From the monthly archives: "August 2011"

Writing articles is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field, generate quality leads and enhance your search engine rankings. If you’re involved in writing articles on a regular basis as a small or independent business owner, then chances are you’ll want to produce as many articles as you can in the shortest possible time. Writing articles quickly takes skill and practice, but the good news is that if you apply some of the tips I offer below, then it’s not that difficult.  In the end you’ll be able to not only write your articles more quickly, but write more articles with higher quality.

Here are some top tips based on my experiences:

 Article Marketing Tip 1` – Organize Your Thoughts Before You Start Writing

That’s why its incredibly important to identify your article topic before you start writing.  One way to do this is to mindmap as many different topics as possible.  Start with a blank piece of paper, write one though in the middle of the paper and begin jotting down as many related topics as you can to that original topic, or any ideas that come from the original topic.  Don’t stop until you have run out of ideas. You will want to at least generate 10 ideas and ideally 25.

Article Marketing Tip 2 – Start by Asking a Question

A common mistake is to start writing an article and then after a couple of paragraphs start thinking “so what do I write now!” One of the best ways to start your article is with a question and then continuing that logic and answering that question in the body of your article.  The best part about starting your article with a question is that you are able to connect with your reader by beginning a conversation  at their current mental state.  In addition, a question posted in a headline is very  intriguing and has a way of increasing the curiosity of a potential reader to read further.   So, once you have a question to guide you on the topic of your article, then you will want to make the rest of the article an answer to that one question.  The key is focus on one question at a time.

So if you are writing an article for the keyword “build a blog” your question might be “How do I build a blog?”  By, doing this, you will ultimately be able to better focus the content of your article via the answer you respond with in the body of the article.

Article Marketing Tip 3 – List Bullet Points

Once you’ve asked a question, list your answers to the question as bullet points. This is a great tip for writing articles quickly. Go through each bullet point and then add more information to it. If you can, throw in an example for each point. It’s much easier to write that way. That’s why it’s a good idea to bullet point the topics to cover and then expand on each one.

Article Marketing Tip 4 – Just Write Until its Done

One you have determined your topic, posed the right question and put your bullet list of answers together, then just write.  Write and don’t stop writing until you are done.  Don’t worry about grammar, tone, sentence structure, spelling or any other nonsense.  Just write until you have written everything you need to in order to answer the question.  When you are finished, then go back and edit your writing.  You don’t have to make it perfect, just readable.

Article Marketing Tip 5 – Practice

The key to writing articles quickly is to just get it done. Write, write, and keep writing. It sounds obvious I know, but it’s amazing what the practice of writing can do for you in terms of increasing your efficiency.  By increasing your proficiency and ability to write, you will naturally improve your efficiency.

Article Marketing Tip 6 – Time Yourself

One simple, but overlooked tip is to time yourself while writing articles.  It may not seem pleasant, but what you don’t measure you can’t manage.  By timing yourself, not only will you create a baseline measure for your future performance, but you will give yourself the time pressure to really focus your mind mind! Start by giving yourself 15 minutes to write an article, and then gradually decrease it over time. Once you’ve got some experience it’s possible to write as many as 8 or 10 articles in an hour.  I know that sounds like a lot, but it is doable.  The key is to measure your results and to practice until you are writing your articles  in as qucily as you need to be writing them to be efficient.

Article Marketing Tip 7 – Write as You Speak

One of the most overlooked tips for writing articles is to writing as you speak.  Too many small or independent business owners make the mistake of writing for the wrong audience. you want to keep your writing clean and simple.  Did you know that USA Today is written at the fourth grade level?  Why do you suppose that is?  Imagine you are speaking out loud to a friend. Write down what you would say to explain the topic. Keep your language as simple as you can – it will be both easier and quicker to write whilst being easier to read and more enjoyable for your target audience.

Now that you have a plan of action for writing articles, get out there and start writing an article. Once you have the experience of writing one or two articles down, you will have a much better sense about how best to organize your thoughts and get your article writing process moving quickly.

Improving Your Web Site Traffic

web site traffic

Centenary Highway North © by Sam Hames

First of all, before you start looking for ways to actually go out and find traffic, make sure that your web site is set up so that traffic can find you. In order to do this, you must have a properly SEOed site. SEO or search engine optimization is a way to get the search engines to like you. And if the search engines like you, they will reward you by moving you up in search rankings. Higher search rankings equals more traffic to your site. On the contrary, if the search engines don’t like you, they will neglect you altogether or even penalize you and move you down in the rankings (especially if your tactics are of the unethical variety).  So how do you improve your web site traffic with SEO?  Here are a few tips.

Using SEO to Improve Your Web Site Traffic

Even if you are using other non-SEO methods to drive traffic to your site, these tips will help you improve your web site traffic and achieve the business results you desire. The SEO concepts that follow are simple, but the practice of it all is bit more complicated. So let’s break this down to its essence. SEO is basically comprised of two elements: keyword optimization and backlinks (or incoming links).  If you do not have either of these two elements there is no way that you are going to get traffic let alone improve your web site traffic.

Improving Your Web site Traffic is as Easy as Keyword Optimization

The search engines determine how relevant your site is to a search based on the keywords that you use in your content. So, if you place the keywords that you anticipate your clients and customers are using to search for you in the right  places on your site (Title, H1, H2, H3, Description, Keyword Meta Field), and with the appropriate frequency (not too much and not to little), then you are off to a good start to improve your web site traffic. In reality, you will need to understand the power of keywords for whatever type of website traffic method you use. It’s paramount that you understand what  the best keywords are for your website, as well as how to use them in the various strategies discussed here. Finding keywords is very easy. You can do it for free with the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, or any of the other free sites.

Backlink Your Web site to Improve Traffic

Backlinks are extremely important when it comes to SEO. Very simply, search engines use backlinks to determine how popular you are amongst all the other websites out there.  A backlink simply means a link from another site (ideally a highly-ranked site) to your site. When search engines realize that other quality sites are linking to yours, they will reward you by raising you in the search ranking.s This is because they assume that your site must be worthy if others are linking to you.  This is purely a popularity contest.  The search engines use the concept of “social proof” to assess the relevance and value of your site against the search term that was entered.  If it looks like other sites know, like, and trust you, then so wiil the search engines.

There are many ways to get backlinks to your site: social bookmarking, article submission, website directory submission, manually requesting the links from webmasters, and, of course, the most natural and essential way, of just providing unique and valuable content on your website. This last method will ensure that others  link to you because they genuinely find your site appealing and recommend it to their visitors as well. You can go through the SEO process yourself or you can hire an skillful SEO professional to make sure that this important aspect of your site and business is taken care of.

Improving Your Web Site Traffic using Web 2.0

In addition to SEO, there are many other ways to improve your web site’s traffic, such as using social networks and Web 2.0 strategies that take advantage of Internet’s tremendous power to connect people.  These methods involve promoting your website via links on social sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, YouTube, and other Web 2.0 properties that allow for blogging such as Tumblr, Posterous, WordPress.com, Blogger, Plurk, Multiply, FriendFeed, and Xanga.

Social site and Web 2.0 networks are becoming some of the most visited sites on the internet with millions of people connecting with each other, sharing interests, and making recommendations for products and services that they know, like and trust.  The sheer power of influence of these sites cannot be ignored.  And if you are in business, it is essentially that you not rule these sites out as a passing fad or purely for certain younger age demographics. The reality is that these sites enable businesses to tap directly into their target market, (albeit some better than others).   Your market is out there, and if it isn’t out there yet, it will be.  One thing you can be certain of is that the Internet will be around in the future and it will dominate as the medium of choice for social networking, sharing, and recommendations.  Make sure your business, products, and services are part of this future.

When it comes to how to improve your web site traffic, you need to optimize your keywords on your site, make sure you are getting high-quality backlinks and participate in a good amount of Web 2.0 socializing to make it all work. You can learn how to improve your web site traffic for yourself in a variety of ways, employ someone to do it for you, or invest in some software systems that can help you with this important aspect.

A common mistake that new small and independent business owners make is to create a website and then think of ways to get guaranteed web traffic to it. While that is an intuitive thought, you should really first put some analysis into the content on  your site  before you even begin directing traffic to your website.The reason for this is that SEO (search Engine Optimization) will be an important way for you to gain organic traffic, and if you do it the right way, you can start seeing visitors right away.

At its most basic, SEO is comprised of two elements: relevant keywords and backlinks or, as some people refer to them, incoming links. Before you develop your website, you will need to have an idea of the keywords that you want to target and make sure that they are included your website’s content.

Step 1 – Keyword Strategy

It’s generally recommended that when you first start out, you should go for the lower-search volume keyword phrases, rather than the more competitive general terms.

For example, if your business focuses on an areas within management consulting, you might want to identify a more specific keyword phrase like “leadership training” or even more narrow, like “strategy leadership training”. The keywords that you will include on your website should be the exact terms that people are looking for when they do a search online. And you can find these keywords very easily by using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool which is completely free of charge. This tool gives you keywords that are relevant to your business and also provides information about how competitive the keywords are, how often they are searched for, and how much people are bidding on them for PPC ads.

You want to locate the lower-searched terms that have less competition. Identify three to five that you can use early on in your website or blog. In general, each keyword should be used once in some sort of important position in your site or on your blog (like the title or page header), in the first five words of any description following the title or heading), and in the last sentence of the content. In the body of your content, it should be used no more than three percent of the time. Before you start looking for backlinks, you want to have at least five articles (of about 500 words) on your blog or at least five pages of your website.

Step 2 – Backlinks

Once you have determined your keyword strategy, you can begin to execute your traffic generation tactics by working on obtaining backlinks. Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites to your website. Backlink Building is a technique to get high quality backlinks to your web site from high PR websites in your area of interest as a way to increase PageRank. Backlinks are required so that when people search for your product using keywords or key phrases they will find them because the search engines such as Google and Yahoo have seen your backlink and index your site in their database.

Backlink building is usually targeted to blog pages, social bookmarks, forums, and others as long as they have high page ranks. You can do this by submitting articles about your business to article directories, Squiddoo, HubPages  and linking them back to your website. Or you can comment on blogs and forums that are related to your industry, and include your link in your comments.

These are just a few ways that you can get backlinks to your site. The more quality backlinks you have, the better the search engines “like” you, the higher you will be ranked in search engine results, and the more guaranteed web traffic you will obtain.  Just remember, that  backlink building should be a continuous procedure that has to be carried out gradually.  Although it is not always an easy thing to do, there are ways that you can make backlink building easy and fast for your website or business, even if your site is brand new.

"How Small Businesses Dominate Their Market with 4 Proven Marketing Systems"

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  • How to ensure more people know about you today than yesterday, so you build a constant pipeline of customers eager to buy from you
  • How to maximize the lifetime value of your customer base, so you increase profits by reselling customers over and over again
  • How to generate effortless ongoing new business, so you leverage your best customers to act as a low-cost salesforce to create new leads and sales

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"How Small Businesses Dominate Their Market with 4 Proven Marketing Systems"

Inside You'll Discover... Proven Marketing Systems that Will Ensure 25% Growth or More for Your Business in the Next 12 Months, including:

  • How to monetize your most valuable asset, so you dominate your competition and attract more customers
  • How to ensure more people know about you today than yesterday, so you build a constant pipeline of customers eager to buy from you
  • How to maximize the lifetime value of your customer base, so you increase profits by reselling customers over and over again
  • How to generate effortless ongoing new business, so you leverage your best customers to act as a low-cost salesforce to create new leads and sales

Sign Up For Instant Access & Receive Your FREE Report Right Now

You'll be able to immediately start applying these proven strategies to your business. You'll also be automatically subscribed to our Get AMPed! newsletter where you will continue to receive other great strategies, tactics and advice to take your business to the next level.

We respect your privacy. Your info is 100% secure We will never share your information with any third parties.