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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Are you running an affiliate program or trying to get more traffic to your affiliate products? There are many ways to increase traffic to your site. In this article, I'll provide some details on how to use article marketing in a very specific way to generate a steady stream of qualified prospects.

The first step is to develop an article that is clearly written, provides value, and builds credibility. A clearly written article ensures that readers do more than skim your article. It also provides an "easy read" resulting in a high level of engagement.

To keep your reader's attention, your article must provide something of value. An example might be an SEO related article that shows readers how to write an effective "Title" tag for their webpage. A valuable article would first explain the concept then follow with examples – giving readers something tangible to represent each concept.

A result of a clearly written article that provides valuable information is that of credibility. The concept of credibility can be subtle but is very important if you wish to drive the most traffic to your affiliate product. Some suggestions for building credibility include: injecting your experience into each article, providing references to findings from recent studies, offering facts, providing quotes from industry experts, and so on.

Once you've written a compelling article, you can weave a mention of your affiliate product into the text. However, be sure to do it in modest way. Some examples are:

  • "I've used a number of products that weren't any good… but I did have some success with the [insert product name here]."
  • "I've used [product 1], [product 2], and [product 3], but found [insert product name here] to be the cheapest and the best."
  • "Personally I use [insert product name here], but any [product descriptor] will do."
  • "I'm not an expert on [product descriptor] but know that [insert product name here] is quite popular."
Too often I see individuals using article marketing with a hard sell. This doesn't work. People don't like to be told what to do, what products they must use, or rely on the opinions of those they do not trust. So your best bet is to begin with a clearly written article, provide something of value, and use your newfound credibility to generate referrals or sales.

Now that you've written your article, here are some tips for "on-page" optimization. This will ensure that once your article is posted, it can be seen by the major search engines and is easily crawled.

Tip #1 Place your keywords in the title of the article. For example, if you're promoting email software, let's call it, "Email Management Software" then work it into your title. Here's and example…

How to Use Email Management Software to Improve Results.

And try to limit your title to about 7 main words. This is how you optimize your article from the beginning. Now we'll talk about some other ways to increase your on-page optimization factors.

Tip #2 Use your key word term or phrase in most of your paragraphs. You certainly don't have to use the phrase in every paragraph of your article, but it helps to use it frequently. Many engines count the number of times the keyword or keyword phrase is used. However, you do not want to over do it. This will turn off many of your readers and negatively affect your credibility. Find a good balance between using your keyword phrase and an appropriate amount of content.

Tip #3 Bold your keyword phrase at least once within the article. It doesn't matter where you bold your keyword phrase, just be sure to bold it at some point in your article and or when you post your article online. This provides emphasis and shows the search engines that it's important to the content on the page.

Tip #4 Italicize your keyword or keyword phrase once in the body of your article. Again, providing a treatment to the text signals its importance and value to the rest of the content on your page.

Tip #5 Use your keyword phrase in the first 25 words of the page and last 25 words of the page. This is essential for on-page optimization and again signals the search engines that your phrase is relevant to all of the content on a given page.

Now that you've written your article, what are you going to do with it? There are a number of article directories on the Internet, but which ones should you choose? I personally use those directories that have a high Google PR. If the article directories are favored by other popular sites, they will most often have a good deal of traffic. Article Directories with the highest Google PR (that are any good) include:

Article Central PR7 PR6

EasyArticles PR6

Go Articles PR6 PR6

ArticleAlley PR5

A number of these directories are also favored by major search engines like Yahoo! Some allow affiliate links and others do not. Be sure to read the submission policies carefully before submitting your article. For some directories, you may have to include your affiliate link in the "About the Author" section. This is okay as many article directories allow multiple links in this section. The added benefit of inserting an affiliate link in this section is that other webmasters, who repurpose articles from article directories, will include these links – giving you the benefit of viral marketing.

Article marketing is a great way to promote your affiliate product or affiliate program. By writing an article that delivers value and offers a subtle mention of your affiliate product, you're well on your way to getting the proper exposure for your promotion. Add the on-page optimization factors we talked about, and you're sure to get noticed. Give article marketing a try and you'll be surprised by the results!


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