Times are tough. Marketing budgets are tight. That’s why we’re constantly providing you with low cost ways to market your business. Today’s tip offers a spectacular way to market yourself and your business for free.

What if I told you that you could become a published author…today? Did you know that there are thousands of sites that want to publish your articles? The trick is to find them. But that task has gotten a lot easier over the past few years because of a new breed of websites called article directories. An article directory is a website that connects webmasters who want to find free content for their websites, and the authors who want to get their work published.

The concept is a win-win. You build credibility and establish your name as an authority, while building links from each of your published articles to your own website. The webmasters get to fill their sites with great content without the hassle of writing it themselves.

Getting articles published helps to not only drive traffic to your site, it also increases your Google PageRank, which is a measure of how much Google likes your site. They prefer sites that have lots of inbound links and each time another site publishes your articles, you get another link from that site to yours.

So you might be thinking that you’re not an expert. How could you get your work published? I hear that all the time. But think about it. Everyone is an expert in something. If you own a hair salon, you’re an expert in small business, not to mention hair styling and nails. While you might doubt whether or not you’re qualified to write articles, ignore those thoughts. There aren’t any rules. You don’t have to show credentials to get into the club. There’s no membership or any other thing preventing you from doing it.

Here are a couple things to remember. If the title of your article sounds boring, it won’t be chosen for publication. That doesn’t mean that the article directories will reject your article. It just means that your article will sit there, and no one will choose to post it on their sites. On the other hand, if you choose a title for your article that sounds enticing and makes people think, “Oooh. I gotta read that one,” then your article will likely be picked up by multiple sites and before you know it, thousands of people will be reading your work.  Think of the headline as an advertisement for your article.  It has to speak to the webmaster who is choosing which articles to put on their website.  Boring ones will get passed over because there are thousands of more enticing ones to choose.

One of the things that also helps to get your work published, is to make the article factual, rather than salesy. Other websites aren’t interested in posting an advertisement for free, so if your article is just a self promotion, or some sort of ad for your business, forget it. You’ll just waste your time. You need to write something that’s just an article. Save the self promotion for the author bio, at the end. At the end of each article, you get the opportunity to plug your business and tell a little about yourself. Within the article itself, avoid mentioning your business. Just use the article to build your credibility and establish yourself as an expert. Then in the author bio, tell the readers about your experience and what you’ve done and provide a couple links to your website.

Remember this, the most important point: Do not make the huge mistake that many authors make. Carefully think about which keyword phrases you want people to use when searching for your site on Google. Let’s say you own that hair salon. Maybe it’s in Madison, Wisconsin. A good keyword phrase that people might use when searching for your site on Google would be “hair salons in Madison” or maybe “hair stylists in Madison.” You want to use both of those phrases in your author bio, and you need to make sure that those are the phrases that you make link to your site. If you make a link in your bio that says “click here to visit my site,” you’re missing out on the biggest benefit of having your articles published. The greatest benefit of having your articles published on other sites is that you begin building links that point from your articles on all of these other sites, back to your site. But if you use links that just say “click here” rather than making good use of your links by utilizing your best keyword phrases such as “hair salons in Madison,” you’re missing out on the greatest benefit of article syndication.

You see, Google uses the text in your links to determine which phrases to rank your site for. If you just use links that say “click here” then your site will actually rank better if someone were to search Google for the phrase “click here.” The problem is, you want to be found when people are searching for hair salons, not “click here.”

So where can you go to get started? There are dozens of article directories but ezinearticles.com is the premier site. To post your articles, all you need to do is establish a free account and upload your work. You can upload as many as you want but just make sure that the content is original. Their computers will catch it if you upload an article that’s posted elsewhere on the Internet.  They’ll just deny the submission if they’ve seen it on another site.

One last bit of advice…

Don’t ever post the same article on your own website. Google likes to see original content on your site. If you write an article and hope to get additional mileage out of it by posting it on your site and getting it published on other sites, you’ll damage your own site’s reputation with Google. Keep everything that’s posted on your site original. Never put anything on your site that’s found on someone else’s site.

I hope you take advantage of this great free way to market your business in these rough economic times.  Good luck.

Chadd Bryant

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