In the second part of basic article marketing we will go through the basic do’s and don’ts of article writing and article marketing. We will focus on the basic mistakes people tend to make when writing and submitting their articles, if you manage to avoid them than 90% of the work is done, the only thing left is the quality of your articles.
The first and basic mistake of article writing that is directly related to article marketing is not using the title properly. Now most of you know if you read this blog that you need to have your keywords well placed in the article, one in the title, one in the first sentence and in the first paragraph, one in the last paragraph and you can spice it up with 2 or 3 more keywords or synonyms in the rest of the body. There is also the resource box but we will talk about that a bit later. So the title needs to have the keyword in it, but that is not the only thing. The title needs to be attractive and it needs to deliver, the title is the first thing that promises something. You can’t make a title “20 Ways to Get Free Traffic” and then write 15 ways, of which people have to pay for a few. You need to make the title attractive and you need to deliver on the title, which leads us to the next common mistake, first paragraph.
A very common mistake that people make is to skip the introduction. First paragraph is where you make the reader want to know more, that is where you catch him and hook him, if you fail to do that you will lose over 50% of the readers in the first paragraph. But also, if you make a good introduction that states what readers can expect to find out then be sure to deliver, if you don’t you lose your credibility. We already said that you need to put your keyword in the first sentence of the first paragraph, so don’t forget that.
So I wouldn’t repeat myself throughout this post I will dedicate the third place to keywords and keyword placement. Now we already said where the keywords should go so I won’t repeat that, but I need to mention that keywords need to be used as anchor text throughout the article if allowed or in the resource box. One of the reasons we use article marketing is to build quality backlinks to our site, so making a relevant article won’t mean much if the anchor text is not clearly defined and related to the article. If you have the same title we talked about earlier you should use something like “get free traffic” as your keyword and you should use it as your anchor text. The entire article, doesn’t matter how good it is, won’t amount to anything if you place the anchor text to be “cheap link building” or any other promotional or non promotional but not related anchor text.
Again we come back to one thing that is being constantly repeated in my Practical SEO blog, quality over quantity. Always go for the high quality content, but to relate on the same note, never write promotional articles. Articles you write need to provide useful information to users, because people are looking for information. Use your resource box for a sale pitch, which is another common mistake, people don’t use the resource box the way they should. Wrong keywords, no call to action or a link to an unrelated site, those are the three biggest mistakes people make with their resource boxes.
There isn’t much more to discuss about common mistakes in article writing, but there are some about article marketing we haven’t mentioned yet, like the length of the article. The optimum I found is 300 to 700 words, some say that 400 to 900 is better, which ever works for you I say go for it if you can provide high quality content. So 300 to 900 is good, if you make a 100 or 200 word article that will not be an article, that will be a dictionary of your keywords. On the other hand, submitting a 2000 word article will require of your readers to have patience and attention, which is rare, so don’t overdo it.
The number of directories to submit is also an issue with article marketing. While some go overboard and submit to literally hundreds of article directories and get their articles considered as spam as well as their backlinks, others submit to only a few article directories and get almost nothing. My suggestion is to use between 10 and 30 article directories for variety. Ten is ok, you can submit more articles, but if you wish to get backlinks from various domains then 20 or 30 is even better, if you can handle that much article submission.
The last mistake with article marketing is a fatal one, duplicate content. I can go on and on about the negative side of submitting duplicate content, the bottom line is that you will be wasting your time and hurting your authority. Even if you submit to 50 article directories you will get only a few backlinks acknowledged and at the same time you might get penalized by the search engines.
That will be all for basic article marketing part 2, for more on the subject I recommend using Ezine articles guidelines and tutorials for article writing. Remember that your articles need to be optimized for search engines in every possible way, the same as your site. Stay tuned for more on article marketing and feel free to leave a comment.