Expert Author Case Study: Sharon Hurley Hall

Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to British Expert Author Sharon Hurley Hall, a writer and online marketer who embraces much of what EzineArticles considers to be best practice.

Let’s face it, there are an infinite number of ways to be successful in article writing and marketing. In Expert Author Case Studies, like this one, and the Quick Case Studies, we share some of these varied methods and explore what it takes to survive and thrive in the online article arena.

We recognize the validity of the many different paths to article writing and marketing success. None are the absolute right way to do it and each has merit in a given situation. However, EzineArticles does have to establish and promote a philosophy and methodology that we consider to be the overall best practice for the typical Expert Author. Rarely do we see somebody who demonstrates this as a whole. Instead, we see the results in bits and pieces across a wide range of members.

Sharon Hurley Hall is an excellent example of a member who has taken our advice as a package, instead of piecemeal like most members, and parlayed that advice into making a living with the written word. She is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and editor living in England. She has worked in several countries and speaks English, French, Spanish and German. Sharon has lectured on journalism and media issues and has also done research into media education.

She recently took part in our Expert Author Case Study project and briefly shared her perspective and insights with us.

  • Sharon, what sets you apart from other Expert Authors?

    I’m a professional web content writer and blogger and I write articles not only for myself, but for my clients.

  • What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?

    The people who read these articles are looking for information; it’s my job to provide well-researched and factual articles that deliver on the promise in the title. That’s what keeps readers reading – and what encourages them to follow the links in your resource box.

  • How do you stay motivated to write articles?

    Motivation isn’t usually a problem. Part of the joy of writing is finding out about new things and sharing those discoveries with others. And since this is what I do for a living, most of the time I can write even if I’m not motivated.

  • How do you decide what to write about?

    When writing for myself, I look to my blog for inspiration. If anything has had a good response from readers, then I can use that as the subject of an article. For clients, it’s all about the keywords they want to target.

  • How do you balance writing for quality and quantity?

    I try to provide value with everything I write, so even if I am writing 50 articles on a topic, they all need to be factual, well-researched and appealing to readers to meet my standards.

  • How has using EzineArticles affected your traffic?

    I haven’t stopped singing the praises of EzineArticles since I published my first article here in 2005. That first article is still bringing traffic to my site, as are all the others. Article marketing really works!

  • How does article marketing fit into your overall marketing plan?

    It’s a key part of any promotional strategy, and I recommend it to all my clients as well.

  • What EzineArticles tools do you find the most beneficial?

    I particularly like the stats so I can see how articles are doing. The best bit of those is the keyword analysis that shows how people have found articles. It’s a good way to get ideas for new articles.

  • If you had to start over again, what would you change?

    I’d write better resource boxes. My first ones weren’t that great – not optimized and no proper call to action.

  • What advice would you give newbie article marketers?

    Just what I’ve said before. There are lots of ways to find ideas for articles – start with your own blog. There’s also lots of great advice on this site about article marketing and writing resource boxes from Chris Knight and others. Read that and you can really nail this marketing technique.

Did you notice that Sharon’s answers are short, sweet and to-the-point? That’s because the strategies she uses are also short, sweet and to-the-point. Best practices don’t need to be elaborate to be effective. Oftentimes, simplicity is the true key to success. Like these strategies, for example …

7 Expert Author Best Practices:

  1. Provide well-researched and factual articles that deliver on the promise in the title.
     
  2. Find out about new things and share your discoveries with others.
     
  3. Look to your blog for inspiration. If anything has had a good response from readers, then use that as the subject of an article.
     
  4. Make article marketing part of your overall marketing plan.
     
  5. Use Article Stats to see how your articles are performing. Use the keyword analysis component – it shows how people found your articles.
     
  6. Read the EzineArticles Blog. It’s a good way to get ideas for new articles and great advice about article marketing.
     
  7. Try to write better Resource Boxes that are optimized and have a proper call to action.

Thanks to Sharon for giving us an opportunity to focus on the power of good, basic article marketing and writing practices! If you liked what you read, why not leave a comment and tell Sharon about it. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. :-)

40 Comments »


1
Eamon Greville writes:

Great post – really useful content & advice. Thanks!

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 1:19 PM

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2
Sonia writes:

Thanks Sharon, very informative!

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 4:50 PM

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3
Brenda Allen writes:

You have brought me inspiration in terms of my article marketing strategy. I’m one of the newbies and I’m still learning all I can about this industry. Thanks for the information and inspiration.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 5:52 PM

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4
hazel wagner writes:

what is a resource box and what do you mean by better resource boxes?

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 6:06 PM

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A resource box is the part at the end of the article where you can include links to resources you want to highlight. Some sites call it the bio, but it’s much more than that as you can change it for each article and use keyword optimized links that encourage readers to click them.

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Mike writes:

Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. I am going to focus on the call to action first and will continue to incorporate other good things you have said as well. all the best to you.

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5

Hi Sharon,

Besides being a good writer and marketer you sound like such an interesting woman and with so many languages on the tip of your tongue. Wonderful and impressive!

Continued success to you and thank you for your help here at EzineArticles.

Oh, my maiden name was Hurley which definitely caught my eye when I saw yours!

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 6:10 PM

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Yes, I always pause when I see that name, Mary Jane. Thanks for the compliment.

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6
Dean Hines writes:

Hi Sharon,

I am about to set up my Blog and embark on writing articles to generate traffic back to the BLOG. I loved the shoty concise way you expressed your answers that were laser focussed on answering the question.

People are time starved and it is a real art to provide value in content in such short form.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 7:01 PM

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Finally my bent for being concise has come in handy (despite the urging of high school and college teachers to ‘expand’ on my points).

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7
Dean Hines writes:

Apologies, lesson learned, always double check before hitting the ‘submit’ button. I meant ‘short concise way’ in previous post.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 7:04 PM

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8
Adwello writes:

I liked what you said about looking to your blog for inspiration – you browse through the comments and that prompts you with an article idea. That’s good and I haven’t thought of that before, so thanks, I will do this from now on!

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 7:11 PM

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That really works well, Adwello. Sometimes people ask questions and you realise it will take a post to answer it. And of course, those posts can become articles later.

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9
Nikki writes:

Hi Sharon
Thanks for this article. It is really useful to a newbie like me. I love to write but need to make it profitable so I can spend more time writing
Best Wishes
Nikki

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 7:22 PM

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10
shreekumar writes:

Hi Sharon,
I exactly do the same what you have described. I am only a beginner yet to hit success. Let us see what fortune brings. best wishes.

Comment provided June 15, 2010 at 7:42 PM

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11

thank sharon , very nice post and useful content .

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 12:13 AM

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12
Orlando Racelis writes:

Hi Sharon,

A perfect timing for me to get inspired and motivated. I intend to read more not only my blogs but yours too.

Orlando Racelis

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 12:17 AM

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13
Hiram"Mayor"Evans writes:

Hi Sharon: I enjoyed the information provided through the interview posted by Marc.
It appears that you have been around for a while and are very successful. Not only so, but you have knowledge and information to share.
Short answers and to the point is no doubt what motivates people to read articles and most other pieces. Certainly one can expand upon an answer, but to be to the point in the begining is what gets the readers attention.
Heres Cheers to your success Sharon. You are doing a jolly good job.

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 1:58 AM

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14

Hi Sharon, thanks for sharing your success tricks with us. I can see you are a professional to the core. The beauty of this community is in sharing.

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 2:27 AM

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15
Patricia writes:

Excellent article! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us and pointing out some shortcuts for us beginners :-)

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 4:28 AM

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16
senthiledp writes:

Thanks for informative and helpful post, obviously in your blog everything is good.

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 5:02 AM

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17
Kolniks writes:

Sharon,
You are a real inspiration! Thanks for being such a bright light in the darkness of this world.
Kolniks

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 5:28 AM

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18

@ Eamonn, Sonia, Shreekumar, Orlando, Joseph and Kolniks – thanks so much!

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 6:07 AM

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shreekumar writes:

Hi Sharon! very much pleased to note you bestow individual attention to all those commenting. By the by I have started writing for Enzine articles. They have now accepted my two articles, one under consideration. Your valuable advice is solicited. Thanks.

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19
Sean Breslin writes:

Hello Sharon, I enjoyed reading your piece and was struct by just how motivated you are to write good articles… You gave me some inspiration to get into the right mindset, to write today myself!

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 7:54 AM

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Great, Sean! The only way to write is to write – and it gets easier the more you do it.

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20
Dana Prince writes:

Great interview! Nice to see Sharon get some recognition. She’s certainly responsible for quite a few Ezine article authors joining and starting to do article marketing.

I found Sharon’s writer mentoring blog in 2006 and one of the early pieces of advice she gave back then was to market yourself on EzineArticles.

I still use it today to get traffic for my sites, build my own brand, and as a service to clients as well.

Sharon continues to be a great mentor and friend to me today.

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 8:26 AM

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Thanks, Dana! You’re an inspiration, too, as I think you’re now filling the same role for others.

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21
Pamela Ellis writes:

Hi Sharon and thank you for the words of encouragement. I am a new writer online and it feels good when others read my work. Good luck to you and God Bless!

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 9:04 AM

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22
William writes:

Excellent information Sharon!

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 9:08 AM

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23

Thanks, everyone! I hope your article marketing efforts go as well as mine have.

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 12:19 PM

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24
ntathu writes:

Yeah….real good to see a British lady carrying the flag…Sharon, am inspired and delighted to hear of your success….thank you…have lots to do to get my internet presence up and running but lovely to read abt your success..well done

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 4:02 PM

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25
Lou Ann Bennett writes:

Thanks Sharon! I’m just getting started and I appreciate your words of wisdom and the reminder to keep it simple. I’m inspired! Thanks!

Comment provided June 16, 2010 at 5:47 PM

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26

Gosh! Thanks to all of you who have said I’ve inspired you. I love helping others achieve their goals, so feel free to contact me through my writing blog if you have questions.

Comment provided June 17, 2010 at 6:06 PM

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27
senthiledp writes:

Thanks for the inspiring words.Nice blog. I loved reading it. Thanks!

Comment provided June 17, 2010 at 11:51 PM

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28
Jackie writes:

Hi Sharon,
Being able to write the way you do is what I aspire to achieve. How did you do it, and how can I compile strong call to actions?

Comment provided June 25, 2010 at 5:14 AM

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29

There’s no magic formula, Jackie, just practice. The more I write, the more I sharpen my skills. For calls to action, I think you need to use compelling words that appeal to readers to encourage them to want more of what you are offering. What those words are will differ with the market. For example, when I write an article giving advice to writers, my call to action invites readers to get more advice on my blog. I’m still learning how to really nail them every time, but I’m getting better. :)

Comment provided June 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM

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Jackie writes:

Thank You for your encouragement!!

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30
jjones444 writes:

These are some fantastic tips for online marketing and writing articles and blogs. I recently got hired at a company and that’s part of my job description. As an official “content writer”, like you said, it’s important to have real CONTENT in the posts and not just garbage and wasted space. Thanks for the tips on staying real.

Comment provided December 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM

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31

Thank you for this great post. I always enjoy reading advice from the experts in the industry! Is it terribly difficult to find a job where I can get paid to write online content like blogs and articles? Thanks!

Comment provided April 6, 2011 at 7:07 PM

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