The Marketer vs. The Technician

You’re involved in a competitive online battle going on in your niche and there’s a good chance you’re not even aware you’re one of the competitors.

Imagine two entrepreneurs – one is the Marketer and one is the Technician. Assuming they’re selling a product or service of comparable quality, which one do you think will be doing better (5) years from now?*

It’s a safe bet that the Marketer will be doing significantly better than the Technician. Why? Because the Marketer is focused on, maybe even obsessed with, identifying the wants and needs of a very well-defined customer. They make sure that their products & services are continually promoted as the solution to those needs & desires.

The Technician, on the other hand, is focused on delivering a quality product or service first and marketing second. This is true even in the quality of their writing. Their attitude is one of: If I build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to my door.

If you want to really thrive online, you must understand the battle the Marketers are waging in your niche and work to embrace and/or counter their advantages.

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Is Your Landing Page a Little Rough?

A landing page is not your home page – although many business owners believe that it is.

Your landing page is the page that a potential customer gets after clicking on a link in your resource box – or as the result of a search engine link. The page is designed to display content relevant to the article they read (or the keywords they searched for) and is optimized specifically for those keywords or phrases in search engines.

(10) Tips for Creating Smooth, Effective Landing Pages

  1. Your landing page needs to be directly relevant to the content your reader just read…ie: the reason they clicked on your link. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people write about yoga, and then send their readers to a landing page on debt consolidation!

  2. Create more than one landing page. If you only have one product or service to sell, then you can optimize your home page to accomplish your goals. However, if you have more than one book, report, CD, service or other thingamabobber to sell, then you’ll want a page for each category – or each item.

    You must make sure that the content on each of these pages is unique! Don’t just change a few words here or there. Don’t duplicate – or you may not get the listing in search engines that you’re looking for.

  3. Don’t skimp on design. Nothing tells a visitor to surf on more than a web site with a poor or dated design. If your site looks like it was created with HTML 2.0 then most likely your reader is going to assume either a.) your technology and ordering platform is not safe or b.) you are behind the times and should be hawking encyclopedias door-to-door rather than selling online.

    Unfortunately, you can judge a book by its cover, particularly on the Internet and you’ll lose conversions if you don’t look the part.

    But before you spend thousands on new web design, remember that function comes first – and a functional and clean site will work well for anyone. Keep the design clean and the functionality will speak for itself.

    It’s WAY more important to have a working order or newsletter sign-up form, than a Flash video on your landing page.

  4. Demand action! OK, well, at least call for it – nicely, but firmly. You want your call to action to be noticeable and exciting, but not annoying. Think of your call to action like a toddler. You want to say “Can I have some ice cream, pretty please?” and look adorable while your asking – rather than the much more annoying and whiney, “Gimme some, gimme some, gimme some now!” (Think Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

  5. Be clear. Make your call to action readable, simple and powerful. Offer something in return. Use large text – but not obnoxiously large. Use a font that is clear and in a color that contrasts with the rest of the page. Use images to break up the text, but not so many that the content is lost.

  6. Break it up. Put your most important information up top and break up supporting points into a bulleted or numbered list.

  7. Make the sale. Try not to send your visitor to another page unless you have to. Make the sale right there. If you’re looking for newsletter sign-ups or registrations, put the text field right there in front of them. If you want them to buy now, start that process. You can always send them more links and information after you put the money in the drawer!

  8. Keep it simple! Don’t put all of your options on your one landing page. If you have different plans or customizations – save them for later. Your goal right now is to inform and convert your visitor – confusing them with different plans and options will only make them surf on.

  9. Get physical! OK, well maybe not physical, but interactive at least. Create a landing page that gets your viewer doing something. Have them sign-up for something, follow you on Twitter, friend you on Facebook or order your product!

  10. Testify! Have some great testimonials? This is where to use them. Engender trust and respect from your viewer by showing them other customers’ (good) opinions of you.

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Preemptive Positioning

a.k.a. “How to Win Customers and Outsmart Your Competitors”Claim a corner in your niche.

Do you know where you’re going? Can you see the future for your business? Did you know you can build your article marketing campaign to not just reflect your vision but to build to it?

Take a drug store giant like Walgreen’s, for example. Their marketing strategy through the years has been to find high-traffic corners and take control of their area. Any competitor must compensate for their own lack of superior real estate. This has been Walgreen’s way to preemptively position themselves for success in almost every target market. They have a vision for themselves and they build to it.

By making yourself the only choice in your niche – and putting your product or service on a higher level than your competitors – you automatically elevate not only yourself but your customer base.

  • Don’t assume that anyone else owns your corner. They may be louder than you right now, but they may not have the service or products necessary to back up the position. Get going and follow through, you may get your corner after all.
  • Cover all aspects of your business. This is often missed and is essential. Don’t be an expert in just one aspect of your niche. Make sure you are the go-to person for all of it. And if you don’t know it (yet) make sure you can find it – or get it quickly.
  • Think of your articles like a guidebook directing your reader directly to your business. Decide what to lead with and build on each article with new aspects and ideas that will keep your brand in your readers’ mind.
  • Use your uniqueness. Have a tagline or headline that is particularly popular? Use it for the title of a book or blog. Use it over and over (it’s yours after all) and get it known.
  • Say it – and then be it. When Federal Express said, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” all anyone else could say was “Us too!” Own your niche – don’t be a “me too!”
  • Most don’t have your resolve. Succeeding in article writing & marketing, just like in business itself, takes continuous action over the long-haul. Don’t assume your competitors (even if they are #1 right now) have the same long-term resolve that you do. Keep at it till you are #1!

Remember that even though a competitor may offer a quality that you possess – if you claim it and make it your own, you will preempt them in your niche.

Now take some time to develop and/or review your article marketing plan. Does it a provide a clear path to claiming your corner? Does it capitalize on your uniqueness? Does it put you ahead of the competition in your niche? If not, it may be time to reevaluate your strategy and develop a new plan.

Create a Great Extended Author Bio

How to put your EzineArticles Extended Author Bio to work for you!

You’ve probably heard the terms “Author Photo”, “Author Bio”, and “Extended Author Bio”. What you might not know is the astonishing value these items can provide, or more specifically, how a great Extended Author Bio can increase the success of your article marketing campaign.

Watch this short video to discover the benefits of an Extended Author Bio and how to create one that really works.

Downloadable Versions:
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In a nutshell, use your Extended Author Bio to give your readers:

  • More Information About You and Your Company
  • Social Networking Links
  • Website/Blog URL’s
  • Links to Products You’re Selling

(3) Easy Steps to Creating an Extended Author Bio:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Upload an Author Photo [learn how]
  3. Fill out the Author Bio Form [learn how]

Bottom Line: The links in your Extended Author Bio are FREE links that can potentially increase your social networking reach and traffic to your website or blog. This process takes a minimal amount of work, yet will help maximize the amount of traffic you receive through the EzineArticles system.

Remember: Many other EzineArticles features require you to have an Author Photo and an Extended Author Bio.

Check out all of the EzineArticles videos on our video archive page at http://EzineArticles.com/videos/

HAHD Teleseminar Replay

With Midnight passing last night, the first ever 100 Articles in 100 Days Challenge is over.

If you missed our July 1st #HAHD Celebration Teleseminar yesterday… here’s the replay:

[Download the MP3] (56 minutes / 19MB)
(Sorry, no transcript available.)

If you participated and completed the HAHD challenge, here’s how to claim your mug.

PLR = Article Vomit

Question: What is a Private Label Rights (PLR) article?

Answer: Any article for which you do not own the exclusive rights to the content.

As you can probably guess by the title, we’re not overly fond of Private Label Rights content. That’s because the typical PLR scenarios look something like this:

  • An author will buy a PLR article pack and submit it as his or her own …
  • Or, an author will try to rewrite PLR content and submit it as his or her own …
  • Or, they will buy content from a ghostwriter and not triple check the content for originality, only to find out later it’s not original.

This happens far too often and we’ve expended an enormous amount of effort to tag, identify, and not accept this type of content.

As a matter of fact, we feel so strongly about PLR articles that we don’t even allow them to be promoted in our members’ articles. Here’s what the EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines have to say about the matter:

1) i. MUST NOT contain information on: …the promotion of Private Label Rights articles as a good thing (it’s not)…
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Write with Distribution in Mind

Improve your articles’ chances of being ‘picked up’ by publishers!

EzineArticles alone is a great place to gain exposure for you and your business, but it also serves as a excellent stepping stone for even more exposure through online distribution. Articles you publish on EzineArticles have a good chance of being picked up and republished by a variety of online publishers.

This stroke of good fortune can significantly increase the size of your audience… provided you haven’t mistakenly done something to limit your articles’ ability to be picked up in the first place.

What to Avoid:

  • Using language like “In my other articles on this site” or “here at EzineArticles…”
  • Placing a reprint rights statement in your resource box which prohibits distribution. We don’t allow this and will place your article in problem status for being in violation of the reprint rights.
  • Writing article parts. Article parts are not distribution friendly and may hurt your chances of being picked up by publishers. Every article should stand alone.
  • Adding graphs, charts, or other formatting which are not as easy to reproduce as plain text.
  • Using your first article to introduce yourself to the EzineArticles community. Do not say things like, “This is my first article. I am looking forward to writing many more. My future articles will be about…” This doesn’t make sense when published on other sites.
  • Writing articles which are 1000’s of words long. Several shorter articles (400-750 words) will outperform one long article (over 1000 words), and are more likely to be picked up by publishers.
  • Writing research papers which are stuffed with sources and references. Publishers are looking for you to share your own unique expertise; they may be turned off by an article which looks like it’s only appropriate for a peer-reviewed journal or academic site.
  • Writing ‘time sensitive’ articles. Publishers won’t be able to update or change your content, so make sure it is “evergreen.” It should be as useful and informative today as two years from now.

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StumbleUpon EzineArticles

EzineArticles is now a “stumbler” at StumbleUpon.com!

It’s no secret that the EzineArticles team spends a LOT of time on the Internet. In the course of any given day we might stumble upon scores of pages that contain a nugget or two of article marketing value.

Some of these nuggets get passed directly on to our members. Other nuggets get distilled into the ingredients for blog posts and newsletters. Still others get tucked away for future reference. Sadly, though, many are lost to a mouse click as we continue to move through our day.

To help prevent the loss of these valuable nuggets of article marketing wisdom, we’ve now become a “stumbler” at StumbleUpon.com. This service allows us to share these nuggets with you and other EzineArticles members. It also allows you to send nuggets to us that we can check out and then share with the rest of the EzineArticles community.

Follow this simple process to see what we’ve stumbled upon:

  1. Surf to http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/EzineArticles/
  2. Click on a category below the EzineArticles logo (Reviews, Favorites, Photos, Videos or Discoveries)
  3. Click to view stumbles that are of interest to you

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Scaling Article Marketing For Affiliates – The PDF!

On June 5th we posted a blog entitled “Scaling Article Marketing for Affiliates” – a 58 minute audio interview of Dan Ho interviewing me…

There was so much included in this interview that is not part of most interviews that I do…that we were considering making this into a fee-based or bonus-only product.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that everyone should have access to this insider information: So here’s a FREE 26 page transcript [download PDF] of the interview.

If you are an Affiliate Marketer or you’re an Internet merchant who is looking to help your affiliates grow their sales through the use of writing high quality unique/original articles; This hour-long interview can provide you some key insights into how to navigate & leverage article writing & marketing to help build your business.
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Affiliate Links Made Easy

Episode #6 in Gary’s “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” video series!

Definition: Affiliate Marketing – An Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

In this video Gary helps take the mystery out of how to properly use affiliate links in your articles. He provides specific tips for affiliate marketers on correctly placing and formatting their links in accordance with the EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines.

Downloadable Versions:
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If you’re more of a reader than a viewer, here are the key points Gary makes in this video:

  • Affiliate links must be placed in the Resource Box
  • You, the author, must own the forwarding or redirecting URL
  • Links must be to the primary, or top-level, domain (ie: http://your-company-name.com)
  • These are unacceptable affiliate link formats:
    • http://your-company-name.com/page.html
    • http://your-company-name.com/subdirectory/
    • http://your-company-name.com/subdirectory/page.html
    • http://subdomain.your-company-name.com/
  • Follow the EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines
  • Only write and submit high-quality, original content articles

To see all the videos in the “Top 10 Reasons for Article Rejection” series, surf over to our video archive page.

Were you once mystified by the affiliate marketing concept… or still are? You’re not alone! Share your question or comment with the rest of the EzineArticles community.

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