7 Tips to Avoid Being Overly Promotional in Your Articles
Readers visit your articles because they’re seeking out expert insights into your niche. And let’s face it, they’re not prepared for an all-out sales blitz right when they open an article. If that’s what they get, they’re going to be instantly turned off and click away because there are plenty of other expert sources they can seek out.
Now, there’s a right time and place for promotional copy – down in the Resource Box of your article and on the landing page of your website – once you’ve built up your trust and credibility as an expert. But, if your articles themselves start sounding like an infomercial for yourself or your company, you run the risk of alienating potential readers and even having your articles rejected for publication.
The EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines state: “To be qualified for our site, your article MUST NOT be a press release, advertisement, sales letter, promotional copy, or blatant and excessive self-promotion or hype.”
Watch this video to discover how to uphold this standard by delivering great content without sounding like a salesperson.
Avoiding Promotional Content in Articles
- “For only $9.99, you can get …” – This is clearly salesmanship and it doesn’t provide any unique and insightful value to your reader. It’s just sales copy; the type of writing you’d expect to see in a newspaper or magazine ad. Please, don’t use straight sales copy in your articles.
- Name Dropping – Your company, your product, and your name belong in the Resource Box, not the body of the article. Use the article body to provide tips, tricks and analysis. Remember, if the information is helpful, they’ll go looking for more.
- “In another article I wrote, titled …” – Promoting or linking to self-serving locations should also be avoided. Instead of focusing on what will benefit you the most, like including a self-serving link early in the article body, focus on sharing information right in the article that will benefit your reader most. The reader shouldn’t have to go to your website to get the main points of the article.
- Recommendations and Unbiased Reviews – Some readers look for product reviews to gauge the effectiveness of products on the market. If you’re not associated with the product, you can give an unbiased review as long as you don’t link directly to the product’s website.
- Using An Outline – Once you pick a topic, consider writing an outline that you can follow. If you stick to the outline, you’ll avoid going off-topic and risk sounding “salesy.”
- Sticky Intro – Create titles and introductions that grab the reader’s attention. Also, make sure your hook matches your article topic. Let your reader know exactly what you’re writing about. This will create stickiness (the effect where a reader stays to read your article, rather than clicking someplace else).
- Reserve the Resource Box – Once you’ve delivered on the promise of the article with quality content, you can provide information about yourself or your company in the Resource Box.
Real Trouble of Sounding Like a Salesperson
The trouble with promotional content in your articles is that it tries to convert your readers into customers before establishing any credibility.
Focus on building credibility through content that’s packed with useful information and gets right to the point. If you don’t, those readers may look elsewhere for that information.
Now, use these tips to help load your next set of articles with value instead of salesmanship. More value will build your credibility and ultimately increase traffic to your website or blog.