Lately I’ve had several requests to explain some article marketing 101 basic strategies. So today I’m going to reveal the step by step process of researching, writing and submitting articles that will pull in traffic for your website. While I’m not going to spill the beans on all my article marketing strategies (You have to sign up for my Free iMarketingMagic training for that), I’m willing to reveal some article marketing 101 basics that will help you bring in awesome FREE traffic to your website.

Creating a successful article marketing campaign comes down to four simple steps that include conducting keyword research, writing the actual article, creating the resource box and submitting to the right article directories.

So lets get started…

Article Marketing 101 Step #1 – Find an SEO targeted long tail keyword that has low competition.

Many article writers have posted amazing content online but their articles never get found because the writers didn’t do proper keyword research. Smart article marketers find low competition long tail keywords to focus on so they can get their articles ranked highly in the search engines.

Here is an example:

Let’s say you have a website that is affiliated with “dogs and dog training” and you wanted to write an article about dog potty training. While the keyword “dog potty training” does get around 2400 searches a month, there is also plenty of competition for that keyword. High competition means that it will make it hard for your article to rank in the search engines.

A better option would be to use the keyword; “small dog potty training” that gets a lot less searches (Only about 170 a month) but also has much less competition.

So how did I do this keyword research and come up with these numbers?

I personally use a tool called Micro Niche Finder which makes it very easy for me to see how much competition a keyword has. Using this tool, all I have to do is type in my desired keyword (in this case “dog potty training“) and it will tell me the strength of competition for that keyword as well as many other variations.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the keyword “dog potty training” shows a strength of competition of 324 Red with 2,400 monthly searches while the keyword “small dog potty training” shows a 39 green with 170 monthly searches. It also reveals several other keywords I could target that don’t have that much competition.

Article Marketing 101: Using Micro Niche Finder

This means I could write an article based on each one of the keywords with green next to it (dog potty training pads, dog potty training aids, free dog potty training, dog potty training grass and dog potty training techniques) and have a good chance at getting my article to the top of Google and the other major search engines.

Just like a traffic light tells you when to stop and go, Micro Niche Finder uses red, yellow, and green to show you if you can penetrate the search engines easily or not. Micro Niche Finder costs around $100 to purchase and is worth every penny.

While there are other keyword research tools online, many of them have monthly costs which can add up quick. This is why Micro Niche Finder is such a great deal and a tool that any serious Internet Marketer should be using.

Article Marketing 101 Step #2 – Write an article around the long tail keyword

Now that you’ve located a long tail keyword using Micro Niche Finder, it’s time to write an article based around this keyword. There are two things you need to do to create a keyword targeted article that the search engines will love.

  1. Use the keyword in the title of your article.
  2. Use the keyword throughout the article so it makes up about 4% of your total article.

Using our keyword research, here is how I would craft the title and opening paragraph of my “small dog potty training” article.

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Title: Small Dog Potty Training Revealed: Expert Tips For Potty Training Your Small Dog

Start of Article: Many frustrated pet owners are desperately looking for small dog potty training techniques that actually work. While there are an abundance of animal potty training guides, products and systems available these days, you might be surprised to know that only a handful of them actually work for small dogs. In this article I’m going to reveal several small dog potty training techniques you can use to get your little buddy on the right track.

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As you can see, my title clearly uses the keyword (small dog potty training) and my opening paragraph also uses the keyword twice. The important thing is to implement the keyword into your article naturally to find a nice balance that keeps the search engines and your readers happy.

Your keyword targeted article should be between 400 to 700 words long and provide valuable information… BUT make sure you don’t reveal everything the reader is looking for. This is because you want to leave your reader hungry for more information which they need to go to your website to find. This is where your article resource box comes into play and that’s what we will talk about next.

Article Marketing 101 Step #3 – Write an article resource box that converts your article readers into traffic for your website.

Okay, so now you have done your keyword research and written an article based around your keyword. The next step is to write your “resource or about the author box” that will be tied to your article.

The resource box is important because it’s the ONLY place in your article that you can promote your website and place links back to your site. Continuing on with our “small dog potty training” article, here is how I would craft my author box.

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Want to discover the “secret” system that potty trains your small dog in under 24 hours? Check out http://www.yourwebsitehere.com for all the details, PLUS a special FREE potty training offer!

Our dog potty training website is the #1 resource for animal lovers to find fast and easy solutions to all their dog training problems!

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Okay, let’s analyze why this resource box will pull in a 10 to 30 percent click through rate and convert our article readers into targeted website visitors.

  1. I bold the first sentence to get the readers attention.
  2. The first sentence poses a question that the reader has an interest in.
  3. I link back to my website twice – Once with the actual domain name (http://www.yourwebsitehere.com) and another time using anchor text (dog potty training) to help my search engine rankings.
  4. I mention that I have a FREE offer for them to check out – People love free offers!

A resource box like the one above beats the panties off the boring one that most article marketers use:

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John Doe is a dog training expert that runs http://www.yourwebsitehere.com. Visit his website to learn more about how you can potty train your dog.

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Not only is that author box boring, but you also miss out on valuable anchor text that helps your website rank in the search engines. While I’m not going to get into the whole anchor text conversation today, the basic premise is that you want to link back to your website using the keywords your website is focused around. In our example, we linked back to our website using the keyword “dog potty training” because that is what our website is all about.

We have one last thing to cover about article resource boxes and that is how to use basic HTML and Hyperlink code to make your author box look good. The truth is that if you want to create bold words and anchor text to your website than you are going to have to know a few basic HTML codes.

Here are the basic HTML codes you need to know…

Bold

Here is the “bold” HTML code:  <b>text you want bolded</b>
This renders:  text you want bolded

Italicize

Here is the “italicize” HTML code:  <i>text you want italicized</i>
This renders:  text you want italicized

HyperLink – Anchor Text

Here is the hyperLink HTML code:  <a href=“http://www.yourwebsite.com>Anchor Text Keyword</a>

Example:  <a href=http://www.yourwebsite.com>Dog Potty Training</a>

The reader sees Dog Potty Training which is a link to your http://www.yourwebsite.com website.

The search engines see Dog Potty Training as a link to your website which gives your website credibility for this keyword and helps it climb the search engines.

Pretty cool stuff huh?

Using our killer resource box above, here is how it looks in the EzineArticles.com back office with all the HTML codes inserted…

Article Marketing 101:  HTML Code Resource Box in EzineArticles
And this is what your reader and the search engines see once your article is published…

Article Marketing 101 - What Your HTML Code Produces

Article Marketing 101 Step #4 – Submit your articles to the top directories

The final piece of the article marketing 101 process is to submit your keyword targeted article to a handful of the top directories.

Here are some of the directories I suggest:

  1. http://www.ezinearticles.com
  2. http://www.goarticles.com
  3. http://www.articledashboard.com
  4. http://www.sooperarticles.com
  5. http://www.articlerich.com
  6. http://www.knol.google.com
  7. http://www.squidoo.com

While there are plenty of other directories, the directories above have clout and will give your articles a fighting chance at getting ranked in the search engines. My personal strategy is to submit to EzineArticles.com first (since they are the top directory) and wait until my article gets approved. Then I will take my original article and make small tweaks to it by changing the title and opening sentence BEFORE submitting to the other directories.

Using this strategy you have a chance at having a few of your articles ranked highly in the search engines without your articles getting buried for being duplicate content.

So there you have it… An article marketing 101 basic system that will put you light years ahead of most of the newbie internet marketers trying desperately to write articles for free traffic.

To learn more Internet marketing strategies, make sure you sign up for my iMarketingMagic newsletter here on my blog or at http://www.iMarketingMagic.com. If you have questions or need more clarification about any of the steps in the process, feel free to leave your questions or comments and I’ll do my best to help you out.

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One of the most important skills an Internet Marketer can learn is how to design a lead capture page the right way. A lead capture page is a single page focused website that only has one purpose; to capture information and convert your visitors into subscribers of your marketing list. On the technical side of things, all you really need to build your own lead capture page is a web-host (I suggest 1and1), a website building tool (I suggest WYSIWYG Website Builder) and an Auto-responder (I suggest Aweber).

But the goal of my post today isn’t to talk about the “Technical” side of building these small websites. Instead we are going to focus on the 5 components you must include when you design a lead capture page.

Component #1 – A Powerful Headline

The headline is located at the top of your lead capture page website and needs to be intriguing and thought provoking. If you’re headline peaks your visitors interest they will continue reading. If it doesn’t then they probably will leave your website and look for something else.

When writing a great headline it’s important to consider what your target audience is looking for and then craft that headline as though you are speaking to them directly.

Here is an example of a great headline for a person building a “lose weight” lead capture page:

“Discover The Top Secret Formula That Melts Fat Off Your Body In Record Time!”

It is also important to make your headline stand out by using large font size and utilizing the underline, bold and italicize functions on keywords or phrases inside your headline.

Component #2 – The Body

Since the body is an extension of your headline, it’s important that the body of your website expands on the job that your headline started. The written text inside the body should be brief but descriptive. Plus you want to highlight what it is that you are offering and what your subscribers will benefit by leaving their information.

I suggest using bullet points to emphasize key features and benefits of your offer. This helps break down information into small bits that are easier for the reader to digest and understand. You should also keep your paragraphs short and consider underlining, bolding or italicizing important benefits and action phrases. “Fonting Up” your copy will keep your visitors motivated to continue reading and their eyes scanning down the page.

Component #3 – A Call To Action

When you design a lead capture page, the call to action is crucial to increasing your opt-in rates and building your marketing lists. Many marketers make the mistake of assuming the visitor knows what they should do next. Don’t take that chance and instead tell them exactly what they need to do and what they are going to get for doing it. Provide your visitors compelling step by step instructions and consider using arrow graphics or a sub headline directly above the opt-in form.

Here is an example of a call to action for a “lose weight” lead capture page:

“Download A FREE Copy ($29 Value) of the Fat Melting Secret Formula Report Now By Filling Out The Short Form Below!”

Component #4 – Autoresponder Form

Of course you can’t build marketing lists if you don’t have a way to capture your visitors information and this is where an auto-responder comes in. An auto-responder is an essential tool for any online marketer and will give you the ability to create opt-in forms, build databases and follow up with your databases via email marketing.

I recommend using Aweber because they have great customer service, an easy to use control panel and most importantly your emails consistently get delivered. After you setup your Aweber account you will need to create a web form to place on your lead capture page. This is easy to do and you can create web forms that will capture any data you are looking to target (ie, Name, Email, Phone, Mailing Address, etc).

Component #5 – A Privacy Statement

A privacy statement is the last thing you will put on your lead capture page. This is designed to let your visitors know that you will not share, rent or distribute their information. By including this, your visitor will feel more confident about providing you with their email address knowing that they won’t start getting emails from hundreds of different people.

Here is an example of a good privacy statement:

“I respect your privacy and hate spam. Your information is 100% safe and will never be shared, rented or distributed to any third party.“

In closing…

Learning how to design a lead capture page is one of the most important skills you can master as an online entrepreneur. Make sure you focus on keeping your pages simple, and avoid posting any external links or complicated navigation bars. Remember that lead capture page websites should consist of a single page that encourages your visitor to subscribe to your newsletter or list.

How To Build Lead Capture Page Resources:

You need web hosting – I use and suggest 1 and 1
You need a point and click website builder – I use and suggest WYSIWYG Website Builder
You need an auto-responder – I use and suggest Aweber

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