To spare you the trial and error, here are 5 tips on how to get the most out of your article marketing efforts:

1. Headlines
As you likely know, headlines are crucial in almost any written communication, whether it be a sales letter, blog post or article. When blogging, your perfect headline is extremely compelling and keyword rich, but if you have to choose between the two, go with what’s compelling to people first. A blog post that gets read and linked to is more valuable than a post with a keyword-packed title that gets ignored.
When submitting articles to directories for syndication, headlines are still crucial, but you’re now writing for a slightly different audience. You’re still writing for people, but now you’re writing for publishers first. And the prevailing attitude among the people most likely to republish your content is that key words matter most.
So your focus with articles is just the opposite of your blog posts. Write the most compelling headline you can, but it absolutely must include attractive key words. Don’t feel like you need to aim for the most popular keyword combinations related to the subject matter; there’s simply too much competition. Think Long Tail instead.
Do keyword research and find good niche combinations. This is what publishers are looking for, and keeping publishers happy will make your article marketing efforts more fruitful.

2. Resource Box
Never, ever, lose site of the fact that the links back to your site are the entire reason you are submitting an article for syndication. A great article with a bad resource box is a waste of your time and talent.
Various article directories have differing criteria for how much information can be placed in your resource box, or “byline.” There are also specific rules regarding how many back links can be present, and how they can be formatted. Carefully review the rules, and maximize every link opportunity that is allowed.
If the directory allows three links, include three links. For best search engine results you should include at least one link back to your site using anchor text for relevant keywords. For example, I might link back to my site with the anchor text web copywriting.
It’s smart to vary the anchor text you use slightly every once and a while, and you may even link occasionally with “click here” or other more natural phrases. Simply repeating your desired keywords in your anchor text time after time will likely work against you with search engines.
Leave at least one link in the full format. Why? Inexperienced bloggers or publishers may accidentally fail to properly format your anchor text link, leaving you link-less. Plus, email editors who publish in plain text cannot support anchor text links, so you want to make sure you always preserve a fool-proof link. No link, no value.
Also, when formatting the link, never put a period at the end of a URL. In some instances that can cause the link to break. I simply try to never put the URL at the end of a sentence.

3. Shorter Articles, More of Them
Conventional blogging wisdom says that shorter posts are better, and with “link and opinion” type posts, that’s true. But there’s a growing movement among resource-oriented blogs toward longer, more instructive posts.
With articles, it’s essential that your articles stay short. There are two good reasons for this.

One, never forget the resource box. Your goal is for the reader to see who you are and visit your site. While you need to provide some compelling value in your article, it is simply a means to an end. Otherwise, your content is providing more value to the directory (and their AdSense ads) than to yourself.
Two, the key to successful article marketing is volume. If you naturally write long articles, go ahead and write them that way. Then split the resulting article into two or more article of 250 to 500 words.

The vast majority of authors who submit articles to the directories send in less than 10, then quit because the results are not overwhelming. You simply cannot get results with that few articles. I’ve been able to get great results in the search engines with as little as 20 articles, but the more you submit, the better your results. Volume is the simple secret behind successful article marketing, but most people simply do not make it over the hump.
Here’s a hint that will help you come up with ideas. Surf around an article directory in the categories that are relevant to your topic. See what others are writing about. Now, put your own spin on some of those articles. You can always find a new angle. Remember, there’s nothing truly new under the sun, but there’s a million ways to tell a story.

4. No Duplicate Content
If you’re blogging, it’s very tempting to simply submit your posts to the directories. I stay away from this. I think it’s debatable that the search engines will penalize you for having content on your site that is also published elsewhere, but there is definitely some risk.

From a practical standpoint, simply having what you blog republished can hurt you with people who click through from your resource box. When I read a good directory article, and then click though to the blog only to see the exact same content, I leave. Fair or not, I’m not feeling the value of spending more time there.

Anecdotally, I’ve simply had the best results when there is no duplication of content. Often I will promote a free resource, such as a tutorial or other content that is delivered by email. The articles drive traffic to the resource and help it rank in the search engines, and I get a chance to start a recurring relationship with that visitor. The syndicated article was the first unique step in creating that relationship.

5. Copywriting Matters
Your article cannot simply be an advertisement or pitch for whatever you are selling. In fact, even your resource box should not be pitching the sale. An article is a gateway that allows you the opportunity to begin a dialogue with a potential prospect.

Publishing lots of articles that link back to your target site or blog will help you in the search engines. However, to really get the most out of article marketing, you need to convert article readers into direct traffic.

To do that, you need a compelling headline, and a blockbuster opening paragraph. From there, your article should lead the reader step-by-step, sentence-by-sentence, to your resource box, where the call to action is such that the reader clicks through onto your turf. Learning basic and advanced copywriting techniques will improve your overall marketing effectiveness by leaps and bounds.

Advertisements is a social platform and online bookstore. You can upload your bookshelf to share, connect, recommend and discover new books and new authors. The BookRabbit website is very easy to use and understand, with good, simple navigation and clean presentation of content. It would be a good idea for the site to provide recommendations directly to me, based on the contents of my bookshelves.

BookRabbit’s system, intriguingly, appears to have something in common with Facebook’s “Beacon” feature, which shows a user’s online “friends” what that person has bought recently, or which services they have signed up to. The new website combines this with sophisticated library facilities, which “match” your collection with those of other members.

What do you think of BookRabbit?

bookrabbit Social platform screenshot

bookrabbit Social platform screenshot

Miss the decadent 1990’s club scene? Withdraw no more. Re-live your glory days with Superstar DJs Here We Go! The Incredible Rise of Clubland’s Finest.  This is not your average clubber experience, this is about the people behind the scene. The DJs who became the new rockstars and promoters who became rich from superclubs. But as we all know there is no happy ending and the the comedown is always harsher than the high. It’s more about big money, big spending, and hedonistic excesses. After awhile Dom Philips’ voice begins to burn out, regardless that he was an active member of this scene.  After all isn’t this a story we’ve all heard before?

If your nostaglia turns out to be something of a bummer, then there’s Ten Storey Love Song, by new-comer Richard Milward. Taking a similar vein to his critically acclaimed debut novel, Apples, his new novel returns to the same setting, a block of  council flats in Middlesbrough. This time the cast is a drug taking artist, a thief and truck driver  and what happens when artist Bobby is discovered by a famous art dealer. Though don’t expect any happy endings in this one either.

It’s extremely well-crafted, the young Milward gives an unexpectedly compassionate view of these otherwise harsh characters.  Perhaps it’s the details of their lives that bridge compassion between the reader and the characters. But beware if you are easily disturbed by grimy sex scenes or other such bodily filth where you don’t want to know all the details. Think Trainspotting, the book.

Dean Koontz website

Dean Koontz website

Hi I have started reviewing books and websites as we love to see what authors have been up to.

I was not too sure about this novel before I read it, but it actually contains some interesting ideas that move the Frankenstein story on. The Doctor is now interested in creating cloned creatures and this fits with modern knowledge. I really enjoyed the storylines that followed the master, the monster and the police. If the book had only followed these paths it could easily be a 4 star book. However, we are also given a couple of additional storylines that are not as strong and detract from the action.

Website is not great : page doesn’t resemble any of Dean’s fantastic novels, whose main character thrives on ascertaining the greatest feeling out of every situation.

I don’t like the avatar he created for himself, he looks a bit like the lovely Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi :

berlusconi avatar

berlusconi avatar

Maria Savva has the worst website that we have ever seen. Not much about her and her bio online.

From her horrible looking website we learn that :

Maria was born on 19th March 1970 in North London to Greek Cypriot parents. She studied Law at Middlesex University, and graduated in 1992.

She went on to train at the College of Law and became a Solicitor in 1996. Maria still works as a Solicitor, now specialising in Conveyancing. She currently lives in Hertfordshire.

Maria’s first novel ‘Coincidences’, a story about Alice, a young girl looking for her father, was published in 2001. 

About Maris Savva book : ‘Coincidences’
The people in Alice’s life have never let her down. Her relationship with her mother,  Stephanie, is one of enormous closeness. Her friends and colleagues are loyal, and Andrew, a fellow student, has his eye on Alice which could mean the promise of a blossoming romance.
All is well until she wakes suddenly one night, and, by chance, notices the time on her clock. Then a news report, a chance sighting, and a name that means more to her than she knows, provoke her into trying to find her father.

Roger left home when Alice was two, leaving her an only child, and her mother to cope on her own. Since then, she has heard nothing. All that is about to change as she jeopardises her relationships with her secretive mother and the gorgeous Andrew and begins the hunt for the truth which has been denied her.

With compulsion, sensitivity and authority, Coincidences affirms the importance of true selfknowledge, and the courage needed to find it

Extract from ‘Coincidences’:
‘Alice wished that she had never thought about looking for her father. Her life had been so much easier before. She had opened a door into a world which had been left abandoned for years. There were secrets, dark shadows and uncertainties behind the door. Alice was gripped by fear. She knew she could not go back now. She needed to find out about her father. It had changed from a want to a need. She would have to face her fears.’

Sophie Kinsella is a writer and former financial journalist. She is the number one bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess and the hugely popular Shopaholic novels. She lives in London with her husband and family. She is also the author of several bestselling novels under the name of Madeleine Wickham, all published by Black Swan.

Shopaholic & Sister

Becky Bloomwood, America’s favorite shopaholic, is back in a hilarious, heartwarming tale of married life, best friends, and long-lost sisters (and the perils of simply “having” to own an Angel handbag!).
What’s a round-the-world honeymoon if you can’t buy the odd souvenir to ship back home? Like the twenty silk dressing gowns Becky found in Hong Kong…the hand-carved dining table (and ten chairs) from Sri Lanka…the, um, huge wooden giraffes from Malawi (that her husband Luke expressly forbade her to buy)…
Only now Becky and Luke have returned home to London and Luke is furious. Two truckloads of those souvenirs have cluttered up their loft, and the bills for them are outrageous. Luke insists Becky go on a budget. And worse: her beloved best friend Suze has found a new best friend while Becky was away. Becky’s feeling rather blue–when her parents deliver some incredible news. She has a long-lost sister! Becky is thrilled! She’s convinced her sister will be a true soulmate. They’ll go shopping together, have manicures together….Until she meets Jessica for the first time and gets the shock of her life. Surely Becky Bloomwood’s sister can’t…hate shopping?