If you’re looking for an easy but effective way to garner publicity, try writing articles.
There are gazillions of ezines and websites looking for content; good, solid, well written content. And in my experience, most of them are happy to accept reprints.
But how do you write articles, and go about getting your articles known?
Firstly, you need to write about something that people are interested in. Pick a subject (or subjects) that you are knowledgeable in, but more importantly, the subject should be related to a book you have written and are currently selling.
I generally write about techniques used in writing. The reason is that it helps to spread the word about my ebooks and website for writers.
This gives me a lot of scope since there are a variety of writing related subjects to write about, and most are within my areas of expertise.
I’ve recently released a new book on fiction writing, so I’ve simultaneously released articles on specific areas of fiction writing, and they’ve been snapped up. (My affiliates are always the first to be notified of the release of articles, but later they become free-for-all.)
Sure, I’m not getting paid for them, but the sales that have resulted are worth much more than the lost income from selling the articles.
So how do you go about this lucrative form of publicity?
Firstly, find a subject that you are comfortable with. Decide what the focus of your article will be; the trick to writing articles that will bring publicity is to focus on just one subject.
As the owner/editor for a website for writers, I receive many article submissions. The majority of them are well written and within the scope of my requirements, but many have gone off on a tangent. Instead of focusing on the subject at hand – the focal point – they suddenly change direction and start discussing a totally unrelated subject. Readers will lose interest very quickly in an article that doesn’t deliver what it originally promised.
If your article is about marketing to targeted audiences, you must write only about that subject. Don’t suddenly change direction and tell the reader how to write great sales copy (for instance). That’s not the article’s purpose and has no right whatsoever being in that article.
Your readers expect and should get an article about marketing to targeted audiences, not an article about marketing to targeted audiences and writing great sales copy. Keep the copywriting information for another time. This is actually better from your point of view, because it gives you another article to write, which in turn gives you even more publicity.
So what do you include in your article? Here’s a very basic guideline:
1. State the problem.
2. Explain the results of this situation
3. Suggest solutions
4. Give examples
5. Sum up
6. Don’t forget your bio
And here are a few pointers to writing non-fiction articles:
o Use a title that explains the purpose of the article.
o Keep it tight; no sloppy prose.
o Try to keep within the boundaries of 300 to 1,000 words – 1,500 at the absolute most. Computer screens are much harder to read from than print, and people simply won’t continue to read if the article is too long.
o Don’t use flowery prose; it has no place in a non-fiction article.
o Give examples wherever possible. Don’t just say this is how to do it; show the reader as well.
o Don’t use your article to ‘advertise’ your book. If the article comes across as a huge sales pitch, the reader won’t even finish it. (And most ezine owners won’t use it.)
o Make sure the content is factual and informative.
o Always include your bio – which should be updated regularly to reflect your latest projects – and stipulate that your bio (or resource box, as some people call them) must be included.
If you have your own website (which I hope you do) devote a page totally to listing reprints of your articles.
There are also other avenues for getting the word out about your articles; most of them free.
Hint: I never pay to submit articles, and neither should you. There are a gazillion sites that will accept your articles without charging you for them.
Remember – money should gravitate to the writer, not away from him/her. Always!
It usually takes a while to get your account set up when you join most article submission sites (because you need to organise your bio, upload photos, book covers and so on) but believe me, it’s definitely worth it.
Here is a site to get you started:
You can also submit your articles manually to ezine or website publishers, but don’t make the mistake of submitting articles that are inappropriate for the publication. I have received a large number of articles about parachuting, shellfish, choosing the sound system that is appropriate to you, and loads of other subjects, all of which are totally unrelated to the craft of writing. I’ve also received a huge number of article submissions that contain little or no information. If you can’t provide informative articles, then don’t bother. Without good quality information, publishers will not be interested. Not only does this waste the time of the publisher, it can also brand the writer as an amateur. In the case of the inappropriate subjects, it was blatantly obvious that the writers hadn’t taken the time to check the guidelines to find out what sort of content would be suitable.
So do make sure you thoroughly research the targeted publication – guidelines included – otherwise you’ll be wasting a lot of time and effort. This is an incredibly easy thing to do on the internet, and costs you nothing.
So what are you waiting for? Get those articles written and watch your business grow!