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SEO Copywriting and Article Writing - Your Gateway to Higher Traffic and New Readers

  By John Alexander

For the last few years, I have been saying to our students and readers that if you are exploring a career in writing for the Web, the opportunities are unlimited. 2011 is certainly no different as far as being a "year for the writer." The only real 
difference is the magnitude of writing styles and an ever growing demand for top quality work. 

Whether you are writing for a weekly or daily Blog, or writing useful articles for editors or publishers or even if you are just creating very simple Web pages, there are more opportunities and more help required out there thank any other previous year that I can recall.

But let's back up just a little. 

Before I start sharing some more tips this week, I have to ask if you may be one of the myriad of people out there, that instantly tends to think to them self...."But John, I am not a writer?"

Perhaps you would like to begin a career as some type of writer, but listening to all of your friends and surrounding voices that say, "You can't write. Who do you think you are?"

Or perhaps you are right at the early stages and even battling with the thoughts that most writers at least initially experience. You maybe thinking, "but I'm not sure I  want the whole world to know what I think about a subject?" "I'm not sure I want the whole world to have access to what I think?" So you wonder, but may shy away from ever making that start simply because of a fear of what others think. After all, when you share in writing you are communicating and putting somewhat, a piece of yourself and your heart into your work, right?

You are not alone. 

Most writers at some point go through a phase like that where they have to get over fears of what others might think. One thing is for sure though, if you have a gift for writing, then you are not going to be able to stop once you take those 
first few steps. Once you shut off all of the negative influences and get started, you will write and write and probably write for most of your life. 

Another stumbling block for some writers, is simply the issue with having enough confidence to make a start. If you never take that first step to get started, then it is better to get started sooner than later when you have a gift to share. 
Remember, that the things I am sharing is from my own experiences of procrastination or I can also remember a time a while ago when I honestly thought to myself, I am not a writer. 

But guess what one of the first things was that really helped change my mind? 

It's actually your first tip...

1. Building Initial Confidence to get started writing.

One of the easiest ways to build confidence and get started writing is simply to join a writers group or begin talking to other writers who are already experienced.

Even just making friends and hanging around other writers can have a profoundly stimulating and positive effect. For this series of tips, I am going to be sharing well beyond the aspect od copywriting just for SEO purposes (which is what most people love to talk about.) But I am talking about for those who are just wanting to make a start 
and yet, don't have that inner confidence quite yet. Start, by letting other writers know that you are interested in writing. You might just be surprised at who God puts in your path of friends to encourage you, rather than being surrounded by voices that say you can't. 

2. Get focused on a Topic that is Close to Your Heart.

Another encouraging fact is to remember to make your start by writing about a topic or subject that you enjoy and are well experienced in. When you write about things that interest you, remember that it will attract others with like minded interests. Get focused on your subject or topic so that you can put a piece of yourself into your work.

3. Write for the reader - not just for SEO or the Search Engines.

Write content that is either useful or helpful to readers and remember that you are not just out to build "a list" as some marketers tend to describe their readers. Your readers are ordinary people just like you and they have everyday interests and everyday challenges. Your readers are looking for someone who writes in a way that they can 
relate to and in a way that is helpful. The voice of sincerity in so many writers tends to sound somewhat manipulative. But your writing should serve up useful content that helps establish real sincerity and you want to write in a way that communicates your thoughts. If you are writing for your readers and sharing your observations from the 
heart, people eventually catch on that you care. 

4. Develop Your Own Writing Voice so Your readers will get to know you

In time you will discover that not only do your readers care about your opinions if you build that sense of sincerity in your writing style, but people will often look forward to your opinions or your view point on a subject. 

The reason is that if you are writing to communicate, people can get to know your and even sense that you are sharing information for their own benefit (not just trying to push sales or contrived marketing tactics.)

One of the things I started doing years ago, was to write hundreds of simple free tips on the subject of SEO. I still write new tips all the time, but I get many people who just drop an e-mail once in a while to say thank you. People come to know whether or not you are sharing good advice or not. Of course the SEO tips have been copied and appear all over the place and it is something many SEOs do now.  Here is where you can still grab a Free SEO Tip of the Day.

5. Develop Some Consistency in Your Writing 

Remember that there are natural benefits to keeping Web content updated. Search Engines have become pretty intelligent (with artificial intelligence or AI) about determining the context of your content. 

But even more valuable, is that creating a supply of consistent updated content or adding new articles which also bring your readers back to your Web project over and over again. Lots of times people will use things like automated RSS feeds or other types of updated links from their Web site to other Web sites or Blogs. There is nothing wrong with this, but remember that you'll get more value if you are writing fresh content consistently yourself.

6. Always take time to become familiar with writers guidelines

When you submit to specific publication, most of them have publishers guidelines that 
you should become aware of and be sure to follow. Guidelines can often vary, so it is 
well worth it to be sure you follow guidelines which will expediate your submissions 
and ensure the chances they are accepted when reviewed.

For articles, most Editors like articles to be approximately 800 to 1200 words.
65 Characters per line including spaces.

Take a look at the editor guidelines for submitting to 

7. Begin to build an Article Distribution Network

There are many publishers and resources that are constantly looking for people to write 
high quality content. These range from article directories such as:

to other types of Blogs and platforms that publish articles regularly:

These are AOL Money and Finance Blogs.

Regardless of whether you write for your own Web site or write for others, good writing is always in demand and provides you with opportunities that were completely unheard of just a few years ago.

8. Build good writing relationships with your editors and publishers.

Have you ever considered the impact of getting your work published with a major publication in either print or online or both. It can have a profound traffic effect for example, if your publisher includes you article in an out going mailing to their 
list of readers. 

I've seen examples of where work was published in just 2 or 3 major publications and each publication had between 200,000 and 400,000 opt in subscribers each, produced nearly 1.5 million visitors.

In another example, I watched as an interesting Blog post published for just a few hours to the front of a major Blog and literally increased traffic volume by nearly 20 times in only just 5 and 1/2 hours through a single a link from that blog back to an "unoptimized" Web page:

The traffic spike of 9,434 page views and a jump from 50 to 100 visitors to nearly 1900 unique visitors looked like this...

 Keep in mind that this traffic just came from a single popular Blog post of only about 335 words. 

The 5 and 1/2 hour traffic spike came through just one single link and resulted in quite a few Adsense sales in that a day. This is just an example of how traffic can flow in from something that is well written and even deliver impressive traffic to an un-optimized page.

9. Patience is a Virtue that carries a lot of weight

But when you first start working with some editors, it may feel like "patience is a virtue that carries a lot of "waiting." A few things to keep in mind. 

Your patience can be helped by realizing that most likely for larger publications, that the editor is going to want to work "with you" to fine tune the way your article reads. This is normal but often for the new writer, the process will take some patience. In some cases, you may end up working with a first and then a senior editor. 

If you are not prepared for it, there are times it can take you by surprise. But the thing to realize in these cases, when an editor offers you their suggestions and/or requests for portions of your article perhaps to be re-worked, usually they really do have the advantage of knowing first hand, what their readers like to read. 

It takes a little patience, but is well worth the effort to work with the editor because once it finally is published, you'll be glad you took the time to collaborate. Just don't get frustrated if the first project feels like it's taking to long.

10. Learn to take on editors assignments - but also sometimes offer suggestions.

Once you have had a few articles successfully published then you will be on the road to actually having a business relationship with the publisher or editor. If they ask for your help on a specific assignment, it is usually because they are aware of your ability and are comfortable working with you. Accept assignments if you are comfortable with them, but also remember that if you come up with a story or new idea that you would like to get published, usually there is a good chance that the editor may like to hear your idea. It all comes down to learning how to work with editors suggestions and making the article as good as it can be for the receiving audience.

In Summary:

The most important thing you can do, is to get started. Writing does not have to always be hard work and meeting unrealistic deadlines. If you find yourself hesitating to get started, or continually making an excuse why you can't start, remember to start by letting other writers know that you are interested in writing. Talk to them about how they felt when they first started.

It is interesting that in all the years that we have been teaching our Workshop students about the different writing styles and how to get started, there is always at least one in the group that feels they just can't write. 

And yet in any of the exercises where a student has let us read their work and mentor them in their work, I don't think we've ever come across one instance where something that a student had submitted to us, did not at least merit at some good possibilities. For most people, it just comes down to focusing on their interests and getting started. 

Again, like anything else in life, the more you practice, the better you get at creating great article content. Also, if you become involved in a Blogger group or a writers workshop where everyone can work and grow and support one another, it only stimulates even faster growth. Learn to listen to the right voices and advice along the way. Ideally learn from those who have a success ratio with their work and ultimately, you will learn to be your own judge of what ingredients make something you've created work well with the audience.

About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John has
taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John is also Director of Search Engine Academy with localized Search Engine Academy training centers where the Complete SEO Mastery Workshop and 6 Month Mentoring program is taught locally to business owners and individuals in communities across North America and  and Internationally in Asia and Australia

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