3 Crucial Components of Successful Ezine Articles

TypewriterDo you write articles? Do you post them to your own web sites, blogs AND to article directories? If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, all I can say is Do it now!

Nowadays, the importance of having your own articles is huge. As a small business owner or solopreneur, to publish your own articles is going to be one of a handful of sure-fire ways to promote your business, today, tomorrow and for years to come – on auto-pilot.

Your own articles will create links to your web site, lift your search engine ranking higher, which in turn builds traffic of highly-targeted visitors to your site, who sign up for your ezine, and then, down the road, when they get to know, like and trust you, become your clients or customers. Do you see where I am going with this?

Although the main reason you would write an article is to give away useful information to your audience, your own primary interest is to use articles as a vehicle to promote yourself. Therefore, ezine articles have a somewhat different structure and requirements than articles written for magazines or other printed media.

Ideally you will write the articles yourself, so that each article will have your authentic voice; or you can have them written by a hired copywriter – either way, there are certain elements that must be present in the articles to make them successful marketing vehicles.

1. Keywords, Keyword Phrases and Keyword Density

Millions use the internet daily to find information. They will find your article if you use relevant keywords in your copy. For example, if you are a wine maker, write articles about wine: how to select wine, how to make it yourself, or how to pick a good winemaker, how to store it, etc. If you are a computer safety expert, you will write about protecting your PC, how to pick the right tools, how to practice safe web surfing, etc.

Once you find the right keywords and keyword phrases, use them throughout the article, and also use related keywords and phrases. This will give the article sufficient keyword density. Please note that search engines, as well as people, may ignore your article if its keyword density is too high, in other words, if you keep repeating a keyword just for the sake of building density (this is called keyword spamming). A balance is what’s needed here, and with some practice you’ll get it right.

There are many on line tools that can help in finding the right keywords and phrases related to your area of expertise. Find the right keywords and half of your work will be done.

  • Google Suggest
    You start typing a keyword, Google will suggest other words to complete a keyword phrase, based on its database of searches people used in the past.
  • WordTracker
    This subscription service is probably the best commercially available tool out there. For serious publishers, web masters, and SEO specialists.
  • GoodKeywords.com
    Free downloadable software for Win/PC that lets you research keywords.

2. Quality Content

Always keep in mind that you’re writing for the human audience first, robot audience second. Don’t just throw a bunch of keywords plus some filler copy together and call it an article! You need to write in such a way that your audience will be educated, and hopefully entertained. Write in a conversational manner, but be professional – think “business casual” in written form.

Your written piece is not a thesis, so don’t write long sentences and paragraphs. Convoluted sentence structure or obscure words don’t make for a good read. You don’t write to impress your peers (or competition), but to provide information to your target audience.

Do I need to say you must use correct spelling and good grammar? If you want people to regard you as an authority in your field, your writing style should reflect that authority.

A quality article will boost your expert status. With expert status comes trust, and the more people trust you, the more likely they will be to hire you or buy your products.

3. Links in Articles

Finally, one last crucial component of your article are links. As part of your general SEO strategy, you can create links to your own web site, especially if you’re posting to article directories. These incoming links contribute to your site’s page ranking with search engines.

Depending on where you post your article – on your site only, or to article directories – your latitude in creating links will vary. Let me explain.

Some article directories limit the number and/or type of links you can use. For example, you may not be permitted to link to other web sites using your affiliate link, but it may be OK to link to the same site, indirectly, via your own custom domain name.

Let’s say you are an e-commerce consultant and you offer shopping cart solutions. You could sign up with 1ShoppingCart.com as an affiliate, and then register a domain such as KickStartCart.info, and set up a one-page web site that redirects to 1ShoppingCart.com using your affiliate link.

At the very least, article directories will allow you to place links in your “resource box,” which is usually a single paragraph that goes at the end of your article, where you can freely advertise your business. A good example of a resource box comes from a client of mine:

Urszula Szychowska publishes the free Health in Layman’s Terms monthly ezine to help you stay youthful, healthy, vibrant and active for the rest of your life – naturally. Sign up today and receive a free special report “Glutathione – Essential Antioxidant, Immune Booster and Detoxifier.” More info at ImmuneSource.ca

If you are posting the article to your own site, or broadcasting it via your ezine, you have complete freedom in hyper-linking.

A very important note: search engines prefer links that contain keywords (I think people do, too). For example, this link to a versatile shopping cart solution is better than saying: If you need a versatile shopping cart solution, click here. BTW, this technique applies to any web page or blog post, not just your articles.

Conclusion

We are all hungry for information, and the Internet is where we find it. You are there to provide it in the form of articles. Start your own article collection today.

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Attend Live Events to Learn and to Promote Your Business

Adam Urbanski and Boris Mahovac at the 2007 ACLC BootcampIt’s been very strange two weeks since the last issue of my ezine. My wife took our kids overseas to meet their grandparents, so I’ve been a bachelor of sorts for a while.

Only a few days after my family returns, I’ll be flying to Irvine, California, for Adam Urbanski’s Attract Clients Like Crazy Boot Camp (that’s Adam and me in the photo). Then, in early June, it’s Montreal, for a one day Small Business Big Thinking conference, hosted by Visa Canada.

Attending live events and training seminars is not only a great way to learn, it’s also fabulous for business and personal development, business networking and meeting new people, who may become your joint venture partners, or clients.

If you’re planning to offer live seminars or retreats to your own clients, attend a few similar events yourself to see how it’s done. Why re-invent the wheel, right

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Doing Our Bit in Saving the Planet – Earth Day 2007

EarthSo, what have you done for the good old Earth, lately? I am referring to Earth Day, April 22, of course.

I’ve been an environmentally conscious earthling for years. My wife even calls me “David Suzuki” (in reference to the famous Canadian environmentalist). I recycle religiously, turn off my car’s engine every chance I get, use compact fluorescent light-bulbs (CFLs), etc. Even so, I must admit I was falling behind on my eco-education, being busy running a business and a household with my wife, two kids, plus a dog and a cat.

Recently, after months of waiting for Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” DVD from the local library, I was really shocked by what I learned watching it. If you haven’t seen this documentary yet, please borrow it today (notice I didn’t say buy it). Then do something about global warming, now.

Last Sunday I learned about BullfrogPower, a green electricity retailer operating in Ontario. They now supply my home with power that comes 100% from renewable sources, such as wind and hydro.

What has this got to do with ezine publishing, you may ask? Well, nothing and everything. If we don’t fix our polluting ways – quickly – weather we publish an ezine or not will be irrelevant, because there will be no economy. Perhaps not in my lifetime, but in my kids’ lifetime for sure.

Also, you can always reduce, repurpose and recycle in your newsletter as well: reduce the amount of hype; repurpose articles you wrote, by publishing them together in an e-book; recycle an article you wrote two years ago in your next issue, if it still reads fresh and appropriate.

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