Affiliate Marketers Guide to Article Writing – Techniques That Work

by WorkFromHome on April 28, 2011

To have a successful article writing campaign, you have to be focused on very specific goals every step of the way. You’ll be measuring the quality of your work by how much it helps you get your readers to the point where they put money in your pocket. If you stay focused on making your work high-quality, then you will easily sift through the useless advice from so-called gurus and get down to what really works.

When you’re writing articles to generate leads, you’ll have most of the same goals in mind at each point in the article writing process. Because your articles are going to be on the Internet for a very long time, they can potentially earn money for you for the rest of your life. This creates a situation where quality is more important than quantity, and writing a few good articles is better than writing a lot of bad ones. Here we’re going to show you exactly how to produce high-quality articles from the very beginning of the actual writing of the article to the details of the article submission process.

Mastering Quality in the Writing Process

Think of your article as a chain. The first link in this chain is your title, which is what many potential readers will see. If the title gets their attention well enough, then they are taken to your introductory paragraph, and this is the next link in your chain. Each paragraph of your article serves as another link in the chain, and the goal of each link is to keep the reader moving further along the chain.

If anyone link in the chain is weak, then the reader can lose interest and simply stop reading. A reader that stops reading can never become a customer. Because of this, your metaphorical chain is only as strong as the weakest link. That is, your article will only be as strong as the weakest point in it. Here we’re going to take you step by step in the process of actually writing your article and show you what it takes to achieve a high level of quality in each individual step. This way, every single link in your chain will be strong, and you will successfully convert readers into customers more often.

Starting Off: Writing Strong Titles

There are two goals that the title of an article should have. The first goal is to work well in terms of search engine optimization. This is fairly easy to achieve, since you generally just have to include a well-targeted keyword that makes sense. More specific long tail keywords tend to do better for this purpose since they often include more general keywords. For example, the long tail keyword “cheap blue widgets” includes the more general keyword phrases “blue widgets” and “widgets”.

The second goal for the title of your article is to get people to read on to the introduction of the article by grabbing the attention of your potential readers. The best way to do this is to use article titles that stir up emotion, want or need in the reader as soon as they glance at the title. For example, the title “All About Cheap Blue Widgets” might describe the content of the article well. However, the title “Don’t Get Scammed by So-Called Cheap Blue Widgets: Read This First” describes the theme of the article while also triggering an emotional reaction that will make the user want to read more of your article. With our chain analogy, this takes them from the title “link” to the introduction “link” fairly well.

Keep Your Readers Hooked: The Introductory Paragraph

Using a fishing analogy, if the title is there to get the reader on the hook, then the introductory paragraph should set the hook, making sure that the reader will stay hooked for as long as possible. The way to do this effectively is to continue the stirring up of emotion that began in the title and offer the existence of a solution to whatever problem you’ve presented for the reader. If your title was something like “Don’t Get Scammed by So-Called Cheap Blue Widgets: Read This First,” then you could continue the play on the reader’s emotions by citing some statistic about how often people get ripped off with cheap blue widgets.

While continuing to work on the reader’s emotions will keep them reading on through the article, you also want to start preparing them to take action. At some point in the introduction you would want to mention that there is a way to avoid getting ripped off, and that it’s the answer to the emotional problem they are having in the moment. The answer you’re going to give them will be whatever action you want them to take once they have finished reading the article. This action could be buying a product, filling out a form to join an affiliate newsletter, or whatever way you plan on selling to the reader.

Building Your Case With Additional Paragraphs

Each paragraph should centre around one key idea or concept. Generally speaking, these ideas and concepts should be specific reasons why your readers will benefit from taking action or specific reasons why your readers will be in danger if they don’t. Using our cheap blue widgets example, you could have one paragraph discussing how easy it will be for your readers to get scammed if they don’t take the action you want them to. You could have another paragraph talking about how much happier they will be about the quality of their cheap blue widgets if they take action.

When discussing each individual advantage to acting and disadvantage to not acting, you have to continue with a combination of emotional and logical persuasion. Because people are motivated by emotion as much as or more than logic, each of your main points should be supported by both emotional and logical arguments. After writing each additional paragraph, a complete stranger should be able to clearly see what the point is you’re making, the emotional arguments for your point and the logical arguments for your point.

If you follow this approach for writing your additional paragraphs, then you will keep your reader going along the metaphorical chain from link to link while also preparing them to take action once they get to the end of the article. The effectiveness of these two elements are how you should measure the quality of your writing when it comes to writing these supporting paragraphs. If you use high-quality supporting paragraphs, you will see a much stronger conversion rate.

Closing the Sale With an Influential Conclusion

If you have written your article correctly, your reader will have a lot of emotion and interest built up by the time they reach your concluding paragraph. Now you have to neatly wrap everything up and focus their complete attention on taking action. Quality in this paragraph is measured by how effectively action is called for and how well you focus the reader’s emotional energy towards taking action.

The Moment of Truth: The Resource Box

Your entire article has been building up to the moment when the reader makes it to your resource box. If the reader continues through your links, then you have achieved success. If the reader leaves your page without going through one of your links, then you have lost. Here you have to call your readers to action for the last time, giving them the solution to the problem that you have brought up in them emotionally and logically throughout the article.

Keeping with the chain metaphor, the act of clicking on your hyperlink in the resource box is what takes your readers from the resource box “link” to the landing page “link”. The quality of a resource box is measured by how well it gets readers on to the next link in the chain, so you have to make one last big emotional push to get your readers to click on your link.

Looking Professional With Your Proofreading

A lot of people hate the article writing process, and prefer to skip over the proofreading step. Choosing not to proofread your articles is one of the most straightforward forms of self-sabotage in existence. If you don’t proofread your articles, you are practically getting on your knees and begging to fail.

Here’s why proofreading is so important. Remember that while your article is building emotion and a will to act in the reader, you are simultaneously establishing yourself as someone that can help the reader with all of his or her problems. A great way to lose all credibility with the reader is to have your article full of spelling and grammatical errors. It takes at most a few minutes to proofread the average article you will be submitting to article directories, so you have to ask yourself if it’s worth a few minutes of work to maintain a reader’s trust.

The Actual Submission Process

Once your article is written and proofread, then it’s time to submit it to article directories. Just like with every other step of the article writing process, you’re going to want to go for quality over quantity. There are software programs out there that can submit an article automatically to hundreds of article directories, and while that might be a useful tactic as part of some webmaster’s SEO strategy, as an affiliate marketer you have different goals.

Instead of going for some mass submission option, you should stick to the main directories that will get you the most traffic. Having fewer directories to keep up with will also help you to figure out where most of your traffic is coming from, and how much this traffic converts into sales.

Article Writing for Affiliate Marketers: In Closing

A single high-quality article can make money for years to come. However, a single low-quality article might never make money. This simple comparison shows us that using article writing as an affiliate marketing strategy is more about quality than quantity. If you focus on quality every step of the way, and resist the temptation to give up on your efforts, then you can produce articles that convert readers at high rates.

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