Article Marketing remains one of the surest and cheapest ways to draw your target audience to your website or blog. It is also a great way to promote a product. The name says it all—you are marketing with articles.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re marketing yourself or your business opportunity (indeed you ought to promote both), articles are a great way to attract a lot of attention. Best of all, it’s easy to do. You don’t quite agree? You will if you spare four minutes to read this article.

Here are the steps I follow to create the sort of articles which always pass ezine directories and constantly attract the attention of readers:

The Topic: What is it you want to write about? This is the first question you must answer ever before putting pen to paper, or your fingers to the keyboard. You must not choose your topics arbitrarily.

In as much as you should write within topics that you fully understand, it is to your business’ interest to write on topics that are hot; things people want to read about.

And this is not hard to find out if you regularly visit online forums, search engines, and other peoples’ blogs. Once you pick out things that are hot in the online community, identify which one of these topics will relate to your business opportunity.

The Title: It is often the boldest part of every article—and not without reason. The title of your article must be attractive—it must make someone want to wait a minute. If your article title isn’t capable of attracting readers, then it doesn’t matter how well you go on to discuss this topic. More than that, your title must clearly describe the purpose of the article, telling the prospective reader what to expect from the article.

It follows that the body of your article must also discuss the title so stated. Remember too that most article directories have rules governing the format of article titles—ezinearticles for example requires that the first letter of every word in the headline be capitalized, but disallows capitalizing the entire topic (compare: How to Write Good Articles and HOW TO WRITE GOOD ARTICLES). These are little details you have to bear in mind.

The Body: Since your articles are for online distribution, it’s important that you follow the rules for online articles. First, remember that it is here at the body that you deliver on your promise—you discuss what your title said you would discuss. But in doing that, state the most important points first, keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and use subheadings where necessary.

And if your title promises to give, say 7 tips, ensure that’s what you provide in the body. Each tip or main idea should be contained in a separate (but short) paragraph. Don’t make the discussion too elaborate. If indeed you have quite a load of info on that TOPIC, no problems; discuss them under DIFFERENT TITLES in a series of DIFFERENT ARTICLES.

The Summary: Here you distill the high point of what the article has discussed into 2 to 5 sentences. If you’re lost for words, simply restate the first few words of your first paragraph. The idea is to use this place to point out what the article is all about. Then you’re ready to submit. Well, almost.

The resource box: This is where you sell your product or service. You must provide your name and web address here. Also, you’re allowed to include a few sentences that tell your readers the most important things they need to know about you and your expertise. Those few words are also meant to encourage the reader to visit your website and sign up for your offer. It’s like a call to action.

Next, proofread thoroughly and submit to prime ezine directories. There are many out there, but at the moment, ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com, and articlebase are among the best.

You’ve no doubt heard that Article Marketing is one of the best ways to advertise your business online. Now you’ve learned how to leverage this marketing tool to increase your search engine ranking, bring customers to your website, and increase your conversion rate.

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