N.B. This is the author’s twelfth teleseminar report from the “Seminars with the Experts” series hosted by Hilary Stewardson.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, article marketing specialist Jeff Herring has used the power of words to build an information empire. His resume includes a nationally syndicated column, various telecourses and coaching programs, and of course his own traffic generating articles. Jeff specializes in live, café-style video recordings and is a strong proponent of audio-visual promotion of writing services.
The Accidental Internet Marketer?
In his previous life, Herring built up a thriving family therapy practice over two decades. So how does a successful marriage therapist/relationship coach migrate to the forefront of Internet Marketing? In Jeff’s case, the seed was planted in 1994 with a first look online while writing his newspaper column. In 2005, he decided to bundle collections of his columns and sell them in e-book form. Initial success whetted his e-commerce appetite, and Herring proceeded to systematize a ready-made subscriber list to offer motivational quotes. A few months later, after setting up his first websites, Jeff became a full-time Internet Marketer and has never looked back.
Jealously Guarding Your Own Voice.
Consider Herring’s clever play on words that reveal his philosophy:
“Write with your mouth, not with your hands.”
Jeff says NO to private label rights (PLR) articles, because of mass duplication and their general lack of quality and relevance. By succumbing to recycled articles, you lose your voice and are not credible with prospects and customers anymore.
Does the same apply to outsourcing; i.e., ghostwriting (a.k.a. writing in another person’s voice)? Herring agrees that outsourcing is acceptable when you are not an expert in the chosen topic, but points out the inherent risk of abandoning original, personal work.
Jeff Herring agrees that we can use article marketing to drive readers to affiliate websites. However, at some point you need to look beyond other people’s products and claim full ownership of your words. After all, you’re doing all this work writing articles – why not promote yourself first?
Common Mistakes, Pitfalls of New Article Marketers.
Becoming a proficient article marketer like Jeff Herring takes practice, as well as avoiding some traps:
- Belief that you don’t have anything worth saying; lack of writing confidence and self-esteem.
- Trying to say too much at once.
- Listening to the wrong people.
- Going on a buying frenzy for article generators, submission software, external aids, etc.
- Word count hang-up, especially at the low-end (250 words).
To generate writing topics, Jeff Herring recommends that you create “Tips” articles, in which you enumerate 7 ways to solve a specific problem. Then, take each tip and create a more specific article. As a result, one topic will allows you to create a total of 8 articles.
A perceived weakness often cited by beginners – that their article category is too crowded – in fact indicates its great potential. Competitors, potential customers, social networkers, and joint venture seekers are all on the lookout for quality writers, even the next superstar.
Spreading your Articles to the World.
Jeff Herring believes that article marketing is the best “free” way to generate traffic. However, simply being a great writer is not enough. Your goal is to plant “Evergreen” articles, articles that will drive traffic to your sites over and over again on autopilot. So, you must have a solid, systematic article submission strategy. Jeff offers an article submission hierarchy to follow:
- The best 1-2 article directories.
- Other top article directories.
- Niche article directories.
- Your own article directory or blog.
Jeff Herring’s 3 Power P’s.
Every article marketer is looking for the winning elements that will lead to a life-changing breakthrough. In short, we need:
- Prospects: Targeted traffic generation via articles to get eyeballs in front of your website. Now it’s up to you to encourage action!
- Publicity: High page rankings (PR), ideally the first page of Google for your keywords and key phrases.
- Profits: Money is great and justifies your hard work. However there are other indirect (i.e. back links) and direct (e.g. article repurposing) benefits of posting a steady stream of quality articles.
How to Make More Money from an Article than a Book.
On the surface, it may seem far fetched that individual articles can be a catalyst for recurring income. Yet, consider some of the possibilities:
- Converting a 7 Tips article into a 7-part autoresponder or e-course.
- Creating video and/or audio articles from the written word.
- Teleseminar series based on article tips.
In addition, consider the possibilities from combining article marketing and joint ventures. Many top entrepreneurs swap lists and cross promote. To make such alliances work for you, look for people in your niche – not necessarily heavy hitters – that are doing similar things and share your marketing outlook.
To work once and get paid over an over again, you must optimize each part of an article, i.e.:
- Title: Start with keywords that highlight the benefits of your article to the reader.
- Body: Manageable chunks of information that engage readers and leave them wanting more.
- Resource Box: Take advantage of your audience’s heightened sense of awareness to promote yourself. Should flow easily from your conclusion and not feel apart from the article body.
Writing is a basic communication skill that is cultivated from the essence of your personality. The beauty of article marketing lies in its simplicity, no matter what technological advances are in store for the world. Jeff Herring embraces Internet technology, but hasn’t forgotten the essence of being successful – making things simple. To that end, it does not hurt to have guts, i.e.:
Go Use This Stuff!