Saturday, January 20, 2007

How to Obtain Free or Cheap Advertising - Part 2

In part 1, we discussed the Press Release and how to best utilize this form of free publicity. This time we will continue to enhance our written publicity ability by discussing the value of writing articles.

The first step is to decide what to write about. Generally you’ll want to write an article that educates the consumer about your industry with an emphasis on products or services that you specialize in. Think about the questions your customers usually ask or the things that usually confuse them the most. These are the kinds of things that the consumer will be most interested in learning about.

Now you are ready to write your article. Or are you? Not a good writer? Not to worry! In part 1, you learned about a few places to find someone to write for you. Some additional ways to find a writer include: 1. Place an ad in your local paper. Freelance writers are always scanning the classifieds looking for opportunities. 2. Utilize a temp service. Or 3. Ask around. You may even be able to trade services with someone you know who can help you write your article for free.

What are some basic tips for writing a good informative article? Start with a list of the main points you would like to convey to your reader. This will serve as an outline for your article. Make sure you relate these points to your company and your products. Be sure that these points are timely. If you clean gutters and are writing an article about the dangers of home owner’s cleaning gutters, then don’t publish it in the middle of winter when no one is even thinking about cleaning a gutter that is frozen solid with ice. Not only does the article need to be timely but it needs to be practical for the reader. Tailor the article to a specific audience. If you have more than one audience, create different versions of the article so that it is the most effective it can be for each place you publish it. Create one article for home owners and another for business owners, for example. In addition, if your audience is not familiar with all the technical vocabulary of your industry then you’ll need to define terms and simplify your explanation where ever you can. Always proofread, spell-check, grammar-check and rewrite, review, and revise until everyone you know has read and understands your article. And finally, don’t forget to provide contact information so that they can give you business after reading the article.

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