Articles … The Best Form Of Free
© 2002 Elena Fawkner
Those of you reading this who run your own online
businesses know that the aim of the game is traffic –
qualified, targeted traffic – and lots of it.
There are a number of ways to drive qualified traffic
to your site – some of it costs you money, some of it
costs you time. Some of it costs you both and doesn’t
This article is all about the best form of free advertising –
How can writing articles give you free advertising? As
you probably know, there are hundreds of thousands of
people publishing an ezine (electronic newsletter) on a
regular basis. For some of these people, publishing the
ezine is the central plank of their business – they set out
to create a business involving, primarily, the publishing of
the ezine. Others, however, publish the ezine only as an
adjunct to their website – a way to get their site in front
of their ezine subscribers in the hope that this will
generate repeat traffic.
Both types of ezine publishers have one thing in common.
The need for great content. If you’ve spent much time
online you’ll no doubt have signed up for more than your
fair share of free ezines. You’ll have come across some
that are really good, some that are OK and some that are
nothing short of woeful, with content that looks like the
publisher has picked up the first piece of regurgitated
whatever he happened to come across today to fill up the
space between the ads for his numerous affiliate programs.
Your site may include links to your affiliate programs.
After all, that’s how you make money, right? But rather
than go the road of the ezine publisher who thinks she
can serve up any old porridge to her subscriber base and
they’ll eat it up, spend the same time writing just one
good article on a subject matter relevant to your target
market and invite publishers of ezines with complementary
subject matter to publish that article, together with
your resource box at the end (the four or five line blurb
you see at the end of articles that give a little information
about the author and the author’s website together with
a link to the site).
Now, here’s the important point if you expect others to
publish your work. Your ad is your resource box, it is
NOT your article. Your article is content. Your article
should not mention your product, your site or anything
related to it. Your article must stand alone as an
independently useful piece of work (and when I say useful,
I mean it must be useful to the READER, not the author!).
Don’t insult your readers’ intelligence by dressing up an ad
as an article. They’re not stupid – they’ll see through it and
you immediately, they’ll put you on their blacklist for insulting
their intelligence and no publisher worth their salt will run
your articles anyway.
The whole purpose of writing the article is to make it such
a worthwhile piece of work that many publishers will want
to put it in front of their subscribers. Get a good article
published in an ezine with 10,000 subscribers and see
what that does for your traffic when hundreds of those
subscribers click on the link to your site that you’ve
included in your resource box.
Beginning to see how this works? And the best thing of all
is that it only costs you time – maybe an hour, two tops
to write a decent article. Commit to writing one a week
and getting them published and you’ll have a nice little
traffic flow going, believe me (AND, if you make sure that
you write about subject matter relevant to your site, that
traffic will ALSO be targeted, qualified traffic – so much
OK, so now you can see the power of writing articles as
a method of generating traffic to your website. How the
heck do you find other people to publish your work?
Thanks to the fact that so many publishers out there
don’t have the time or (so they believe) ability to write
their own articles, or are looking for articles to supplement
their own, you have a ready-made market of thousands
of publishers who are always on the lookout for quality
content to present to their readers. You just have to
Here’s a partial list to get you started:
Yahoo Groups (submit from the Yahoo Groups website
at http://groups.yahoo.com/ – you’ll need to subscribe
to these groups first):
and these …
When submitting your articles to the above websites, be
sensitive to the types of articles the site is looking for.
Some accept articles on any subject under the sun, others
are looking for articles on specific subjects such as internet
marketing, for example.
Over time, you will be able to add to this list. If submitting
to individual ezine publishers, don’t be surprised or offended
if you don’t receive a response. Most ezine publishers of
any size receive dozens of article submissions a day. Time
normally doesn’t permit a response to each submission. Also,
try and find out from the publisher whether they even accept
article submissions. Many don’t (me, for example). I receive
many article submissions a day which just get deleted unread.
The point is, just work up your own list, write articles
consistently and submit consistently. Over time, you’ll
develop your own style of writing and attract a following.
Although it may be slow to start, you’ll start getting a trickle
of new traffic from people who have come across your article
somewhere, some place and were interested enough to click
on the link in your resource box. Over time, that trickle will
become a stream, then a river, and then a flood.
** Reprinting of this article is welcome! **
This article may be freely reproduced provided that: (1) you
include the following resource box; and (2) you only mail to a
100% opt-in list.
Here’s the resource box to use if reprinting this article:
Elena Fawkner is an attorney and editor of A Home-Based
Business Online … practical business ideas, opportunities
and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur. She
offers discounted, fixed-rate legal services to her ezine
subscribers and site visitors within the United States.
About the Author