When you're doing business on the web, it should be obvious that you will have a great deal of competition. In order to set yourself apart from all of the other small businesses that offer products and services similar to those that you offer, you need to have an Internet marketing plan. A good Internet marketing plan, these days, must include article marketing.
With article marketing, you will be able to distinguish yourself as an expert. You will have the opportunity to provide your current and prospective customers more information about your products and services. More importantly, you'll have the opportunity not only to explain the benefits of a product or service - to tell them the "what's in it for me," specifics that appeal to their buying triggers.
As part of your online marketing campaign, article marketing is information, sales letters and links back to your web store where customers can purchase the products for themselves all rolled into one. Sounds great, doesn't it?
Of course it does. But that means there are a few key things that you'll need to know about article marketing and how search engines look at content. Let's start there.
If you've looked into online marketing strategies and search engine optimization, chances are good you've seen the strongest assertion on the web: content is king. Content on the web refers to words, pictures and links. However, you can't have just any content; in order for the content that you use to be a part of your successful online marketing campaign, it needs to be original content.
This is where many people go wrong with article marketing. Perhaps they don't feel that they have strong writing skills or maybe they don't believe that they have the time to write the types of articles that will really sell their products, services and their company. Whatever the reason, they begin looking for shortcuts, and often that's when they discover private label rights content.
Private label rights content - PLR articles and e-books - offer a number of promises that, at first glance, seem to provide the perfect solution to article marketing. When you purchase PLR content, you'll be promised that:
- You can put your own name on the content;
- You can break down e-books into individual articles and place your name on the articles;
- You can submit the content to article directories and add your own resource box linking back to your site;
- You can make any changes to the content that you see fit.
For many, these advantages coupled with a low price make private label rights content seem like the only answer they will need for using article marketing to promote their business. The problem is that, often, those who use PLR content to promote their websites never see their search engine popularity increase.
Some will dismiss this; they'll assume that the information that they read about online marketing with articles was misleading. Others will dig a little bit deeper and realize why the more appropriate statement is original content is king.
PLR content is not original content. If one hundred people purchase the same PLR content and submit the articles to directories, you'll find that your content - your articles that are meant to promote your business - are also being used by your competitors to draw attention to their websites, to their products and services. Because of this tendency and the reality that duplicate content does not offer your reader something new, search engines penalize duplicate content, and factor it against you when ranking your site.
Private label rights content: it seemed like a good idea at the time, at least until it didn't live up to your online marketing expectations. But just because PLR content does not help you to achieve your article marketing goals does not mean that you shouldn't focus on an article marketing campaign to promote your business; it just means that you need to be smart about it.
Being smart about article marketing means looking at the information you have and writing it down in a clear and concise way. It means being able to provide the reader with the information that he or she is looking for - details about not only the product or service but also about how that product or service will benefit them.
To create smart article marketing content, you have two primary options: write it yourself or hire someone to ghostwrite it for you. For those of you who have purchased PLR content for article marketing, there is a third option: rewrite the articles, capturing the points made in them in your own words before posting the content.
Posting your articles on your own website before submitting them to article directories will allow you to get the most benefit from your article marketing campaign. When you post the articles on your own site first, you will not be the one hit with duplicate content penalties.
By posting the articles on your own website before submitting them to a few choice article directories, you will be the one who benefits from your article marketing campaign; others who use the content will merely drive traffic to your site.
Entrepreneur Caroline Melberg is president and CEO of Small Business Mavericks, a division of Melberg Marketing. She has over 20 years of experience creating marketing communications materials and writing copy on Internet marketing for small businesses. Her small business columns are syndicated online, and she publishes the eZine, "Small Business Maverick Secrets." To learn more about Article Marketing, see, "How to Use Article Marketing," available for just $19 on her website.