Help Before You Sell
The first reason we recommend that you engage in article writing (some people prefer the term "blogging") is that it gives you credibility. With article writing, you can achieve "expert status" in the eyes of your potential consumers. That may be enough to distinguish you from the competition. Help your potential customers first, and they will be more willing to trust you with their hard earned cash.
Content is King
The second reason articles are so helpful is that search engines LOVE good content, which they will find in your articles. There isn't a better way to help your website rise in the search engine rankings than supplying great content to your website. In many markets, it's very possible to be ranked #1 in Google simply from having a Search Engine friendly website and a steady supply of unique articles.
Goals in Article Writing
As we alluded to in our web content writing guide, there are different goals in writing web content for your website. Primarily your goals in article writing are educational. Like we mentioned, you also want to write for search engines, but it's very likely that your articles will just naturally have good keywords in them without you having to intentionally put them in.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep promotional writing to a minimum. In other words, don't just talk about how great your business is and why your readers should hire you. That's not the purpose of the article. It's recommended that no more than once per article you inform your users of your services. The way you do it is also important...we suggest saying something like "oh by the way, if you want help in this area we can help you, so click here". Don't make your services the focus - keep the focus on helping your readers by educating them. Your readers are looking for helpful information, not a sales pitch.
What to Write About
Here are some ideas on topics for your articles:
- Do-it-yourself tips
- Product reviews
- Industry news
- Helpful tips and ideas for your customers
- Client of the Month feature
- Interview style article of industry expert
- How-to training article
We recommend that at a minimum you're posting new, helpful information at least once every 2 months. Ideally it will be much more often than that, but this is a good starting point for most people. We post two articles every month. Figure out what your goal is, what works for you, and stick to it.
Once you publish your article on your website, it's a good idea to announce it to the world. We recommend at a minimum that you post a link to your new articles on Facebook, Twitter, etc. We also suggest that you post them on article directories such as ezinearticles.com. This will help give you more exposure as well as bring incoming links to your website (good for SEO). It is a little time consuming to ensure that your articles get posted correctly in online directories but it's not difficult if you can put forth the extra effort.
The last thing to remember is have fun with it! No one is critiquing your grammar on the internet and as long as you're providing helpful information without ramming your own services in their face you should be successful. We plan on writing an article in the near future about the dynamics of a good article and what it takes to make each article successful. Stay tuned and happy writing!