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The Value Of Online Articles


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22 replies to this topic

#1 Running Scared

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 03:37 AM

In the intro thread, the idea of writing articles was put forward as a great way of getting links. I doubt anybody will disagree but actually persuading clients to getting round to writing these articles or paying for them is another thing.

It strikes me that if you said to a client, "hey there is this trade magazine that is looking for an article on X, Y and Z, can you write me 500 words", then you would have the article two hours later.

If you then swap "trade magazine" for "popular on-topic website", then you probably would not see that article for weeks, if at all. It just gets put down the priority list.

#2 dragonlady7

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:23 AM

It still astounds me how unimportant a lot of people think the Web and computers in general are. I'm still trying to convince my colleagues that instead of calling me on the phone and getting into all the hassle that entails (as our phone system doesn't work properly) and then ending up meeting with me and wasting an hour of my time to tell me some little thing, they should just send me a freaking email. Then I'd have it, I wouldn't have to take notes, they wouldn't have to set up a meeting with me, I could send them a reply indicating when it had been implemented, and they could just read the email and click the link to see the new webpage or whatever it is.
People just haven't adopted computers for all the roles they can fill.
And people don't think about how much easier it is for online publications to reach a wider audience. In Print stuff is viewed as so overwhelmingly important... well, even in my industry, where the users are viewed as barely computer-literate, we still get most of our inquiries through our webpage. C'mon, that's GOT to mean something!! But the webpage keeps getting put on a back burner. Sigh...

#3 thejenn

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:41 AM

I think it's really easy for those of us in the SEO industry to "get" the idea of articles as an online promotional/link building tool, mostly because it's part of how many of us got our start.

Think about the SEO industry and the folks that are "well-known" and respected as "experts." Most of them built up that reputation by being active in forums, by writing newsletters that reach tens of thousands of readers, by writing guest articles for popular SEO news sites, by writing tutorials, etc...etc...

We "get it" because we've lived it. This industry grew up online. For a client in a business that has been around for ages, trade magazines are what they know. They see the value because it's been demonstrated time and time again to them, just as online articles have been demonstrated to us.

I think we've all got to find a way to make it clear to our clients just how well this can work. I know that I can tell my clients that I receive roughly half of my business as a direct result of articles and forum activity. I think if you can make examples like that, and at least get them to try one article, they may realize that it's really not "that" much work and it does produce some worthwhile results.

#4 Running Scared

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:53 AM

To me it is about convincing them about the internet first. Show them that they can make money and then they will believe the "article" approach. The problem I have is that I would like the article appraoch to be one of the first port of calls, not one that is done further down the line.

#5 copywriter

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 09:04 AM

Hi All,

I don't know that it's about the Internet at all. It could very well be, but I personally think it's also about writing. Granted, I don't know what your clients do, but in my experience, I've found a LOT of people who are just downright scared to write.

They donít' think they are good at it, and if you tell them their article will be placed in front of thousands of people, they get even more hesitant.

I get a lot of article writing projects because of this... and the fact that people are embarrassed to say they can't write well.

#6 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 09:55 AM

Welcome RunningScared! :)

Writing articles or having them written for you or your client is just one more way to go. It can be put on the table for the client, and it's up to them to decide whether they want to take your "expert" advice or not.

And yes, Karon is definitely right that many people are scared to write. Some people think that anyone should be able to write, and when they can't, they are embarrassed. But that's exactly what people like Karon are for! I think that most people don't realize that there are ghost writers out there who are willing to write about anything you want them to write about. And it only costs a couple of hundred bucks...sometimes less.

Jill

#7 Running Scared

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 12:17 PM

Agree about people not wanting to write. What I find difficult though is expressing the value of doing it, whether ort not it is ghost written.

#8 copywriter

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 12:28 PM

Don't know whether you've used these benefits or not, but the most commonly thought of are:

infinite promotion of your company - articles just keep zipping around the 'Net.

positioning as an expert

link popularity

a free ad along with your article

more customers

#9 Debra

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:11 AM

I doubt anybody will disagree but actually persuading clients to getting round to writing these articles or paying for them is another thing.


I understand where you're coming from with this comment, perhaps offering a real-time comparison would help.

When talking with someone about the article writing program try equating it to print ads. It amazes me what the papers and magazines charge for ads - even the classifieds have gotten expensive. They run once or twice and end up in the recylcing bin. One paper, a couple of runs, the trash heap. Talk about throwing money in the can!

When I explain how many online locations articles can be sent to and the fact they are usually cataloged, pulled repeatedly and reused, people get a new appreciation for them. Web articles have a long life-span making them very cost effective.

I have is that I would like the article appraoch to be one of the first port of calls, not one that is done further down the line.


I agree, provided your online presence is secure and any statements made can be collaberated.

#10 meta

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 09:46 PM

Granted, I don't know what your clients do, but in my experience, I've found a LOT of people who are just downright scared to write.

Well, some are scared. Many just don't want to sit down and write, rewrite, rewrite some more and so forth until they produce something worth reading. Not lazy people, but not willing to work hard at writing.

#11 Haystack

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 09:55 PM

I've had similar experiences with clients I've recommended write white papers as a way to build credibility and generate leads on Business to Business web sites.

People who could literally talk for days about their business and industry can't find or justify the time to organize a few of those thoughts into something presentable. Opportunity lost.

#12 copywriter

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 05:54 AM

It happens all the time. And thank goodness! More business for me :chef:

#13 sheriw

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 05:35 PM

People who could literally talk for days about their business and industry can't find or justify the time to organize a few of those thoughts into something presentable. Opportunity lost.

Haystack,
Often the people who are most verbal are terrible at writing things down (it's as if left brain and right brain have trouble meeting and sharing information). Why not have someone interview them, and transcribe their conversation? Or record it? This way, they don't have to take the time to write an article themselves, but they know that their concepts, ideas, and opinions are being accurately expressed?
Of course, this means hiring someone to interview them, and who can present their expertise in a manner that would get printed, either offline or online.
But it's quick, and if you can convince them it's worthwhile (using some of the excellent points noted above), it just might work...
Sheri

#14 copywriter

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 06:02 PM

Good idea, but that would probably be more expensive than hiring a writer :cake:

Speaking of left brain, right brain...


If the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body,
And the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body,
Then only left-handed people are in their right minds!!!!

:drunk: :whip: :huh:

#15 Jill

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 08:23 PM

Welcome, SheriW! :D

That's a good idea. They might even be able to just get a friend or someone to transcribe their words, or a good secretary!

Also, I agree so much about the people who can talk up a storm but can't write, and vice versa. I'm one of those who would much prefer to write than talk. And I know others who can talk forever, but writing is a real chore.

The lucky ones can do both! I'm getting better at talking, as it just takes practice, but I still prefer to just be quiet and type! :dance:

Jill




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