Small Business MentorS        d

Transforming and leading people into restored, productive, and prosperous lives



Promote Your Website with Articles

Want to get more traffic to your website?  Want to be viewed as an authority in your field?  Want people to view you with awe and respect?  Want zero cavities?

You can with articles.  (Okay, the zero cavities part is a stretch, but the rest isn't.)

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What am I talking about?  Articles… you know… kind of like what you are reading here.  Similar to the blog posts you probably read.  Those informative, page-long things you see on websites.  Got it?

Now that we know roughly what we are talking about, let's take a moment and consider why you might want to do this.

 1.  Adds authority  and credibility to you and to your website.
 2.  Builds a following
 3.  Others perceive you as "an authority"
 4.  You join the 1% of the population that is published
 5.  Brings traffic to your website
 6.  The article/blog keeps working for you - day and night.

But writing articles is not for everyone.  Why wouldn't article-writing be for you?

 1.  People fall asleep - standing up - when you talk to them.
 2.  You don't have a website, blog, newsletter, or email… and don't want one.
 3.  You are dyslexic.  (Actually, that's not a reason.  I know at least two authors - with several books each - who are dyslexic.  You just have to work a little harder.  But if you are dyslexic, you are used to that.)

So, having realized that writing articles for your website, newsletter, blog, or for e-zine directories is a "good thing" what do you need to know and where do you start?

...writing articles for your website... is a good thing...

Your first question may be "What do I write about?"  A very common question among new writers.  And the common answer is valid for you, too.  Write what you know. 

Your website, blog, or newsletter has a focus and a general topic.  Write articles that support that focus.  Write things that would be helpful to your customers/readers. 

For instance, if you have a website dedicated to helping people get more success in life (I'm reaching here, I know, but bear with me), you would probably write articles that show people how to get more success in life.  Perhaps, you would give tips that they can implement right away.  Maybe even a general article or two on the mindset needed for success.

You need to have a plan. 
(Technically you don't.  You can just start writing and wing it, but the odds of success are stacked against you.)  So have a plan.

Plan your series of articles or blog posts.  Know (in a general way) what you want to write about.  List out several different article topics that you could write on.  You might have a short series that each individual article touched on one part of a broader topic.  (More on that later.)

Keep the articles shorter rather than longer. 
(I am still working on this.  However, do better than me on this one.)  Blog posts can be 400 - 700 words long.  Articles for e-zine directories are usually in the 600-1000 word range.  The ones on your website can be whatever you wish (but 600-1000 words is a good number).  Don't know how many words you've written?  Write it in your word processor… it has a word count feature… and let it tell you.

Write conversationally - sort of.
In general, you want to write like you talk.  (Of course, some people need to learn how to talk, but that wouldn't be you.)  The point is that you don't have to write the way your high school English teacher insisted… when you are writing articles for the web and for your blog.  When I read what you have written, it should sound in my head pretty much the way it would sound if we were actually talking on the phone.

For the hopelessly inept, tongue-tied (finger-tied?), and just plain scared-silly:

You can purchase articles that have already been written.  In most cases, you will still need to tweak them a bit.  If you are in the right industry, your trade group may have some articles and info that you can use.  You should still edit them and adjust them (to your special focus) before you put them up on your website.  (Unless you want to look like every other business in your industry.)

You can hire someone to write them for you.
This will be anywhere from insanely cheap to take-your-breath-away expensive.  The quality will vary considerably.  As in most things, you usually get what you pay for.

You can learn to do it yourself.
There are article-writing classes that you can take.  You can find them at your local college, community education classes, and on the internet.

These also range wildly in price and in quality.  College and community ed. classes may be geared for print - in which case they may be overkill for your purposes. Talk to the instructor and make sure it is a fit for you.

Internet classes have the benefit of being available no matter where you live.  Pick one that is geared towards where you are now (probably a rank novice) and where you want to be in the near future (writing for your own site and customers, not as your primary income.)  Don't pay too much until you know you are going to use it.

Looking down the road.
If you write more than 5 or 10 articles (which is easily done once you get started and keep after it), you may be on your way to a book.  Why you would want to write a book is a subject for another time… but what if you could do it mostly as a by-product of your articles or your blog?  Remember, if you write an article for your website once every two weeks, in one year you have 26 articles.  If they are written around a theme and focus (as I mentioned in the part about having a plan), it is a fairly small matter to turn them into a book.

So jump into articles for your website, start a newsletter, a blog (make sure it points to your website, too), and contribute a few articles to the e-zine article directories.  Before you know it, you, too will be able to say, "Look, Ma, no cavities."


Recommended Resources

Looking for someone to help you learn to write articles?  While there are lots of "gurus" out there, many of them are expensive and their programs are overkill.

However, I happen to know someone who is highly knowledgeable, approachable, incredibly experienced, and is great at teaching others how to write articles and blog postings.  And she is in business to help people learn exactly that.

Lis Tanz has a course that is affordable, virtual (meaning you can take it from home), and designed to take you from never having written an article to being published before a weekend is over... step by step.

Her Article Marketing Success Weekend is filled with information, hands-on experience, group support, tools and templates, and loads of fun.  (Yes, really.)  I can't recommend it enough.  Click here and check it out.  I think you will be glad you did.





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