Today’s Expert Author Case Study focuses on the time-tested and proven online marketing wisdom of veteran Canadian author and marketer Titus Hoskins.
When we recently reached out to our more prolific Platinum level authors requesting information for our case studies, the introductory sentence of one member’s reply caught our eye. It read, “Since EzineArticles has been essential to me for getting those all-important top rankings in [the search engines], I felt obligated to respond to your request.” That member was Titus Hoskins.
After an opening line like that, we were the ones who now felt obligated to find out more about this particular author. What we discovered is a member who is living the dream of many part-time Internet marketing professionals by making it his full-time occupation and passion. His 268 articles have garnered him well over a half-million views and have been driving traffic to his various sites for almost 6 years.
Having fulfilled our obligations, maybe you are the one who now feels a sense of obligation to read Titus’ in-depth case study. In it is a wealth of hard-won knowledge about article marketing with the added bonus of some pretty sage wisdom regarding where EzineArticles fits into the overall scheme of things.
- Titus, what sets you apart from other Expert Authors?
I am a full-time online marketer who runs numerous niche sites, including two relatively popular sites on Internet Marketing – bizwaremagic.com and marketingtoolguide.com – which means I bring an extensive marketing perspective to article writing. For me an article is just another effective marketing tool to increase both my rankings and sales. EzineArticles has been a major component of my article marketing for a long time and will probably be a vital element for the foreseeable future.
When I look at the number of writers on Ezinearticles today – around 260,000 – which is a lot of authors and a lot of competition. I believe I was author number 1561, which means I have been around for awhile and have many experiences to share. My very first article I wrote was submitted to EzineArticles way back in 2004, and I was completely surprised when it was quickly picked up and placed on other sites around the web. I haven’t looked back since!
- What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?
For me, and I am sure for countless other article marketers, the key to both article writing/marketing success is “long tail keyword” targeting.
These days, everyone is doing “long-tail marketing” but back then it was a fairly new concept. One that has proven very effective for me over the years, especially when you find the lucrative keyword phrases which have the high conversion rates. It simply makes online marketing possible for the small web marketer – they can easily compete with the “Big Boys” if they target these long tail phrases in their articles, site content and online marketing.
- How do you stay motivated to write articles?
I must admit, sometimes I do find it hard to stay motivated when writing my articles. I have an art education background so I know if I am bored with a subject it will come through in my art or in this case my writing. When I am excited about a topic, this excitement will flow through in the writing. The articles which seem to do the best for me are the ones that I am most excited about writing. Bit cliché, but the passion shows, no matter what you do.
- How do you decide what to write about?
I try to relate most of my writing to my own experiences, unless it’s a technical piece of writing, then I do a ton of research before I start writing. Being a full-time affiliate marketer and running two sites on Internet Marketing gives me a lot of material and experiences to write about in my articles. Since my goal is to earn revenue from my writing, my articles are closely keyworded to the content on my sites and affiliate programs. I always keep the marketing angle upfront when deciding which articles or topics I write about.
- How do you balance writing for quality and quantity?
I have found it is better to write one quality article, than to write 5 mediocre ones. Mainly because quality articles get picked up and placed on sites like SiteProNews, PromotionWord, Site-Reference … which then gives you those all important one-way-backlinks to your site. It is those backlinks that help raise your rankings.
I also find quality articles or writing, like fine art, are long lasting and will be around for years. Quality information presented in a well-written article will have legs. And because all these articles are viral, they tend to spread around the web and pop-up on theme related blogs and sites.
- How has using EzineArticles affected your traffic?
It has been my experience that way too many webmasters and marketers get hung up on traffic numbers. They make the mistake of believing all traffic or visitors to their site are the same. This is simply not true. What I have especially learned from using EzineArticles is that you have to consider the quality of the traffic coming to your site, not the amount or large numbers. For example, a hundred people may read your article but only 10 will click through to your site, but those 10 are highly targeted visitors who no doubt, will be more interested in your content. I find these are the types of visitors that convert well into a sale or sign-up.
- How does article marketing fit into your overall marketing plan?
To expand on the last question, with my articles I create marketing funnels which are keyworded to my long-tail phrases, I place these phrases in my article titles which are then placed on EzineArticles, because EzineArticles is a highly ranked authority site by [search engines], my articles get listed on the first page. This brings in targeted traffic which often converts into a sale or sign-up.
One of the keys to cracking [the search engines]: Promote two or three different pages for the same long-tail keyword phrase you’re trying to get top rankings for; by using this marketing strategy you have 2 or 3 pages that are thematically linked and connected with each other. I have found using an article on EzineArticles is a simple way of getting one of those closely linked thematic pages to help boost your other content … It works for me!
- What EzineArticles tools do you find the most beneficial?
Being a professional marketer, knowledge is money. I find the more knowledge I have, the more money I make. Bit simple, but the more you know about how your content performs, how your content converts … the easier all your marketing becomes. For me, knowledge has always been the most important marketing tool. EzineArticles gives you a lot of feedback and data on your articles and how well they perform; because this type of knowledge and data is so important to me I am a Premium Member of EzineArticles, which in my opinion is well worth the annual price since I can get that inside knowledge or information on my articles. For example, simply knowing which keywords surfers are using to find my articles on EzineArticles is priceless to an online marketer like me. I can simply use that information to make my marketing more effective.
- If you had to start over again, what would you change?
If I had to start over again, I would be more careful in choosing my domain name or URL. I would definitely make sure my major keyword phrase was in the domain name. It makes life so much easier when all the search engines know exactly what your site is about. Also, I would start writing articles much sooner than I did in the first go-around, believe I was on the web 4 or 5 years BEFORE I started writing articles.
- What advice would you give newbie article marketers?
Just do it! Find a subject you love and start writing about it. Along the way, pick up some solid SEO advice on how articles can fit into your whole marketing strategy, especially how they can get you those all-important top rankings in the search engines. And concentrate on creating long tail marketing funnels with your articles and online content.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
Don’t give up too soon. Be persistent and it will pay off over the long haul. Of course, we all have responsibilities and not many of us can afford to do this full-time, but it has been my experience that it takes some time to build an online business. The main reason most people fail, they just don’t have the time or resources to keep at it until it pays off. Like most things in life, the ones who stick at it, are usually the ones who come out winners in the end.
If you compare this case study of Titus Hoskins with the one we did of Lisa Angeletti last week, you’ll find some striking similarities, and also some profound differences, between the approaches these two authors use – yet both are highly successful Expert Authors. This observation highlights two important aspects of article writing and marketing:
- There is more than one path to success in online and article marketing.
- There are certain “must haves” that are required for success.
Here are some of Titus’ “must have” items for success:
- Market to the “long tail”.
- Write to your passion.
- Relate to your own experience or do a ton of research.
- Tie your keywords to your content.
- Quality often trumps quantity.
- EzineArticles provides significant data on your articles’ perfomance – use it!
- Pick your passion and just start writing.
- Don’t give up too soon.
Put Titus’ “must have” list to good use today by writing a set of new, fresh, high-quality articles. And leave a comment for Titus. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you. :)