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By: Chris Ralph
Right off the bat, I want to disclose that I'm not an SEO guru. Yes, I've studied it and I do know something about SEO, but my expertise is actually in generating great content. I work for a magazine and write articles each month, but I also have a website with lots of info and I make some good money off it as well. While I am not quite ready to quit my job and work from home in my pajamas, I have had some great success with my website using article marketing, and I want to share some of the tricks I've learned with you.
It used to be that one could dump off about a zillion articles at these article marketing websites, it would be re-published many times and shortly you would rank for darn near anything you wanted. The search engines have gotten wise to these tricks, and so it's a lot more work to effectively use article marketing to promote your website, but I can testify that it can be done.
The first benefit of article marketing is gaining links and the re-publishing of your article by other sources. Some article marketing sites use a "nofollow" command so that no web juice flows back to your site. Be sure when select the sites where you will submit your work that you get the valid link that is the full credit to your site. Articles are not re-published as much as they once were, so if you want to see the extra links that come from republishing, you'll need a high quality article on a topic people are interested in, one that will generate real interest. We'll talk more about what constitutes a high quality article here shortly.
The second benefit is traffic. These article marketing sites get millions of viewers each month, and you want to take your fair share of that home to your website. Christopher Knight, who runs Ezine Articles (Perhaps the very best article marketing site), recently stated that a typical click through to the authors website runs around 2 to 12%. All my articles together average more than 25% click through to my site, more than twice the upper end of average. How do I do that? Well, I give my readers good reasons to come to my site.
>> A good quality article fires up the interests of the reader and pulls them in quickly. You have a limited amount of their time to convince them that 1) Your topic is an interesting one; 2) That you know your topic well; 3) That you will deliver on the promise of your exciting title; and finally 4) If they really want to know the full details of your topic, your website is well worth checking out and show them how to get there. Many of my articles have the format of a good summary on the topic, but the website has those extra details (which is why folks just want to check it out).
>> Write on topics that you know and care about it will make your writing a whole lot easier and your passion will make the result more compelling. Write about the topics where you have some genuine expertise. Picking a good title is also critical titles can pull people in or push them away. Remember to get to your point quickly rambling on for a long introduction can turn readers away. Don't write long 3,000 word articles - shoot instead for something in the range of 500-1000 words for your articles. You have a limited time to capture their attention - don't loose your readers.
>> Give your readers great information in a well-polished package. Never worry about giving "everything away" in your articles quality and great content in your articles tells your readers you will deliver even more quality information and great content at your website it helps convince them your website would be a good place to check out. Never forget that "Content is King". Keep writing regularly and continue to grow your inventory of content. A few articles or even a couple dozen wont do the trick you need a good number of well written articles to attract significant traffic to your site.
There are also a few things you need to remember NOT to do:
Don't write over-optimized, keyword crammed, low quality articles they are garbage and tell your readers they need to move on to some other source if they want real information. Even if you have a thousand of them they will pull very little traffic.
Don't just rewrite someone else's article you can get tagged for copyright violations, and again this technique just screams of low quality. Be original, new and creative that's the way to attract new readers.
Don't make it excessively promotional. People read articles for content not ads. As a rule, people want to avoid advertisements. Don't write your article as a "teaser" something that takes the form of "Do you want XYZ? Then come to my website!" These have no content and deliver nothing worthwhile to the reader. To catch fish you need good bait or an attractive lure fish rarely bite on a bare hook.
Chris Ralph is an engineer who works as the Associate Editor of ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal. His website focuses on various hobby topics related to recreational panning for gold and rock hunting, but also sells jewelry items he has made as well. His website can be found at Nevada Outback Gems.