Six Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Articles
When submitting an article to “EzineArticles”, or other ezine sites or forums, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself about the probable effectiveness of the article. You need to ask these questions before you begin to write. There is little point in sitting down at your computer to expend time and effort on any project unless you know what you are doing and why.
Here, therefore, are some key questions:
“Why am I submitting the article in the first place?” This might seem rather an obvious question to ask but you do need to consider the answer very carefully. Posting an article is a great way to raise awareness of both yourself and your products. It presents you in the eyes of your reader as an expert within your niche. This does mean that the article must be of high quality. Posting a poor article is worse than posting no article at all.
“Is my article aimed at the customers I am seeking?” Your use of language must be aimed at your specific marketplace. If you are writing to engage with retired people your choice of words and your presentation will need to be different from a pitch to a youthful audience. If your readers are from a group of motor enthusiasts, for instance, the use of technical terms related to cars will go down well and impress your readers. If you are writing for boating enthusiasts, writing about the sharp end and the blunt end will, rather obviously, not impress.
“Is my article going to encourage my readers to click the Resource Box link?” This is a really key question. This is one of the main reasons we submit articles. With every article posted there is a resource box which will tell the reader something about you and your niche. Ir will include a link which will usually be to an opt-in page or a product sales letter. This, after all, is the purpose of writing and posting an article. Yet again we see the importance of producing quality copy: Poor quality == No click!
“How useful is my article to other sites?” One big plus of submitting quality articles is that they can be taken up by others for use in their own newsletters and blogs. This they are allowed to do on the understanding that they include your resource box too. The very best articles can go viral as they spread across the internet via this usage. Every time someone republishes one of your articles it and, more importantly, your resource box finds its way before the eyes of many new people.
“Does my article raise a desire in my reader to know more?” The old business adage of AIDA (attention-interest-desire-action) raises its head here. It may seem to be labouring this point, but quality is the key. Your article must provide genuinely useful information on a subject related to your niche. Never use the article to make a sales pitch – that isn’t the point. Your resource box link will take people to a sales page if that’s what you want. The purpose of the article is to raise desire within your reader. They are then very likely to click your resource box link. You can then let your opt-in page or sales letter do the rest.
“Is my article going to generate money for my business?” If your article really connects with your readers they are going to follow the link in your resource box to your website, opt-in page and/or sales letter. The more traffic your articles send to your websites – the more sales you will make – the more money you will generate.
Using the AIDA Formula For Sales
The AIDA Formula or Principle is purportedly over a century old. It has its roots in the advertising world, and has been imported online for our use in internet marketing. Its inventor or originator is unknown but it is regarded as the most-revered and time-proven formula in generating sales. Consider it as a rule-of-thumb and something which must be learned by all marketers as rudimentary knowledge.
AIDA is the acronym for the four steps of the formula. First, you capture your prospect’s Attention (A). Second, you develop Interest (I) about your offer. Third, you intensify Desire (D) for the purchase of your product or service. And fourth, you induce the prospect to Action (A)- to buy from you.
Here’s the formula again for better visualization.
A = Attention
I = Interest
D = Desire
A = Action
Discussion of the individual steps follow.
Attention: Capture the customer’s Attention.
You can do this through the use of a catchy or unique headline. Continue with a follow-up on the sub-headline for sustained attention. Other elements such as a distinct graphic or unorthodox video can also be used. No specific rules apply except that the method used should be appropriate to the product being sold and not overly unusual as to divert the prospect’s attention.
Interest: Develop the customer’s Interest.
Do this by focusing on and demonstrating benefits. A cardinal admonition here is not to focus on features (as in done in traditional advertising). Customers buy benefits and are not too interested in reading about features. The Benefits vs. Features agenda is a sub-topic that needs fuller amplification, and is not fully covered here.
Desire: Intensify the customer’s Desire.
Convince customers that they want and desire your product or service. That it will satisfy their needs. Build desire by making your offer irresistible; such as the inclusion of a number of freebies. You must make sure that the free stuff you give are related to your main product and that they have true value as well. Buyers do not like worthless stuff which they cannot really use. Include a no-risk guarantee. Create urgency in your offer; such as: “Order your copy within three days, before I remove the 40% off bonus.”
Action: Induce customer into Action.
Lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing. You must have a clear Call to Action. You must ask the customer to buy. You must make it easy for them to buy. Offer as many paying options as possible.
A new flavor of the formula has recently been produced online. A terminating fifth letter– S, has been added to the acronym to produce the updated– AIDAS formula. Thence,
Satisfy: Satisfy your customer so that they become return-customers who can also give referrals to your product.
To develop a better appreciation of the AIDA formula, study several sales pages and identify each of the AIDA elements on them. Beginners usually need some time before the system is assimilated. But becomes second-nature when consistently used.