Among marketing strategies, writing for article directories is certainly up there. It offers a large readership with the advantage of having those readers click back to your site.
While it is writing for free, it should be considered a part of your business expense, at least your time aspect of it. Just like any other form of marketing it is used to create and increase your visibility. It’s an investment.
I know it can get tedious having to write and submit articles to the directories, but the articles don’t have to be long. Here are 7 steps to writing for the directories:
1. Create a title
You want your title to be search engine friendly. Be sure you have your keyword/s in it–make it specific also. It has recently been determined that shorter titles work better than longer ones. You can create a “How to” title; a “Steps” title, or a “List” title. An example of a search engine friendly title is the title of this article.
If possible, it’s also advisable to have your keyword at the beginning of your title.
2. Write an outline
This is optional, because there are many writers who can write with the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method. But, if you are more comfortable with an outline, that’s fine. It does provide structure.
3. Create List, How-to, and Step-by-Step articles
This is a popular way to go. Readers love to see simple 1, 2, 3 lists of what they should do or should NOT do.
Be sure to include your keyword/s in the first paragraph and a couple of times throughout the article. Just don’t overdo it.
4. Parts of the article
Your first paragraph should be interesting and let the reader know what the article is about, but don’t give away too much–you want the reader to continue reading.
Your second paragraph or section should inform and elaborate on the first paragraph. This part should fulfill the reader’s expectations.
Your last paragraph should sum up what the article is about and conclude with a lead-in to your resource box.
5. Write the minimum word count or just above
Check the guidelines for each particular directory. The minimum word count is usually around 400. But, check the site to make sure. Burn-out is easy with article marketing, especially if you’re ghostwriting articles as well as writing for your own sites. Keeping articles short and to the point helps in this area.
6. The resource box
Some sites allow you to include a resource box which is about you and what you can offer the reader. Check the site’s guidelines because they may have specific requirements for the length of the resource box in relation to the length of the article.
Once your article is complete, submit to a number of article directories. A couple of popular directories are Ezine Articles, Associated Content, Article City, Suite101, and Helium. Since the popularity and effectiveness of directories can change, you may need to do a bit of research for this step. But, those listed should be a good bet.
Note: It’s not essential, but if possible change the title of the article and at least the beginning content a bit when submitting to multiple article directories. This will make the search engines think the content is new.
That’s about it. Write, write, write . . .
Karen Cioffi is a multi-award-winning author, freelance writer, editor, and marketer. Ignite your writing and marketing efforts with A Writer’s World Ezine. Get weekly tips and guidance, plus updates on free webinars, and TWO FREE ebooks! Go to http://thewritingworld.com and sign-up today.