The web would be nothing without content-- the best content wins and content is king. You know this, but how much content do you truly have out there on the web? If you want to get a lot of traffic, you simply need to have a lot of content on the Internet. And articles are the foundation for it all.
If you’ve been around for a while, then you’ve probably heard a lot about article marketing. I’m not telling you to write 500 articles over the next month and wait for the traffic. These days, you need a strategy that works from a few different angles. Your article content needs to be everywhere out there on the web. And then you can turn your article content into other content, using it in more than one way.
Whether you consider yourself to be a writer or not, written content is essential. You don’t have to worry about being an amazing writer, though, because that will come with practice. As long as you can write an email to a friend, you can do the type of writing that is required to get a lot of great Internet traffic.
Before you get started, take stock of the amount of content you have out there on the web already. I’m not talking about the type of articles that you spin 1000 times and has been spammed all over the web. That type of thing just doesn’t work at all anymore, if it ever did. I’m talking about high-quality articles you'd be proud to show your grandmother. Is it out there and earning you traffic?
You have to have the type of content that people in your niche really want to read, because that's the type of content that search engines and real people in your niche will flock to your site for. It's time to make it happen.
The Importance of Great Article Content
What does it mean to have great content? It means different things to different people. It also means different things depending on which niche you're in. Generally, though, it means having articles that really connect with people. It informs them or entertains them. It teaches them something new or makes them think in a new way.
If you mostly focus on “search engine fodder” content, then it’s time to take a different approach. Search engines aren’t fooled by awful techniques like spun articles. Don’t write content just to put words on a page. Write content because it is relevant to what is happening in your niche, what people want to know, and what Google expects to deliver to its users.
You have to remember that getting traffic is all about people. Even though we love to look at website statistics to see how many people have visited, we have to remember that those are real people with names, faces, lives, wants, and needs. Getting traffic isn't about tricking people or search engines – it’s about providing real value that deserves the traffic you want to get.
Remember – you don’t have to be a world-class writer. As long as you’re writing to help people and are clear and organized, you’ll do just fine. You just have to know how to type a helpful email to a friend. It’s the same idea when you’re writing web content to grow your business and get more traffic.
The bottom line is that great content gets you search engine traffic and referral traffic. Having great content all over the web will help you in so many ways. This is how you build a real, lasting, and successful business.
Putting Content into Article Directories
In years past, article directories were a fantastic way to rank at the top of Google and get a lot of traffic to your website. Unfortunately, many marketers abused article directories – even the very best ones. Because of that, article directories don’t carry as much weight as they used to. Still, they can be a valuable addition to your plan to generate more traffic.
Perhaps two of the best-known and most successful article directories are EzineArticles.com and GoArticles.com. If you’re going to choose just one, go with EzineArticles.com. You can submit high quality articles there, and generate traffic on-site and off-site. When you submit to article directories, you'll need to include an author’s resource box. This resource box allows you to entice the reader to visit your website-- you get to include a link with anchor text. The article is your "give" to the reader and the article directory, while the resource box is your "take."
I suggest you visit these article directories and take a look at some of the featured articles. This should give you an idea of the content you might want to create and the type of author’s resource box you might want to include. In some cases, you can simply reprint articles you’ve included on your own site, as long as you hold the rights. Consult the article directory you plan to submit to for more information.
I don’t suggest, at this point, that you pay money or spend a lot of time mass submitting to lesser-known article directories. There are certainly other high quality article directories out there, but there are many more that will net you zero benefits, or can even harm your efforts to rank well in the search engines. Instead, focus on manual submission to the very best. It will take you the same amount of time since your focus will be so narrow and you’ll receive more benefits as a result.
Newsletters are a great way to take advantage of article marketing, and there are bound to be newsletters in your niche. People love to read newsletters. In some cases, these newsletters are delivered via email. Subscribers sign up specifically to receive content they are interested in. In other cases, newsletters can be found online or offline. In any case, the people who read this content are highly targeted.
You may consider running your own newsletter. You'll write content that is of interest to those in your niche and collect content from other contributors. You can offer informative newsletters only or even include some promotions. You can even take up sponsorships. The point, though, is to get more traffic. If you entice people with your high quality newsletter, they’ll no doubt want to check out your other projects and your website as well.
You can also piggyback off of other newsletters. People who run newsletters often look for contributors. You can offer to write a section of the newsletter, in exchange for getting to include a link to an article you’ve written, your opt in form, or whatever you and the newsletter owner decide on.
If you go this route, you'll want to choose a newsletter that has a high readership. If you’re running your own newsletter, you’ll want to grow your readership so you can attract the highest quality contributors. You want this to become the premier newsletter in your niche. This will get you a lot of recognition, grow your authority, and net you a lot of traffic.
Please don’t ignore this method. There are some newsletters out there that are in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers. By becoming known to those who read such newsletters, you really are growing your brand and opening the door to a lot more traffic.
Leveraging Your Articles in More than One Way
Very few marketers seem to do this, and that’s a mistake because it can bring you a lot of traffic and a lot of exposure. I’m talking about writing articles that are meant for reprint.
You write articles for yourself and your own purposes all the time. However, your influence only spreads so far – especially when you’re first starting out. Wouldn't you love it if you could write an article and have dozens of marketers post it with a resource box pointing to your website? It would end up all over the web-- in their newsletters, on their blog, off-line, in e-zines, in magazines, and more. This is basically free advertising, branding, and traffic that is mutually beneficial.
Consider writing these articles that are available for reprint, that include an author’s resource box. Anyone is free to use these articles as long as they leave your resource box intact.
Why would anyone use your article? For one thing, it offers their audience a different viewpoint-- yours. They write a certain way and are limited by their own experience. They love being able to showcase content from others in their niche. For another thing, using reprint articles saves them a ton of time. Maybe they’re running behind and don’t have anything to post on their blog that day. So, they grab your reprint article and use it. They benefit and you benefit!
Tell people that they are allowed to share certain content, and they will. This content will spread far and wide, all over the web and even offline. Remember that you'll get a lot further if you leverage the needs and wants of other people (in this case, people who want high quality content for their own business). Find ingenious ways to help others help you get more traffic, and you'll win.
Turn Your Articles into Free Reports
You should always strive to use your content in more than one way. It’s always surprising when people spend a lot of time writing articles or another type of content and only use it once. If you’re writing high-quality content, you’re actually doing people a disservice by not using it multiple times over. People want and need to see your best content. You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by repurposing quality content.
One way you can repurpose content is to collect your very best articles into free reports. Let’s say you’ve written 10 phenomenal blog posts that you really consider being your key content. Gather those up and edit them into one report, saving it as a PDF.
After you have this longer report ready, you can sell it. You can earn some great money by publishing it on your own, offering it for sale via Amazon Kindle, or even using it as a freebie bonus offer for something you’re selling or promoting.
Or, you can use the report as a list builder. You can offer it for free for those who sign up for your email list. People love to get great content for free, so it’s a no-brainer to go this route.
There are no limits to what you can do with these excellent reports. And the beautiful thing is it really doesn’t take that much more time and effort to gather articles you’ve already written. Putting these articles in the form of a report gives even more value for those who will receive them.
Create Rebrandable Reports Using Articles
Have you ever wished you could just get other people to do your marketing for you? Well, that’s actually possible. You just have to give them a good reason to do it. Rebrandable reports give them that reason.
You can write reports (or gather previous articles in the form of a report) and allow people to put their own affiliate links in for your product, or even for other products. They don’t get to change the content or your branding, but they do get the chance to earn from your efforts. This gives them great incentive to post your report all over the web, email it to their list, offer it on their website, and so on.
Remember – many hands make light work. You can do a lot of marketing yourself to get some traffic, but your efforts will go a lot further if you focus on recruiting other people to do your marketing for you. You don’t have to pay for this to happen, which means it’s a workable plan for anyone.
When other people are incentivized to pass along your free report, your work will spread around, building your brand on autopilot. Your name and brand should show up everywhere for the people who are interested in your niche. Getting other people to spread the word is one way to make sure that happens.
How do you get people to do this for you? Email your list with the opportunity to rebrand your reports. Put a notice up on your blog or website that your report is available to use in any way they want, as long as they don’t change your content. You can even write a notice inside the book that those who download it are allowed to rebrand it and pass it around too.
You can manually rebrand reports for affiliates and others. There is also software available that can help you do this. The simplest way may be to offer a Word file if you don't want to invest in a tool or manually rebrand the links for others.
Submit Transformed Article-Books to Ebook Directories
If you have a free report or ebook, you want to get it into as many hands as possible. These ebooks will build your brand and help you get more traffic. There are ebook directories out there to which you can submit to help make this happen. Depending on the site, this can have dramatic effects on your traffic.
It takes just minutes to take advantage of their search engine power. The people who go to their site go to search for great content. Google scans and lists this content. Then, there's the simple fact that you’ll be visible in more places, which builds your brand and gets you more traffic in a snowball effect.
Scribd.com and ebooks-directory.com are two choices you can start with.
Give Your Articles Away As Bonuses
I can’t repeat this enough – you have to use your articles in more than one way. One of the best ways to use the articles you’ve written is to give them away as bonuses. You can give them away as bonuses to promote your own products or other people’s products. This will help you get more notice in your niche, in the search engines, and so on.
There are many different ways you can use your articles as bonuses. You can turn them into reports, as we talked about earlier. You can also turn them into an e-course, to be delivered after opting in. Or, you can add them to an online membership site that people receive access to after purchase. The point is that using your articles as bonuses gives you an advantage over other people in your niche. The great thing is you don’t have to do any extra work because these articles have already been written.
People love to collect free stuff. They often search for “product name bonus” and similar keywords in the search engines. If there is a launch you're joining as an affiliate, or if you have your own launch, you can create a page on your blog or website that caters to that keyword. This will get you additional traffic, since people will be searching and you will have a great bonus available.
Knowing that you have something for free, particularly when you attach it to a hot product people are buying anyway, can also get you a lot of notice on social media. The more attention and notice you get, the more traffic you’ll get.
Let Your Affiliates Use Your Content
If you sell your products online (and you should be) then you can’t do any better for traffic than getting an army of affiliates on your side. Affiliates will spread your name far and wide because they get the benefit of earning a commission. They’ll email about your product to their list, post about it on their blogs and websites, and Tweet and post about it on social media.
Affiliate traffic is absolutely phenomenal. However, it can sometimes be difficult to get affiliates to promote for you and drive traffic to you because they are so busy with other offers. There are so many different things they can promote. They have to pick and choose what they are going to devote their time to. That’s why you should make it as easy as possible to promote for you so they’ll do it.
Let affiliates use your content! You can either write or create content specifically for this purpose, or you can simply repurpose content you already have. Give affiliates this content to use as is or to modify in any way that suits their needs, as long as it’s directly related to promoting your product. Even Amazon.com does this with their affiliate program. They allow their affiliates to use their images and content as long as it relates to promoting their products.
Affiliates are invaluable to your success. Treat them well and they will give you traffic hands off. They will help you grow your list, get traffic to your website, and become much better known than you could ever hope to become on your own. You're going to grow much faster if you leverage the traffic other people can give you, which is something we’ll discuss in detail further on.
Posting On Web 2.0 Sites
Another way you can reuse content you’ve already written is to post it to web 2.0 sites. When we talk about Web 2.0 sites, it’s all about sites like HubPages.com. Sites like this allow you to use their website to post your content. High quality pages on these sites sometimes rank almost instantly.
In some cases, you can publish your work as is, in other cases you’ll need to modify it because it has to be completely original to the site-- check with the Web 2.0 site you're posting to for more details. In any case, it really doesn’t take that much longer to create content that is acceptable for sites like this. Rewrite what you have or put a new spin on it. For example, you can turn a standard article into a "top 5 tips" article. A new structure can give it new life.
Definitely don’t make it your whole business to post on Web 2.0 sites. This is just one way to get some additional traffic and exposure. You’re basically leveraging the popularity and traffic the website already gets to funnel it to your own site. Focus on getting the traffic that goes to these Web 2.0 sites interested enough in what you have to say that they click on over to your website.
Share Your Articles on Slide Sharing Sites
We talked about the fact that your articles don’t have to stay articles. You can turn them into PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Keynote documents, YouTube videos, podcasts, or anything you like.
There are slide-sharing websites out there that will allow you to upload your content, taking advantage of their traffic. For instance, Slideshare.com, Scribd.com, and issuu.com are all options.
When you upload your slides, focus on your keywords and titles. Pay attention to what kind of content is popular on these sites so you know how to submit your content the right way to net you the highest benefit. Remember-- keep using your articles everywhere and anywhere you can, and in as many different ways as you can.
It’s The New Article Marketing
Article marketing doesn’t look like it did years ago when I first started. Now, it’s all about writing great content and using your articles in more than one to effectively get traffic from all over the web.
The more content you have, the better. Be smart about your article marketing. Come up with a plan and put it to work for you to get great traffic.