Publishing articles and making them available for free can be a very effective way of promoting your business or website without spending a lot of money. This article contains some tips and resources that I have discovered by publishing free reprint articles over the last 5 years.
Marketing With Content
Marketing with content, or free reprint articles, gives you an inexpensive way to get your message in front of a lot of people. It is one of the most effective, free, advertising methods that I have found. All that it costs you is time it takes you to write an article and make it available to publishers. You may have already written an article that can be repurposed as a free reprint article, which will cut down on the amount of time required dramatically.
What Content Works
The best content is valuable information. It doesn't need to be directly related to your product, service or website, but it does need to be useful. It's best to write about a topic you are familiar with and for which you can offer unique insight. For example, if you are trying to market your real estate website, you could write an article about preparing your home for sale. Or you can write an article about which home renovation projects will make a house more desirable on the market.
Your article doesn't need to be overly long. Don't confuse quantity with quality. Keep your points as concise as possible. You don't want people to fall asleep before they get to the bottom of the article. After all, they need to get to the bottom of your article to see your byline which is the point of writing a free reprint article in the first place.
One way to get the most out of your free reprint articles is to write about a topic with staying power. I have 4 year old articles that are still being picked up by publishers to this day.
The payoff for providing publishers with free content is the byline. You don't want an essay or multiple paragraphs, just a short description of yourself, your website, and your link. You can also post your email address and phone number for people to contact you. However, the most important address is your web address. People who are online are much more likely to click on your link to find more information than they are to email or call you. Additionally, when you post your email address on the internet, it can dramatically increase the amount of spam you get at that address.
If you have an ezine that you want to encourage people to subscribe to, you can post your subscribe address, but make sure your list is double opt-in to prevent invalid subscribers. In my experience, 90% of subscribers added by single opt-in are invalid addresses.
Formatting Your Article
Formatting your article is very important. If you are posting your article to an email distribution list you should hard wrap your article at 65 words or less per line. Try to avoid posting articles with spelling or grammatical errors. The higher the quality of the content you provide, the more people will publish it. Each new publisher that picks up your article could represent thousands of impressions of your byline. I have one article that has been published more than 100 times over the last 4 years.
Submitting Your Articles - Where to Start
The best and most gratifying result of writing a free reprint article is seeing it published in an Ezine or on a website that has readership that is likely to be enticed by your byline. Submitting your articles directly to editors of Ezines or websites that you know publish quality information related to your topic is the first thing you should do. Many sites have publishing guidelines and encourage content submissions. Submit your article according to their guidelines with a personal message to increase the likelihood of it being published. Keep track of publishers that use your articles and submit your new articles to those publishers first.
Article Depots - Let The World Know
I have found that submitting articles to depots isn't quite as effective as contacting publishers directly but still WELL worth the time. Most of the depots are well indexed by Google which provides a valuable link back to your site and increases your link ranking with search engines. Here are some free reprint article depots (there are many more):
Cumuli Content - Community of Ezine Publishers
Article Hub - Content Directory
Go Articles - Article Search Engine and Directory
The best Yahoo Groups to post your free reprint articles can be
EzineArticles appears to charge for submissions now but does
offer 10 free submissions.
Protect Your Reprint Rights
"You are free to publish this article online or in print as long as the byline is included and the url in the byline is hyper-linked wherever possible. This article should not be used in anything that could be considered spam. If you are using this article, please send a brief message to firstname.lastname@example.org stating where it was published."
About the author:
Copyright 2005 Fisher Swanson
Fisher Swanson is the co-editor of ThriftyFun.com, a site that publishes ways to save money. He can be contacted at email@example.com
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