One of the easiest ways to gain expert status – at no cost – is to have your own byline. A published article promotes your expertise, your products, and your services. And blogging (writing articles) is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your Web site.
Now you may be thinking two things: I can’t write…and what would I say if I could write. If you can talk, you can write. And if you know anything at all about your business, then you have lots to talk about.
What questions are you hearing about your products or services? What are your answers? This can be the foundation of your article. Or how has your product or service benefited others? What else can you do with it? What’s unique to your field that no other type of industry can offer?
Start by writing down all your thoughts, questions, and answers. You’ll be amazed as the ideas begin to flow and it won’t take long before you find several topics to write about.
If you’re concerned that you can’t write, imagine you’re explaining a particular aspect of your business to a friend. Make that friend understand what you’re doing in logical steps – by talking (writing) directly to that person. Use clear, concise words that can’t be misinterpreted.
For example, if you operate a technical business doing vibration analysis on buildings you must write in a language that is understood by your readers – the building owners or managers. Explain in plain terms why their buildings may shake – it can be a simple equipment misalignment – and how they can actually save money on their annual power costs by correcting the imbalances.
Here are 6 tips to getting your article read…
- Your article should give information that is valuable to the reader. Do not make the mistake of turning it into a blatant advertisement for your business – that’s the purpose of paid advertisements.
- When writing for online article directories, keep your story short. Aim for 350 to 750 words with short paragraphs that are easy on the eye.
- If you’re submitting your article to a print publication (yes, you can get paid for writing articles), find out how many words they require. If you’re asked for a 500 word article, don’t send 1,500 – it won’t get a second look. You don’t have to be exact; 10% either way is acceptable. It’s not as hard as you think to cut words or entire paragraphs.
- Delete unnecessary or wishy-washy words. For example, there’s no need to say the building is rather tall, be precise and say it’s ten stories high. This gives a visual and eliminates words such as rather, very, somewhat, etc. that bogs down a statement.
- Make your message clear and watch out for double meaning words. There are a number of books available on style, grammar, editing, concise writing, and other related topics…always have one handy.
- Proof read. If you’re unsure of spelling or grammar, have someone edit your finished draft – either a friend or a professional. Don’t rely on a word processor’s spell check program. It won’t pick up every error. And by having someone else read your material you’ll discover if you’re actually saying what you mean in the most efficient way.
Many professionals don’t have time to write articles. It may be counter-productive when they could be using their expertise in other revenue generating areas. If this happens to you find a ghostwriter (freelance writer) to write your articles but make sure the final product is in your voice. In other words, it must sound like you wrote it. Your name will still be showcased in the byline. The price you pay a freelance writer will be small compared to the coverage you receive.
Writing articles adds an element of credibility and professionalism to your business. So start talking about your business – by putting it down on paper.