Articles can help you market your horse business
Business Article by Alyice Edrich
Articles increase sales
I am an avid believer in using articles to market one’s business. I’ve been doing it for years and I always notice an increase in sales when an article is published online via a website or blog. It’s like free advertising and all it takes is a little time and effort.
But online isn’t the only place articles work, print publications are always looking for quality articles on a variety of topics and your byline could become your free advertisement. It just depends on the publication’s policy for bylines. Some publications do not like bylines that sound like commercials while others don’t care as long as it stays under a certain word count.
Articles make great business handouts
Are you a freelance horse riding or horse training instructor? Do you travel to teach or train? Do you sell your products or services at horse expo fairs, workshops, or horse shows? Articles, as handouts works great. Save all those free articles you write and distribute online and print them out. Use them as free “take away” material that will help promote your business even after they’ve left the shows and fairs.
Have people advertise your business for free
I know a guy who distributes a CD to every workshop attendee with articles he has written pertaining to the subject he teaches-as a free gift for coming. He then gives the attendees permission to reprint the articles on their blogs and websites as long as they include his byline at the end of each article. (Read that again: giving aways articles helps you get people to promote your business for free!)
I know a gal who does the same thing for every Christian women’s function she teaches. She allows the churches to use her material in their church bulletins. It costs her less than 50 cents to package and distribute each CD, plus her time and the rewards really pay off.
Note from Joni: Marketing tip — You don’t want people to bring home the CD and then never open it, so… Make sure to print out a teaser sheet to go with the CD you hand out. On this sheet you give them a bullet list of what they will gain (their benefits) from digging into your CD and actually reading your articles. Answer the question: “What is in this for me?” or your CD will just gather dust or hit the trash.
What to write about
You put a lot of time and effort into your product or service. You know the ins and outs so use that knowledge to your advantage.
You know what would make it better, what would make it worse, and I bet you know ways to cut costs while still producing a quality product. You know what your customers like and what they don’t like. You know how to package your product so that it doesn’t break or get lost. And you’ve probably learned how to deal with bad customers and lost packages. Use every aspect of your business as an article idea. Just remember not to give specifics about your customers without permission and avoid giving away trade secrets.
Finding Article Ideas
As a writer, when we query a publication to write an article for that publication we first go to Writer’s Market and look up magazines that accept the types of ideas we have in mind. (Also a quick search online can do the job.) Then we check out a few back issues of the magazine at the library as well as what’s going on via their website and current issues. It gives us a good idea as to what has already been published (since they don’t like to repeat the same stories) and what they may be looking for in the future. Then we can tailor our query letters to the magazine appropriately. Another way to find out about what magazines want is by looking at their editorial calendar – which can often be found online. It can tell you a lot and even help you tailor a press release towards a future issue.
You could write up a how-to articles for horse magazines online and off. You do your research to make sure your idea hasn’t already been covered and then you submit your idea in the form of a query letter and wait. You wait for an acceptance to actually write the article.
Another way to find ideas for articles that could help promote your products, services, or blog/website is to pay attention to the way people find you in the search engines. Put a stat counter on your website or blog (statcounter.com is free) and look at how people are finding you on a weekly basis. What words are they typing into the search engines? Can any of those words or phrases spark an idea for writing an article or even a blog post?
Note from Joni: Use Google to help you! Sign up for the New Google Analytics.
Google Analytics has been re-designed to help you learn even more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site. Discover. Share. Act. Google Analytics makes it easy to improve your results online. Write better ads, strengthen your marketing initiatives, and create higher-converting websites. Google Analytics is free to all advertisers, publishers, and site owners.
Also check out Google’s Webmaster Tools to improve your site’s visibility in Google search results. It’s free. and it provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google.
What are people saying in the horse forums or what are they saying when they leave comments in your blogs? Can any of those posts spark an idea for an article?
If you don’t feel writing is your forte, hire a good freelance writer. If you feel you can write okay but need a second pair of eyes hire a proofreader, they run as low as $1 per page. The key is to “not sell yourself” but to “entertain, educate, and inform” your intended audience about something they’d actually care about. Always think, “What’s in it for them?”
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About the author: Alyice Edrich is a freelance writer specializing in article marketing techniques. Visit her site at AalyiceEdrich.net to learn how she can help your business through viral article marketing techniques, too.
Quick summary by Joni: Posting articles on the Internet is like posting business ads in different places — but you get to post them for free. And your website address at the bottom of each article helps lead people back to your site. Want a higher spot in Google’s search engine listings? Then make regular article posting part of your business marketing strategy. Write the articles yourself or hire someone to help you, but do consider this for the sake of your business success.
FeedBurner Sign up for FeedBurner (it is free) for your blog to help you analyze your site vistors. Learn the Top 10 Pages on Your Site and what article subjects are the most popular then write more like them.
How to Write How-to Articles for Newspapers, Magazines and Trade Journals A live 1-hour teleseminar featuring Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound (Audio for sale)
How to Submit Online Articles That Pull Traffic to Your Website Joan Stewart interviews Sharron Senter (Audio for sale)
Legal Issues You Must Know When Writing Articles for Fee or for Free Joan Stewart interviews attorney Patricia Eyres (A live 1-hour teleseminar) (Audio for sale)