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August 2, 2010

The Art and Science of Article Marketing

I’ve noticed lately, a lot of writers (and I use that term loosely) are saying article marketing no longer works. They’re complaining, no one is reading their articles, and their pageviews are in the toilet. Well, maybe there’s a good reason for that. Maybe they aren’t giving readers what they want.

Look, contrary to popular belief, article marketing isn’t just writing a bunch of words, submitting them to EzineArticles and other top directories, and magically getting back a ton of traffic and a gazillion backlinks. It just doesn’t work that way. It just isn’t that easy. Believe it or not. There’s actually an art and science to article marketing.

The Art and Science of Article Marketing

For example, according to a readability study conducted by Jakob Nielsen of, 79% of Internet users rarely read web pages? Instead they scan, picking out individual words, sentences and paragraphs.

What? You didn’t know that? You see, there really is an art and science to article marketing. Okay, now that you know, how can you use this knowledge to your advantage?

Well, if you want people to read your articles, the first thing you have to do is get their attention. And the best way to do that is with compelling article titles. Stay away from boring, unimaginative titles that are likely to be ignored or skimmed over. Get readers excited! More importantly, get their attention.

Are you attracted to boring titles? Of course not, and neither are your readers. So when writing your article titles, put on your thinking cap, and be creative. Following are a few examples of article titles designed to get the readers attention:

-The 10 Biggest SEO Myths Exposed
-The Pervasion of Disrespectful Marketing
-The Seduction of Internet Marketing Newbies
-Article Marketing Success Tips: How to Write and Promote Articles
-How to Write Headlines That Make Readers Slam On Their Eyeball Brakes

If you’ll notice, the last title on that list is a “How To” title. It’s an article I wrote recently titled, How to Write Headlines That Make Readers Slam On Their Eyeball Brakes. In that article, I offer tips and advice on how to write better headlines for your ads and/or sales letters. But, the information applies to article titles as well. So you should definitely Google the title, and read the article.

Speaking of titles, “How To” titles are very effective at getting attention. Always have been. So use them as often as possible. By the way, all of the above titles are from real articles. In fact, I’m the author of each of those articles. You may have even read one or two of them. Notice how each title peaks your curiosity, and makes you want to read more?

But as compelling as those article titles are, a great title is only the beginning. Remember, Internet users are notorious scanners. That means you have to give them plenty of additional eye candy, in the form of subheads, bite size paragraphs, bullet points, etc. And having a well-written, interesting and informative article doesn’t hurt either.

Oh, one last thing. While we’re on the subject of titles. Always put your keywords in your article titles. It’s been my experience, it really doesn’t matter where in the title your keywords are placed, just as long as they’re in there. After all, if you’re going to write articles, you might well get some SEO benefits out of the deal.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

In addition to the readability study I cited earlier, I also read a very interesting study on “findability” that was also conducted by Jakob Nielsen. In the study, he was discussing how having too many so-called “new” words can actually ruin your search rankings, as well as diminish your website’s value. Because all those new words are unlikely to appear in search queries.

For example, many website owners attempt to coin new search terms because they’re under the mistaken impression they can own the top search position, if the new search term becomes in vogue and catches on. But the reality is, more often than not, people will continue to use their old terminology, because it’s what they’re used to.

Here’s a quote from Jakob Nielson’s study titled, Use Old Words When Writing for Findability:

“Familiar words spring to mind when users create their search queries. If your writing favors made-up terms over legacy words, users won’t find your site.

If you fill your pages with fancy new words, you’ll lose the most powerful tool in Internet marketing: the ability for users to find you in search. Making the search listings is a crucial first step, but it’s not the only step: users must also click your entry, and your site must have a good conversion rate.

There’s more to website success than simply being found, but it is the first step. Use old words and you’ll be that step ahead of the competition and their useless new words.”

Consistent Promotion is the Key

As I stated at the beginning of this article, article marketing isn’t just writing a bunch of words, and submitting them to EzineArticles and other top directories. There’s actually an art and science to the process.

That being said, art and science notwithstanding, even if you do all the things I mentioned in this article, it will all be for naught, unless you consistently promote your articles, like there’s no tomorrow!

Promote them on article directories, promote them on your website or blog, promote them through social media, promote them on social bookmarking sites, promote them on RSS directories, promote them in your newsletter.

Promote, promote, promote!

David Jackson is a marketing consultant, and the owner of – Free, common sense marketing tips to help grow your business.