negative stuff in my life. So I'm going to try to start to rectify that problem
right now starting with this thread.
Those of you who are in Tiff's article marketing challenge may find these
little tidbits helpful with your writing, research, keyword selection and what
Some of you, or maybe even most of you, will be writing about things for
this challenge that you already know about, so research won't be an issue
for you. However, for those of you tackling a subject that you know very
little about, these tips may come in handy.
1. When you research anything, you MUST use multiple sources.
Researching just one source and paraphrasing is still plagiarism. The rule
of thumb, as I was taught, is no fewer than 3 resources and then you
take all the information, assimilate it and then write it all in your own
words. If you have to state any facts, cite them in your article.
2. What about the product itself? I assume you're going to be sending
people to a review page. If not, I recommend it. If you're going to review
the product, you MUST get yourself a copy of it. There is no way around
it. Now, once you do that, you want to review the product on two levels.
First, you want to point out all the features of the product and what it
does. If it's an ebook, what I do is actually outline the chapters. Go
through each one and tell people what the chapter is going to teach them.
Then you need to review the book on the level of what benefits the person
is going to get from reading the book. For example, if it's a book on acne,
tell them that they'll end up with beautiful skin after using this treatment
and won't have to be embarrassed about being seen in public. You have
to get the person emotionally worked up over getting this product. That's
how people buy.
3. Another great research strategy is to research the competition and
point out the flaws in the product. This way you can show how YOUR
product is better. Not many people do this. It will give you an edge.
EZA is a bitch. They only allow you 100 characters for your keywords.
Let me tell you, that is NOT a lot. So this is what I do and it works very
well for me. I have never shared this tactic with anybody before.
For every niche, you have keywords that fall into 3 main categories.
What I do is the following. I pick one keyword from broad, two from
targeted and one from long tail. This way I am reaching a diverse segment
of readers. I find this method gives me the most views and clicks. Yes,
my CTR is going to be a little lower because of the one broad phrase, but
the massive views bring me more clicks. I don't care about CTR if I get
more clicks. Besides, I still have 3/4 of my keywords doing very well for
my CTR...the targeted through direct EZA searches and the long tail
through placement in the SEs.
So again, in chart form
1 Long Tail
Trust me, it's a nice balance.
This is the deal breaker. I am going to give you my tried and true cookie
cutter approach to writing articles strictly for the purpose of getting
readers to your resource box
You don't have to write like Hemmingway to write a decent
article that people can read and get something out of.
In order to demonstrate this, I am going to write an article
in real time...right before your eyes.
It's going to be on a subject that I am sure we all know
quite a bit about since we spend a lot of time here...forums.
The article is going to be about how to get people to make
the most out of their forum experience. But we don't want
to make the title so dull and boring that nobody wants to
read it. We want to come up with something that has at least
a hint of excitment.
Off the top of my head, I have come up with this.
"3 Tips For Turning Forums Into Your Personal Gold Mine"
Okay, a little strong and certainly it will appeal to the
greed factor. But let's face it...if you're in the make
money niche, you're reaching an audience that wants to get
rich...so you have to cater to that audience. This title
will, if nothing else, get them curious.
Okay, the next thing we have to do is come up with an intro
paragraph. This is where we tell people what they can expect
to find in this article.
You don't want to do something like this.
"In this article, you'll find out how to make a profit from
For one thing, that's not a paragraph...it's a sentence and
not a very good one. It's too short, it's boring, and it's
going to leave you with a ton of writing to do if you're
going to hit at least a 400 minuimum word count. You want
to pad but also say something. This is where a little
Anyway, this is what I came up with at 8:40 this morning
still half asleep.
"Forums can be an amazing resource and a great way to add
to your income online. The trouble that many people have
is that they just don't know how to use forums effectively.
In this article, I am going to give you 3 killer tips for
turning ANY forum into your own personal gold mine. They're
easy and they won't cost you a dime to implement. So sit back
and relax and get ready to discover the secrets to
becomming a forum expert in no time flat."
Not bad. 87 words. I usually try to make my intro about
100 words so I'll have to work a little harder on the rest
of the article.
Okay, did you see what we did with the intro? We literally
set up the rest of the article. We told the person that
we're going to give them 3 killer tips for making forums
work for them. All we have to do now is give them the 3 tips.
Each one will be in its own separate paragraph.
"The first way to turn your forum participation into a
rewarding time that not only adds to your bottom line but
also makes you a lot of friends, is probably the easiet way
of all three. Provide lots of value for the forum. What do I
mean? Whatever forum you're a member of, there is a reason
why you are there. Most likely, it's an area that you have
some knowledge in. If so, share that knowledge with other
members of the forum and do this freely. After a while, they
will begin to see that you are a giving member of the
community. How does this help? See tip number 2."
112 words. See how we not only told the reader the first
tip but also set them up for the second tip.
"The second way to turn that forum into a gold mine is your
signature. Now you have to be careful here. Every forum has
different rules when it comes to signatures. Some will allow
affiliate links in them and others will only allow links to
a web site that is your own. Okay, how do signatures help?
Well, once you've become a respected member of the forum
you're frequenting, other members are going to start checking
your signature to see what you have to offer. I mean, after
all...if you're giving away this much info for free, what
you're selling must be off the charts. At least that is
going to be the perception. So make the most of your
signature. Make it as exciting and appealing as you can so
that others will WANT to see what you're offering. Want to
know what to offer? Check tip number 3."
150 words. That was pretty wordy even for me. Okay, we've
now set them up for the last tip.
"Make your offer a free report. That's right. Give them
even more value and don't charge them anything for it. Show
them how much you give while still not costing them a penny.
Of course, in your free report or autoresponder newsletter,
or whatever it is you're giving them, you will naturally
have a pitch for your product, whatever it may be. At this
stage of the game, you've given them so much value that if
they don't become a paying customer, they're probably just
a freebie seeker and wouldn't have bought from you no matter
what you did. Nothing lost here. You did everything you were
supposed to do."
110 words. Perfect. We're up to 479 words already and we
haven't even done on closing. Yes, you want to close. How
do you close? The easiest way is with the recap. You simply
tell people what you already told them...like this.
"Forum participation, when done correctly, can literally
put thousands of dollars in your pocket. By provding value
to the community, having a dymamite signature and a follow
up free offer that blows away most $97 ebooks, you'll have
more paying customers than you'll know what to do with."
48 words. Done. We have a 527 word article, more than fit
for EZA or your blog or whatever.
But we're not done...oh no, not by a longshot.
Finally we have your resource box.
This is where so many people drop the ball.
Here's your typical resource box by somebody who doesn't
have a clue.
"John Doe is a rocket scientist at Fairfield University and
has written books on the subject of...blah, blah, blah"
Nobody gives a rat's behind who you are or what you've done.
What they care about it what YOU can do for THEM.
Now naturally, depending on what you actually have to
offer, this is going to be different, but he's a general
example of what I'm talking about.
Here's a resource box that works.
"Want to discover the secrets that will have you raking in
a 6 figure a year income without spending ONE DIME IN AD
COSTS? Check out my site at...URL"
Now THAT is going to get somebody interested.
The formula, in summary, is simple.
1. Write a title that will get the reader's attention and make them read
2. Write an intro paragraph that tells the reader what they're going to
find in the article themselves. Try to make bullet points in the intro so
that you can write about each bullet point in the body of the article. In
the case of the above article, the bullet points are the 3 killer tips.
3. Write each bullet point in a separate paragraph. Each tip, in this case,
is one paragraph.
4. Write a summary paragraph that tells the reader what you just told
them. Yes, it's redundant, but it reinforces what they just read and keeps
it fresh in their minds.
5. Write a resource box with a strong call to action. The reader MUST see
what's in it for them by going to YOUR site.
And that's it. Folks, this isn't rocket science. I have been doing this
everyday for years now and I make a good part of my living (about
$67,000 a year) from writing articles. So I must be doing something
Good luck with the challenge.
Now go out and make some money!
Sept 28 Update
In response to Andrew Cavanagh's post, I'm going to go a little bit
more into keyword research. Everybody has their own ways to go
about this, and if you have your own system, by all means keep
using it. But if you don't, this may help you.
First off, let me start by saying that if you're looking for a keyword
research tool that is 100% accurate, you've got a long wait. I'm
not even totally sold on Google's own research tool.
Having said that, what I find that works best for me is to pick one
tool and understand how it reports its results and learn to interpret
them. The best way for me to explain that is with an example.
I don't mind sharing my IM keywords because everybody probably
uses these anyway. Point is, by seeing the kind of results the
keyword tool gives you and how many views and/or clicks your
article gets, you'll get a feel for how to interpret the keyword
Okay, first of all, the tool I use is Wordtracker. I use it because
it's free and I took the time to interpret the results as opposed to
So let's take the keyword "Internet Marketing Tips"
If you go to Wordtracker right now and look up this phrase, you
will see that the daily searches are 7. Not a lot.
However, after my first day of submitting an article for that keyword
phrase, I get an average of 25 views at EZA for it. So this would
lead me to believe that this figure is a little low. But, I also use
more than just that one keyword for my Internet marketing articles.
I also use internet marketing strategy
That gets 111 daily searches. Ah, now all of a sudden it appears
that maybe the figures are a little high.
But...you have to understand...not everybody who looks up these
words is going to read YOUR article. You have to figure competition
Now, I use other keywords as well for my EZA articles and if I add
them all up, it comes out to well over 300 daily searches. For that,
I get an average of 25 hits.
Okay, how does this translate to other niches though? Is it
Well, in another niche, I use these keywords, among others.
digital photography tips
Now, this keyword gets, according to Wordtracker, 139 daily
searches. If I add the other keywords I use to this niche, it also
comes out to about 300 daily searches.
But...I get over 100 views to my articles the first day for this
So what does that tell me about the keyword tool, if anything?
Honestly, not much. But it does tell me something about the
It's outside of IM and performs better.
So, using this same example for a non IM niche, if I take another
one of my non IM niches and look at those keywords (again, they
total over 300 daily searches) my average number of views on the
first day is over 100.
So what this tells me is that if I go outside of IM and see that
Wordtracker gives me about 300 searches for my keywords, I
can expect about 100 views on the first day, again depending on
how competitive that niche is.
It isn't an exact science and can never be, but having as much
experience as I do with various non IM markets, I know that if I
get a niche with 300 plus searches a day, I can be fairly confident
to get 100 views my first day.
And that's using Wordtracker.
What you have to do is get comfortable with YOUR keyword tool
and get a feel for what you can expect given what that tool