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Writing Articles for Thousands of Readers
Copyright © 2005 Stacey Morris

Writing articles can be incredibly valuable to your business.

Articles help establish your expertise and give you credibility. A bunch of well edited articles can be compiled into a product for sale. Articles can get your name in front of your target market repeatedly.

In this article, I’ll review what you need to do to get your articles seen by as many people as possible.

1) Length and outline—Ideally, your article should be from 500-1000 words. Article submission services prefer this length, and your reader will as well. Use an outline at first to make it simpler. I discussed some popular outlines in the last issue of Service Business Strategies. An easy, clear outline starts with an introduction, followed by 3-5 key points, and concludes with a recap of your main points.

2) Resource box—This is your chance at promoting your business. A resource box appears at the end of your article, and is about 4-5 lines about what you offer your clients.

Although articles are ideal vehicles for building your list, you might also want to sell a product or have your reader call you for more information. Get clear on what you want this article to do for you before writing your resource box.

3) Where to submit and how—You can distribute your article yourself or through a directory service. In general I recommend using the service, because self-distribution is labor intensive.

However, if you have fewer than 50 people on your list, you can easily distribute it yourself through your current email program.

If you have a much larger list, consider using an email publishing service. These services charge monthly, and range from free to $100 or so, depending on the options. Great services that I’ve used include ezinedirector.com (free) and Aweber.com (many more options).

That takes care of mailing to your own list. But you can also mass distribute your information to thousands of people by using an article distribution service. Again, the options are plentiful, but it’s good to be aware of what is available.

Article distribution services send your article to multiple directories, which are distributed to thousands of readers who have indicated an interest in your topic. Because your article has your contact information at the end, you will quickly gain mass exposure.

Submission services can be expensive, depending on the number of directories to which they send your article, and other very mysterious factors. I use and recommend SubmitYourArticle.com, which currently charges $37 monthly to distribute to about 40 or so directories.

CONCLUSION Once you’ve written your article, presumably you’d like it to be read. Your first course is to distribute it to your own ezine list of subscribers. Again, if you have a small list of 50 subscribers or so, you can use your own mail program (Outlook, Eudora) to send it. If your base is larger, I recommend a listserve program like Aweber or Ezinedirector.com, which can send it out nicely formatted in an HTML template. These programs handle new subscribers and unsubscribes automatically. Lastly, when you’re ready to go beyond your own list, you can sign up for an article distribution service, which will send your article to thousands of subscribers for a monthly fee. I use SubmitYourArticle.com. If you want to research other services, do a web search for “article submission services.”

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