EARNING THE RESPECT OF YOUR READERS
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor
Does this scenario sound familiar?
You’ve just created a great new product or service that you believe in 100%. It’s fully developed and ready to be introduced to the world. However, now you face the steep up-hill climb associated with promoting an unknown brand. Oh, and don’t forget that your target audiences is already receiving an overwhelming amount of messages and attention from your bigger, more established competitors.
With just a small fraction of the resources of those established competitors, it can be a real struggle to make a name for yourself.
Unfortunately, sometimes the end result of this scenario is that an author tries to “piggyback” on the success of other, bigger brands and capitalize on that success to bring attention to their own brand. You may have heard of this act of piggybacking referred to as a false designation of origin or a bait and switch tactic.
Bait and Switch
Here’s how it usually happens: An author baits readers in by using a popular brand name in the title and body because the author knows people will be interested. The author then switches and leads readers to a lesser-known product in the Resource Box and links.
For example, authors Ned and Tom write an article on how America loves ______________ (Fill in name brand candy bar here) and proclaims them to be the most delicious candy bar available today only to end with a Resource Box that reads as follows: “If you love ______________ (Same name brand), you’ll really love Ned ‘n Tom’s Crispy Rice Chocolate Bars. The same great taste as candy bar you love without the hefty price tag. Visit us today.”
Bait and switch is not the way to earn respect from your readers. In fact, it’s a form of fraud and it will always backfire. It leaves readers with the impression that your product is shady and can’t be trusted.
Our editors are constantly on the lookout for authors trying to use bait and switch tactics. You, too, should combat this disreputable form of article writing in your own way. Here’s how you can do it, too:
- Don’t Lean on Other Brands – Build your own brand identity with respectable, well-written content. The bigger brands don’t want to be associated with you in any way if you try to bait and switch people. This can lead to legal action on their part through things like cease and desist letters, etc.
- Think About Your Audience – Put yourself in Ned or Tom’s shoes for a minute. Think about the value they are providing to their audience. Is an article about how America loves Nestlé Crunch bars going to provide real value to the reader? Not really. Now, it doesn’t need to be a mind-blowing idea, but it does need to be original and valuable. Instead, they might consider writing on the history of milk chocolate or give a special recipe for a dish that uses chocolate. That type of content is based on real insights and gives useful information.
- Deliver Value on Your Website – When a reader clicks through on the link in a Resource Box, they develop a first impression quickly based on what they see. Stand behind the content in your articles and what you provide on your website, and make sure you deliver on the promise you make regarding link content. Authors who resort to bait and switch tactics often have little to no expertise in the area they’re writing about and it shows in the article and on their paper-thin website. They also promise content in the Resource Box that’s never delivered on their linked website.
- Focus on YOUR Niche – What’s your goal with article writing? What’s your target audience actually looking for? You’ll have the most success finding topics valuable to your audience based on when the answers to these questions overlap. Conduct research and target people who can specifically benefit from what you have to offer and write with them in mind.
The best route to take when doing anything is the honest, admirable route, not the one that involves using a veil to cover up your real intentions. Earn the respect of your readers by incorporating these tips today and avoiding deceiving activities like bait and switch.