offering "free-reprint" articles to targeted audiences is one of the most effective and low-cost methods to become a recognized expert on the internet, establish credibility and generate long-term targeted traffic to your website. Well-written, informational articles are always in great demand by thousands of publishers and editors of websites, newsgroups, blogs and e-zines who rely heavily on providing innovative and fresh content to their readership and to attract search engines and site visitors.

Unfortunately, many solo entrepreneurs who market their services with articles are making serious mistakes that result in their articles not being published and not getting targeted prospects to their website. There are 4 factors that determine the success of any article:

* the preparation you do before you write an article
* the content of your article
* the format of your article ("article mechanics")
* how you optimize and distribute your article

Let's take a look at what the most common article marketing mistakes are and how you can avoid them.

Article Marketing Mistake #1 - Not Being Clear on the Reason to Write Articles

The primary reason to write an article is to inform your audience. If your article is not written with this purpose in mind, few people will want to read your article and you will fail to see all the benefits of promoting your article. Generating links by submitting your article to hundreds of sites will help to boost your search engine ranking but if you'd like to get people to read what is in your article, and then click through to your site, the solution is to produce better content.

Article Marketing Mistake #2 - Failure to Plan for Your Audience

Who are you writing for? You want only the people who are interested in reading your article and in the services you have to offer. You're not writing for every person browsing on the internet. Ask yourself these basic questions about your target audience:

* What kind of information are they searching for when they go online?
* Do they have any problems related to what you have to offer?
* What is their occupation, sex, age, etc.?

Then strategically choose the title, keywords of your article (more about this in Mistake #7). Did you know that the title determines as much as 95% of the success of your article in terms of how much traffic your article will generate back to your website? In fact, the first 3-5 words of your title are the most important. Then begin planning the content to make sure your article provides useful information or addresses a problem with a solution.

Article Marketing Mistake # 3 - Publishing Content That Publishers Don't Want

If you want article marketing to work for you, write articles that publishers would want to publish. They will not publish your article unless it contains quality content that will give their readers value. You will also have to adhere to publication rules in order to have your article approved and listed. Rules include the use of self-serving links, unique content, the use of HTML, article length (aim for 700 to 1000 words), keyword anchor text, resource boxes and affiliate links.

Article Marketing Mistake # 4 - Not Writing with Personality

In delivering your information, make it engaging and entertaining. Use your sense of humor if you have it. Put a little of your personality into your writing so that readers will feel a connection with you. When making a buying decision for professional services, the number one factor prospects consider is how much they know, like and trust you.

Article Marketing Mistake # 5- Too Much Sales Hype

Article marketing isn't about selling - it's about pre-selling. No one will publish an article that reads like a sales letter. You get to promote yourself in your Resource Box at the end of the article where you include your name, brief professional information, your unique selling proposition (USP) and a call to action with links to your website.

Article Marketing Mistake # 6 - Failing to Maximize the Promotional Opportunities of Article Marketing

In order to maximize the benefits of article marketing, it makes good business sense to optimize your articles so the search engines can list the website associated with your article on the search engine results pages. You will get free and targeted traffic from these listings! Include keywords in the title and content of your article and create metatags for your article pages. You can also include anchor text links in your resource box (the words you click on when you click a link).

Please note: there are best practices concerning these techniques so I recommend that you consult a professional to help you.

Article Marketing Mistake # 7 - Not Distributing Their Articles for Maximum Exposure

Many solo entrepreneurs don't know the top sites to target for maximum exposure. They often end up submitting their articles to over-hyped and under-maintained sites. Moreover, article submission is very time consuming and tedious so they do a few submissions but not enough volume to give them the exposure on the internet they need.

So my recommendation is don't just start writing. Plan ahead and write strategically to increase your article marketing success. The choice is yours - you can get a little exposure from increased link backs, or for a little extra work, enjoy massive exposure. If you have passion for a subject and can explain things like you would to a friend over a cup of coffee, you can write articles people will want to read. Just do a bit of planning first.

To write or not to write? That isn't the question. The questions that you must be able to answer are: What's in it for the reader? What's in it for the publisher? Does my article provide value? Savvy solo entrepreneurs generate thousands of dollars from Article Marketing each year. So can you!

Copyright 2006, Michele Hanson-O'Reggio
About the Author
Michele O'Reggio helps entrepreneurs grow their business and get more clients by delegating and using systems. Claim your FR-EE report "The Top 7 Clues that you Need Help and Systems" - email: top7clues@getresponse.com. Discover a self-promotion system that works at Michele's article marketing website.
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