Of all the ways that people have invented to sell things over the Internet, writing articles to run in ezines is perhaps the most effective. One great thing about this method of marketing is that you can do it with NO money.
If you are just starting your Internet marketing career, put away the Visa and warm up that keyboard! If you are a veteran who hasn't been submitting articles every week, get ready to supercharge your existing marketing and further enhance your hard-won reputation.
Either way, you win.
Article marketing may be the perfect way to market. It's free. It educates prospects. It gets your message in front of literally hundreds of thousands (many of the ezines in the DOE have hundreds of thousands of subscribers EACH!) of interested prospects you would NEVER reach otherwise. It's viral. Best of all ... it works!
So what is "article marketing" and how can it impact your world? Glad you asked.
What we call "article marketing" is simply writing informative articles and having those articles run in ezines, then letting people visit your web site, or contact you based on the information in the resource box at the end of the article. If that sounds hard, it's not. Let's run the numbers for a moment.
There are over 300,000 ezines out there. Estimates say that over 90% of them use free articles in their ezines. That means there is a HUGE market for your articles, no matter what you want to write about.
We like to say it this way: from cat food to Katmandu, there's an ezine out there for everyone - you included.
The Big Picture
The first step is to understand the goal of article marketing. The goal is to write an informative article and have it run in as many TARGETED ezines as possible. When people read the article, they see your resource box at the end of the article, click to your website and buy your stuff. They learn something, you make money. Simple.
Notice the emphasis on targeted? Please, please, whatever you do, do not waste an editor's time with articles that they don't need. One of the greatest things about the Directory of Ezines is that you can use it to find the perfect ezines for your articles ... fast. Use the DOE, but never spam editors with articles they can't use.
How to Write the Article
You want to write an informative article about something you know. Once you choose your subject, here's the magic formula for writing the article in five easy steps.
1. Be yourself. Don't try to write like anyone else. Let your personality shine through.
2. Tell a story. People love to hear an interesting story.
3. Limit yourself to 600 words. This is an ideal length for most ezines. Format your article to 65 characters per line with a hard return at the end of each line.
4. Have a clear opening, make three or five points in the middle, and have a brief conclusion.
5. THIS IS THE BIG ONE. Give the reader a few steps he or she can take to make your idea work for them. Tell them what to do first, second, third to accomplish the task you are writing about.
If the reader can take ACTION based on what you wrote (just like you can now apply this formula to your writing) you will have delivered valuable information to them. Do that and, hopefully, they will keep reading your stuff! ;)
How to Find the Right Ezines
The absolute, 100% effective, surefire way to do this is to use the Directory of Ezines. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Look for ezines that have these three things. First, the ezine content matches your article content. Second, the ezine accepts articles. Third, the reader is someone who would be a good customer for you. Once you nail down those basics, you have found the perfect market for your articles.
How to Approach the Editor
The BEST way to approach an editor is this.
1. Subscribe to the ezine.
2. Read a few issues.
3. Write a personal note commenting on what you enjoyed about the issues you read.
4. Offer your article as one that might fit in.
5. Ask to be informed if your article is run.
6. Thank them for their time.
7. Be available if they have questions.
If an editor chooses your article, the odds are they will run your articles in the future as well. Stay in touch and you can develop close relationships with literally hundreds of editors. Remember that each editor represents thousands of readers that you may never reach any other way. Also remember that the editor is a busy person. Keep your email brief.
How to Maximize Your ROI
Include a "resource box" at the end of the article. A resource box is where you sell the reader on going to your website, subscribing to your ezine, or taking any other action you want them to take.
Marketing with ezine articles is truly a win-win-win proposition. The publisher wins because he or she gets great free articles. The reader wins because your article is informative and tells them how to accomplish an important task as easy as 1,2,3. You win because hundreds of thousands of readers see your selling message at the end of your article.
All of this with no out-of-pocket costs. Now THAT'S a beautiful thing!
[Charlie Page is a copywriter who owns five successful online businesses including The Directory of Ezines. To find your perfect market fast, visit the Directory of Ezines today at http://www.directoryofezines.com]