Publishing articles is very similar to blogging. The advantage to articles for some people is that while the effort required to create the content is very similar, the time requirement is very different. What I mean is that a standard article runs between 400-1000 words, the same for standard blog posts. So, writing a blog or an article is basically about the same amount of work. What’s different about articles is that they don’t have to happen regularly. Blogs need to happen regularly – several times a week, or weekly at a minimum. Articles can happen whenever the mood strikes you, or whenever you have something you want to write about. The pressure is definitely less.
The disadvantage to articles is that a there is no way of capturing subscribers or followers, like you have with a blog. Articles do generate traffic to your site as there is always a “promo box” at the bottom of the article where you put your bio and a link back to your site. But at that point, your site has to be working for you to turn the click from a published article into a registered user either through a subscription or an opt-in email. You will get the traffic, and it is up to you to capture it.
Like blogs, articles are well liked by search engines. The content of the article will be indexed by the search engines allowing people to find your article linked with your name. But there won’t be an immediate link to your site – rather back to where the article was published.
To get started here are 4 steps to marketing yourself with articles:
1. Identify your topic. Choose topics related to your area of expertise. If you have content already developed, leverage it for your articles. Look for connections to current events and take existing content and “spin” it into something new and exciting for your audience.
2. Write your article. You want to shoot for between 400-1000 words. There are many different ways to structure your articles, but some of the more popular are Top 10 Lists, How To Guides, Tips and Tricks, Seasonal or Holiday tie-ins. Make sure to include your short bio and a link to a webpage in the “promo box” usually at the end of the article. The link can be to your business web page, blog, or social media profile. Use whichever one is most up to date and relevant to the article topic.
3. Publish your article: There are 4 major articles distribution databases. You can submit your articles to all four services. Each one of them has a reporting mechanism where you can see how many views your articles have received.
4. Promote your article: Now that you have your article published, tell people about it. When answering customer questions, or talking to prospective clients, it adds a degree of credibility to include a link to an article you’ve written. Don’t forget to post them to your social media accounts. Use these as a way of establishing your credibility. Having your articles published on a 3rd party site is validation of your expertise. It’s like a great reference for you.