Site   Web

July 23, 2013

The Rules of Engagement (Grab Your Readers’ Attention!)

The No. 1 rule of article marketing has to be “engage your audience.” There’s a whole World Wide Web of information available at the touch of a button, and without their undivided attention, your article marketing campaign is going nowhere.

With that in mind, consider this: when was the last time you thought, “I really want to read an advert right now?”

I’m guessing the answer is “never.” So why would your audience want to read an advert? The simple answer is, they wouldn’t. Yet so many wannabe article marketers break this cardinal rule and spend their time writing promotional articles about their products, services or business — essentially a waste of time and effort, because these articles almost never get read.

Although the point of article marketing is to market your website, the best way to do so is to provide something useful to your audience — not another ad they can tune out.

By giving your audience information they can use to benefit their lives, they will choose to click through to your website, look at your products, or sign up for your services. However, this has to be a natural choice, not something they feel forced into by a hard-line sales pitch.

So if you’re not allowed to outright sell, how can you engage your readers and promote your business?

First of all, let’s review what purposes your online article submissions should serve:

  • Your articles should give readers information they can use to improve their lives. Of course, the information that you give them will be related to your field.
  • Your articles also allow you to connect with your readers and develop a rapport.
  • Your articles are a means of cultivating credibility and trust with readers.
  • Finally, from the website owner’s perspective, articles also serve the purpose of building backlinks to your website.

None of these says “sell your product!” Although that’s the end goal here, keep it for your resource box, not your article body. Instead, give your readers a reason to visit your website — namely, give them interesting information about a relevant topic that makes them want to learn more.

So how can you do this? Here are some tips for how to write natural content readers will love.

1. Show Your Expertise

By writing intelligent, useful content with tips, advice or information related to your niche, your readers will place their confidence in your articles and, by extension, your product, company or website.

If your readers can trust you as an expert in your field, they will be more likely to visit your website, trusting that your products or services could be the solution they’ve been looking for, and bringing them one step closer to that all-important purchase.

2. Solve Their Problems

No one’s asking you to be a Fairy Godmother, but when people look for information online, it’s often to help them solve a niggling problem. Be it a technical glitch, an area of misunderstanding or something your customers are frequently asking about, your readers will be looking for answers in your articles — so give them what they want.

It helps to think of yourself as a teacher and your readers as your students. They are coming to you for information. They do not want to hear you wax poetic about how great your business is. They simply want answers to their questions, and if your article can’t provide them with the information that they need, they will look elsewhere.

The most popular articles on the Web inevitably take on the “how to” template. Be it “how to learn Chinese,” to “how to build a garden fence,” readers love articles that teach them practical skills or give guidance in a tricky situation.

The next time you sit down to write an article, focus on engaging your readers rather than trying to sell to them.

What do you know that could be of interest to potential customers? What could you pass on, after years of developing your expertise within your niche?

Personally, I write articles about how to do article marketing and, while building the profile of my business, I have gained so much more. Through article marketing, I’ve built relationships with customers, gained confidence and inspired trust, and even got a dialogue going, where people can ask questions on any relevant subject, and I’ll do my best to give them the advice they need. It’s a rewarding feeling, being able to teach something you’re passionate about, and it benefits your business too.

What could you write about that’s related to your niche? What questions keep popping up from your customers? Is there something fun you could see yourself teaching?

Give it a go today, and see what results you can achieve by teaching, not selling.

Steve Shaw is a content syndication specialist. Do you own a blog? Need content? Join thousands of other blogs and get free high-quality, niche-focused, human-reviewed content from quality authors sent on auto-pilot – and it’s all 100 percent free! Go to for more information.