Melanie is a tech YouTuber who loves social media and is an expert on internet culture. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
Writing content to be used for article marketing is quite simple and only differs slightly than other content (articles, blog posts, etc.) commonly written for the Internet. As a writer, you may find it stressful to write your first article to be used for article marketing. Luckily, once you learn how to properly write for article marketing, you'll realize it's a piece of cake.
If you've never heard of article marketing and aren't sure what it's for, you're in for a treat. Article marketing is arguably one of the best ways to get backlinks. Internet marketers and SEO experts often obtain backlinks from a number of sources, but backlinks from articles can have a considerable amount of weight to them.
What Is Link baiting & Why You Should Do It
Before you dive in and start writing, it's really important to learn more about your target audience so that you can make your article shine. Even though you may just wish the search engines to be your target audience, you should highly consider making your article appealing for both search engine spiders and real people. This is why it's a good idea to produce content called "link bait."
The word "linkbait" sounds pretty scary. It might sound to you like a blackhat SEO technique, but it is actually the opposite. Link baiting is so whitehat that it's like the Clorox bleach of whitehat SEO. This technique is not only awesome for the website you're marketing but also seriously is the livelihood of content publishers such as Squidoo and HubPages.
What is link bait? Well, it's awesome content (in a way.) While it's much easier to just throw something together quickly and publish it, you have a higher chance of success with an article if you write something that readers love. By writing an article that is full of great information, fun facts & figures, has a visual appeal, etc., you have a great chance that someone will link to your article. This, in turn, gives the backlinks on your article more weight. These types of well-written articles that naturally attract backlinks are called link bait.
It baffles me that link baiting has such a scary name. Maybe it's because it does kind of make use of consumer psychology in order to get your readers to make a call to action. Perhaps it's sort of sneaky to write something awesome so that people will link to you. But isn't this how marketing works as a whole? Does it make you less sneaky to produce a "blah" article that no-one wants to read? I don't know about you, but I like reading interesting things... even if they were written for the sole purpose of grabbing my interest.
Article Specs & Requirements
An important factor in the planning process is where you will be publishing your articles. Since you will most likely want to spread your articles around the Internet, you'll want to look up information about what kind of content each publishing platform accepts.
The types of things you will be on the lookout for are:
- Article length - You need to know how long articles need to be before you start writing. Stretching sentences by breaking up contractions and rehashing ideas are bad ideas.
- Type of article - If the publishing platform is something like eHow, you will want to publish a how-to article.
One thing that should be noted is that your article should be related to your backlink. If you have a website that sells antique dolls, writing an article about how oranges are grown in Florida isn't going to help your site very much. Google places more weight on backlinks if the article is related to the content on the site you're linking to.
One Question Quiz
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- Is linkbaiting a good or bad tactic?
Interpreting Your Score
If you got 0 correct answers: Incorrect. Linkbait is actually a very healthy SEO tactic.
If you got 1 correct answer: Correct! Linkbaiting is an awesome and healthy way to get backlinks.
Keywords Make It Interesting (Not)
One of the biggest obstacles that article marketers face is coming up with an article topic that will interest readers and work with their list of keywords. Keywords can really cramp your style! In the past, I've done contract writing work and it is seriously rough putting words that don't make sense together in a sentence. Here is some homework for you:
- Put "acai berry truth" in a sentence. You can't say "the truth about acai berries." I mean "acai berry truth" as an exact phrase!
- Pretend you're a marketer and you've got a client who sells office furniture in Miami. Your keyword is "office furniture Miami." You aren't allowed to write an article comparing different office furniture companies. You can't talk about the company because this really isn't a press release.
- Take that above article and make it interesting. Make it something that someone will want to read. (Good luck with that!)
That's some rough homework! Writing around keywords is a tough job. Fortunately, you can get by with only using the keyword as an exact phrase in your backlink if you produce a well-written article. Google gets the gist of your article from other related words you use, so you don't have to keyword stuff. If you partake in the awful act of keyword stuffing, no-one will read and backlink your article.
7 Amazing Examples of Linkbaiting
|What you should do||Example||Why you should do it|
Use odd numbers in lists
9 Hot Kissing Techniques
Marketing studies have shown that odd numbers outperform even numbers.
Write like 'the community'
Write a hub on hubpages similar in style to other popular hubs
The users of the community where you are publish have the easy access to your content. These users will be the first ones to see your content and can help make it popular.
Tell a funny story or joke
If the reader found a funny story or a joke to be enjoyable, it is likely to be shared with others.
Write unique content
"Giant pandas sue Google after algorithm change"
Reading something fresh, unique, and new is always fun!
Say something unpopular
Hey, reader, you suck!
People often comment and share their feelings. They may also link to your content and talk about how they disagree. Be prepared to deal with the fallout. (This isn't great for business.)
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes
Nifty tips and tricks make people feel like they've discovered a hidden gem of information.
Make a cool table
This is a cool table, right?
Tables and charts often contain important information which make an article appear well-researched.
Brainstorming: Coming Up with Topics
Your article absolutely has to be at least somewhat related to the content on the site you're linking to. Finding a way to make the subject matter of your site interesting doesn't have to be impossible.
If you're a marketer, chances are the topic you are writing about is extremely boring to you. Try to work on a way to make that topic interesting to you. Come up with some topics and article titles that appeal to you. Put yourself in the shoes of people who are interested in that topic. What kind of stuff would they like to read?
Almost anything can be written in an interesting way (except acai.) People love how-to articles, lists, etc., so try presenting information in those ways. If you're trying to market a web design site and article like "How to Design a Trendy Logo" may go over well. Have a stationery company you're marketing? "How to Make Confetti out of Unused Wedding Invitations" is a great example of a fun and unique topic that readers will enjoy while allowing you to stay true to what you're marketing!
After coming up with the topic, make sure you present all your information in an interesting way so that your audience stays captivated. Make use of different types of link bait, but stay true to the topic of your article by offering real information. Don't just say something so that you can get a backlink, no-one likes fake information.
While writing for article marketing can definitely be a lot of fun, it still can be a lot of work. Take plenty of breaks and be sure to read over your work to make sure you're conveying your ideas in an interesting, but accurate way.
KimberlyMartin on March 07, 2019:
I've been writing web content for eight years and still learned from this! Loved the quiz. I might try that!
Earl Noah Bernsby from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 11, 2013:
The "one question quiz" was cute.
lauramaryscott from Boise, Idaho on August 06, 2012:
melbel, thank you for writing this article. One of the first, it may have been the first, article I wrote for HubPages was rejected for reasons I did not understand, even after re-reading FAQ. I do not recall for certain what the problem was but I think it might have been "keyword stuffing" because they claimed I was promoting myself or something. I had no idea what I was doing wrong, still don't. Anyway, I just kept revising the article until it was finally accepted. Your article clarified many HubPages issues for me. Thank you.
Tammy from North Carolina on January 11, 2012:
Even most of this is way over my head, I appreciate your continued generosity you share with your knowledge. You ROCK!
FrugalandFab from New Hampshire on January 09, 2012:
Melbel...this is a great Hub that I know I will refer to many times in the future to help with my Hub development. I love the tip about odd numbers on lists, and using charts in your article. As a newbie I'm not sure what keyword stuffing is, I plan to find out right away so as not to become an offender. Voted up! Thanks so much for writing it.
Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on January 08, 2012:
Many thanks for an informative article (so no more top ten tips! I'll cross No. 10 off!). Heart sinks with all this knowledge, and, irritatingly, one of my best performing hubs was the very first one, written off the top of my head simply because when I discovered HP I was making yogurt.
Maria Daniel Deepak from India on January 08, 2012:
Excellent Mel! I'm a big fan of your writing skills. I can tell you, you are one among the people who inspired me to take up writing..
Emma Kisby from Berkshire, UK on January 08, 2012:
Great article. I use Ezine Articles for my backlinking and surprisingly haven't had a problem with it. Like you say, once you've cracked it, it all makes sense.
I wrote some content for a watch website and had to get an awkward phrase on the main page, and I had to do it without it looking ridiculous! It was very stressful at first, but with some playing around I got it to make sense.
Thanks for this info though - it's nice for some refreshers and also new tips too.
Ram Bansal from India on January 07, 2012:
Nice tips and guidelines, but I still subscribe to my free flow of writing rather than committing for SEO technique.
Darrin Perez from Puerto Rico on January 07, 2012:
Very interesting article Melbel! I think this article is linkbait. :P
Seriously though, I'm sure it'll be a great help to anyone wanting to write effective content for article marketing. :D
radiantwriting on January 07, 2012:
Taught me something new!! Very Interesting!!
Bhavesh Naik from Maryland, USA on November 07, 2011:
You make some excellent points and I love your writing style, your ideas and your humor. I'm linking to this article!
Jeff_McRitchie on October 24, 2011:
Thanks for posting this. It has some excellent tips in it that SEO writers can definitely use.
FStevens from London on September 21, 2011:
I used to work for an agency that claimed instead of hiring SEO people to write it hired copywriters to learn SEO. I think this makes a lot of sense!
silo88 from Kansas City, MO on September 20, 2011:
Really great article. One of the few that actually "shows you" something about SEO.
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on August 16, 2011:
Thank you everyone, for such nice comments!
@Ms. Dee, it's touching to hear that I've inspired someone. I'm glad to have helped. :)
Deidre Shelden from Texas, USA on August 16, 2011:
Hey, I like your cool table :)! You really are an awesome writer, Melbel. You inspire me in the art of writing. I learned a number of things from you in this one, too.
Carlon Michelle from USA on August 01, 2011:
I definitely learned something new here. Thank you for such a greatly detailed well written article. Smile!
purplepoodles from Florida on July 31, 2011:
Thanks for a great hub! I'm new to all this and trying to learn. Your article has much info that I need to look into.
whoisbid on July 21, 2011:
So fantastic. You are a great woman.
.josh. on July 17, 2011:
You really provide a wealth of info in your posts. Another great hub.
heusser87 on July 12, 2011:
Thanks for such helpul hubs melbel! I'm new to this stuff, and you do such a great job of breaking things down, making the info very understadable! Thanks again!
Husky1970 on July 05, 2011:
Interesting and very useful hub. Glad I found it. Thanks.
Nancy McClintock from Southeast USA on June 30, 2011:
Great article .I especially enjoyed your examples. Thanks.
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on June 20, 2011:
Awesome! I am glad you have found it to be helpful!
leo023 from Blackwood N.J. on June 17, 2011:
Great advice I will use this as a reference when writing articles. Thanks!
Terry Chestnutt from Cleveland, Ohio on June 15, 2011:
This is a keeper! Thanks!
Linda Rawlinson from Lancaster, UK on June 15, 2011:
What an incredibly useful article melbel. This answers so many questions, and really does make everything a lot clearer, and less scary. I'm not thinking of writing articles for any reason other than writing practice at the moment (HubPages is perfect for that, of course), because I'm hopeful that I've found another way of earning a living. But I'm bookmarking this article incase I need it for future reference.
Thanks for this well-researched, and detailed article.
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on June 15, 2011:
What did you have a problem with, hellohello? I, personally don't use Squidoo, but it's a great example of the types of sites that are great for article marketing. Others include ezinearticles, 43things, helium, and excerptz.com. Best of luck!
Mishael Austin Witty from Kentucky, USA on June 15, 2011:
Hi. Thanks for this - really good information. Linkbaiting is a scary term, isn't it? At least now I know a little bit more about it.
Hello, hello, from London, UK on June 15, 2011:
Very good hub and great tips but I tried Squiddo several times and never could on with it.