Long before the internet rose to its position of importance in marketing, the use of article marketing was considered a useful promotion tool in print media. Today, the availability of online venues such as websites, ezines and newsletters via email have created an even greater need for well-written articles on a variety of topics. As a result, article marketing has become a more powerful tool than ever before.
Article marketing is the practice of providing well-written content for distribution to websites and epublishers in exchange for a blurb about the author’s business and contact information. These “bios” usually include a link to the business owner’s website.
When a business owner offers content for publication, it is equivalent to getting free ad space on countless websites worldwide. The opportunity for exposure to the right market is significant, while the cost is virtually nil, making it a highly efficient means of business communication.
Unlike using email campaigns for lead generation, which net about a one percent response rate, article marketing targets a willing audience. Readers either voluntarily visited the website on which the article is published, or have opted in to receive the newsletter or ezine. This audience is inherently more open to the information contained in the article, and therefore more likely to follow the link to the author’s website to learn more.
Publishers who pick up the articles already have an audience of potential buyers in place. Readers are interested in the content of the articles, suggesting they may be in the market to purchase products or services related to that content. By comparison, the cost to purchase a list of such well-qualified leads would be formidable. Providing an article costs no more than the investment of the time required to write it.
Business owners can further increase the conversion rate by including a link to a particular piece of information in the author’s bio. Rather than linking to the home page, authors can include a link to an article on their own site that elaborates on the article topic. Readers will be more likely to seek out additional specific information.
Conversion rates can be improved further by publishing an email address that readers can use to subscribe to the author’s newsletter or website. Making the desired action as easy as possible increases the reader’s likelihood of doing so. An auto-response can then be sent to new signa links to specific features of the author’s website.
Providing content to publishers in related fields can be a highly cost-effective means of increasing website traffic, generating qualified leads, and improving both brand awareness and ultimately, sales.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger, nature photographer and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.