The Million Dollar Question Is

Does Article Marketing still work? Having put forth this question in a few IM forums and social media blogs, a month or so ago, I was greeted with an overwhelming “No”. This, surprisingly, was the general consensus among MMO enthusiasts, self- proclaimed Internet marketers, and work at home moms. Common responses were,” waste of time”, “saturated”, “not effective anymore”, and “yesterday’s marketing”. Do you feel the same? If so, I totally understand. I’ve been there. In some ways, I still experience the occasional frustration. But, Contrary to popular belief, article marketing does actually work. The truth is, it may not be working for you and there are plenty of reasons why. The goal today is to expose 3 of them.

Your Article Title is Generic, Boring, and Overused

The importance of a good title could not be overstated. Yet thousands of article marketers simply do not get this. I spent close to an hour yesterday browsing through hundreds of general “internet- and-businesses- online” titles on ezinearticles.com and ended up clicking through to only two of them. Why?

Well, because the majority of titles sucked big time. Here are some examples for you, “Residual Income Online”,“ How can you make money online?” “An introduction to social media optimization”, “Would you like to start an online business online?” I mean, honestly folks, do you really expect to have an insane click-thru rate with titles like that? What do all the above titles share in common? They’re generic, boring and overused. We’ve heard of the phrase “residual income online” thousands of times.

Using that as the title is simply too general. It tells me nothing about the author’s product offering or service. Furthermore, you’ll find hundreds of titles that use the phrase “make money online” or “income online”. It is simply overused. People become immune to that phrase after a while, as they are seeing it all the time.  Let’s take the other example, “an introduction to social media optimization”. Booooring!!!.

Unless, your teaching computer programming, quantum mechanics, neurology or something highly technical in nature, the whole “an introduction” deal, especially, in the MMO niche is simply ineffective. Your article titles should be keyword-rich, specific, and exciting. Try framing your titles as contradictory questions  such as “Can Article Marketing Actually Hurt Your Search Rankings?” or powerful facts like “Article Marketing Techniques that gave me 100 high quality backlinks in just two months!” They stand out from the crowd and tend to encourage what we call “curious” clicks.

Your content is thin, not necessarily unique, and played out

Content is king. We all know and understand that. But, maybe that’s where the problem is: All content is not equal, especially if it lacks depth, uniqueness, and relevancy. If you want article marketing to work, then publish high quality articles. Ask yourself the question “does my article provide all the details?” “Is it actually teaching the reader something? Or “is it purely promotional?” Most marketers use article directories to simply showcase a product or service. In doing so, they fail to actually “teach” the reader enough. Sure, they may provide a tip or two. But, that’s as far as they’ll go.

Don’t EVER buy into the whole, “for more info on how to make money online, click here or visit my website” type attitude. If your writing an article on “how to research profitable keywords for your google adwords campaign”, then for heaven’s sake, include ALL the tips, techniques, and strategies that you know. Don’t provide one or two small tips and then say “for more info on researching keywords, check out my site”. By doing that your not creating enough value for your reader. Your article is thin and needs more content.

How unique is your article? If your thinking “paraphrased” or “reworded” your wrong! Unique should never mean “let’s article spin or change a few words here and there”, it should mean “provide insights” “be original”, “create value”. If your article is just a rephrasing of someone else’s work without any additional input from you, it’s a wasted article. Trust me. When a user reads your article on “how to make money online using google adsense”, he/she expects to hear your take on it, not someone else’s experience reworded or paraphrased by you.

The shocking truth about article marketing, which no one seems to get, is that “in order to be successful, you must be willing to publish your best ideas.” Not simply reserve them all for your blog.  Most articles found in directories are usually overused general type ideas that has become “common knowledge” to the majority of us in the industry. Few, if any, provide free articles with additional insight and creativity. Those that do are the ones that achieve the greatest success.

How many articles have you written? One or two won’t get you anywhere. If you’re hoping to drive substantial traffic to your blog using article marketing, you must build author credibility first. In other words, publish a few articles every week. Build authority, reputation, and trust in your niche. More importantly, don’t stop once you get results. Consistency is important. Most people write a few articles and end there. That’s bad strategy.

Your resource box/extended bio is lame

Don’t overlook this part. You’ve broken your back writing a top-notch article and Spent hours coming up with the perfect title. Now, finish strong with a great resource box/extended bio. Include your strengths obviously, along with a thing or two that you enjoy doing. Let people get a better feel for who you are. Include your pic. Sure, my tips here are all too general. But, you’d be surprised at the number of article marketers that fail to provide basic personal information. They get caught up in thinking about what links to post and which squeeze page to draw visitors to. Lastly, Remember, your targeting people with your articles, not search engines only.