Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Articles That Sell | Templates For Article Writers

Greetings my Facebook friends - this one's for you. I hope you've read the last two posts where I've given you a bit of a business plan and a crash course in Internet Marketing. So let's get down to business - how to write articles that sell.

Remember you can take these articles to your friendly neighborhood internet marketing forum, you could approach webmasters or bloggers and ask if they need some original (and strictly limited) content (articles) or you could ever find a PLR wholesaler or PLR membership site and ask the owner if they need some new content.

The great idea behind this is that you can sell a pack of 10 articles (about the same targeted topic) for about $10 (or even upwards of $150 depending on your quality and the topic) again and again. The downside of this is that it's a time consuming to set up - to write the articles and find buyers - as well as being a little risky - some PLR packs will never sell.

Which is why you shouldn't be shy - introduce yourself to other webmasters and bloggers, entice them with a freebie (internet marketers have trust issues and will be more receptive if you give them a sample of your work for them to use) and ask them what it is they need - what keywords do they want to rank for? What topic or niche are they interested in?


TEMPLATES
Article structure is important, you need to break up large blocks of text into smaller chunks, making it easier for people to read. Each paragraph should be 3-4 sentences long...give or take. This reduces the likelihood of readers hitting the back button. Forgot to mention that in my last post!

Webmasters are looking for articles that sell whatever it is that they are promoting so they're looking for articles that are interesting and easy to read. Questions are a great way to keep the reader engaged. Use lots of subheadings and bullet points. Each and every introductory paragraph needs to include the keyword and be enticing - it needs to let the reader know that they have found the information they are looking for.

I use hookers. Yep, it's true. I don't like to boast about though. (^_^)

Hookers are things that entice the reader to keep reading, they lead the person down the page, through the information and to the "call-to-action" - that's a little sentence that encourages readers to sign up or click here or find more info on this website etc. You won't need to worry about that though - you just make the article so enticing that readers get to the bottom of the page and let the webmaster worry about the rest of it.

Practice makes perfect. So does asking questions. Like anything else in life, you need a strategy, you need to take action and you need to be determined to see it through to the end.

ARTICLE TEMPLATE 1 - PRO's vs CON's

This is a pretty easy template and if you're writing PLR packs then it's a good place to start.

The 1st paragraph introduces the long tail keyword and a problem that this particular niche has. Then you weigh up your options.

You'll need three or four paragraphs of the pro's - one benefit per paragraph. Followed by three or four of the con's, one risk or danger per paragraph.

Then finish off with another two or three paragraphs for your conclusion. Perhaps it's you personal opinion, perhaps it's a few statistics or which option the majority of people favour for whatever reasons.

ARTICLE TEMPLATE #2 - TOP 5 REASONS WHY...
This type of article is great to recycle and use over and over again. There's a lot of different ways to work this template and a lot of different titles you can use. We covered a few in our last post:
  • Five Ways To [keyword]
  • 3 Things You Must Know About [keyword]
  • Top 10 Tips For [keyword]
All in all, the structure is very similar. When people choose these titles off the SERPs, (remember the front page of the newspaper?), they expect a lot of info in a short space.

1-2 paragraphs per point. Mark each point by numbering it, make subheading or use the bold or underline feature to mark each point. If it's a Top 10 then you could also use bullet points. Max info, minimum fuss - try to use that keyword in each of your points.

Closing paragraph (or two) is a simple summary which also contains that keyword.

ARTICLE TEMPLATE #3 - THE TRADITIONAL ARTICLE
Paragraph 1 = Introduce the keyword and the problem
Paragraph 2 = Expand on the 1st paragraph and the problems or solutions that people face regarding this problem. This paragraph is dedicated to building trust and passing on information.
Paragraph 3 = Introduce the solution to the problem and expand on it a little.
Paragraph 4 = This one is more about the product that you're promoting. If you're writing these articles to sell off as PLR then just expand on the solution from paragraph 3.
Paragraph 5 = Mentions some of the downsides to the solution. We're back to the pro's and con's. Even if you're promoting your own product, then you know better than anyone that there is no such thing as one size fits all - mentioning some of the con's will help your reader see that you're giving an honest perspective and a sincere evaluation - that you have considered all side of the story.
Paragraph 6 = This is where you give your final recommendation and really throw your support behind the solution (or product) that you're promoting. In Internet Marketers speak, this is a "call to action" - you tell people to click here or buy this or read that and watch the video here.

ARTICLE TEMPLATE 4 - STEP BY STEP ARTICLES (With an example)
Once more, you're beginning with an introduction which includes your keyword and the problem.
Paragraph 2 is all about passing in info and will introduce the solution. Your following paragraphs are step by step paragraphs.
Step one - drink more water & why.
Step two - 30min exercise each day & why.
Step 3 - cut down on fatty foods & why.
Step 4 - replace with a healthy alternative & the benefits of doing so.
Step 5 -  reduce alcohol intake & why.
Finish with a strong argument about why losing weight is better for you and your family or about how others have succeeded or a little pep talk about how anything is possible for those with the determination to succeed.

And there you have an article; "Step-by-Step How to Lose Weight"

ARTICLE TEMPLATE #5 - Is hard to describe so I'll give you an example...

Introducing the problem the keyword and sympathizing - just how rotten it feels to walk this mile. There are solutions but it's up to you (the reader) to take action.


One Popular Solution is [paragraph about the pro's]
A paragraph about the con's

Another solution is ...
But you need to be wary of... 


A paragraph about another solution - the safest, fastest, the easiest solution.

The safest course of action is therefore... (the middle ground, the one recommended in the last paragraph)


Throw your weight behind the argument in your closing paragraph and suggest investing some time/energy in getting peace of mind from someone who really knows what they're talking about...

There are so many variations of a pro's/con's article it's not funny. Recycle them, restructure similar content using a different template - rearrange things and mix it up a little. Make a pro's subheading and give people three or four points to consider. Make a con's subheading and give another three or four negative points to consider. Using bullet points will help make your text easier for the reader to get through.

TEMPLATE #6 - QUESTION ANSWER ARTICLES
This is kind of self explanatory. As always, you are opening with an introduction that includes your keyword and the problem or the solution. The second paragraph expands on the first before diving into a series of frequently asked questions about different aspects.

Use subheadings, bold font or underline your questions to really highlight them.

AT THE END OF THE DAY...
These articles are going to be used by internet marketers for the purpose of selling things or getting more readers to sign up for a news letter, your pack of articles might be turned into an ebook or a report or posted on a blog or published on a website somewhere.

These webmasters all have their own keywords that they are trying to rank for so use you keyword as much as possible without trying to stuff it in there or asking silly questions like "Are you looking for information about [keyword?]" Useless questions are a pet peeve of mine - they work well for SEO but honestly, there are better ways!

Don't be shy when it comes to asking questions. If you have approached a webmaster about writing some content for them, then they are going to prefer that you took the time to find out exactly what they want, exactly what keywords they are trying to rank for, exactly what type of articles (checklists or Q&A's or Top 5's) they would like on their site rather than just guessing what they want.

I did mention that most webmasters will pay about $10-$15 for a pack of articles but if you find the right little micro-niche, if you tap into the right sort of buyers and if you have some internet marketing knowledge that adds to the quality of the pack, you could get as much as $150 per pack! And you can give that pack a make over and sell it as a pre-written report to another webmaster. Then cull some paragraphs and sell them off as blog posts to another webmaster.

PLR articles can be sold again and again and again. Although it means a lot of work getting set up and writing these articles to begin with, once you have a few dozen (or a few hundred) you can really set yourself up for a genuinely passive income each month.


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