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Tag Archives: Internet marketing

Does Article Marketing Still Work?

Does Article Marketing Still Work?

I have a love/hate relationship with Google. On the one hand, Google offers many great products and services to work-at-home and build an online business. On the other hand, its algorithm changes usually hurt legitimate online entrepreneurs more than the scammers it’s seeking to target. (In a side note, Google doesn’t seem to have a problem selling Adword space to scammers, which means their ads show up in search and on sites that use Adsense…a big peeve of mine).

In it’s efforts to improve search results (good), Google has made changes that actually hurt online entrepreneurs who used article marketing as a way to promote their business (bad). How? Google is making decisions about whether or not the links on and to a website are relevant, and if not, are penalizing sites. For example, I got an email from a company asking me to remove a link from my site to theirs as Google decided it wasn’t relevant. However, the link was to a work-at-home job the company had, which for a site that provides work-at-home job resources is completely relevant and yet Google was going penalize the other site.

The target of this campaign seems to be towards sponsored posts… posts in which people pay to have their article or mention of their product on a blog. Similar to how the FTC now requires bloggers to disclose gains (financial or freebies) made from affiliate or other links, Google feels sponsored posts shouldn’t count as “real” content. There is some truth to that. In an effort to make money, some sites might be taking sponsored posts that have links to irrelevant sites. On the other hand, if the post is informative and the links relevant, then it seems like it should be okay as long as the proper disclosures are made.

In response to this, many bloggers have started adding Google’s no-follow attribute to all guest posts, paid or not. The no-follow code tells Google to ignore the links in the article for the purposes of search and ranking. When you consider that most online marketers use article marketing for search engine optimization, it appears that it’s a waste of time to share articles if the no-follow code is going to be used. Or is it?

The truth is, even if a blogger plans to use the no-follow attribute on the link(s) in your article, there still can be a benefit to writing for other sites. Guest blogging:

1) Puts your expertise and information in front of readers who might not otherwise find you.

2) There are other search engines out there that don’t pay attention to the no-follow code. Of course, Google is the most used engine, but Bing has been picking up steam and some people still use Yahoo.

So how can you use articles to promote your website?

1) Choose sites carefully. Google does judge you by the company you keep. Write content for reputable sites.

2) Write exclusives. A long time ago Google decided it didn’t like duplicate content, so don’t share the same article with several bloggers.

3) Make the article and any links in it relevant to the content of the article and the website.



Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own. Click here for full details and disclosures.




Do You Need an Email List?

email

Yes, you need an email list. If you do business online (and every business should be online), you need to develop and nurture an email list. I know many people question this marketing strategy since social media has come along and created new ways to stay in touch with consumers. But nothing works quite as well as a mailing list. Think of it this way, social media is like walking into a party and announcing, “Hey everyone, I just put my product on sale for half off!” Many of the people in the room will give a thumbs up and some will buy. But an email list is like going directly up to an individual person, saying hello, giving some helpful bit of information with an “oh by the way, my product is 50% off”. Although email is sent in bulk, it has a direct, more intimate feel. And that’s how you want to treat your list (and social media friends). They are special because they’ve raised their hands and said, “Yes, I want to hear from you.”

As you peruse the Internet and hear from guru after guru about their secrets to online profit success, you need to keep in mind that in nearly all cases, their success comes from having an email list. Even the gurus that sell something saying you don’t need a list, will likely provide some sort of tutorial on how to create a list to maximize your success. Why is an email list the key to online success? Here’s why:

1) It reminds people that your business exists. There are a gazillion sites on the Internet. Thousands if not millions are in direct competition with you. Being able to periodically email people who have been to your site before allows you to remind them about you and bring them back to your site.

2) It allows you to build trust and rapport. Few consumers will buy on the first visit to your website. Even if you own a blog and don’t sell something directly, they are unlikely to click on an ad or affiliate link on the first visit. Why? Because they don’t know you. Through email contact you can share tips and information that allow consumers to learn about you and trust that what you have to offer is good.

3) You can strut your stuff. People go to the Internet for information. An email list allows you to disseminate information that proves you know what you’re talking about. It sets you up as an expert and helps build trust mentioned in number 2.

4) It increases sales. While you don’t want to send your list offer after offer, sending the occasional offer or including a link to an offer at the end of an informative email gives you a boost in sales. Your website or blog doesn’t need to do all the heavy lifting when you have a list. The people on your email list are more likely to buy because they know and trust you. If you say it’s a good deal and the offer meets the the need, many will buy.

The only marketing expense I have is the cost of using an email list management service (I use Aweber, but there are others). Many people skip list building because it is an expense (about $20 per month). But of all the expenses outside of web hosting, the email list management service will be the best money you spend. Once you have your list set up, make sure you promote it. Here are some tips:

1) Have a free offer to entice people to join your list. This can be a free report or mini-coaching.

2) Have a subscribe box on every page of your website or blog.

3) Have a sign up box on your Facebook Fan Page.

4) Every now and then, Tweet or post on Facebook about your free offer and encourage people to subscribe.

Once you have your list, treat your subscribers well. Share inside information, give helpful tips and provide great resources. An easy way to provide both content and offers is through a newsletter. Or you can use the blog feed feature of your email management to automatically email the list your blog posts for the week.

Just make sure you don’t email too often and don’t overdo the offers or subscribers will leave the list. Nearly everyone is overwhelmed by email and you don’t want to be one of those people who annoy more than help. That’s why good content is so important. You want your subscribers to feel the information you send is worth filling their inbox.



Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own. Click here for full details and disclosures.