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Article Marketing: Ten Things Your Article Should Have

Jan 2, 2008
Article marketing is a tool whose time has come: You can write free articles about your area of expertise. Those articles are distributed across the internet, generating exposure and positive publicity about your business as they are used as free content on various websites. But there are seven important things your article has to have in order for it to work for you.

1. First of all, it must have an effective headline. Online article marketing works partially by using a keyword related to your business. Experts say that keyword should be at the start of your headline, followed immediately by what the reader will learn from your article. For example: "Vaccines: Here's what you need to know about the newest ones."

It's often very effective use a number in your headline. Your readers are busy and lists are easy ways to give information quickly: "Vacations: Six things to do before you leave"; "Life Insurance: Five things to look for in your new policy".

Another effective headline is to use a question: Headlines such as "Do you know an easy way to tell if you're drinking enough water?"; "How can you tell your insurance policy is right for you?" etc. tease the reading into reading the rest of the article.

2. Your headline should be reflected by the opening paragraph of your article (called the lead). Again, the lead should tell the reader exactly what the reader will expect in the rest of the article and why it is important.

3. Probably the most important thing your article needs is good, quality information. If your free article is only a puff piece about how great your company is, publishers and readers will know it. Give them information they can use and they will come to you in droves.

4. The text of your free article should have at least one link to your own website, preferably in text that will entice readers to use it. "You can learn more about the new meningitis vaccine by visiting, http://www.yourwebsitehere.com." This is most effective if the link goes directly to an article giving more in-depth information, rather than just to your website.

5. It is very important for your article to have other links within it. But remember, the links have to be to other websites that give high quality information related to your subject. Doing so will add interest to your subject and also improve your article's ranking in search engines. While Google and other search engines have many parameters that go into ranking websites, higher priority is given to those with high quality links.

6. Be sure to use the keyword that you used in the title many times in the article. That will also boost its ranking in search engines. However, do not just type the word "keyword, keyword, keyword" over and over again: it can just as easily destroy your credibility because your readers will sense the article is just a puff piece.

7. Write naturally. I know your third-grade teacher warned you against using contractions and sentence fragments. But that is how people talk and they are attracted to a conversational tone.

8. You should have one more link to your website in the "bio box" at the end of your article.

9. Your bio box should also have your name, your company's name and contact information. But to encourage people to visit your website immediately, include an offer:

"Bill Smith is an internationally known speaker and expert is sassafras development. Visit his website at wwww.billsmith'ssassafrassite.com for a free newsletter on new uses for sassafras." Otherwise, readers will forget about you immediately.

10. The last item your article needs is one that is unseen but very important: a proofreader. You may be a very effective writer and you can use a spellchecker. Still, you need someone to look over your work to catch mistakes and typos you missed. Better that they catch it before it goes out on the 'net. They can also advise you if you need to shorten or lengthen your article.

These nine tips will go a long way toward making your free article an effective tool for your business. If your article uses all nine of these items, it will go a long way in your article marketing efforts.
About the Author
Moe Tamani is a SEO Marketing expert and Internet Marketing Strategies consultant.
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