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The Most Effective Way to Promote Your Online Business: Write Articles
(c) 2002 by Cheryl Williams Levey, http://www.cherylsweb.com
As an online business owner, I am often asked about methods for promoting a business, and what works the "best."
It's simple - write articles.
I can hear some of you groaning now, allowing your self-limiting thoughts get the better of you. But you CAN write articles! It's not like it's a school term paper in which you have to follow a specific format and strict grammar rules. But you do need to at least try to spell everything right, and use complete sentences. Usually. :) Most word processing applications have a spell check, and we all know people we could ask to review our stuff, right?
Online, the best way to write is as though you are talking to someone - but avoid slang and because the internet is global, try to avoid region specific phrases when possible. (Unless you are writing about a particular place, of course!)
Some Ways Writing Articles Helps You
* Brands you as an expert.
Maybe you are just starting out and don't feel like you are an expert. Come on! Of course you are - you are an expert at taking a chance. Explain what motivated you to take that chance, and what motivates you to continue. Or maybe you are an expert at how to get started in a certain kind of business (be careful to stay generic or your article will be perceived as just a big sales letter). Why did you start your business? Why should others start businesses of their own? How do you plan to reach your goals? What are the pros and cons of online businesses? What tools and resources are useful in learning more about this kind of business?
Once you have been in business for a while, your articles will get more specific about certain topics and ideas - and you will have some experience under your belt regarding what information is "real" and what isn't. You'll also realize that there are literally hundreds of online business building topics to focus on - like this article is focusing on writing articles!
* Can use a resource box at the end.
This is where you put your statement about yourself and your business. You can see mine at the end of this article. Instead of simply advertising, you offer valuable information in the article, and when you dazzle them with your knowledge, they'll want to know more about your and your business - so be sure to include the link to your site in your resource box. Resource boxes are typically up to six lines long and typically include the author's name, a bit about them, a bit about their company, and the link.
* Much more effective than an ad.
Articles are much more effective than an ad simply because they are actually giving something to the reader instead of trying to entice them to do business with you. People generally don't like to be sold, which is why it's so hard to get anything more than about a 2% return on any advertising, but people love it when they get something for free! And because you've been willing to share your knowledge for free, they are more apt to trust you with their hard-earned dollars if they do decide to buy. Note here that I am certainly not against advertising! It is worth it under the right circumstances! But, articles appeal to a larger segment of the online population.
* Can submit them to hundreds of sites for publication - which then can begin a chain of promotion that you aren't even trying to get!
There are literally hundreds of places to post articles - a search on "article submissions" in any search engine will show you that. The important thing is to follow the submission rules (or it won't be posted or published), and when applicable, to submit articles to sites that cater to audiences who will find your article helpful. For example, you wouldn't submit an article about the best breeds of dogs to a cat lover's site. :) But, with the right article in the right places, it can really catch fire. And don't forget to include an "articles" section on your website so people who look at your site can read more of your stuff.
Articles really are
the best promotional tool I know of to promote yourself and your business!
Cheryl Williams Levey owns cherylsweb.com, a site
dedicated to showing you how to save time and money
while growing your home business. Do you have what
it takes to build a home business?
Find out here --> http://www.cherylsweb.com