Expert Author Case Study: Matthew Sherborne

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. :)

29 Comments »


1
CD Rates Blog writes:

Matthew,

Do you stick with subjects you know or do you look for profitable niches and research them so that you can write authorative articles?

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 10:40 AM

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Rose Puff writes:

I am a newbie. I guess I am a wannabe. I am trying to learn the Affiliate marketing business. I enjoyed reading your article. It gave me a lot to think about. I have never written an article but i’m going to try to learn how. Thanks for the imput!

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2
Cindy Lavoie writes:

How many articles — and at what frequency — do you typically write on a topic/keyword before you start to see an impact on your search ranking for that keyword? I realize there are other factors that impact rank, but I’d love to hear a general idea of what volume you think is necessary to make a difference in search rank.

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 11:30 AM

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3
Russ writes:

Man that was one of the best things I ever read, thanks for your generosity Matthew. And yea the guy above gives a good question I would like to see how you handle it (cause I know it’s gonna be good if it’s coming from you).

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 11:33 AM

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4
Dean Hempel writes:

Matt, great inspiration about putting our great diving experience into articles. Thanks for sharing this helpful and valuable information. I’d like to know if your articles helped other dive businesses as well. We’re trying to do this for the smaller dive operators with our website including a forum for divers to provide current input and discussions. divecritic.com

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 11:45 AM

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5
Paul writes:

Mathew
This was extremely interesting and I think will help many people including myself write better and more profitable articles. I am a great believer in finding role models who are high achievers in the area in which one wishes to excel. I think I have now found my ezine article author role model. Thanks.

One question. What do you consider to be a good click percentage for an article?

All the best,
Paul

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 12:26 PM

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6
Jan Millehan writes:

Matthew,
Thanks for the great information. I also would like to know if you do research for popular niches?
Thanks,
Jan

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 1:11 PM

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7
JohnPaul writes:

Hi Matt,

I loved your article. Thank you for sharing this useful information. I will add that to get the best of traffic, use either paid tools or free tools available to find a niche. After finding a niche, find out if that niche is profitable and will pay for your time and energy. Finally, lead with value and never lose heart.

JP

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 1:53 PM

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8
Shane writes:

Thanks for some good advise and motivation, Matt. Keep well and best wishes.

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 2:04 PM

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9
George writes:

This is the best article I have read thus far about article writing.

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 2:32 PM

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10

Thanks so much for clear concise answers to well thought out questions. I may even use this format for my other web business http://www.familiesunplugged.com in the coming weeks. Thanks again.

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 5:10 PM

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11
Russ writes:

Hi again Matt,
Myself and a few other peeps are asking for more, we want an encore, answer some of our questions. http://clutter-bugger.com/

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 6:33 PM

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12

Matt,

Great write up, and congrats!

What you speak here is from your tried and true wisdom and I know that if you are doing it, it has to be working.

I WILL take heed to all of your tips in all the articles I write.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Comment provided April 7, 2010 at 6:55 PM

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13

CD Rates Blog writes – Do you stick with subjects you know or do you look for profitable niches and research them so that you can write authorative articles?

Matthew Sherborne writes – It’s definitely easiest to write about subjects you know. It’s even better if you have an interest or a passion for the subject. In the past I’ve targeted many different niches, including those that I know very little about by finding several authorities on a subject and rewriting the content.

I believe it’s a good idea to find a single niche that is wide enough for multiple spin-off sub-niches. For example the social marketing niche can be spun off into articles about marketing on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube etc. This is much more effective than trying to become an authority in several unrelated niches. This method also provides you with the opportunity to create or promote products to a single market of buyers.

As an author I believe a single person can be most effective specializing in up to three things. Gary Vaynerchuk is a good example of someone who is an expert in multiple niches (wine & social media.) Now if he started producing content for golfing, scuba diving, stress relief, etc it might begin to dilute his message. If you want to “Crush It,” like Gary it’s a good idea to focus on one or two markets to maximize your efforts.

If you do find a profitable unrelated niche then using a pen name is a good idea. One trick I like to use for pen names “this is cool,” is to include part of the main keyword in the name itself. For instance if your niche is tennis you might want to select something like Courtney Tennison.

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Thank you Rose Puff for your kind words. Good luck with your affiliate marketing

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Cindy Lavoie writes: How many articles — and at what frequency — do you typically write on a topic/keyword before you start to see an impact on your search ranking for that keyword? I realize there are other factors that impact rank, but I’d love to hear a general idea of what volume you think is necessary to make a difference in search rank.

Matthew Sherborne writes – Well, like you mentioned this can vary a great deal depending on the success of your article, it’s popularity, whether your article page achieves page rank, etc. I usually see an impact on my webpage rankings after an article or two if they are optimized with a keyword phrase that has competition results of less than 50,000 or so in Google. You can check by putting your keyword or keyword phrase in quotes and running a search like this: “social media marketing”

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Russ writes: Man that was one of the best things I ever read, thanks for your generosity Matthew. And yea the guy above gives a good question I would like to see how you handle it (cause I know it’s gonna be good if it’s coming from you).

Matthew Sherborne writes – Thank you Russ! I’m honored that you would say such a nice thing :) Contact me on my blog, or at Twitter.com/paid I’d love to help you out however I can.

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Dean Hempel writes: Matt, great inspiration about putting our great diving experience into articles. Thanks for sharing this helpful and valuable information. I’d like to know if your articles helped other dive businesses as well. We’re trying to do this for the smaller dive operators with our website including a forum for divers to provide current input and discussions. divecritic.com

Matthew Sherborne writes – Thank you Dean for the compliments :) Article marketing can be a great way to promote a dive business. I just checked out your site and you have a couple things that need addressing. Check out you meta title tags on your pages. You need your main keyword phrases to show in the browser. Right now you are optimizing your pages for the phrase “TITLE,” which isn’t going to give you as many targeted viewers.

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Paul writes: This was extremely interesting and I think will help many people including myself write better and more profitable articles. I am a great believer in finding role models who are high achievers in the area in which one wishes to excel. I think I have now found my ezine article author role model. Thanks. One question. What do you consider to be a good click percentage for an article?

Matthew Sherborne writes – I’m honored that you would call me your article marketing role model – thank you :) I like to get click-rates above 20%, I even have one that get 50%. I’ve found the best Authors Bio’s are those that are custom for the article. Stay away from generic about me type bio’s.

I’ve had great luck running simple call to action bio’s like this: Don’t choose the wrong running shoes, find out which types of are best for you by Clicking Here!

Comment provided April 8, 2010 at 1:37 AM

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Paul writes:

Hi Mathew
Its realy great that you take the time to reply to all these comments. As i said I have found my article marketing role model. I will tell all my internet marketing students about the great example yo set.
I have posted a blog about this case study. You can see what I say at
quick ways to make cash from writing great articles.
In fact it fits in very well with my free training videos.
I hope you like it.
All the best,
Paul

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14

Jan Millehan writes: Thanks for the great information. I also would like to know if you do research for popular niches?

Matthew Sherborne writes – Every once in a while I’ll discover a ripe profitable niche that is outside my general area of expertise. This where my pen names come in. usually I recommend sticking with your core topics to establish authority.

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JohnPaul writes: I loved your article. Thank you for sharing this useful information. I will add that to get the best of traffic, use either paid tools or free tools available to find a niche. After finding a niche, find out if that niche is profitable and will pay for your time and energy. Finally, lead with value and never lose heart.

Matthew Sherborne writes – Thank you JohnPaul! Very true if you always provide value and help people solve their problems you will never fail.

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Shane writes: Thanks for some good advise and motivation, Matt. Keep well and best wishes.

Matthew Sherborne writes – Thank you Shane, glad you liked it. Best wishes to you as well!

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George writes: This is the best article I have read thus far about article writing.

Matthew Sherborne writes – Wow, thank you so much for your comment George. You really put a great big smile on my face!

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Pauline Fredrickson writes: Thanks so much for clear concise answers to well thought out questions. I may even use this format for my other web business http://www.familiesunplugged.com in the coming weeks. Thanks again.

Matthew Sherborne writes – Thank you Pauline for your warm regards. Good luck with your website!

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Michael S. Copeland writes: Great write up, and congrats! What you speak here is from your tried and true wisdom and I know that if you are doing it, it has to be working. I WILL take heed to all of your tips in all the articles I write. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Matthew Sherborne writes – Thank you Mike. It’s been a while since we’ve talked, give me a call!

Comment provided April 8, 2010 at 1:59 AM

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15
CD Rates Blog writes:

Matthew, thanks for the “encore” follow-up. I love the tip on pen names.

Great Tip on simple Bios. Mine aren’t huge, but I always try to establish some authority. I’ll have to test this with some simpler ones.

Comment provided April 8, 2010 at 8:15 AM

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16
Shirley Bass writes:

Matt, Congratulations!

Thanks for the tools, i.e Dupe Free Pro, as well as the insight into article marketing.

I like your philosophy and admire your success. Article marketing is wonderful. I think it’s the best way to build trust with readers.

Comment provided April 8, 2010 at 8:22 AM

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17
Shirley Bass writes:

Congratulations Matthew!

Thanks for the tools, i.e. Dupe Free Pro and the insight into article marketing.

It’s fun to write with your readers in mind. I know it brings out the good in me. I think that submitting articles si the way to go, when wanting to build trust with readers and one’s confidence in themselves and their businesses.

Nice job!

Comment provided April 8, 2010 at 8:50 AM

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18
Jeremy Lewis writes:

Hey Matt,

Its Jay from Stumbleupon. Congrats on being published in the EzineArticles blog! You offer some very insightful advice on article marketing in this post.

Thanks again!

Comment provided April 8, 2010 at 3:12 PM

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19
Jose Lasa writes:

Good work Matthew. I will definetly consider your greagt tips to improve my writing. The more we learn from marketing gurus, the better and more confident we get. Keep the good work.

Thanks and Blessings.

Jose (Joe) Lasa

Comment provided April 11, 2010 at 11:41 PM

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20

Thanks for taking the time to do an interview, Matthew. I would like to specifically thank you for your answer on question #2 about putting yourself in a position of a reader, this helps SO much in keeping the readers attentiveness.

Comment provided April 12, 2010 at 9:03 PM

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21
Gillian Pearce writes:

hi Matthew

Thanks for taking the great article. I’ve been a bit confused with articles around whether I’m writing for links or for people to read it. But I see from your approach that I should be focussing on people first. It’s quite a skill to combine good keywords and good content.

Thanks for your info on click rates. That gives me something to aim for with my own articles. I’ll be doing a lot more research here before writing for my new site internetmarketingcoachingyear.com which is a niche I’m more interested in that others I’ve tried in the past. So that will make the writing more fun to do.

Gillian

Comment provided April 13, 2010 at 4:54 AM

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22

I love blogging about life, being 63 equates to living a lot of life, and I wonder, do you think it can mean I also have a source of good articles, which would be meaningful and interesting to readers?

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

Comment provided April 16, 2010 at 3:54 AM

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Dorothy,

In a word … yes. There are many very successful authors with your level of “experience” that put it to very good use. :)

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23
Michelle Hill writes:

One of the best author spotlight articles I’ve read! A goal-oriented, self-rewarding article marketer…now THAT’S appealing!

Great information all the way around.

Comment provided April 21, 2010 at 10:04 PM

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24
SIimone Galy-Laquis writes:

Wow what Kindness! Matt thanks for sharing…especially the ‘author tools’ thingy. Congrats on your success.

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 2:04 AM

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25
jon bone writes:

Balance as you say is the essence of life. Good to get tips from people such as yourself

Comment provided October 20, 2010 at 6:56 AM

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26
Doris Ogboghodo writes:

thanks matt, for taking time to explain marketing online, i’d like to be your student. hope to always hear from you.

Comment provided November 23, 2010 at 12:00 PM

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