Article Marketing Troublehsooting - What You Should Do If Your Articles Are Not Making You Money

44 replies
People have been asking me over and over what to do if their articles are not bringing in sales.

So as a former Engineer, I've come up with a step by step method to help you figure out what you are doing wrong and how you can do better.

I hope others will find this helpful.

For the sake of simplicity, I will assume you are using EzineArticles, but this works for any article directory, web 2.0 property or even your own blog.

I will also assume that you are promoting a product as an affiliate because this is what most people do when they start out.

So if you are not making sales, go through the following steps and see where you can improve your article marketing campaign:

Step #1: Are your articles ranking on the first page of Google results?

If they don't - you might not have done the proper keyword research.

When you are starting out you should go for easy keywords to make sure that you rank easily. If you are on the second page you can push your articles up to the first page by creating backlinks. You can do so also if your articles are farther away from the first page, but as I wrote above - better to start with easy keywords so you get to practice and make sure you are doing things right.

So go learn how to do proper keyword research and try again.

If your articles are ranking on the first page - go to step #2.

Step #2: Are you getting visitors to your articles?

Are you getting article views? If not, and you have decent ranking on Google, then either your keyword does not have enough search volume or your titles are pretty bad.

Check your keyword research to make sure there is some search volume, but keep in mind that the Google Keyword Tool is not always accurate, so if one article doesn't get views - just let it go, but if it's happening with a number of articles, it's time to check your titles.

Make sure your titles are very relevant to the keyword you are targetting.

When the searcher sees your title - they should think to themselves 'this is exactly what I was looking for'. Also read a bit about writing effective titles - effective titles get people to click on your article and read it.

So depending on your exact issue, either pick new keywords with more search volume or rewrite your titles.

If you are getting article views - go to step #3.

Step #3: What is your CTR (click through rate)?

Do you have a low click through rate? Are people not clicking on your article links? Make sure that your article is interesting and relevant enough for your reader, and that your resource box offers them something they want. Read up on writing effective resource boxes.

So now rewrite your resource box, and - if your article is not relevant or intersting to the searcher - rewrite your article as well.

If your CTR is good - go to step #4.

Step #4: If you are using a landing page (and not redirecting to a merchant's sales page), what is your landing page CTR?

You want to make sure that people don't stay on your landing page (unless you are building a list but that's a bit more advanced).

You want them to go over to the merchant so they can buy.

So make sure that your landing pages have a clear call to action telling the visitor to visit the merchant. Tell them why they should go there, and make sure this call to action is on top of the page - above the fold.

If your landing page CTR is good - go to step #5.

Step #5 - Are you getting sales?

Well, obviously the answer is no since you are reading this post.

There could be a few reasons for this.

First of all - what kind of keywords are you targeting? Are you going for buying keywords?

If not, do some research on buying keywords and make sure you start your article campaign with them.

Also, make sure that your article and landing pages are geared towards people who want to buy (and not just information-seekers), and that they have information that customers are looking for.

Also make sure that the landing page presells the product by mentioning it in a positive way (you don't need to sell it, just talk about it in a positive way).

Last but not least, if all this doesn't help, it is possible that the merchant or product you picked does not convert well. Try another one and see if you do better with that.

If you are doing a proper article marketing campaign - you should be making sales. If you have any questions about this troublehsooting process, post it below and I will try to answer.
#article #articles #making #marketing #money #sales #troublehsooting
  • Profile picture of the author SmartEntrepreneur
    Excellent post. Very in-depth as far as article marketing goes. The only other point to add, is that article marketing should be One part of your marketing plan. There are so many other free and easy methods, don't forget to use them as well.

    Otherwise, I think the plan above is EXCELLENT, and really stays true to "content" being the most important aspect of article marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sara Young
      Originally Posted by SmartEntrepreneur View Post

      Excellent post. Very in-depth as far as article marketing goes. The only other point to add, is that article marketing should be One part of your marketing plan. There are so many other free and easy methods, don't forget to use them as well.

      Otherwise, I think the plan above is EXCELLENT, and really stays true to "content" being the most important aspect of article marketing.
      Thanks for your comment. I agree with your addition with one caveat.

      Those who are starting out should begin with one method (article marketing in this example, but it could be anything). Once they are making sales they should move on to others.

      But they should not try everything at once or nothing will work.
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      • Profile picture of the author nick1956
        Originally Posted by Sara Young View Post

        Thanks for your comment. I agree with your addition with one caveat.

        Those who are starting out should begin with one method (article marketing in this example, but it could be anything). Once they are making sales they should move on to others.

        But they should not try everything at once or nothing will work.
        Thanks Sara as always nice and simply spelled out for us !
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Great stuff, Sara! I think way too many article marketers get suckered into thinking they just have to write and write and write and they'll win by sheer volume. In reality, all that does is burn you out and make you think AM is worthless. Slow down, learn as you say to do proper keyword research BEFORE you write, then put some thought into the articles themselves so you can get readers to do what you want (click your link).

    And then you make a great point about landing page CTR. What's the point of putting all that effort into AM and then wasting all that targeted traffic? Work on that first, before you spend hours writing lots of articles to drive traffic. So many people put the cart in front of the horse in that regard.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rajan Cajan
    Excellent info, If you go staight to thr merchants page without a landing page I guess you would have to test this to see if it works?
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  • Profile picture of the author lenlatimer
    Thanks Sara,
    Great info for newbies but also a great refresher for experience AM's.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkAse
    I do think there is a lot of IMers that discount their ability to test different sales strategies and their effect on CTR etc.

    Being able to accumulate statistics is one of the things I really do like about IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author ExpertWriter
    Thanks for sharing! I will keep this in mind the more I write, for sure.

    -cindy
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  • Profile picture of the author TheDebtEliminator
    Hello Sara,

    Thanks for sharing this great information

    All the Best
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    • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
      There are a lot of suggestions, advice and questions covering this topic. Once in a while someone posts in a way that I find really beneficial, it may not necessarily be anything new, but just uniquely presented.

      Sara, you've hit that elusive sweet spot with this contribution .

      Thanks
      Ian
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  • Profile picture of the author Calvin Tan
    Hi,

    thx for the post.. I keep having this problem.. I guess perhaps it is able to help me solve my low CTR and article marketing issues.
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    • Profile picture of the author mikemik
      Thanks that info was very informative
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      • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
        Love your post Sara. I'd like you to clarify a couple points.

        What do you consider good CTR for your Articles?

        Then secondly, what do your consider a good CTR for your landing page?

        Many people could read your post and believe a 10% CTR is great in both places, where I'm guessing you expect much higher results.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sara Young
          Originally Posted by KansasDragon View Post

          Love your post Sara. I'd like you to clarify a couple points.

          What do you consider good CTR for your Articles?

          Then secondly, what do your consider a good CTR for your landing page?

          Many people could read your post and believe a 10% CTR is great in both places, where I'm guessing you expect much higher results.
          Hi Dragon.

          I was waiting for someone to ask this

          Numbers will vary from person to person and from niche to nice, but I try to have a CTR of at least 30% for my articles (although I am not always successful). Many of my articles have a higher CTR - I think the highest is 76%, but that's not always possible or worth the effort.

          If I see a campaign converts well, I may go back and tweak the article and/or resource box to increase the CTR then.

          As to the landing page - I aim for at least 50%.

          But as I said - it varies from person to person and from niche to niche.

          Sara
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Sara, engineer to engineer, very elegant troubleshooting checklist. Well done!
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  • Profile picture of the author c elias
    hi sara - i am assuming you are refering to ezinearticles? or are you talking about posting to alot of directories?
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  • Profile picture of the author Travis72802
    Nice post.

    I might add as #1...are you marketing to a 'starving crowd'?

    I've seen lots of 'how to get rid of ant' articles where the poor author
    emails me and ask why they aren't getting any green love...

    Ya know?

    In any business...

    First thing you need is a crowd that's got at least a good appetite...

    Second mistake I see...is what I call the "trying to sell pork sandwiches to Jewish Vegetarians mistake".

    Here's an example you may have seen?

    When an affiliate marketer tries to sell a cure acne EBOOK to
    the AVERAGE person plagued with acne.

    You might agree that most teenagers and young adults...do NOT want to read?

    and in fact are bombarded with ads from their favorite idols selling ProActiv and other topical solutions.

    So...

    Why not sell?

    What's already selling...

    And what your crowd ALREADY has an appetite for!

    Sales come pretty easy when...

    1. You have a hungry crowd
    2. You know EXACTLY what they are hungry for
    3. You get in front of them and offer it up

    Hope this helps:-)

    Peace,
    Travis
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    • Profile picture of the author Syndicator
      Nice one Sara, Article Marketers often overlook the importance of keyword research for titles and article density.

      Some very impressive CTR as well!
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  • Many thanks... for both the initial post and numerous answers! Guides like this that get to the point are invaluable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wiggy0618
    Good info Sara. The one thing you mentioned several times, and I think it the MOST IMPORTANT part of the equation is doing the proper KW research. There is a lot more to this than most noobs think and most experienced marketers say. (I'm learning this the hard way.)

    And much of the stuff out there being said about KW research (esp the idea of only going after KWs that get at least 50 searches/day and have less than 10k results in google) is a bunch of crap anyway, IMO.

    The idea of a "buying keyword" is something that is not talked about enough, and I know I need to know more about. Many likely don't even realize what it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikkosant
    Great post. Compelling Title>Cliffhanger Writing(but fulfilling of the title, yet leaves the reader wanting more>Powerful call to action Resource Box.

    And of course Keyword Research. It seems to get overlooked the most nearly every time. Start with your target keywords, then write your articles to be conversion oriented.

    Once article marketing has been working for you, then diversify your traffic sources.

    Video marketing... Create niche blogs around the topic that are well seo'd., press releases, etc.

    Thanks for the quality post.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    There are keywords, and then there are buyer keywords. What exactly is your definition of the latter? I've added you to Skype if you ever wanna talk.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sara Young
      Originally Posted by Biggy Fat View Post

      There are keywords, and then there are buyer keywords. What exactly is your definition of the latter? I've added you to Skype if you ever wanna talk.
      Hope I helped you on Skype. Here's clarification for everybody else:

      Buyer keywords are keywords that buyers are likely to use.

      For example:

      Someone who searches for 'cameras' is not necessarily a buyer since they are probably looking for general information on cameras.

      Someone who searches for 'buy canon camera' is definitely a buyer. So 'buy canon camera' is a buyer keyword, and is more likely to convert for you. Go for this type of keyword!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michi Kono
    Hey Sara,

    Fantastic post. I completely agree with all the points you mentioned. I don't do much article marketing nowadays but when i was doing it, those articles that were not making me money always had an issue in one of the points you mentioned.... so you are spot on!

    Bum (article) marketing is a free way to make money online so people tend to think it's easy but not unless they do it right. To make the campaign successful, one still needs to focus and cover all the points mentioned by Sara in this thread.

    Well done, Sara!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mrs S
    Thanks for setting this out Sara - great post for newbies and experiences article writers alike. I'm pretty happy with my CTR which is around 30% for most articles but I don't get enough views after the initial day or two of it being on the front page. Looks like I need to go back to keyword research
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    • Profile picture of the author Sara Young
      Originally Posted by Mrs S View Post

      Thanks for setting this out Sara - great post for newbies and experiences article writers alike. I'm pretty happy with my CTR which is around 30% for most articles but I don't get enough views after the initial day or two of it being on the front page. Looks like I need to go back to keyword research
      Are your articles ranking at all?

      If not - definitely do keyword research.

      If they are ranking but people aren't clicking - either your headlines aren't compelling enough or you've picked keywords with very low search volumes.

      Glad you liked my post!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryback
    Sara Great Info! This will be very helpful to those who are getting started with article marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author OLOORE
    Thank you for the excellent lay out to help many newbies and others who have around for quite a while and are getting frustrated already.
    I will come back again. Moreover, I'll be on the look out for other postings from you.
    You have trilled me. I know you'll keep up the good work. This time you've spent to inform, clarify and give further insight will eventually turn out very positively. Tnx Sara
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    • Profile picture of the author BlueYoda
      Thanks for clarifying a lot of what I have been wondering about. I have massive traffic for my little site, but really lousy CTR. It is a product I know know those clicking on are in need of but don't understand the lack of clicking on through.

      I'll do some more looking. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    If you are not getting enough visits to your article it could be an issue related to a lack of quality of backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author abednego
    Originally Posted by Sara Young View Post

    People have been asking me over and over what to do if their articles are not bringing in sales.

    So as a former Engineer, I've come up with a step by step method to help you figure out what you are doing wrong and how you can do better.

    I hope others will find this helpful.

    For the sake of simplicity, I will assume you are using EzineArticles, but this works for any article directory, web 2.0 property or even your own blog.

    I will also assume that you are promoting a product as an affiliate because this is what most people do when they start out.

    So if you are not making sales, go through the following steps and see where you can improve your article marketing campaign:

    ...
    Thanks and thanked!

    How long have you been doing article writing?
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    • Profile picture of the author A.I.M.R
      Personally I think this course is fantastic. It can be incorporated into so many aspects of affiliate marketing and deals with many issues that so many people come across when using articles. No matter what you use articles for, the principles in this course apply and if you follow them, you are going to succeed. Nice stuff Sara, love it..
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  • Profile picture of the author affiliatechick
    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for an awesome step x step post! I'm getting ready to get into article marketing so I came across this at the perfect time! :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author timber
    Unfortunatly, I had already purchased another product that sounded similar, however, as it turns out, is much, much inferior. Seriously, I learned more from watching your free demo video's than I did from the 'full program' (if you can call it that) from Affiliate Annhilation. I will be purchasing your product with the refund I recieve, when I recieve it.

    I am looking forward to moving forward with your course, I only hope there is still room in the program me me.

    I've been looking for a system like this for a while, and am really looking forward to getting started with Easy Paycheck Formula.
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    • Profile picture of the author BrantleysSuccess
      Originally Posted by timber View Post

      Unfortunatly, I had already purchased another product that sounded similar, however, as it turns out, is much, much inferior. Seriously, I learned more from watching your free demo video's than I did from the 'full program' (if you can call it that) from Affiliate Annhilation. I will be purchasing your product with the refund I recieve, when I recieve it.

      I am looking forward to moving forward with your course, I only hope there is still room in the program me me.

      I've been looking for a system like this for a while, and am really looking forward to getting started with Easy Paycheck Formula.
      Sara is a great teacher, an EPF is a very good course....if you follow what she says and take ACTION you will see success.

      Ron Brantley
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  • Profile picture of the author DNChamp
    seems like a good read...will have to catch up
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  • Profile picture of the author imkevintan
    Great information, Sara! I'll keep these in mind as I write on my own blog and on EzineArticles. These tips also help for a list building landing page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Darunner14
    That went in way in depth. I think that getting your feet wet in writing for you ezinearticles is a good start for newbies. Once your good at it, it will be a good source of income. Excellent Post
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  • Profile picture of the author ce2gain
    I love how you outlined this in a step-by-step approach. I definitely agree that keyword research is the foundation of article marketing. So many people just keep plugging away at more and more articles without ever taking the time to analyze the stats on their posted articles. Even if you are making sales, taking the time to walk through the steps above will help you increase your sales using the articles you already have.
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  • Profile picture of the author fated82
    Great post. I need to spend more time beefing up my articles writing skills....
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  • Profile picture of the author Todd R
    Wow... very good post and thread. Keyword resarch is now even easier using Google Adwords keyword tool. If you click the advanced options towards the bottom of the page and then use 2 filters one so you only get global monthly serches greater than 2000; and the second filter set to competition -- only select low and medium.
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