Recently I interviewed Kevin Bidwell of All-In-One-Business.com on some of the insights on how he leverages article marketing to help build his business.
[Christopher Knight] You've been using articles to market your business for many years. What kind of results have you had from this strategy and where does this strategy rank in terms of priority for your business today?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] I use article marketing to accomplish three primary goals (in priority order):
1. To establish my expertise to my potential/current customers
2. To generate traffic and subscribers.
3. To increase search engine position
[Christopher Knight] How many articles does it take to create enough traffic to be significant enough to notice its impact?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] You can generate solid traffic from just one article when it is placed effectively.
One article can make a difference with search position. When I wanted to target a specific low-competition keyword phrase in January, I posted one article to several places ( http://EzineArticles.com/ in particular ) and was #1 on Google for that term within 24 hours.
While it doesn't happen with EVERY article, on a regular basis a single article I have strategically positioned has generated huge amounts of traffic. Typically these high-traffic articles are about a very timely topic and get posted and re-posted at extremely high-traffic sites. Last fall just one article about a controversial subject generated almost 2,000 new subscribers to my email list.
In a more general sense, having a consistent flow of articles (2-4 per week) will generate solid traffic and leads provided they meet a couple of standards:
1. They are syndicated across the net by a number of websites.
2. They elicit a response from the reader.
Most articles I see don't meet either of these criteria so they generate little or no traffic.
[Christopher Knight]Any windfall profits or surprise results you've had from article marketing?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] Yes, I've had both.
Until this week, for the last 6 months or so, I have been #1 on Google for the search terms "Google adsense" and "adsense." That page that was listed (http://www.All-In-One-Business.com/adsense ) was simply a redirect I used to send my readers and subscribers to Adsense. It was in no way optimized, nor was it intended to get ANY search position.
I suspect the reason it eventually replaced Google was simply because I had written a few dozen articles on Adsense and used this link rather than the "direct" link.
Last year a large online newsletter (500K subs) published one of my articles that contained a single link to an affiliate site. I earned in one day over $300 in commissions from that single publishing. Not much of a windfall, but I was able to directly trace the sales from that particular article.
On a more consistent note, however, article marketing is very lucrative because I focus on lead generation. Since each subscriber I capture is worth around $24/year in gross sales for me, and each article I write typically generates 50-100 new subscribers. Over the course of a year those subscribers add up to a nice income.
[Christopher Knight] Over time as web projects change, how do you capture what would have become 'lost traffic' or lost link popularity?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] When someone reads one of my articles, there is typically a lead capture link within the article itself. When someone responds to that link I know they are a good prospect for my products. I capture their email address and add them to my email list. This gives me the opportunity to generate traffic from them again and again.
For link popularity I focus on grabbing the email addresses of publishers who publish my articles then adding them to my Editor Rewards Program:
This allows me to be in contact with them and convert them into regular publishers of my content--rewarding them with cash and assorted "bribes."
[Christopher Knight] You had mentioned that you do a redirect in your article resource box so that you can control where the traffic goes after you've lost control of the articles in distribution. Can you talk a little about this strategy? Is this a meta refresh?, webserver rewrite,? a 301 or 302 redirect,? etc...
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] I use a simple meta refresh to send traffic from my articles through my site to sites described in the article. The reason I do this is simple: Links change over time.
The best example I can think of has been GoTo.com changing to Overture.com. I had recommended GoTo's keyword suggestion tool in several articles. Then the URL changed when they chose to change domains. Then Overture kept the same domain but
changed the actual location of the tool.
Now when I recommend links I simply use a redirect to get people to the site:
If the URL changes, I just make one small change on my site and it is done.
[Christopher Knight] What impact do you think this rewrite or refresh has on the value that search engines give you?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] Tough for me to say. It's interesting to me that Google replaces "main" sites with redirects in their results, but I have seen very few redirects from my site result in significant sales.
One thing that has happened...the page:
is listed as having a PR of 9--though I don't know if it is passing page rank after Google took note of it on Wednesday.
[Christopher Knight] Recently you were given the #1 position for "Google AdSense" on Google.com. Was this because of your article resource box redirects or because of another strategy all together?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] Just to clarify: Many people think I "suddenly" popped up there on Google this week. The reality is my page has shown in the top 3 for the last 6 months or more.
Most of my redirects are NOT in the article resource box--they are in the articles themsevles. As I mentioned I believe Google saw my link as very relevant to the terms "Google Adsense" and "Adsense" because the link appeared across the web in a number of syndicated articles.
[Christopher Knight] Any tips for newbie article writers? What is the #1 thing they must do to achieve results from putting their articles into distribution?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] Seven tips:
1. "Bribe" publishers for publishing your articles.
People are looking for content for their website and newsletters, give it to them along with a compelling reason to publish YOUR writing rather than someone else's.
2. Use articles as LEAD GENERATORS rather than simply content.
In the body of the article (if possible) and always in the bio box, give a compelling free reward to get people to subscribe to your list. Search engines love content, but I would rather have a huge list than search engine position any day.
3. Post your articles where they will be seen.
The best place to post articles and have them get picked up for publication is here:
Is that a self-serving plug? Yup. Is it still true? Sure is.
4. Avoid article banks UNLESS they meet certain criteria.
Posting to article banks takes time. Lots of time.
The only reason to take time to post to article banks is to generate more traffic. So, posting to the article bank must get you better search engine position or the bank has so much traffic they will send you a significant portion.
The one place I have found that consistently makes it worth my while to post there is http://www.EzineArticles.com/ -- When I post there I know I get a PR 7 or so backlink as well as a slice of Chris' MEGA traffic.
[Christopher Knight]Note: Thanks for the nice mention. While we appreciate the attention search engines give us, we do an incredible amount of non-search-engine related traffic building to raise the profile of EzineArticles.com including real-time and daily email summaries for all new articles sorted by every major article category and over 100+ RSS feeds for each category sub-topic. It also helps that we've got thousands of registered authors who send us hundreds of original articles daily to further the article marketing community along. Lastly, I hope that some of our megatraffic is the result of the fact that we human moderate every single article in order to maintain a sense of quality that our authors can be proud to be in the same company.
5. Carefully consider the title.
For search position, you want your title to contain the keyword phrase you want to target.
For example: When we wanted to help one of our sites score well for "hunting knife", we posted:
Hunting Knife and Sheath- How to Choose the Right One
(rather than "How to Choose a Hunting Knife")
Hunting Knife Safety Precautions
Hunting Knife- The Overall Basics
This gave pages where our articles were posted solid reputation for "hunting knife."
When you want to generate leads, you want your title to be something that will appeal to *publishers*. These are the people who decide what will get published.
6. Go for quantity.
If you write and syndicate just one article per week, you will get significant exposure. Two or three and you will have written an entire book in a year. Don't spend your time in re-writes; spend your time creating more articles.
7. Have an expected outcome for each article.
Before writing your first article, come up with a book concept that will sell and outline the book. Then, write each article covering one aspect of the book.
With each article you write, ask yourself: "How can I get more people to visit my site and subscribe to my email list using this article?"
[Christopher Knight] Any other rants or advice you'd like to give to those exploring how to take their article marketing strategy to the next level?
[Kevin Bidwell Responds:] Lead capture, lead capture, lead capture. Oh, and did I mention, lead capture?
You take the time to write an article. You stir people up enough to get them to your site. They already respect you (based on your article); why not add them to your mailing list?
[Christopher Knight]Thanks Kevin for the interview and the many article marketing insights you shared. You reminded me and many of our tens of thousands of daily visitors of the importance of using articles to lead capture and not always sell directly. So many newbie authors think they must sell hard in the article to make the sale ? when they should be using it to educate and lead generate!
If you'd like to check out Kevin's site, visit: http://All-In-One-Business.com/
About The Author:
Christopher M. Knight invites you to submit your best articles for massive exposure to the high-traffic http://EzineArticles.com/ directory. When you submit your articles to EzineArticles.com, your articles will be picked up by ezine publishers who will reprint your articles with your content and links in tact giving you traffic surges to help you increase your sales. To submit your article, setup a membership account today: http://EzineArticles.com/submit/