Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to Expert Author Jan Verhoeff, who writes for a variety of different business entities and specializes in branding and marketing businesses online.
A lifetime of experiences in the marketing industry has given Jan a solid understanding of the constantly-evolving nature of her industry. She takes that understanding and uses it to write articles to add to her growing article portfolio.
Jan admits that she’s a writer by nature. If you couple that with her love of telling stories, you get the recipe for an article writer and marketer who loves what she does.
As a part of our ongoing Expert Author Case Study project, we asked Jan to share her own thoughts on article writing and marketing.
- What sets you apart from other Expert Authors?
Vast experiences in different career types, most while being focused on parenthood and home schooling my four children. My career has moved from driving a truck to put myself through college to working with Fortune 500 companies as a freelance consultant.
- What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?
Writing is second nature to me. The reality is if I’m breathing, I’m writing something. I love to write and tell stories. Article writing and marketing comes from my business/marketing background. My parents were involved in the largest MLM [Multi-Level Marketing] from about my third birthday. I did my first sales presentation at age 9 in their living room (Made some sales too!).
- How do you stay motivated to write articles?
I can’t imagine not writing, but my inspiration often comes from clients, experiences, my children and my life. I often use articles to teach clients and share information. Motivation comes from my desire to share information with others.
- How do you decide what to write about?
I have a schedule where I keep suggested topics, inspiring thoughts and specifics as to what I need to write articles on. Most of the time I follow this schedule within reason, but I often get off the schedule and chase butterflies, too. I’ve found when I follow my inspiration, I usually go exactly where I need to go.
- How do you balance writing for quality and quantity?
In all instances, I write for quality, realizing that there are times when the quality isn’t going to meet (even my) expectations always. If the article really strikes a flat note, I ditch it. Otherwise, I’ll either save it for rewriting or editing, or post it on a blog where I can expand in discussion.
- How has using EzineArticles affected your traffic?
Posting articles at EzineArticles has brought traffic to my website, but I find more often the content drives traffic to a search engine, where they end up at my site. My clients often share that they were looking for something more specific, than the article, and started searching the phrases in my articles. When those phrases drive them to my site, they realize this may be the best fit for their information search or services and products.
- How does article marketing fit into your overall marketing plan?
Article marketing is about 20% of my complete marketing strategy. I use it as much for keyword phrase positioning as for specific marketing. The process of developing a position and maintaining its relevant to what I do, so that’s my primary objective.
- What EzineArticles tools do you find the most beneficial?
Can I say “ALL?” I can’t think of any that I haven’t used either myself or for a client. I really love having access to widgets that help create constantly churning content for websites.
Okay, not sure this is a specific tool, but whatever it is that EzineArticles uses to drive our articles to the top of [search engines] absolutely amazes me. I’ve decided EzineArticles is genius in this manner.
- If you had to start over again, what would you change?
I would focus more effort on article marketing and less on PPC. Honestly, those early endeavors into PPC didn’t pay off as well as I hoped they would. I have found the answer to that problem is literally focusing my content on not only driving traffic but perfecting my options (whatever ones I’m using). I’ve had a lot of fun generating traffic, writing articles and getting to know a wide network of people. I believe I could have enhanced that with a larger article marketing effort.
- What advice would you give newbie article marketers?
Focus dedicated efforts on article marketing in a given niche. Once that niche is paying well, expand your marketing efforts to other niches. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes, although I may get accused of sucking up to the management of EzineArticles, I have to say that I absolutely love the EzineArticles Team and every bit of working with them. If I have a problem, whether it’s mine or theirs, if I drop them an email, they respond quickly and effectively. It’s always been great working with Chris and the rest of the team. They’ve been remarkably helpful in many instances.
Here are 5 quick take-away messages from Jan:
- Look Everywhere for Inspiration – Article ideas can come from clients, experiences, family, etc. There’s usually a couple of articles that can come out of any event or transaction. If you love sharing information with others, article writing and marketing provides a great window of opportunity to do that.
- Set a Schedule – Never underestimate the power of a writing schedule. It’ll help you stay on track and reach writing goals. Also, you can include topic ideas in the schedule to make sitting down and writing even easier.
- Keep an Open Mind – If an idea for an article isn’t panning out, don’t dwell on it. Set the idea aside and approach it later. Your energy is best spent doing a little research and a lot of writing. Don’t let writers’ block get in the way of that.
- Open All Access Points – Use cross-promotion as much as you can. That means always giving readers another place to find out more about you. In article writing and marketing, the first step of that is to have a complete Author Bio. That way your readers have the opportunity to learn more.
- Master Your Domain One Niche at a Time – Focus your efforts on writing for one given niche. Write regularly on topics in that niche. Then, once you feel like your articles present you as a true expert, use that standing to expand your marketing efforts into other related areas.
Use these quick tips to write and submit your next set of high-quality, original articles. Also, leave a comment for Jan and share one of your own tips.