I came across a very clever tactic by an article author the other day. I was reading one of his free reprint articles and when I finished it, I realized just how smart he really was. Not simply for the content of the article, which contained very timely and useful information, but for the way he managed to hook the reader in and possibly profit from them. Let me explain:
Like me and other article writers, this author circulates his articles to hundreds of article distribution lists on a regular basis. His articles contain a link back to his web site, which is an ideal way to boost his site's link popularity on the search engines. Like other authors, he writes about hot topics and current events in his particular industry. Like most article authors, he writes in a casual, relaxed style that engages the reader quickly and earns their trust. BUT, (here comes the clever part), unlike most article marketers, this author always divides his articles into two or more parts.
The first part of the article is circulated as a stand-alone free reprint article via traditional distribution methods. But at the end of the article and in his Author Resource Box, he adds a link to invite the reader to view "a continuation of the article" on his web site. The link is described as either part two of the first article, or a related article with more detailed information or a specific tutorial on how to implement what was discussed in part one.
Why does he do this? Because most people reading the first article will naturally click on the link leading to the next. Once they are at his web site, he has much more control over how the rest of the article/tutorial is presented. If the article is a tutorial about an aspect of web design or search engine marketing, it generally includes software recommendations that integrate his affiliate links. He also manages to weave in Google AdSense ads at convenient points between the article paragraphs. And of course, by the time readers arrive at his site, he has engaged the reader and gained enough of their trust for them to take his recommendations and click on his affiliate and AdSense links so he earns commission from them. Very clever, don't you think?
You too can use this tactic to profit from your own free reprint articles, by doing the following:
1) Write articles that solve a problem for the reader, like a "how to" article or a basic tutorial.
2) Write about hot or new topics in your industry that people are likely to be searching for.
3) Write the article in two or more segments and save the key instructions for part two.
4) Design a landing page for the later part/s of your article that naturally weaves in your affiliate links and/or AdSense ads.
5) Create a text link "hook" to the continuation of your article, (your landing page), from the bottom of part one.
6) Make sure the first part of your article is well-written and contains useful information as a stand-alone article. The key is to provide a relevant, interesting article with a link to another relevant, interesting article. No-one wants to read a poorly-disguised ad for your affiliate products.
7) Submit part one of your article to free distribution lists.
8) Observe the increased link popularity your site attains and the resulting increase in search engine traffic.
9) Enjoy the benefits and potential profits from your article marketing efforts!
Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
September 7, 2005
Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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