Friday, February 27, 2009

Article Marketing: 5 Reasons Why Your Next Article Should Be a 'HowTo'

by Steve Shaw

The most frequent question I get from authors is "What should I write about?"

When you're doing article marketing, that question is easily answered--write a 'How To' article!

The 'How To' article is the perfect medium for an article that teaches readers, pleases publishers, and appeals to Google.

Here are 5 of the best reasons why you should make your next article a 'How To':

1) How To articles are educational articles.

Probably the most "popular" reason for an article being declined is what publisher's call "promotional" or "self-serving" content. That means that the article toots the horn of the author rather than providing objective and useful information to the reader.

This is something that you want to avoid!

The trick to writing educational articles is to save your promotional information for your resource box and focus on writing 'How To' articles.

It's very difficult to turn a "How To' article into a self-serving one because typically your energy is focused on teaching your reader something that will benefit them rather than you.

The bright spot is that in writing for your readers (rather than to make a sale) you receive benefits as well!

2) 'How To' articles show readers that you're an expert.

When you're writing a 'How To' article, you have specialized knowledge that the reader wants and needs. In writing an instructional article that readers find easy to understand and implement, you build the reader's confidence in your knowledge and abilities.

The more a reader believes that you are capable and knowledgeable, the greater chance that they will think of you when they need services or products like yours (and they can tell what your services are from looking at your resource box).

3) 'How To' articles are easy to read.

Most of the time instructional articles are written in list form.

When you're writing a 'How To' you'll break your instructions down into a sequential series of steps and just seeing Step 1, Step 2, etc helps a reader follow your train of thought.

It's much easier to skim and glean information from a list, and 'How To' articles make perfect list articles. The easier your article is to read and understand, the more benefit it will be to your readers.

4) 'How To' articles are easy to write.

When your article is in a list, you can start by writing down the major steps you want to cover and then use that as an outline for your article.

Writing a 'How To' article as a list (Step 1, Step 2, etc.) gives you a head start and helps get the creative wheels of your brain moving. Our brains find it easiest to think in sequential, rational steps anyway (first do this, then do this, thirdly do this), so a 'How To' article very neatly conforms to our desire for order and makes the article easier to write.

5) Your customers are looking for 'How To' articles.

Let me ask you--when you do a Google search, what types of information are you looking for?

Most of the time we're looking for information on how to do something--how to wallpaper a bathroom, how to write a novel, how to start a business, etc.

We hop on the internet in search of information on how to do things, and when your customers are doing searches on Google, they're looking for instructional content too.

Website owners are always trying to figure out how to lure Google to their websites and sometimes think that they need to be very technically minded to do so, but I tell you, the easiest way to lure Google to your website and rank higher in the search engines is to write articles on topics that interest your target market.

Your target market wants instructional information, so write a 'How To' article and tell them how to do something!

When you're doing article marketing, the first few articles may come easily to you, but after a while you have to really get creative when coming up with topics on which to write.

'How To' articles can be your bread and butter when you're doing article marketing--once you start writing reader-centric articles that teach your readers how to do something specific, you'll find that writing is easier and that you're producing content that Google and publishers love.

About the Author

Written your 'How To' article? Now you need to get your article to as many publishers as possible. For more information on how to distribute your articles to hundreds of targeted publishers with the click of a button, go to=>