Does your industry or profession have a trade group that publishes a newspaper, magazine, ezine, or other authoritative guides? Are there particular magazines or newspapers that also publish expert articles? Have you tried to submit an article to any? Do any of these have a group on LinkedIn or Facebook where people share articles and ideas? That isn’t social marketing—it’s just plain smart marketing.
Years ago, sites like Ezinearticles.com, Squidoo.com, and Hubpages.com were three of the most popular article directories in the world. They are and were free and brought websites with a lot of traffic. Now, article marketing takes another form— LinkedIn blogs, posting articles on your website, sharing articles on social media, and writing unique content for existing websites and publications.
By offering authors the ability to have a short bio at the end of every article where you can point links back to your blog, LinkedIn page, online resume, or any location that would allow someone to also get a great impression of you plus ways to connect with you.
The articles you submit can be as little as a few hundred words. They need to be well-enough written that if someone in your field or in your area of expertise were trying to find someone like you, they would like what you have written and would be able to contact you after reading what you wrote.
And they can find you by using a search engine and not going directly to the site because of how well optimized they are.
To start with, visit these sites. You will find articles written by many people covering a wide range of topics. They cover every topic you can think of. Read articles to get a feel of how they are written and structured. When you are comfortable, it is time to get to work.
Pick a few topics of interest within your industry or field. The topics should be something that you’re comfortable with and can write intelligently about. Research how popular those topics are on search engines. You want to pick topics that have a high search volume. We will cover more on that later on.
To do your research, go to:
https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and enter your article topics. You will see volumes of information for those keywords as well as related keywords. Pick out a list of topics that have a high search volume.
With this initial list, you are now ready to do some more in-depth keyword research. Take each topic and type it into the keyword tool. You will see synonyms along with search volumes. Pick the keywords with the highest search volumes. Pick the top five to ten keywords and make sure your articles include these terms.
Do this for every topic you decide to write about. You should then have a list of article topics and top keywords for each of them. This is important because you want to synthesize keywords into your title and articles.
Start developing articles.
Ideally, each article should be between 600 and 1200 words long (mine tend to be between 300 and 600). If they are too short, the site or publication may turn the article down; if they are too long, few people will read them.
When writing the article, make sure to use the keywords from your list several times within the article. This will make it rank higher in search engines. The tone of the article should be friendly, the grammar and spelling should be correct and the flow should be easy to follow. Don’t make the article too technical, but make sure to put enough specific material in it for you to come across like a subject matter expert.
Once you are done, write another short paragraph about yourself. This will appear in what is called “the resource box”. In this paragraph, talk about your qualifications and put up a link to your website, your blog, and/or your LinkedIn page. Readers (who may be hiring managers) and recruiters interested in your article will click on these links to visit your website.
Try to write several articles and not just one. The more the merrier but not just one. Once you are happy with the quality of your articles, it is time to post them to post or submit them.
Article directories still exist but receive far less traffic than they once did. You can register yourself with ezinearticles.com, squidoo.com, and hubpages.com. Add your resource paragraph to each for future reference and start to post your articles.
You will be asked to enter keywords for each article. Use the keywords from the original keyword research you did. Then, put in an attractive title for each article. Again, try to incorporate a keyword into the title. Finally, add your resource box. Without that, you won’t get any traffic to your website or people trying to find you (Remember, if you change jobs come back to these sites to update your contact information).
What is more relevant he is posting your article on LinkedIn and sharing it with your connections, in relevant groups and with other people you know. This will help bring you top of mind as a subject matter expert for this topic. Best of all, LinkedIn articles are well indexed by Google. Recruiters search Google for specific terms that relate to the job search is that they are conducting to find experts who stand out from everyone else.
Your article on LinkedIn and/or your website or a publication will help you stand out from the average employee who does just enough to do their job and little more.
Try to write at least one article per month. This will continue to bring you more traffic that will give you more exposure.
I know I am approached by websites that want exposure and backlinks to their website and provide me with quality content that I’m willing to have on my site from time to time. Article marketing brings traffic to their websites and better authority with Google when someone links back to their site. If you have a website, this is where your article should point back to. If you don’t, point it to your LinkedIn profile and invite people to connect with you.
Article marketing may not help you directly or instantly with your job search, but it does give you added exposure and that increases the odds of your profile being viewed by decision-makers or people who influence their decisions.
There is one golden rule to keep in mind though.
Quality is of the essence.
Content is king and if you just try to mass produce articles or rewrite old articles, you won’t benefit from them. Articles have to be of good quality. If this means that you write 5 articles instead of 15, that is fine.
High-quality articles have a 20% average conversion rate. That means that 20 out of every 100 people reading the article click on the links. Well-optimized articles show up in search engine results as well, so they get a lot more traffic. A good article has the following characteristics:
- Keyword rich
- Not too technical
- 600-1100 words long
- Good grammar and punctuation
- New information or a fresh perspective on old topics
- Good writing style. This means a title that makes people curious, short sentences, interesting statistics, a good introduction, a logical conclusion, and good information in between.
As you write more articles, you will become faster at doing them. Your writing will improve and you will be able to produce more articles in a shorter time. Your article doesn’t have to be a work of art (Unless you’re applying for a writing position). It should just be good, clear, and concise.
If you’re struggling to find appropriate topics to write about, try scanning news websites for stories related to your industry. If a topic is in the news, then a lot of people will start to search for it online. By writing about it yourself, you are putting yourself ahead of the competition.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2012, 2012, 2015, 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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