writingpadHere’s a basic introduction to the article marketing process.

Step 1: Choose your purpose. Before you even think of writing an article, you need to figure out why you’re writing the article. For example, do you want readers to take a specific action when they finish reading the article? Do you want to use the article to build your brand? Do you want to use it to pull in traffic from the search engines?

Step 2: Create the article. Once you decide on your purpose, then you need to create an article that serves this purpose. For example, if your goal is to pull in traffic from the search engines, then you need to choose keywords and write articles around the keywords.

Step 3: Write the resource box. Once you’ve completed the actual article, your next step is to write a resource box (AKA “author’s bio” or something similar). Don’t let the name fool you – it’s not really about you (the author). Instead, you should use this space as a mini-ad to get people to take a specific action, such as click on your link.

Step 4: Distribute the article. Once your article is complete, your next step is to distribute the article as widely as possible. This may include submitting it to article directories (like ezinearticles.com), posting it on your blog, asking other people to post it on their blogs, sharing it on niche forums, distributing it on social media sites… and so much more.

Overall, it’s a pretty simple process.

Here’s a taster of step 1 – determining the article’s purpose.

Generally, your article will serve one of these five purposes:

1. Establish you as an expert (personal branding).

2. Build your list.

3. Sell products directly (either as a vendor or an affiliate).

4. Building backlinks (for search engine optimization purposes as well as direct click-through traffic).

5. Draw in traffic from the search engines. Also, here and here.

You’ll notice that some of these purposes are complimentary, meaning you can certainly have multiple goals. For example, you can create content that both sells a product as well as draws traffic in from the search engines.

However, for best results you need to decide up front which of the above is your PRIMARY purpose. Then you can decide which other goals you’d like to achieve as a secondary purpose.

More soon…