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Writing articles as a means of marketing yourself

Offline Marketing tips and techniques - how to market your online business OFFline. Also discussing Offline Business set-up and strategy.

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Writing articles as a means of marketing yourself

Postby altyfc » Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:35 am

Hi

I'd be interested to hear what people think of writing informative articles with a view to building awareness of your business. I write a regular column of around 700 words for a local business newspaper. It's nothing very advanced - mostly just addressing the basics for the layperson - and covering a range of issues (of my choosing) such as how to earn money from your website, how to make your site user friendly, how to get traffic from the search engines, other ways to promote your website... that kind of thing. It usually takes a couple of hours to write, depending on how well versed I already am in what I choose to write about.

In the early days of our business, I used to think this was good use of my time. It generated effectively free publicity for our business within the local community. Nowadays, though, with us being increasingly busy with other things (eg. work itself, as opposed to 'touting' for work), I am finding it more and more of a chore. I am tempted to drop the relationship with the 'paper. It's not something I get paid for, but it does come with some free advertising. That advertising has brought very little - just three or four contracts in the two or three years that I've been doing it, but perhaps an unknown quantity of general public awareness for us. Also, one of those contracts was arguably the largest web design contract we ever got. My reluctance to cease writing for them is the 'unknown quantity' of good that it does, and also the thought that one of our competitors will fill the space I vacate.

Any thoughts on how I decipher this dilemma, or on how effective this kind of self-promotion is?

TIA

Aaron
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Postby webturtle » Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:52 am

I don't know, Aaron - I'd be hesitant to stop it too, for the same reasons - and also understand your concern about it eating up your time. I will tell you this - I've been actively writing articles for publication and seeking out PR opportunities all year and thought it was going nowhere, for some time. I didn't have any tangible responses (sounds like you do though) to any particular effort. But then, just when I was thinking about ceasing all this effort, I started hearing things like "well, I'm not sure how I knew about you but I know I keep seeing your name..." and "Three people have told me about you in the last month so I just had to call" and so on. And I realized, its a cumulative effect - the more people see your name and hear about you, the more likely they are to think of you when the need actually arises for what you do. No one thing, though, may ever have a tangible result that you can actually mark and say "aha - see, that one worked"

At least, this is how it has proven for me. I imagine I will get to the point some day when writing the articles for my newsletter will seem like a pain in the behind and I'll ask the same questions you are :) Good luck!
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Postby giftsolution » Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:00 am

Aaron,

I would definitely keep writting the articles for more than one reason:

-for one, this is one of the best forms of advertising: you are the expert, and when those reading your column need your services, they'll definitely remember all the tips and tidbits of information you freely gave them in the past

-then, you mentioned it's usually stuff you already know; but even if you have to research, that's great for your overall knowledge. You can also use those articles on the net, with links pointing to your website: you are already doing this, right :o?

-also, did you ever think a the value you got from those few customers you did get through this venue? A few projects for your portfolio, some more experience, and some great testimonials (if you didn't get those, it's time to do it!).

My reluctance to cease writing for them is the 'unknown quantity' of good that it does, and also the thought that one of our competitors will fill the space I vacate.


That is so right! someone else will fill your shoes if you give this up, and all the work you put in creating a following for your articles will go to your competition.

One last suggestion: maybe you can take one day a month and write several articles: that way you can save some time.

I wish you the best in 2004.
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Re: Writing articles as a means of marketing yourself

Postby deniseoberry » Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:22 pm

I'd be interested to hear what people think of writing informative articles with a view to building awareness of your business. I write a regular column of around 700 words for a local business newspaper.

Aaron --

Don't stop writing your articles for the paper. Think "reuse." You're writing the articles every week anyway, how can they be reused elsewhere to spread the word about you far and wide? Here are a few of ideas.


But...before you do any of this, make sure you verify that you have kept the rights to your column -- if you haven't, now is the time to change that.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Also, perhaps the response issue on your ads is a "copy writing" issue. Maybe we could help you with that too.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
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Postby altyfc » Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:31 am

Thanks everyone... some great ideas. I guess I should keep plugging away! :)

Aaron
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Postby webturtle » Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:39 am

You know what - let me add one more thing here - if you hate it, if it makes you cringe, or have cold sweats - let it go. Remember one thing (that we all forget sometimes) - we started our own businesses to be happy and fulfilled in what we are doing in life, spending the majority of our time doing, and make a living at it too.

We're all trying to encourage you because it is certainly a good way to self promote. Yes, its work and takes time - even for people who can rattle off writing effortlessly. Its a big commitment. But, honestly, if it no longer feels good, or is a huge struggle then it it NOT worth it to spend the time and energy to do it - you would be better off finding another avenue of promoting your business.

And only you can answer that one :) Good luck
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Postby nuttymarketer » Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:48 pm

Dear Aaron,

You can use a assistant to solve this problem.you can write a quick article and give it to assistant for editing or so. It can save a lot of time and hard work.

It can save a lot of time for you

Arvind kumar
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