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Article Marketing: An Old Idea Made New Again

Jan 2, 2008
In today's internet-driven business climate, one very hot way to promote your business is through article marketing. Yet while it seems like a new idea, it's actually an old one that has taken a new spin.

What is article marketing? It occurs when a business owner writes an article on a topic related to his or her business.

For example, he or she is an insurance agent. Because his or her customers are interested in changes in health care insurance, the business owner writes an article: "Ten tips to make sure your family is covered in a medical emergency." He or she then posts the article to one of the many free article or free web content sites. At the bottom of the article, in the information about the author, there is a link to the business owner's website. Readers of the article are encouraged to click the link to visit the site, thus driving more business there. The more business driven to the site, the more sales can increase.

While this sounds like a new and exciting way to market your business, this method has been around for years. Ever since the start of mass media, business people have been submitting free articles. In exchange, they would be allowed to put their business' contact information within the article. By running these articles, the business owner comes to be perceived as an expert in his or her field. This gains credibility for the business.

Advertisers recognize that this is a legitimate way to build business. Ever notice some of the ads in your local newspaper? There is often an ad by a local dentist or real estate agent with tips on how to improve your smile or how to quickly sell your home. That text was not actually written by the owner of that business, but it does give him or her credibility.

All parties involved benefit: Publishers don't have to pay a writer for content to fill their publications. They also have a possible expert (i.e. you) available in the event breaking news occurs in your business type. You benefit by free advertising for your business and increased recognition of your expertise.

Today, that marketing tool has gone on-line. There are many free article and free web content sites that do the same thing as those articles did. However, in the internet version, there is the added feature of search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization refers to the ranking of a site when a term or keyword is entered into a search engine. There are many factors that are in place when the results of a search are listed. For example, if there are many HTML links within an article, that article will be ranked more highly than others. Similarly, if the article uses the search term many times, the article will also be ranked more highly.

In addition, because there are so many free content sites available, you may find your article can be distributed to many websites as well as to blogs and ezines. The visibility of your business can increase very, very quickly.

Article marketing can be a very useful way to promote your business but be careful: It can be tricky. For example, if an article is not well-written, the article could make your company's reputation suffer. Also, if the article does not really offer useful information and is obviously loaded with search terms, readers will know that it is there solely to drive them to your site. In other words, you could come across as a slimy salesman type rather than a true expert in your field.

However, there are ways around those problems. You could hire someone to write an article if you are not good at writing. You could give the writer the information you want included and the writer would put into the required format. Or, you could use one of the many article marketing websites available. Many of them have tips on how to write an article for your business and how to post it to your best advantage.

Article marketing is a time honored way to build your company's reputation. With the rise of the internet, you can really get your name out there quickly and inexpensively.
About the Author
Moe Tamani is a SEO Marketing expert and Internet Marketing Strategies consultant.
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