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Recycled Articles: Write Them Once ... Use Them Hundreds of Times

Oct 9, 2007
I am a closet Greenie - I love recycling things and finding lots of new uses for old things. A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested that articles could also be recycled. I was intrigued ... how can you recycle an article?

Before I share their secret - here's a quick business-marketing lesson.

In business you spend a lot of time building your brand to let people know you exist and to attract clients to you. This is done via "push strategies" where you are pushing your brand into their awareness - such as advertising/direct mail/yellow pages and "pull strategies". Pull strategies are gentler. It's where you attract people to you ... because they want something they know you have or you can offer them.

People are generally pulled to you and your business because you are an expert in an area they are having a problem with, and something you have said has resonated with them. They call you, rather than you call them.

There are loads of ways you can attract clients to you that don't involve cold calling, stuffing their fax with campaigns or knocking on doors. Just one of them is through the use of articles.

Articles are a great way to share your expertise with people. By writing articles, you help provide answers and solutions to problems or issues people may be having. There are two schools of thought with sharing your expertise - leave them hanging for more (coming from a lack mentality) and giving full and deep answers (coming from an abundance approach).

Personally, I believe in sharing as much information as you can. By being generous with your information and time, you build a genuine and deep relationship with your clients and will retain them as clients (and often as friends) for many years.

Once you have written your article - what can you do with it? Articles can be shared with your clients through on-line newsletters such as this one. There have been some interesting studies lately from the USA that indicates print copy newsletters - once a month or so, to supplement an on-line newsletter can really boost your business.

You can share your articles with other businesses in your network - if you have a complementary business. One approach I have seen working very effectively is to gather a group of like-minded people together and get each person to write an article on a theme. Each person gets to include their signature block or by-line on their article. These articles are collated into either an e-book that everyone can give away on their websites, or converted to a hard copy book.

You can do the same with your own articles - collate them at the end of the year into a book. By writing your book that way, you take all of the pain out of writing.

You can submit your article to on-line article repository websites. People are hungry for information to feed their websites and they look to article repositories to find articles for their websites. There are stacks of sites you can manually submit your article to (if you have the time ...).

I prefer to automate things as much as possible so I use a company called Article Marketer. This is not a computer-generated service (which will generally get your articles bumped). With this service, first a computer checks your article for common mistakes, then a human checks your content to make sure it has the best possible chance of success before then submitting your articles on your behalf.

Each article you submit has your signature block at the base - your website and email for contact. This is a great way to generate traffic to your website, boost your web ranking (and spam to your in-box!) My best tip is to have a separate article only email account and a fabulous spam program to deal with the flood.

Here's a few more quick uses for your article:

* Once you have your article, look at whether it can be turned into a press release with minor tweaking.

* Can you become a regular author to your local paper?

* What about submitting your article to a magazine?

* Attach a relevant article when you contact potential clients.

* Include them on your own website as a resource for people.

But, what if you can't write? You are your best expert in your business ... but sometimes writing your expertise down in a way that is powerful and interesting can be a challenge.

This is where you can hire a "ghost-writer" or copywriter to write or edit your thoughts into a coherent article, newsletter or book for you.

The most important thing is to get writing. It is a quick and easy way to grow your business.
About the Author
Ingrid Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter, Business Development and Human Resources Consultant to Small and Medium Businesses. Ingrid has just published Instant HR Policies and Procedures for Small and Medium Businesses www.heartharmony.com.au
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