Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to Expert Author Jim Hofman, owner of WineTrailsUSA.com and PresidentialTravelUSA.com.
As an Expert Author, Jim shares knowledge gained through his many traveling experiences. He also conducts research to stay informed and offer new destination ideas to his readers. Article writing and marketing is Jim’s primary method of promoting his websites for three reasons:
- It’s a powerful link building opportunity.
- It generates more traffic and exposure to his content.
- It builds the reputation of his websites.
Deciding what to write about is easy for Jim. He understands the typical dilemmas faced by travelers, and he uses his vast experience to find solutions to those dilemmas. These solutions become article ideas.
Jim understands the real value of his knowledge. Instead of spending extra hours on perfecting each article, he thinks about the value of the information he’s providing. As a result, he’s more interested in getting the article completed than making each one perfect. As part of our ongoing Expert Author Case Study project, we asked Paul to share his thoughts on article writing and marketing.
- What sets you apart from other Expert Authors?
I think I have a lot in common with other Expert Authors. What I’ve seen is a dedicated, hardworking group that is passionate about their areas of expertise. I like to think I’m defined that way, too.
- What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?
My secret to article writing? Get over the need to be perfect. Obviously grammar, sentence structure, and flow are important. But frankly, I don’t angst too much over an article. Nor do I paint with too broad of a brush. I focus on a narrow aspect of the topic and try to provide useful information.
- How do you stay motivated to write articles?
I stay motivated to write articles because I trust they will bring value to my audience. In turn, I believe that trust will ultimately be rewarded with higher website traffic. For me, it is viewed as a long-term project.
- How do you decide what to write about?
Deciding what to write about is easy for me. I ask myself “What would I like to know about this topic if I were visiting a website?” and come up with a list of 10-20 items. Those are my article topics.
- How do you balance writing for quality and quantity?
First, I write free form. Then I go back and review with a more critical eye. The key, for me, is that I don’t get too picky with myself. Is the information useful? Do I think people will find it useful? If the answer to those two questions is “yes,” the article gets submitted.
- How has using EzineArticles affected your traffic?
I have one particularly established site, about three years old now, that remains on the first page of Google results. This is solely due to EzineArticles.com. Another much newer site is rapidly approaching the first page in a very competitive niche. This tells me something very simple: more quality articles = more quality traffic.
- How does article marketing fit into your overall marketing plan?
Article marketing is my #1 marketing strategy. I always use it first, in between, and last. Why? Because it is proven to work. It builds links, gets my content out on the web, and builds the reputation of my websites.
- What EzineArticles tools do you find the most beneficial?
I believe the tools at EzineArticles are very underutilized. From a purely practical standpoint, I love the edit feature, it is fast and helps me as a writer. The Blog is a great source of ideas and information. The periodic emails from Marc are very useful. I devour each of them.
- If you had to start over again, what would you change?
If I had to start over, I would more quickly realize the obvious connection between quality articles and website traffic. Devoting time to write every day, or almost every day, is very important. Even if you only have an hour, you can write a very useful 400-500 word article.
Jim added this list of guidelines he’s gained from his experiences in article writing and marketing:
- Resist the urge to be perfect. None of us are perfect; our articles won’t be either.
- Get in the habit of writing every day. The more you write, the easier it becomes.
- Always put yourself in the shoes of your readers. Ask yourself, “What would I like to know about this topic?” Then, write accordingly.
- Don’t be overwhelmed by the concept of quantity. Do what you can each day.
- Don’t doubt yourself. If you consistently submit articles, you’ll see an increase in website traffic.
- Don’t expect instant results. I have found my results take at least 60 days, sometimes closer to 90. Then it builds from there. Keep telling yourself, “What I do today will help me 90 days from now and beyond.”
- Don’t get sidetracked! It’s so easy to get seduced by the so-called “Latest and Greatest” push button traffic techniques. Article marketing is a proven winner. Yes, it takes work, but the bottom line is it DOES work.
Incorporate these guidelines while writing your next set of high-quality, original articles and let us know how they work for you. Also, leave a comment for Jim. He’d love to hear from you.