Article Marketing – Five Key Reasons to Just Do It

Article marketing is the practice of writing and submitting articles for publication by one or more of the thousands of online article directories that serve as both as publishing platforms and, perhaps more importantly, sources of traffic to your websites. Article marketing has been around for quite a while now (in “Internet years” anyway) and many article writers have been reaping some great rewards from their efforts. And yet, many budding online entrepreneurs and many more well-established offline businesses have never done any article marketing.

There seem to be two reasons for this:

They do not know that it exists in the first place
If they not about it, they do not really grasp its benefits
While not knowing that “this thing” called article marketing exists is an issue whose solution is beyond the scope of this article (and one that really falls in the lap of article directories), not grasping its benefits is a relatively easy issue to address.

The way I see it, there are five key benefits to article marketing:

1. It can help you to establish yourself as an authority in your niche

Article marketing gives you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise and, in the process, build your credibility in the eyes of your target markets.

2. It can help to boost the rankings of the pages to which the backlinks point

Article directories allow you to add quality links to other sites you’re promoting and since links boost a website’s authority – and authority is a key search engine ranking factor – the links you get from article directories can help you climb the search engine ranking “ladder.”

3. It can send traffic directly to your site

Those same links that article directories allow you to place in you resource box or body copy are also sources of direct, highly targeted traffic as interested readers click on the link to learn more about the subject of the article and are taken to the online destination of your choice (additionally, article directories allow for ezine and newsletter publishers to republish your content for their benefit of their readers, which, in turn, provides an additional channel for direct traffic to a site you’re trying to promote).

4. It may be your best/only shot at top search engine rankings

High authority article directories confer some of their authority onto the page an article is published to, which means that they often have a higher probability of achieving a high ranking in the search results than the same content published (originally) to a low authority website.

5. It can help you to extend the “mileage” of your content

While the rules vary, article directories generally allow you to republish content that you originally (and only) published to your blog or website, which actually makes it possible for both your article and your blog post or website page to achieve top rankings in the search results (even though search engines are reputed to discount duplicate content, it seems that they let you get away with some duplicate content – to the point that an article republished to an article directory can actually rank higher than the exact same article published originally as a post on your blog or page on your website).

If you haven’t been bitten by the article marketing bug by this point in this article, then you need to know one more thing: article directories do not charge you for publishing your articles. That’s right: article marketing is free.

So now that you know – for sure – about “this thing” called article marketing and you know about some of its more compelling benefits, it’s time for you to make a commitment and add article marketing to your online marketing toolkit.

How to Use Direct Mail to Market Your Pet Sitting Business

Using direct mail is a tried-and-true ways to generate leads for any business. For owners of pet sitting businesses, it can be one of the most effective ways to get new clients, because it can physically reach the homes in targeted services areas where their ideal pet sitting customers reside.

I. Flyers

When business owners think about direct mail, “flyers” is one of the first things to come to mind and the ease of making them is one of the reasons why.

Flyers can be made in a variety of ways. If you really wanted to, you could simply write one flyer in long hand and copy it off several times. But for those pet sitting business owners, a more professional look is a few clicks away. You can create a sleek-looking flyer accessing Microsoft Word or Publisher and using one of the many available templates in these programs.

Think about where your target market frequents. Do members of your target market go to dog parks? Do they visit pet stores often for specialized supplies? Are they clients of exotic pet veterinarians? Wherever your target market goes, your flyers should go, too.

II. Postcards

Like flyers, you can also create postcards to advertise your pet sitting business using Microsoft Word or Publisher. If these programs aren’t available to you, you can design and order them on various “printing” Internet websites. Postcards are great when you want to be succinct and use images to communicate your pet sitting business’ brand, ideals, values or services. 

For postcards, you may need to do research to get potential clients’ physical addresses. When determining how you’re going to distribute, you should also consider the cost of postage. Postcards can be one of the most costly direct mail forms because of their creation and distribution costs, even though the total cost should be relatively pretty cheap. If you find that postage will break your advertising budget, you can also make postcards available at physical locations like on bulletin boards, kiosks or newsstands. 

III. Door Hangers

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that door hangers can be made using the same tools and programs mentioned above. For a more professional feel, you can also enlist the help of a print shop- especially if you want them custom made in a way that totally differs from what’s available on those programs. Print shops can also come in handy if you plan on mass producing thousands of door hangers for each door in a specific neighborhood.

While door hangers may seem to be the most work intensive of the direct mail options, they do have benefits. Their distribution method means that they can be very localized and have a more personalized feel to them. And statistically speaking, door hangers have a great chance of being read and saved in comparison to postcards or flyers. Besides, knocking on a potential client’s door is always bound to get a response!

What Is Direct Mail Marketing and Is It Right for You?

Direct mail marketing (DMM) involves sending advertising material to the homes of potential customers. DMM may include sending a number of different types of promotional and advertising material. The idea is to get customers to place an order or otherwise to contact you to learn more about the products and services you are offering.

Learning More About Direct Mail Marketing

DMM takes many different forms depending on what type of business you are running. For instance, advertising circulars with glossy pictures of items you are selling and announcements of a low price or a coupon are examples of DMM. A free trial CD offering the chance to use a new software program is an example of DMM. Even pre-approved credit card offers are a form of DMM.

Direct mail marketing is used by businesses both large and small. When a new local restaurant opens and sends a post card to the nearby homes indicating that the restaurant has moved into the neighborhood, this is an example of DMM. When a huge multi-national company sends out mailers, this too is DMM. Often, these larger direct mail companies will take advantage of low bulk- mail rates available to large-volume customers who send massive amounts of material throughout the mail each year.

Is Direct Mail Marketing Right for Your Company?

DMM works- otherwise some of the biggest companies in the United States would not spend their advertising dollars on it. However, whether DMM will work for you depends on your situation.

The vast majority of businesses can benefit from direct mail techniques since it gets their name out there into different households, introduces products to customers, and entices them to shop or try the product. For instance, a customer who gets a postcard informing them a new restaurant has opened and offering them a coupon for 10 percent off their first meal will be likely to remember that coupon and give the restaurant a try. If all goes well and he likes the food, the restaurant will have a new customer that might never have known about or tried the place without the DMM.

Of course, the success of your direct mail campaign will depend on how effective your advertising material is and, to an extent, how accurate you are in reaching potential customers who might be interested in your product. A new company offering computer software, for example, might not want to send their DMM to an over 55 neighborhood where the seniors might not be as keen on checking out new computer programs. In general, the more specialized your product and the more limited the potential customer base, the more important it becomes to have a targeted list of customers to send your marketing material to if you want it to be a success.

Those businesses with an extremely narrow focus and customers spread across a diverse geographic area might, therefore, not be the best candidates for DMM unless they already have a customer database or have access to addresses of their target demographic. All other companies, however, can typically do well using direct mail methods.