Sir Richard Branson does it. Perhaps you should? After all, article marketing is an easy way to demonstrate your expertise, build your brand and hopefully attract clients.
What is Article Marketing?
Article marketing is writing to demonstrate your expertise or interest in a particular field that is related to the work you do. It can be a micro-blog of 140 characters or an in-depth expose featured in a glossy magazine, or somewhere in the middle. At 350 to 500 words it could end up here on Flying Solo.
What should I write about?
It is really simple to determine what you should write about, just answer; What questions do your clients ask you the most? What do you say in your email, phone or Twitter responses? How do you share the solution? Once you have thought of a theme, go for a walk or a run and mull over what you could write about.
What should my headline be?
It is desirable to craft a spectacular headline to draw the readers to the article. The easiest way to do this is to visit the gurus of salacious and provocative eye-catching headlines CLEO and manipulate it to suit your needs. For example “Celebrity Diets: Fact Vs Fad” could easily be adapted to “Online Accounting Software: Fact vs Fad”. Of course I am not suggesting plagiarism; I am suggesting finding inspiration.
Bear in mind that when submitting to publications, headlines can and will be altered by the editor.
How do I structure my article?
I suggest for your first article you aim for 350 – 500 words. The first 70 words should explain what the theme of the article is. You may use this to define some of the key terminology, notice how I started this article by actually defining what ‘article marketing’ is. Then break down what you want to tell the reader into bullet points.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business writing section.
Here are the questions I wanted to answer in this article:
- What is Article Marketing?
- What should I write about?
- What should my headline be?
- How do I structure my article?
There are plenty of other questions I could ask associated with this theme; the benefits of article marketing, where can I submit articles, can I reuse articles …. I could write an entire book! But the response to each question lends itself to about 70 words. If you run through and answer Who, What, Where, When and Why about the theme, you should easily come up with three or four points to discuss. If you have any left over, you can use them in a follow up article.
The piece de la resistance is to drop something that is ‘hot right now’ into the article. Notice how I started with ‘Sir Richard Branson’ who is always hot in the business world.
What should my conclusion be?
Your conclusion should summarise what you have discussed and depending on where you plan to submit your article, you may try to involve the reader, by asking them what their thoughts are on what you have written or you could suggest somewhere they could go to get further information.
Once I have written my article, I pin it to the fridge, and edit it while I cook dinner. After dinner I update the edits and submit the article. Too easy!
If you are interested in writing for Flying Solo, the submission guidelines are here.
What topics could you write about?