Today’s Expert Author Case Study introduces us to Steve Wickham, a Christian minister and Registered Safety Practitioner, with a passion for coaching and encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential.
Steve shares his wisdom primarily through articles in the Self Improvement category. His specific passion is divining the issues of life balance and purpose and helping others discover the spiritual person within each of us.
Years of experience online and offline in his field have helped Steve position himself as a positive force and a source of inspiration for his readers. As part of our ongoing Expert Author Case Study project, we asked Steve to share insights from his own article writing and marketing experiences.
- What sets you apart from other Expert Authors?
I submit at least one article every day (usually more than one), and I try to spread my niche into different areas. With consistent practice, I can now write on several different genres quite speedily (~500 clean words in 45 minutes).
- What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?
Firstly, it’s my knowledge and life experience. You need to know what you’re talking about firsthand and write in a compelling way. Secondly, the use of social media plug-ins and diversifying the use of EzineArticles with Facebook and Twitter and the like with each other is really important. It’s best when people can find your articles several different ways.
- Where do you get the most article writing inspiration/motivation?
All sorts of places. Mostly, in fact, from God revealing things in my day-to-day. The more I write, the more ideas I get. I see writing as an art form and following different bloggers (e.g. Seth Godin) helps. Reading anything direct and captivating keeps our motors running. I resolve to be inspired every day.
- Describe your typical writing session and environment.
I write best in 2-3 hour blocks where I get to work on a mini-project, researching and wrapping-up all in that time. I have two such sessions (at least) each day. I also work a full-time job in the secular world. I write at home in my study.
- What’s your favorite cure for a case of writer’s block?
Sometimes I’ve worried about running out of ideas, but I’ve never had serious writer’s block. Some days it’s hard to be creative. Sometimes I push myself through these; other times I do something else. If I did have a serious block, I think I’d be inclined to get inspired some way – either watch a movie or go outdoors for a walk, swim or cycle.
- What are the main challenges you’ve faced in article writing and marketing?
Developing a readership. It takes time, patience and nurturing to do that. I don’t see any instant results. In fact, the longer it goes, at times, it’s more discouraging. But if you’re called to do what you do, best just do it! When people have liked my writing, I’ve tried to engage with them and communicate my thankfulness.
- How does article marketing fit into your overall marketing plan?
I must admit I’m not big into overt marketing. My key strategies are just getting title and keyword selection right – that, in itself, is often a mystery; but it’s a fun mystery.
- What EzineArticles tools do you find the most beneficial?
I love the statistics EzineArticles provides. The search function is also good because I’m frequently reposting links to old articles on my Facebook pages, and if someone asks a question I can locate an article very quickly. I would continue using EzineArticles just for these, and the fact that it’s a great repository for my work.
- If you had to start over again, what would you change? (i.e. what advice you would give newbie article marketers?)
I’d structure my articles from the beginning with more subheadings. I’d also get savvy with better titles. Also, I’d better utilise keywords; I didn’t use the maximum characters until I realised that it actually pays to use every character possible. In short, do everything you can to make each article as attractive as possible.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
I love the #HAHD challenges, and particularly the extra (200) challenge.
Steve also wanted to pass on these tips on how to improve your overall article writing and marketing campaign:
- Write in Blocks – Set aside time to just write. Prevent all possible distractions from interrupting your writing flow in blocks of time. Maybe the block is just a half hour. Maybe it’s two or three hours. Either way, writing continuously is a key to getting the writing process down.
- Diversify Access – Try sharing content through different social media outlets. This will give each of your articles more exposure. You can use social media plug-ins to facilitate the sharing and save yourself the time it takes to share the same pieces of information on each platform. Over time, you’ll be able to figure out which outlets give you the best results and focus your efforts on accordingly.
- Get Inspiration from Writing – Don’t let the process of writing deplete the number of article ideas you have. The more you write and discover, the more you should be able to come up with to write about in the future.
- Try Exercise – It seems funny that an article writing blog would advocate for spending time on physical exercise, but it’s true. A fit body is a fit mind. Staying healthy through regular exercise will help you keep your mind focused on the right things at the right times.
- Don’t Get Discouraged – Developing a loyal readership takes time and effort. Engage in communication with anyone who shares interest in your part of the discussion, and don’t get discouraged if there are few people commenting. Focus more on the number of article views you receive.
- Use Descriptive Titles – The title is your chance to intrigue readers into clicking on your article and reading it. If they don’t get a good idea of what the article is about through the title, they won’t even click.
- Break Paragraphs With Subheadings – When some people approach an article with chunks of text 20 lines long, they instantly jump away from the article because the length “scares” them. Bolded subheadings give readers relief from reading those straight chunks of text.
What steps are you taking to improve on your article writing and marketing strategy? Share them below and leave a comment for Steve. He’d love to hear from you.