Get Published and Get Attention

Draw in new business by writing a helpful, well-researched web article.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the December 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Think you need to be a professional writer to write articles for the web? Think again! Anyone can use online articles to achieve online publicity and subsequent sales. However, to maximize the web's potential, you've got to think like an online marketer before you write a single word.

Online articles have three big benefits that offline articles don't. First, web articles have sticking power. Once they're posted online, anyone and everyone can find them at any time through blogs, search engines, e-mails or websites that link to them.

Second, web articles, if linked to your website, can improve your organic search engine rankings. To leverage this advantage, you'll want to submit a few articles to other sites so you can ask for a link back to yours. Obviously, offline articles can't influence the search engines.

Third, web articles propel prospects to your website immediately. Compare that to an offline article: Those readers might not have a computer nearby, so you have to hope they find your article so helpful they will remember to contact your company later.

Before you write, do your research. Look up articles on similar topics. There's no point saying the same thing everyone else is. That won't bring in new business; a unique message will. For example, you could write a how-to article that gives readers a set of action items to complete. Your helpful tips will lead them to your business for more. Or you could debunk common practices that are being promoted in other online articles. Creating a little controversy, provided you can prove why your company's suggestions are profitable, could certainly generate online attention and a river of readers to your site.

To woo customers on the web, share, don't sell. Each article you write should help your readers. This is not the place to pitch your company or its products or services. That's your byline's job. A byline is the line at the end of the article that includes the writer's name, brief company information and site's URL. Share a few secrets with the web world, and they will follow your byline to your business.

Catherine Sedais an internet and search marketing expert. She's also a dean at LA College International. Get her "Top 10 Internet Marketing Mistakes" report atwww.catherineseda.com.

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