How a Few Minor Tweaks to Your Article Marketing Campaigns can Sky Rocket your Profits
How a Few Minor Tweaks to Your Article Marketing Campaigns can Sky Rocket your Profits
By Paul McCarthy
This is all about making money with articles…Something that was easy back 10 years ago, but somewhat harder now that every man and his dog have cottoned onto the whole “bum marketing” method originally coined by the legendary Travis Sago.
For those of you who are new to internet marketing, “Bum Marketing” is all about writing articles for article directories such as http://www.ezinearticles.com with either a link to a landing page that presells a product, or a link straight to the product page itself through a Top Level Domain.
Of course, you are affiliated with said product and “make bank” when somebody reads your article, clicks to the sales page and makes a purchase.
The beauty of this system is its simplicity. Pretty much anyone can do it and can get started within the hour. It’s not difficult at all.
That said, many people fail horribly with this method….And, yes, I’m speaking from personal experience here. You’re reading an article from someone who managed to write his first 50 odd articles without return; something that I tend not to shout too loud about!
Yet now I can write an article and guarantee an excellent return. In fact, one well placed article can easily earn in excess of $100 per month.
So the question is, what separates those who are banking from those who are wasting their time? Or, to put it a different way, what do I do differently now that I didn’t do back when I was wet behind the ears?!
I’ve added below my war notes from being on the article marketing front line and failing many times over! If you’re new to article marketing, definitely pay attention to these points, because they’ll probably save you a lot of time and you’ll make a return where others are unfortunately failing:-
1. Commercial Intent is Everything
Snap up the low hanging fruit. Herein lies probably my biggest error.
By targeting key phrases such as “how to …….” or “ways to ……” I managed to attract a lot of traffic. But only a very small portion of those visitors had credit card in hand ready to make a purchase.
End result – A massive load of “hops” (otherwise known as sales page impressions on Clickbank) but hardly any sales with a very low EPC (Earnings per Click). They say a picture paints a thousand words:-
You can see why I was finding it hard to make any real money with article marketing at the start. Now I focus on key phrases that I know have a significant amount of commercial intent attached to them.
Sometimes you just know through intuition if a keyword has commercial intent attached to them. A typical example of this type of keywords is : “product x review” or “product x coupon”.
This is clearly a keyword that is searched by someone right at the end of the buying cycle who is looking for reassurance or the best deal for a product that they’re already thinking about buying.
The issue is that these keywords are very competitive because they are the lowest of the low hanging fruit. So, sometimes you have to move back up the buying cycle slightly to find keywords that are less competitive but still have a decent amount of Commercial Intent attached to them.
As everybody seems to love the acne niche, an example might be “Benzoyl Peroxide Products”. This is a keyword that is relatively uncompetitive and has a significant amount of commercial intent attached to it.
Of course, if I’m not sure, there are a few checks that I can do…
Firstly, I’ll go to the Adwords Keyword Tool, add the column that shows estimated cost per click and have a look at the prices. “Benzoyl Peroxide Products” currently shows the average CPC to be £2.55 – which is high.
Compare that to “how to clear acne naturally” which is currently £0.04 per click.
Here’s something important: Many brands will actually pay decent prices to have their names displayed for non-buying key phrases because brand exposure increases the likelihood of a purchase further down the line. This means that CPC is not a great metric to use on its own – it’s just one piece of the jigsaw.
Certainly if a keyword is 0.04p per click there’s no chance I’d ever write an article targeting that key phrase. It simply won’t pay (unless, of course, you’ve stumbled across an obscure buying keyword that not many people have recognised, which is pretty unlikely).
If the CPC is decent (certainly over $1.50 per click) then I’ll investigate further.
And that brings me onto the Microsoft Online Commercial Intent tool. Here is a tool that has been created to give us an idea of the commercial intent of a keyword. It’s not 100% reliable, but it can help give us an idea.
Anything over 0.75 on the scale is a good sign.
A keyword that gets over $1.50 per click and more than 0.75 on the OCI tool is likely to convert nicely.
2. Understanding what the Market is Really Hungry For
If you spend any time analysing the acne industry, you’ll notice that the vast majority of people searching for ways to cure their acne are looking for physical products and not an e-book from Clickbank.
They want some magical wipes or pills that will cure their acne – not information.
If you try and sell an e-book without targeting a group of people who are predisposed to purchasing information then you’ll have little success.
Analysing Google ads is a great way to figure out what everyone else thinks your market is looking for. Type “how to clear acne” into Google and you’ll see that every ad is for a physical product. You’ll also note that there aren’t many ads (warning sign = not a buyer keyword!).
Conversely, type “Benzoyl Peroxide Products” in and you’ll be loaded with ads. This is another good sign!
3. Don’t Sell. Presell
Selling and preselling are two very different things. If you’re going to have a landing page to send people to once they’ve read your article then you need to create a presell page that warms people up to the point of purchase.
This means providing valuable information. Not hyped up headlines.
Here’s something to note about consumers – they hate to feel like they’ve been influenced. And they always want to feel like they’ve made the decision to buy based on unbiased information.
The moment they feel like they’re being sold to during a product recommendation they’ll realise your hidden agenda and drop your site like a bad habit.
It’s the vendors job to sell. Your job is to make them feel like they’ve been genuinely recommended a decent product (which should be true, anyway!)
4. Get your Articles Ranked
…And yes, this involves backlinking.
This is going to get people all up in arms because you’re building backlinks articles that sit on other people’s sites. And some internet marketers really hate doing that because it’s not your asset.
They’re right – but simplicity is the name of the game here. And you’ll get your articles ranked faster on an article directory than starting a site from scratch – so that’s why I recommend it to beginners.
Simply put, your articles will only bring you targeted traffic if they get visitors from the search engines. And to get your articles listed highly in the search engines you need to build link popularity to them.
Backlink your articles and track their ranks. If your article is not in the top five results for your key phrase then you’re pretty much wasting your time.
5. Stick With Winning Niches
You’ll find that certain campaigns will perform better than others. For goodness sake don’t make my mistake and continually delve into new niches. If you find a winning niche – stick with it and scale it up to new heights by writing more articles and building a list!
Focus on what’s proven to work than guessing what might work in the future. It makes perfect sense, but, stupidly, I still didn’t made the mistake of starting from scratch all the time!
And there you have it…
These are the five ways that I guarantee a return on each article that I write.
I imagine that a few lightbulbs are coming on for some of you who are reading this. If so, then fantastic, because it took me months of failing to figure out where I was going wrong and I want you to bypass this struggle!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with article marketing, too. Drop your comments in the box below and I’ll be sure to respond…
Paul McCarthy eats, sleeps and breathes all things internet marketing and teaches others how to make money on the internet and fire their boss!
Your comments are always welcome, please leave your comment here
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