Information based marketing is one of the oldest and most effective techniques for bringing targeted prospects to your site and converting them into buyers. This is part of the reason that software, and distribution services that make the process of article promotion easier are so popular lately.
Though the various tools you can use to make the process of distributing your articles more easily are invaluable in getting your content the most exposure, that's only half of the story.
Getting article marketing to work for your site lies primarily in two things:
The article you're submitting, and
The preparation you do before you a single word of your content is written.
Since those two determining factors make at least 50% of the difference in bringing you success, let's take a look at what the most common mistakes are in that area, and how to overcome them.
Mistake #1 - Confusing the Reason to Promote with Articles with the Reason to Write Articles
There are three key benefits to promoting an article - branding, lead generation, and as a corollary, online promotion, particularly as part of your optimization efforts.
Yet there is only one reason to write an article, and that is to inform your audience. If your article is not geared towards this as its primary purpose, you will fail to see the three benefits of promotion - because no one will want to read your article.
How many links you're able to generate by submitting your article to hundreds of sites will matter little if you're unable to get them picked up by publications, or read by people who search for information.
Sure, if you know what you're doing all those links pointing back to your site will count for something in your search engine results - but remember that generating links to your site is only one part of optimizing your site for Google, Yahoo or MSN.
To overcome this issue, you'll need to figure out how to get people to read what is in your article, and then click through to your site from your resource box. The best start to a solution is to produce better content.
In the end it's a matter of choice. You can get a little exposure from increased link backs, on a very basic level, or enjoy massive exposure from a little extra work.
Mistake #2 - Starting The Article Promotion without a Plan
Not every article can fulfil all three purposes of promotion. Some will work better for branding, others can generate leads and increase sales. But if you don't start out with a plan for what the function of your article should be, you'll end up unhappy with the results.
To overcome this issue, before you write a single word, decide what purpose the article is supposed to serve. An article meant to brand you as an expert should display your knowledge. One for generating leads may need to be geared towards solving a very specific problem.
An article that gets published every where and helps to make you known is not meant to have the same level of exposure as hyper-targeted content geared towards a narrow group of people. Learning the difference will help you know what kinds of articles to write.
Mistake #3- Publishing Content That Doesn't Help Your Reader
Maybe you're thinking: 'All I want is links back to my site - any visitors the article generates is gravy.'
Well guess what? Not all article banks and directories are going to accept your content automatically. You can double the number of sites you can submit to by writing articles that the directories want to share with readers. And all it takes is one publisher with a hundred thousand readers to increase your potential audience tenfold.
So if you want article marketing to work for you, write articles that publishers want in their publications.
This also means obeying the standard guidelines, running a spell check, researching a good topic to write about, or even hiring a writer to produce articles on your behalf.
Mistake #4 - Failing to Maximize the Promotional Opportunities of Article Marketing
You already know that articles marketing can help you generate additional links back to your site. But did you know that you can get more visitors and better search engine results from articles in a variety of ways?
You can mention your desired keyword in strategic places, though you should take care not to overdo this. Some people will also tell you to make use of anchor text, which can also is an effective method. However, you should know that the majority of directories and publications aren't able to support this.
There are alternatives to this method that are just as effective, if not more so, but they require more space to explain.
It's not just about the links back to your site either. Part of doing well with article marketing is getting picked up by publishers with large audiences, or gaining the ability to leverage other brands due to the quality of your work.
Better search engine results are great.
But by themselves they don't put money in your pocket - there are a myriad of factors that can turn your article marketing efforts into an opportunity to increase your income, not just the number of visitors to your site.
About The Author
Tinu Abayomi-Paul is a Web Promotion Specialist who runs the Free Traffic Tips Blog. You can read part two of this article at http://www.freetraffictip.com and learn about three more common mistakes even veteran article marketers make.