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Credibility, Article Writing, And Marketing Products

Posted by on Oct 28, 2008

A few posts ago, I wrote about Lynn Terry and some of her tips on making money online. Well, a month ago, I had the opportunity to participate in one of her weekly marketing sessions, and I got to ask her a couple of questions during that time.

The first question was what she thought about writing articles to put on article marketing sites. The second question was what how she felt in advertising products that one hasn’t really used. She gave me some interesting answers, and I’d like to talk about those answers.

On the first question, she answered that she thought writing articles and posting them at article marketing sites was a great idea. She felt that the traffic one could get from one of those sites could be important traffic; that you’d get links from those sites; and, if someone else decided to pick up one of your articles for repost, with the caveat that they give you attribution, your articles have a chance to give you a lot of publicity in other ways, possibly driving traffic to your site.

I’ve given this one a lot of thought, and though I don’t disagree with her assessment on the topic, I decided that I would check my own statistics on this one. I couldn’t do it for this blog, though, so I did it for my business website. For that site, I have about 20 articles posted in various places, but on two specific sites I’ve got maybe 16 articles posted. Maybe it takes more than that, but hey, it’s a sample. What I see doesn’t give me much encouragement to post any articles to any of these sites. Checking Google Analytics over a 60 day period, my site shows that I haven’t driven a single person to my site via any of these sites. And, before anyone asks, yes, one of those sites is Ezine Articles. Now, some of those articles have been picked up and are in other places on the web (it’s amazing where you’ll find your stuff on the internet), and I’ve verified that none of those places has driven any traffic to my site in the last 60 days either. Now, I’m not going to claim that this is overly scientific, but it’s not quite a catalyst in making me think that article marketing is going to help me much. I’m not saying not to do it; I’m just saying I don’t see it working for me.

On the second question, she said that one doesn’t have to use everything that they market, but that it helps with credibility if you’re writing about products that you’ve at least used some of them or have tested some of them, or that you know something about the people you’re pushing at least some of the time. On this one, I wholeheartedly agree. Building credibility is a big deal; as a matter of fact, my new friend Dennis Edell of Direct Web Sales Marketing also just addressed this issue ((though Dennis won’t believe this, I hadn’t read the article until just now, but I’d seen that he had written an article on it via CommentLuv). And, since he’s linking to another article, it’s obviously a subject many people are thinking about, and works well with my post on sales, to a degree.

I decided to take a look back at some of my posts, things I’ve recommended, items I have on my sidebars, to see how balanced I’ve been. When I first started this blog, I wrote posts on affiliate ads that I was marketing via Commission Junction, which shares most of the bottom ads I put on this blog with the Google Affiliate Network. I talked about Ultra Diamonds with “CJ”, but I’ve never bought a product from them. I also talked about and posted links to the Harry Potter series of books and movies, which I have read and seen all the movies for. Not quite balanced, but it was the first month.

As time has gone by, I’ve gotten more into talking about things I’ve given some type of thought to, and have fully participated in them. The last five products I’ve endorsed, not including the latest, Startup Rebel, which I just started looking at a day or so ago, are eHealth Insurance, Tweet My Blog, Recover My Data, Error Doctor, and FreeCreditReport.com, I’ve used or still use four of those, with the only one I don’t use being eHealth Insurance, but since that was more about an opinion on why people should have health insurance if they don’t, I don’t count that one against me.

And, as a further extension, with the ads I have on the side, which I’m not going to list here again, not including the Text Link Ads (which I may still remove at the end of the month), I’ve used or read every link that’s over there (at the top, since, by this time, we’ve gone down the list a little bit), especially the book I wrote, Embrace The Lead (run over and buy that one now! :-)), and of course Joel’s book, which has helped my website and Adsense revenue jump almost 400%.

As for the individual ads I put at the end of each post, I’m not going to claim that I’ve used or purchased most of them, because it wouldn’t be true. I have visited every website that I put up, though, just to see what it’s like, something I like to do before I decide to market them unless I’m already familiar with the product or company. And, of course, everyone’s familiar with Adsense. Goodness, as I’ve gone back through some pages of my blog to research this post, I realize I haven’t really spent a lot of time marketing as much as reviewing things and giving my opinion; that’s somewhat enlightening to me, so I’ve learned something about myself writing this post.

Anyway, I believe I’ve shown some balance in my recommendations of products through my blog, actually leaning more towards someone who has used, or at least tried, many of the things I talk about. Now, does that boost my credibility? I think so, but only you, the reader, can tell me so for sure. I feel fairly secure in what I’ve written about on this blog, and how I write this blog as honestly as possible, and in my own way addressed the issue I’ve been discussing with another online friend Rich regarding a post he directed me to regarding his belief that if one accepted ads on their site that it would make them less likely to speak their minds honestly. He may be right in general; at least, in my mind, he’s not right as it pertains to me. By the way, he writes some pretty good and heady stuff, so check him out.

So, there you go. How credible am I to you? Trust me, I care. How credible are you to your readers? I hope that, many decades down the line, that I remember how I felt when writing this post, and how I felt while writing this blog. Can one be too old to dream? I hope not, but if so, well, then take this little bitty video with you on that subject (y’all do remember that I’ve said before how much I love the Muppets, right?):

Muppet Show Season Three


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12 Comments »

Article Marketing:

Clearly article marketing is the best way to gain relevant back links. Additionally these back links are gained slowly, not explosively; a characteristic search engines look for. In a very short period of time, your site becomes an authority site, and organic listings develop. It is vital to include appropriate anchor text, and links in the author resource box.

October 29th, 2008 | 4:05 AM
Mitch:

Well, since that’s apparently your focus, of course you’d say and believe that. The articles I have posted aren’t new articles. Some have been there since the beginning of the year, but others have been there for literally years. Same with articles posted on other sites. Now, I don’t know what kind of traffic they’ve gotten, but it hasn’t been anything that’s helped me thus far.

October 29th, 2008 | 9:56 AM
Suanne Franco:

Hi Mitch ~ Followed over from Dennis’s blog … I also believe in being fair to my readers first … make money second and I can tell you’re a honest, straight forward guy.

As for the article marketing … sorry to hear you aren’t getting any traffic from them. Mine are hit and miss … but don’t forget to check to see if you’re getting any good backlinks from the articles you submitted. Those are just as important sometimes.

I look forward to reading more. *SmiLes* Suzanne

October 29th, 2008 | 8:20 AM
Mitch:

Thanks for visiting, Suzanne. And thanks for the nice words. I’m not sure how I’d check to see if they were “good” backlinks, but I know I’ve gotten backlinks from them. But no referrals or traffic; that’s kind of key for me.

October 29th, 2008 | 9:54 AM
Mitch:

Yup; almost like we’re on the same wavelength. Great minds think alike, including the Muppets!

October 29th, 2008 | 9:58 AM
Raj Krishnaswamy:

Hi Mitch: Nice post. I am kind of surprised about your not so great results from article marketing. I tried it out about six months ago, by submitting original articles to various sites and the results were so good that I decided to set up an article directory myself. Hence, I am confused as to why it has not driven traffic as much as you had expected. But this site is so good that your traffic is bound to increase naturally anyway. Thank you.

October 29th, 2008 | 2:50 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for the kind words, Raj. Now, I’m not saying I might not be getting some link love. I am saying that no one seems to be coming to visit my site via any article directories. If you check your stats, what percentage of visitors are you getting from them?

October 29th, 2008 | 3:23 PM
RichSlick:

Thanks for the mention Mitch but let’s be honest. If someone offered you $5,000 to do a favorable product review, you wouldn’t take the money?

Be honest man…..

RichSlick´s last blog post..And They Said Things Would Be Different After 9/11

October 29th, 2008 | 8:33 PM
Mitch:

I’ve been offered more money than that in my main business industry and turned it down because it went against my principles. And I’m talking six digits; just couldn’t do it. So yeah, I can honestly say it because I’ve done it.

October 29th, 2008 | 8:42 PM
Mitch:

I’d only put my name behind something I really believed in. Sure, on this blog I’ve written about a few things that look good that I haven’t tried, but very few. At some point, if I get big enough, I may join the ranks of those people who help out product launches. But for someone to pay me money for something that I might hate and want me to write something nice about,… not happening. My integrity is worth more than that.

Still, as it’s getting colder and quieter, I can’t say that I don’t look back on passed up “opportunities” and wonder ‘what if’,… Nah!

October 30th, 2008 | 11:32 AM

Good tips Mitch, I also submit articles to Ezine and I luv it when they get picked up by others.

Larry´s last blog post..Advertising Methods Compared

October 31st, 2008 | 1:12 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Larry. Overall, it’s all about communications in some fashion, but hopefully good communications.

October 31st, 2008 | 2:20 PM