Expert Author Case Study: Titus Hoskins

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.

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

    I first heard of Long Tail Marketing from Chris Knight and naturally I wrote an article on it. That article was featured on the EzineArticles Blog in a post you can find here.

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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:

  1. Market to the “long tail”.
     
  2. Write to your passion.
     
  3. Relate to your own experience or do a ton of research.
     
  4. Tie your keywords to your content.
     
  5. Quality often trumps quantity.
     
  6. EzineArticles provides significant data on your articles’ perfomance – use it!
     
  7. Pick your passion and just start writing.
     
  8. 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. :)

29 Comments »


1
Kevin Graham writes:

Titus,

Great insights. Knowledge and sharing the knowledge is key. Thanks!

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 9:41 AM

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2
Paul Ciurysek writes:

Excellent article, very motivating! It’s very nice to hear that persistence pays off in the long run.

Thanks

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 9:47 AM

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3
CD Rates Blog writes:

Great stuff. My first article was in 2006 so you had a little jump start on me. Back then I was naive and actually went after very competitive terms. It took years, but I actually ranked for some of them. I think a big part of that is the anchored links that quality sites like Ezines can offer.

Now, I am using articles to rank for long-tail and then often using medium-tail anchors back to my site. This is new for me, so I’ll have to write an article about how it went.

I am lucky enough to be the Web Marketer for the company so actually get to write during the day as part of my job.

If your company doesn’t do much in Web sales, take it on. I did and it has produced a nice extra income. Some of our companies largest clients came from the website.

It is also a lot about timing. My most profitable article was written in 2006 and to this day it gets lots of visitors. You can also build up your article ranking by writing related articles and linking back to it. And that also makes the backlink to your site that much more valuable.

Side Note: The captcha for this post was “Coffee Mug” which is what I’ve been chasing these last couple of weeks. lol.

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 9:55 AM

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4

Thanks for the interview Titus.

I have a question for you. I run a relatively new blog on children’s books (reviews, articles, online bookstore). I’ve been posting basically the same articles on both my blog (I post there first), and then on EzineArticles.com. Will having the same content in both places hurt organic search results for my own page? In other words, does Google think my content is not unique because it is being posted those two places, and then picked up around the web? Should I only be posting DIFFERENT articles/reviews to EzineArticles.com? I’m worried EzineArticles is hurting my SEO.

Thanks,
Aaron Mead

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 10:47 AM

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5
June Yasol writes:

Titus,

Just the sound of your name makes you a qualified writer if not a good watch or time piece, so, I’m leaving you a comment hoping it will rub on me. Hehey!

ZyberDon

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 11:01 AM

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6
Jan Millehan writes:

Thanks for all the good information!

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 11:44 AM

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7

Hi,

Thanks for the interview Titus.

If I publish the identical content to my blog and to EzineArticles.com, will it mess up the SEO for my blog? In other words, will Google think I don’t have unique content because the content is showing up in two (or maybe more) places on the web? I’ve been doing this and the organic search for my blog has dropped off the map…

Aaron Mead

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 12:32 PM

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8
Susan Greene writes:

Titus,

You’ve written a wonderful how-to guide for article marketing. Very informative. I have a question for you.

What gives you the greater benefit?
1) Posting articles on EzineArticles.com
2) Posting articles on your own website

I realize the best answer is posting articles on both, but when launching a new website/new business, your time is understandably limited. So is it better to “bulk up” your site with relevant articles or go for the inbound links you get from article marketing?

Thank you for all the great info.

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 1:32 PM

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9
Teresa Jackson writes:

Great information! Since I am new to article writing I am finding it takes a lot of time and effort. Applying new information learned has helped with each article written and articles like yours are greatly appreciated

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 2:18 PM

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10
Titus Hoskins writes:

Hi Aaron and Susan…

As to your questions about posting articles on both EzineArticles and on your own site:

Which is better for SEO?
Will it fool up my SEO?
What about duplicate content?

We can only go by our own experiences, I have posted just about all my articles which I have written over the years on EzineArticles.com – it hasn’t hurt my SEO. I also have most of these articles on my own sites. Now I do submit original articles to certain sites because that’s the only kind they will take… Buzzle.com comes readily to mind. And submitting original content to other sites is an excellent way to build backlinks.

But it’s a judgement call on your part – some experts say to only write articles for the directories and not have them on your site – why compete with yourself? Besides, your articles on EzineArticles will come up first in Google – but in my case, that’s what I want because of my marketing funnels.

As for duplicate content? On your own site, Google says it’s not really an issue. But on other sites it does play a part (I believe) in your rankings, not that having all those articles out there hurts you, but you must make sure you have enough unique content on your own site to make your site stand out. It’s much easier to rank higher when you have good quality unique content.

On the hand, just look at article directories like EzineArticles, they have a lot of content/articles that’s on thousands of other sites but they still rank high in the search engines. Google probably recognizes them as special authority sites but the key is still to have good quality information on your own site – duplicate or otherwise.

Hope this helps…

Titus

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 3:43 PM

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CD Rates Blog writes:

I would also add that “spinning” your articles can help, as well, although a little more time consuming.

And don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even made it past Buzzle’s filters. :O)

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11
Jan Millehan writes:

Titus,
Is it better to link my ezine article to a free website like Squidoo or to a free blog on blogger.com? I’m quite new at this and I need to make some money.
Thanks,
Jan

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 3:50 PM

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Titus Hoskins writes:

Hi Jan,

Those ideas are fine but my biggest mistake years ago was not starting my own domain & site from the get-go. I wasted a lot of time (three years) on free programs instead of staking out my own small piece of the web. These free sites can always delete your blog or page – and you will never own it.

I know resources can be limited when just starting out, but buying your own domain and web hosting for a year thru GoDaddy or Yahoo Hosting will only cost you $50 or $60 – or less if you shop around. Then if you can’t design your own site – use the free WordPress software to create your own site. Put Adsense on it, do affiliate products from Commission Junction, put an Amazon store on your site….

Then link all your articles to YOUR own site and start building your SEO and business.

Anyway… that’s how I would proceed – it may not be the right move for you but it’s my 2 cents!

Kind Regards,

Titus

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12
Wayne Knapcik writes:

Excellent Information. Thanks for sharing more than just hype. I am glad to hear the reformation in my own mind that Article Marketing is the way to go. I believe it will be the best ROI for my time and efforts.

Thanks,

Wayne Knapcik

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 5:44 PM

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13
Wink writes:

This was amazing! I had just picked up a very good article and posted it on my site about a half hour before opening the EzineArticles email. That article was written by the interviewee, Mr. Titus Hoskins. What a coincidence to find a great article for my site and then learn a bit more about the author in the interview here.

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 10:54 PM

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14
Al writes:

Hi Titus,

Thanks for sharing the wonderful information. I am a budding full-time affiliate marketer and I look up to people like yourself.

You brought up an important point about choosing the right domain name. I am currently in dilemma and just purchased a domain name and created a website. The keyphrase in my domain name is searched heavily but brings up a lot of competitor websites, which I think would make it difficult for me to compete with them.

If I optimize my website using a different keyphrase than the one in my URL, is it going to be difficult for search engines to determine what my site is about? (although the keyphrase and the URL are thematically synonymous) Should I consider getting a different domain name that should contain the same keyphrase that my site is optimized for?

I would really appreciate your opinion on it.

Thanks!

Comment provided March 26, 2010 at 11:53 PM

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Titus Hoskins writes:

Hi Al,

Years ago it was possible to get a popular keyword phrase and put it in your domain name – and have very little competition. These days, more than likely, if it’s a popular keyword you will have stiff competition – especially if the keyword phrase converts well into sales. As to your question I would promote both keyword phrases for your domain… and I would optimize my homepage with the keyword in my domain BUT I would use the second keyword on an interior page and promote and link to this keyword page also. You could also mention the second keyword on your homepage as well because you want to get two pages listed for same keyword in Google. Those double listings bring in a lot of traffic.

Search engines are becoming very sophisticated – especially Google. As for example, I have a section on one of my sites where I promote “notebooks” but before long those pages started showing up for the keyword “laptops”…. I wasn’t using/promoting laptops because I thought (wrongly) the competition would be too stiff… and went with the easier keyword notebooks.

So you never know how well you will do until you try it. However, even the really well established sites won’t have all the long tail keyword phrases covered for your topic. Each site on the web is keyworded differently – (its own Keyword DNA if you want a fancy name for it!) – because each site is different you never know what phrases will pop up for your site… find a lucrative one and you can start promoting it with articles and link building.

Just my suggestions and how I would proceed – may not be right for you, but again my 2 cents worth.

Good Luck,

Titus

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Al writes:

Thanks a lot for your reply Titus. I will use your advice and you’re right about trying first to know how well it’s going to go.

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15
Steve writes:

Titus,
I enjoyed reading your advice about long-tail keyword use in article marketing, and I wanted to say ‘Thanks’ for sharing. Best wishes to your continued success! I do wish more authors followed your lead re: quality or quantity. Your articles work well because you worked hard to offer real value. Thanks again.
Cheers! Steve

Comment provided March 27, 2010 at 3:03 PM

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16
Steve Gould writes:

Thanks for sharing your knowledge much appreciated and going to try these tips out right way.

Comment provided March 27, 2010 at 4:46 PM

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17
Sofia writes:

Mr. Hoskins,

So often, those of us who have been involved with internet marketing for less than 2 years feel the strain of developing new methodologies which will impact our bottom line. Your article reaffirms that notion that with time, patience, persistence and a sprinkle of luck, we can get to that point.

Thanks for Your Insights,

Sofia

Comment provided March 27, 2010 at 8:12 PM

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18
gerry writes:

Your comments reinforce what other successful marketers say is necessary for success. Persistence and committment are the vital ingredients needed for a successful outcome in any endeavour.
These attributes can be employed through concious effort and are not always naturally in people.
In order to find these skills, a personal inventory is the key that will unlock the door to progress.

Comment provided March 28, 2010 at 8:49 AM

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19
Eugene writes:

imho Long tail keywords are keyword terms which are less popular, less competitive and less searched for(less traffic),but In the right hands this business can be very profitable

Comment provided March 29, 2010 at 10:07 AM

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20
Jan Millehan writes:

Thanks for the information on building my own website.

Comment provided March 29, 2010 at 11:17 AM

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21

Titus,
Thank you for the interview and insight. The value of targeting longtail keyword phrases for the small business advertiser is immense! After all, it is very difficult to compete with a full time marketing section within a multi-million dollar company all by your lonesome trying to go head-to-head with them. Thanks again for your terrific insights and sharing them with the rest of us.

Comment provided March 30, 2010 at 3:14 PM

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22

Thank you for the interview! I agree that writing about something you enjoy or are passionate about can be one of the most important parts to writing anything. I am fairly new to blogging and I find that writing about a subject that I love makes things so much easier and keeps me working, rather than writing on a subject that I don’t have any interest in and getting bored quickly.

Comment provided March 30, 2010 at 7:26 PM

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23
Eugene writes:

EzineArticles is responsible for 12% of my daily traffic.Over 60% of the traffic to my websites comes from search engines ,20%-from link partners ..writing articles is a good marketing strategy for a small fish trying to stand out in a big pond. Plus it costs you nothing.:)

Comment provided March 31, 2010 at 2:52 AM

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24
Lisa Angelettie writes:

Hi Titus. Great interview.
I am so with you on the URL issue. I set up so many of my sites such a long time ago and they were already bringing in traffic, that it made no sense to then change the urls. But yes – if I could do it again I would have made sure that my keywords were in my url. It’s so much easier to rank in the SE’s with them. Thanks for your insights.
Much Success,
Lisa

Comment provided April 25, 2010 at 1:59 AM

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25

Great Article. The thing that is important to remember here is concistancy and relevancy. Make sure that you grasp the virtue of patience. Becoming a online stud/studette requires action and time. Beware of shiny objects promising you #1 rankings in 24 hours. Also learn the diverse internet market. Google will change the algorithm so dont get caught with your pants down focusing solely on one source or niche learn and apply. Learn Social Networking and niche marketing strategies.

Comment provided October 1, 2010 at 3:41 PM

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