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Stop Undermining Your Article Submissions!

Your web site plays an integral role in your article submission strategy. If it isn't up to par, your article submission projects won't produce much in the way of results. To support your efforts in writing and submitting articles, you need a solid workhorse, which is the job of your web site. It's not just for looks, but rather serves the purpose of offering something of value to your target audience and converting browsers to faithful readers, loyal newsletter subscribers and committed buyers! On the Internet, just like with bricks-n-mortar businesses, appearance is critical. Use these strategies to elevate your web site giving it literal curb appeal and improving your business, which translates to more article acceptances and more exposure in your target market! * Cut the Pomp and Circumstance As with so many elements of the Internet, the use of a Splash Page featuring fancy graphics and an Enter button is obsolete. Most people find them irritating and won't even venture past this point to see the rest of your web site, so delete your splash page now! * Professionalism If your web site looks the Internet Amateur Hour, you're probably turning off prospects.

Quality clients/customers won't do business with you if your image is unprofessional. Make sure that pages are neat and organized featuring content that's easily readable. Be consistent in formatting from page-to-page to prevent a thrown-together look. * Focus Just like your articles, your web site needs focus. No business fills every need for every consumer, so direct your web site to the prospective clients/customers in your target market.

Be clear about the products/services you offer and engage prospects in your specific market by catering to their needs exclusively and better than your competition. * Presence Online businesses have to overcome the hurdle of not having face-to-face contact with prospects. Make interaction with you a simple process by providing a contact form, listing a phone number and including an e-mail address on every page. * Stick to Business Does your web site look reflect you as a business professional or does it blast prospects with a variety of hard-to-read fonts and excessive graphics? Limit the number of fonts and colors used throughout your site. Use graphics judiciously avoiding slow-loading designs that frustrate prospects. * Content They call it king for a reason, so don't dethrone your efforts by featuring the same old content. Give prospects and search engines, plus your regular clients/customers, fresh content that fits your theme and offers value to your target audience. * Accentuate Pay special attention to your Articles Page. Include reprint details with your required guidelines above your articles. Use inviting language in your guidelines encouraging publishers to take advantage of your material.

Make it convenient for publishers by listing articles alphabetically by title and include a three-line description. Link titles to the actual article page with offer versions in html, pdf and text files. * Courting Publishers Publishers are very busy people, so make it easy for them to publish your articles. Offer a separate publisher's only subscription notifying them when you have a new article available. * Show Your Smile Potential clients want to know who you are. Include a photo on your Article Page for publishers/editors to use when they reprint your articles. Prospects also appreciate being able to actually see a person because it makes doing business online much more personal. * Call-to-Action You're wasting time, effort and valuable space with web pages that don't give clients/customers the opportunity to do business with you! Each page, even your individual article pages, should always include a call-to-action. Strut your stuff by offering prospects your newsletter and/or subscriptions to your exclusive members-only offerings. Streamline the process and gain more clients.

* Testimonials Share client/customer testimonials with prospects instead of keeping them to yourself. Add at least one testimonial per page including article pages letting prospects know just how valuable others find your products/services. * Respect Clients/Customers More than ever, people are concerned with the security of their private information. Establish a clear privacy policy and publish it on your web site and linking to it from each page. * Guarantee It In Writing Decide your return/refund policy before your web site goes live! No matter how good your product or service is, at some point, you're going to have an unsatisfied customer. Create a consistent refund policy up front and update it immediately on your web site if you change it. * Polish The Final Product Grammatical mistakes like misspellings, improper punctuation, and capitalization errors signal prospects that you're not attentive to detail. Have someone proofread your entire site including your articles to make sure all text is error-free. So, what's your curb appeal? Your web site is your online office and showroom. Does it make you look like a professional or more like an amateur with a sideline hobby? Remember, marketing with articles is about generating exposure.

Although publishers need articles they may not accept them if your site is poorly designed, disorganized or filled with grammatical errors and outdated content. Put your best foot forward to prospective publishers and clients who come to you through your article submissions. If, despite your best efforts, your web site still needs work consider hiring a professional. You'll quickly recoup the cost of hiring an expert with more sales and increased exposure! (c) 2005, Davis Virtual Assistance. This article may be reproduced in all venues so long as the content and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are set live.


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