Dear Direct Response Letter Subscriber:

Recently DD, a top copywriter, e-mailed me for some advice about
using articles as a marketing tool.

"An editor has contacted me about doing an article," wrote DD.
"Seems like a good opportunity to generate some publicity for my
product - and some nice credentials for myself.

"Do you have any advice or precautions, like how to maximize this
opportunity -- things I might not know to consider when writing a
magazine article to promote myself and my business?"

Here's what I told DD....

To begin with, just because an editor wants you to write an
article doesn't mean you should.

If you're writing articles for free as a promotional vehicle,
only write for two types of publications.

The first is publications whose readers are the target market for
your product or service.

The second is publications so prestigious that your prospects
will be impressed by the credential of you having been published
in their pages.

Now, even though you're writing the article to promote yourself -
don't promote yourself in the article.

The only way your article is going to build your reputation ... and
get people interested in doing business with you ... is with solid
content. Not self-promotional blather.

Focus on the reader and the topic - and not on you.

For instance, if you're a consultant, you can give little
vignettes in your article about how businesspeople applied smart
management principles to solve problems.

But don't take the credit for yourself. Instead, say "Ned, a
manager at XYZ company," and describe what he did.

Don't say "When Ned called me in, here is what I did" - even if
you were responsible.

Give credit to others, and play down your own role in the stories
your articles contain.

This way, you come off as modest - and not as a blatant
self-promoter, which quickly turns people off.

Give your readers useful hints and tips about your topic ... short,
practical, pithy advice on how to do their jobs or run their
lives better.

When they read your sage advice, they will nod their heads in
recognition of your wisdom ... and begin to think of you as their
"guru" on this topic.

The only promotion or "advertising" should appear in the "about
the author" box that usually runs at the bottom of the first
column of the article when it's published in the magazine.

Your "about the author" copy should say who you are, what you do,
and how to contact you. That means including an e-mail address or
Web site, or both.

As for length, ask the editor. He or she will usually tell you
how many words are desired. Stick to that count.

Once the article is published, the contact information in your
"about the author" box will generate some response for you.

But don't leave it at that. Make your article do double or triple
duty as a promotional tool.

You can:

* Make reprints of your article.

* Include copies of your article in the inquiry fulfillment kits
you send to potential customers.

* Hand out article reprints at trade shows.

* Do a mailing of your article reprint to your clients and

* E-mail your readers a link to the article.

* Post the article on your Web site. Having lots of content on
your site makes visitors stay longer - and also raises your
rankings with search engines.

If the response is good ... and your article seems to have reached
the right people (your target market) ... immediately send an
e-mail to your editor.

Suggest a follow-up article ... with information you didn't have
room to include in the first article.

If you like to write ... and have the time or can hire a
ghostwriter ... why not suggest a monthly column in the magazine
instead of just an article? The worst the editor can do is say

If she says yes, you'll get your name in front of your potential
customers 12 times a year instead of once.

And, you'll accelerate your recognition as a top expert in your

Those are great results ... from one of the easiest self-promotions
you can do: writing articles.

Bob Bly
Copywriter / Consultant
590 Delcina Drive
River Vale, NJ 07675
Phone 201-505-9451
Fax 201-573-4094

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