By combining those two ideas, you can increase your visitor traffic to your site, and gain additional new backlinks at the same time. One proven way to achieve that traffic is to write articles in your area of expertise. You not only gain potential new visitor traffic, to convert into paying customers, but you also become recognized as an expert in your field. Through archiving, the articles can also serve as added valuable content, on your own website.
There are literally hundreds of Internet magazines, called “e-zines” and Internet newsletters, who would love your article. They have literally millions of information hungry subscribers, waiting to read about your ideas. There are also many webmasters seeking fresh, keyword rich content to add to their websites. It’s not as hard as you think.
How to Write an Internet Article
The first step is to think of a useful piece of information, that you know people would want to read. Think “5 mistakes to avoid when buying cars,” “10 great ways to make money from home,” or “How to find a great real estate agent.” You can come up with many more that fit your area of business.
Simply find a problem, and prepare a short essay that helps the reader to solve it. The typical Internet article is from 500 to 800 words. There is a great amount flexibility on those guidelines, however, as shorter and longer articles are also in demand.
Once you have your idea, it is surprisingly easy to prepare your research materials, write some notes, and prepare a first draft. Often, you can draw on your own business experience to give the article some real world authenticity. Writing on what you know best is usually the best way to begin producing articles.
Once that first rough copy is written, set it aside and don’t look at it any more that day. After a day or two have passed, pick it up again, and read it over. You’ll find a lot of sentences to add or subtract, change around, or rewrite completely. Great new ideas will pop into your head, making your article much more powerful and useful to the reader than before.
After you finish polishing it up, your shiny new feature story is almost ready for submission. Two things the completed article needs are a signature line and blurb. Write a short factual sentence or two (called a blurb) about yourself and your business or product. Include a live link back (called a signature line) to your own web site or blog URL.
It is a good idea to provide a “copy and paste” HTML link, to make it easy for the editor to include it. An HTML link is important to receiving passed along Google PageRank from the many web pages where your article appears. You will want to avoid being published with a link that search engine spiders can’t follow, or one that fails to pass along Google PageRank. Without a useful link back to your website, part of the benefit of the article is completely lost.
You may also want to provide an extra line, giving permission to freely reprint the article anywhere; provided full credit and a link back are provided to you and your site, respectively. That is optional, of course. You might want to maintain tighter control over where your articles appear. In that case, you would not provide the reprint permission.
Sending Articles to E-zines and Newsletters
Many Internet magazines, commonly called e-zines and newsletters are hungry for free content. You can really help them out by offering to submit guest articles. Lists of e-zines can be found at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Free_Content/ (free membership required)
Look for e-zines in your field of interest. Check the list of Internet newsletters to which you subscribe. There are probably many other Internet newsletters published about your business area. There are also many general business newsletters available.
Examine a few current and back issues of the e-zines and newsletters to see if they accept guest articles. Many editors produce all of their own editorial copy, so careful reading is important. Don’t embarrass yourself by sending articles to editors who don’t want or need them. Check out the types and length of articles they publish.
Be sure to find out the name and proper title of the editor or publisher, and show them you have actually read their e-zine. You would be amazed how many people don’t check first. Professionalism on your part is important, as it helps you to stand out from the crowd. Once you have found some likely candidates, you are ready for the next step.
Write to your selected e-zine and newsletter publishers with your story idea. Include a brief summary of the main points your article will cover. This is especially helpful if the article is not yet written. In freelance writing, this step is called a query. It means sending out a story idea, without the article, that may or may not have been written.
Should the editor decide to accept your offer, send them a copy of your article, as part of the body of an e-mail. Because of potential viruses, many editors and publishers will not open an article sent as an attachment. Don’t send attachments. Within your introductory e-mail, provide the one time rights to publish the article, provided your informational signature line is printed in full.
You’ll be surprised how many editors and publishers will want to print your masterpiece. Your site will receive fresh new visitor traffic and your site will receive a valuable theme related incoming link. Seeing your name and URL as part of the e-zine is a thrill as well.
You can use a similar process to send your articles to other webmasters. In this case, you are looking for sites that complement your site. If you don’t want to have your articles posted on your competition’s sites, don’t offer then your writing services. You probably don’t want to provide them with informative and keyword rich content anyway.
On the other hand, many non-competing but related websites need fresh content. For example, if you are in the wedding gown business, florists and limousine services could be considered related, but non-competing sites. Those site owners might recognize, they need additional pages and information, to attract visitors and to achieve higher rankings in the various search engines.
You can help them and yourself as well. As you develop content relationships with other business site owners, other avenues of business will open up as well. Perhaps some joint ventures and cross promotions could result. The potential for working together is unlimited, of course.
The next pleasant surprise is finding many of the people who read your article, will click on the link to your website, to read more of your work. Many of them will stay, and become regular readers of your site’s content. A lot of them will be long term customers for your products and services.
Be certain to place all of your articles on your own website. The same benefits that accrue to the other webmasters who printed your articles will apply to your site too. Archive your articles with a link from your home page. The link will pass PageRank to the archived articles. One good solution is to give each article a separate web page with title tags targeting the main keywords of the article.
By individually optimizing each article page, your site will have many more keywords to attract search engine traffic. The addition of the keyword rich articles not only provides a boost in your search engine visitor traffic, but provides reasons for visitors to return to your site over and over to read fresh content. Many website owners will link to your archived articles, providing your website with valuable themed natural incoming links.
Adding an RSS feed to your site will help you to syndicate your articles to many websites. RSS (meaning both Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) requires a bit of simple XML code added to your site, to enable your content to be read by RSS reading software. Easily downloaded and installed, an RSS reader will accept the title, a link, and a summary of your article for reading, by those who subscribe to your RSS feed channel. A complete discussion of RSS feeds is beyond the scope of this article.
Writing Internet e-zine articles is a great free method to get new visitors to your site.
You will receive valuable theme related incoming links. With search engines like Google adding theming and Teoma using clustering, your articles become even more valuable than ever. Your rankings on the search engines get a double boost. You receive one lift from the article appearing on another website.
You receive even more benefit by archiving your articles as additional content on your own website. Other website owners may link to your archived articles as a service to their own readers, multiplying your benefits.
Published articles also establish you as a leader in your industry. That translates into new customers, as people like to do business with folks they know and trust. What could be better than that?
Get those keyboards clicking. Your reading public awaits!