If you are like me, you enjoy helping other people. One way to help people is to share your knowledge with those who could benefit from it. Because the Internet is so massive, it is certain that there are people out there who would love to read what you write.
Our company was on Google page five for this service a about 10-months ago and now we have progressed to page two. We have not made it to the coveted page one yet but we are steadily making progress in that direction. Our efforts do not preclude hiring an outside SEO firm to assist us, an option that we are actively considering now.
In addition to writing articles, I also submit our website link to relevant, high-ranking websites. Others have covered this tactic well elsewhere, so I will not go into it much here. You should augment your article strategy by submitting your link to directories and other relevant sites.
Here we will focus on sharing your knowledge through writing articles, and in return achieving a higher search engine rank, more web traffic, more leads, and more new business.
You have a profession and you are in a particular industry. You undoubtedly have knowledge and experience from which others could benefit. You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others. Could they benefit from reading the articles you write? The answer is a resounding yes!
Make a list of possible article topics. Choose a topic for your first article and start writing immediately. This is probably different advice than you are used to getting about writing. I recommend writing a first draft as fast as you can. Do not write an outline or worry too much about organization and structure at first. You can save the task of improving the organization and structure of your article for later.
The goal of your first draft should be to get your thoughts down on paper and to get ideas flowing. The very act of writing generates new ideas. You may find some of the ideas you generate by writing fit with the flow of your article, while some ideas you will want to save for future articles.
Different ezines and publications prefer different formats, and various ways of submitting your work. You may want to write your article in Word format first but then save your work in ASCII (standard) text format as well. In addition, you may want to embed some HTML formatting into your text version as most sites accept some HTML. If the publication requires you to email your work to an editor, they usually prefer that you email it to them in MS Word format. If the ezine is self-service (you submit it using a Web form), often they require text (with some HTML) or sometimes just plain text only.
If you create your article in Word format, you can often make hyperlinked words and phrases. If they are relevant, you can put these in the body of your article. Otherwise, you can put links in your biography. To insert a link, select the text or phrase that you want to be a link and then go to the Insert pull-down menu called and select hyperlink. Then type in the full web address of your web site. This process inserts a hyperlink into your Word document.
If you submit your article in text format, generally you will be using a self-service Web form. These forms are very easy to use. You simply copy and paste the text into the paragraph text field provided, including the resource section (or biography). If there is no resource or biography section be sure to append the biography to end of your article. You have now submitted your article to the ezine. After you submit your article, the editors will review and approve your article first so make sure you read their guidelines both for content and for how much HTML the publication allows in the body vs. the resource section (biography). Ezine's HTML and hyperlink policy is often more open in the resource (bio) section so this may be your primary opportunity to submit your website links.
For the most part, you will submit your articles to ezines that accept text format with some HTML included. You can use some HTML to make your article look a more organized and to include links when relevant. Further, be sure to include at least one link in the "resource" section (short bio) that is often a separate paragraph field. Otherwise, you can place the bio at the end of the main body of the article.
Be sure to make the links association with keywords that you want to promote. For example, let's say a fictional company wants to increase its ranking for the keyword "Blue Widgets". They would want to have the link look like this: XYZ Blue Widgets
. Now XYZ, Inc., will make some progress in increasing its ranking for the "blue widgets" keyword phrase.
Editors and You
Whether you email your article to an editor or use an online submission form, a live editor will review your article at some point. Just like the print world, editors play an important role in the online world. They are the arbiters of content.
Writers and editors form a symbiotic relationship. You write content that editors need; if it fits their needs, they publish your content on their publication. Be nice to editors and try to cultivate good relationships with them. Read their editorial guidelines and follow the instructions for submitting articles. Some publications have very specific guidelines for submissions and specific types of articles they need.
I always find it very exciting when an editor publishes my article! It is good fun.
The Big Picture
Modern capitalism is characterized more by cooperation than by competition. Most companies are specialized enough in the services they offer and customers they serve that they have few direct competitors. You could say the same of individuals, even within the same profession.
As a result, we have more to gain by sharing information than by hoarding it. The most effective means to disseminate your knowledge is to write articles and publish them on the Web. In return, you can get a higher search engine rank, leads, and new business. If you diligently put your knowledge out into the world, rewards will flow back to you in due time.