Today’s Expert Author Case Study focuses on the amazing success that balance brings to California author Matthew Sherborne.
Matthew Sherborne created his first website back in 1998 devoted to his scuba diving business. Since then he’s researched, implemented and shared a variety of profitable ways to make money online. He became a full time online marketer in early 2005 and has enjoyed helping people succeed in their own online and offline businesses.
Like all things, the key to success in article writing and marketing is balance. Matthew embodies that philosophy by focusing his articles on the needs and desires of the reader while at the same time embracing the realities of Internet and business best practices. His portfolio of articles isn’t huge, yet by balancing quality with quantity, he has achieved almost 6,000 views/article!
Matt’s preoccupation with balance is evident throughout – even in his work habits – where he mixes hardcore goal-setting with a motivational self-reward system. Or in his approach to content, where he combines the wisdom of others through research with his own time-tested marketing experience.
It’s this focus on balance that brought Matthew to our attention and makes him an excellent subject for today’s Expert Author Case Study.
- Matt, what sets you apart from other Expert Authors?
I always focus on what the reader is looking for. To be successful as an author I believe it’s important to focus on the readers wants and desires, rather than what you want. When a visitor lands on your article they usually want to solve a problem. You can become an instant authority by positioning yourself as the expert with the answers to their problems.
- What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?
The secret to success with article writing is to know your reader. By knowing what they want and are searching for you can put yourself in a position to provide the answers to them. You first get attention and evoke curiosity by aggravating the problem within the article. Next share a few ways to solve these problems. Finally deliver a clear call to action to get them to click on the links in your bio with the promise of instant or speedy results.
- How do you stay motivated to write articles?
I stay motivated by having a goal before I start. Before writing any articles you need to know what you want to accomplish. Spend a little time finding out who your target audience is. Then find out what they are searching for. You can find out the keywords people are searching for by using tools like the Google Adwords Keyword Tool or WordTracker to help target the right keywords.
Remember the keywords you choose are very important and need to be incorporated into your headline and article to make them visible within the search engines. Practice the skill of using your keywords within your article without sacrificing the grammatical structure or its quality. To find the right keyword density you can use a free tool like Dupe Free Pro.
Before I ever start writing I write out my goals. Afterwords, I check off my accomplishments for the day in a binder which helps me stay motivated. After the work is done I set aside time to reward myself with some free time.
- How do you decide what to write about?
I recommend focusing on the search terms you want your website to rank for and checking to see the demand. Always create content around a demand and you will guarantee you aren’t wasting any time.
An easy way to see what people want is to select a topic you’re interested in, then find an article, and scroll to the bottom where it shows the most viewed EzineArticles for that category. Next take a look at what is popular on the EzineArticles website. Analyze what they are doing with the headline, take note of what is popular, and recreate your own articles on those subjects to generate similar results.
- How do you balance writing for quality and quantity?
I don’t view quality and quantity as opposing forces. There needs to be a consistent amount of each to make your article work with the reader and make them want to take action to click through to your website. Know your topic well by doing a little research and get the main points you want to address before you begin writing.
- How has using EzineArticles affected your traffic?
EzineArticles has provided my web pages with increased authority in the search engines and tons of visitor traffic. It’s a good idea to use the keywords you want to rank for as your anchor text from your authors bio. This technique can help you archive a higher quality back-link to promote your website.
Another tip that works well is to create a strong call to action from your bio. This can be the promise of the answer to the biggest question related to the article to encourage click-throughs to your site. Adding the lure of a free pdf, checklist, or video can definitely increase your CTR.
- How does article marketing fit into your overall marketing plan?
I believe article marketing is a necessary part of marketing. A great way to help increase the potential of your articles and make them more effective is to spend more time promoting them. You can submit your articles to social bookmarking sites, and post them to Twitter or Facebook for better exposure. Getting your articles to stick in [the search engines] will help drive up page views and send much more visitor traffic through your links.
- What EzineArticles tools do you find the most beneficial?
The tools I use the most are found within the author tools –> view article reports section. Looking at the amount of article views can tell you the popularity of your article and help you decide what you are doing right. If an article is doing well you can create additional articles on the subject.
Another helpful tool within this section is the article click rate. Knowing the click rate helps you determine the percentage of visitors clicking your bio link. This knowledge is invaluable for letting you know if your article bio is effective and getting people’s attention.
- If you had to start over again, what would you change?
Any time you are article writing it’s important to manage your time, and resist the temptation to procrastinate. It’s far to easy too get carried away with research and actually forget what your overall goals are. Don’t think for one minute that the amount of time spent in front of your computer equals productive time. You have to focus on the actions that create real results. Once you are getting results it’s just a matter of replicating what works in order for you to be successful.
- What advice would you give newbie article marketers?
I recommend staying focused and setting realistic daily goals for yourself. It’s much better to set your goals conservatively at first to avoid writing burnout. Stay steady, focus your attention on proper keyword research, create interesting article headlines, use a strong call to action within your bio, and take constant action.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
If you are just starting out writing articles find the most read articles in your market. Study what they are doing right and spend time studying headlines that make people want to open articles. Just getting people to click your article is the most important part. You’d be amazed how much the article headline can impact the success of the article.
A great tip you can use for best results in the search engines is to put your keyword phrase at the beginning of your article. Another effective technique is to focus on niches that have people that desperately need solutions to a painful problem. Focusing on helping people overcome their problems is a sure-fire way to create a great income.
Matthew demonstrates one of our key principles for success: Balance. But he also demonstrates many of what we consider to be the the best practices for an article writer and marketer:
- Focus on the reader by positioning yourself as the expert and solving their problem.
- Deliver a clear call to action.
- Know what you want to accomplish before you start to write. Define the goal.
- Research your topic, what’s worked for others and the associated keywords.
- Promote your articles on other sites and services.
- Figure out what works for you and keep doing it!
- Set conservative goals. Work those goals. Reward yourself.
Put some of Matthew’s best practices to good use today by writing a set of original, high-quality articles. And leave a comment for Matthew. He’d love to hear from you. :)