When applied properly, article marketing is one of the best ways to promote your website or blog for Internet marketing and affiliate marketing success. Here are some ideas and tips you can use to become a more effective article marketer.

One of the best ways for people new to article marketing is to study the articles of other proficient and successful writers. You can learn many valuable techniques from these professionals, such as the importance of titles and using keywords effectively. You also want to learn styles and phrases that will peak the interest of your reader and get them in a buying mood (if that is your intention).

Of course, you don’t want to plagiarize another person’s content, but there is nothing wrong with rewriting their article using your own ideas and words. Harold Bloom, a brilliant literary critic, called it “creative plagiarism”, and it is what most people do – even the best writers.

But remember to find your own voice. Make it your own, by using your own natural speech patterns, syntax and vocabulary, and adding as many of your own unique ideas as possible.

So the best way to become a really good writer is to become a great reader. The more you read, the more styles and techniques you can naturally incorporate into your own work. Don’t copy others – gain inspiration from them.

Of course, the more you read, the greater the knowledge you will accumulate about any topic. The more you know, the better your writing will be. Hemingway advised, quite cleverly, to write about what you know. Don’t pretend to be an expert on things you know little about. Your writing will not sound authentic.

When writing articles for marketing, it is important to focus on the benefits your reader will gain from your article. Don’t become self-absorbed and fall in love with your own voice, which too many writers do. They drone on and on, basking in the glow of their own self-perceived brilliance.

Each article should focus on 2 or 3 main keywords. These keywords should be in your title, and the first and last paragraph of the article. There are other places you should put them, such as your post description, and even the alt tags of your images.

But be careful not to overdo it. A keyword density of 2-4% is generally effective. If you stuff your articles with too many keywords, Google will punish you as a spammer and lower the ranking of your article.

Write with a natural, down-to-earth voice. Don’t sound like a college textbook and put your readers to sleep. Pretend you are explaining something to a friend. Don’t talk down to your readers, which will eventually bore them, but don’t assume everyone holds a PhD in the subject either. People want to gain information, not struggle to understand every sentence.

Keep your paragraphs short and concise. No one wants to stare at a large block of text that looks intimidating and might require a lot of work. Small bite-size pieces of information are much easier to digest. Even bullet points have shown to be very effective at getting people to read your text, because they keep everything concise and to the point. If your article is easy to scan you will find more readers.

By submitting your articles to article directories you can also add a bio box at the end of the article. If you want, you can allow others to reprint your article on their website or blog as long as they keep the bio box intact. This has the advantage of not only syndicating your work to a larger audience, but creates valuable backlinks to your site as well.

It is often helpful to use a personal story to help express your ideas. This makes you seem more human and intimate – someone they can relate to – not some “expert” who can only understand your problem on an abstract level. Try and establish some rapport with your readers. Be real and speak from the heart.

People love to know they are not alone, and that others share their problems. By having the courage to share a personal story, you show your willingness to be vulnerable and make yourself seem much more approachable and believable.

Good articles can go viral quickly. If someone loves your article, they may share it with their friends, who will in turn share with their friends. This can spread your article like a brush fire.

Articles can also generate organic traffic. If Google picks up your article and puts it on their first page, imagine how much free traffic that can bring you!

And if you learn how to spin articles well, you can take one article and turn it into a thousand, multiplying your work exponentially. Some people consider this spamming and unethical, and it may be. But if most people are doing it, you will have a hard time competing against them if you don’t do it also. And what’s wrong with getting your information in front of more readers? The decision is yours.

You can guest blog, or write articles for other people’s blogs, and use web 2.0 sites like Squidoo or Hubpages to further increase the syndication of your work. This also creates more backlinks to your site, probably the most effective technique for empowering your website.

WordPress is a great and fairly easy, not to mention popular, platform for creating blogs. Actually, it’s not as easy to learn as most people would have you believe, but it’s worth the effort, free, very powerful and flexible.

There are places like WordPress.com or blogger.com that will allow you to start a blog more easily because they are hosted on their own servers and have simpler functionality. But they lack the flexibility of owning your own blog, and you don’t actually own the blog, so they can take it down at any time.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of building a business someone else can decide to shut down for no reason. And it happens all the time. There are people working at these companies who get a sadistic pleasure from destroying other people’s lives for no reason.

Some of the first things to think about are: who are you writing for? Who is your target market? What problem do you want to solve? Because there is so much competition on the Internet today, it helps to be highly focused on one niche or topic. But don’t be too “thin”, only focusing on the narrowest of topics. Big Brother Google doesn’t like that either.

Tip:  Iit may be better to start with Blogger.com if you are a complete newbie and just want to get something started right away.

So, identify the problem that your reader is trying to solve, and go about helping them solve that problem. Maybe even try and sell them an affiliate product (or one you create yourself). That’s the basics of article marketing.

Many people advise you to be kind to your readers at all times and never talk down to them (like I did above). But there is no one rule that applies to everyone. Some people have been very successful at talking down to their readers and stirring up anger. This is a clever way to get your readers emotionally involved in your writing.

One article writing expert wrote, “Never write in a vain or mocking tone.” But then I think of someone like “The Rich Jerk”. He wrote in the most vain and mocking tone possible, and got very rich in the process. There are no hard and fast rules. Again, follow your heart.

Of course this can be very dangerous and you risk alienating your readers. But the decision is yours. Find your true voice, and the politically correct thought police be damned.

The same goes for writing short, easy to understand sentences. It depends what your priorities are, but I say, if you want to write long, complex sentences because that is your true style and what makes you happy, then do it. Not everyone on the Internet has the attention span of a 3rd grader and dislikes thought-provoking articles.

You don’t need to be all things to all people. Find your audience, engage them with your best stuff, and let the fates take you where they will.

The above mentioned article expert, Lisa Angelettie, wrote:

“- The Inverted Pyramid rule is the accepted method to structure online text based content effectively. An inverted pyramid, as the name suggests, is like an inverted triangle with the flat base on top and the corner on the underside. This rule states that you must give the most important information first and the least important in the end.”

That’s the mainstream style. Take it for what you will. Are you creative enough to go against the grain? Can you find a voice that is truly unique?

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