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Here are (10) trends that will have an impact in 2009 from our perspective:
- Article Marketing Niche Expansion: Recessionary economy combined with the growing fear of starting a PPC (Pay Per Click) ad campaign due to perception of complexities to get started will lead more experts in every niche to produce more articles than ever before in an effort to drive more qualified traffic and leads back to their website. Yes, of course I’m biased here.
- Attention Given To Time Efficiencies: Expert authors feeling both the pressure to produce a high volume of articles to achieve traffic & media exposure success combined with a lack of time or a lack of desire to give it the time will turn to two primary time-saving strategies:
- Audio to Articles – Either producing new audio clips and having them transcribed or taking existing audio training products, having them transcribed and edited into dozens of articles per hour of audio recording.
- Hiring of virtual assistants and/or part & full-time employees who will help edit new articles & repackage existing content into new articles freeing the expert to spend more of his or her time on producing more unique & original content.
- Article Rejection Rates Go Up: Article rejection rates will go up another 3-5% (approaching 32-37% rejection of everything submitted) due to many issues largely having to do with a lack of original thought put into the article writing process, lack of interest in following the Editorial Guidelines and combined with our improved ability to deflect derivative article submissions (those that are rewritten to death).
- Article Review Speed Improves: Article review speeds will increase by 3-6 hours faster for every membership level. We’re selfishly motivated on this one as we know there is a correlation between article submission quantity and speed of article review. Expect us to test this further in 2009.
- Dead Links In Old Articles Become Unlinked: People come and they go; websites come and they go… yet often we’re left with tens of thousands of articles that are very good in content yet the link is dead because the website owner walked away or shut down their site. We’re going to solve this problem this year as we’ve already spent a large part of 2008 in setting up an elaborate dead link discovery process… that will ultimately end up first encouraging members to fix their dead links, giving fair notice and time to complete such, ending in their articles with dead links getting the active link removed along with a text notice of the link. Articles with dead links are a liability (because they provide a poor user experience) we will not allow to continue in 2009.
- Freelance Writers Who Niche-Specialize Will Be Richly Rewarded: Members who hired and were burned by cheap generalist ghostwriters will seek freelance writers who are specialized in knowledge around their niche instead of hiring a ‘jack or jill of all trades’ article writer. Articles will cost more, but the quality of reputation & trust factor will make up for it.
- Members (Who Hire Freelancers) Take On Trainer Roles: Members who hire ghostwriters will seek writers who will dedicate a large chunk of their time to them (instead of serving hundreds of clients) and thus will create more of a partnership where our members will want to train the freelancer just the same as they would a full or part-time employee. This leads to higher quality articles & consistency.
- In-House Writing Teams Become Common. The top .05% to 1% of members will hire part-time and/or full-time article writers to work in-house as employees to help them to repackage their existing content and produce an enormous amount of fresh new original & unique content that is quality-controlled in-house. Many will invest tens of thousands of labor dollars this year in this strategy and will find that the qualified traffic that results from it gives them a significant profit (and competitive market advantage) over other means of traffic acquisition.
- Article Submission Service Provider Eco-System Expands: More than any other year, an industry will emerge stronger to support experts in all walks of life who want to leverage the power of Article Marketing, but don’t have the expertise in packaging or repackaging their content, doing the manual submissions on a frequent basis & performance reporting.
- No End In Sight To The End of the Long Tail of Content Demand: Most of your competitors still have no idea what the LONG-TAIL is. Expect to see more experts exploit the long-tail specifically centered around their niche topic of expertise. It seems the closer one gets to answering the long-tail of demand for their niche, the more they discover there is no end to the tail of market demand for their unique expertise.
What do you think? Any additional predictions about how you see your Article Writing/Marketing strategy unfolding this year?