In the “old days,” you marketed your business or career by joining organizations, serving on boards and committees, socializing, advertising, and writing articles that got published. Many of us tried all but the last item because it was a major undertaking. Today, with the evolution of the internet, websites, blogs, and social media, the dynamics have changed. While the old in-person activities are still worthwhile pursuits, writing and publishing have become much easier, less expensive, and more worthwhile.
How to Get Started:
The quickest and easiest way to publish these days is via one of the many websites that specialize in publishing articles submitted by the public. I used to think that in order to write articles on a website, you had to have your own website or “blog” (i.e. a website in which one or more authors regularly post comments or articles). I imagined thousands, or even millions, of people posting on their own websites and no one reading them. While there is some truth in this circumstance, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many websites that have large followings, rank high on search engines, and accept articles from the public. Some of these sites, like Ezine for instance, may accept articles on almost any topic and rank very high on search engines. Other article publishing websites may cater to a particular interest or profession and have a more targeted following. For example, UrbDeZine.com caters to people interested in architecture, urban planning, or preservation.
How Can Writing Online Articles Help You?
Like advertising and in-person networking, writing online articles is just another way of introducing people to your services. Moreover, it combines the best of both. Like advertising, online article writing can reach a much greater number of people than in-person networking. On the other hand, like in-person networking, it allows customization of the message, and a dialogue (via article comments) at very little cost. In the broad sense, online article writing can bring you business in two ways: (1) direct referrals, i.e., people see your post/article and contact you much as they would from an advertisement. Moreover, ; and (2) indirect referrals, e.g., writing articles with links to your website will help raise the ranking of your website in search engines.
A Quick Primer re Online Article Writing:
Getting other websites to link to your website is called “backlinking” in the web marketing industry. Articles or posts with links to your website are one of the best ways to accomplish such backlinking. The number and quality of back links plays a big role in determining how visible a site is on a search engine such as Google. Incidentally, architect and other design professional websites are among the most “invisible” to search engines. This circumstance exists because design websites tend to emphasize imagery and design, and not text. Search engines rely mostly on text in finding websites in response to keyword searches. Ironically, even text on designer websites is often photographs or images of words, rather than actual html text. This circumstance exists because website developers often use images of text rather than actual text in order to achieve the artistry that design professionals desire on their websites. As a result, design professional websites are often virtually invisible to search engines, unless there are a significant number of back links from other websites, including articles on other websites. Therefore, online article writing can be especially important for design professionals. Moreover, using a keyword hyper-link is the best way to direct traffic to your website. For example, you could link the words “Preservation Architect” in your article to your website. Many article submission websites contain a link button in their article submitting window that allows you to accomplish such a link without writing the html code (which, in any case, is not difficult) for the link. There are many other things you can do to increase the effectiveness of online article writing and backlinking for search engine visibility. You will learn these tricks once you commit to writing online articles. The purpose of this article is to provide you an introduction to the potential benefits to your business, career, or other pursuits from online article writing.
A great way to enhance the visibility of your online article is through social media sharing. Accordingly, if you don’t have one already, set up a Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or other social media account. Then “invite” as many people as possible, within your comfort limits, to be your “friends.” Don’t worry, chances are that as soon as you join, you will be invited by many of your existing friends who will be glad you finally joined. These social media sites have powerful technology that connects with you with existing friends with almost no effort on your part. Perhaps you have heard the term “going viral.” Typically, going viral is when a video or online article is so well liked that it is repeatedly shared through social media. In these situations, distribution can grow exponentially, ultimately attracting hundreds of thousand of viewers. Even if your your online articles, videos, or comments don’t ‘go viral,’ sharing online content on social media can greatly increase the number of people who see it.
What to Write:
Online article or comment writing does not require writing long scholarly articles. In fact, short articles or commentary can be equally or more popular than long posts. Nor is it necessary to avoid imagery and rely on text. While there should be some text containing the key words applicable to the subject you are trying to promote, images and videos tend to attract viewers to your article. I try to include an image with all my articles (although not all websites allow images). Most websites make it easy to upload a video or photo. Another thing to remember is that you can publish the same article on may different websites. You don’t have to write an original article for each website you like. Publishing in more than one place can increase the number of eyes that see your article. However, such multiple publication doesn’t necessarily multiply the influence the article has on search engines, which discount subsequent duplicate publications. Nevertheless, it increases your overall viewership. Your online article can also be part of an email or newsletter campaign. You can get a lot of use from one writing effort.
Don’t procrastinate to research or write an opus. Architects and designers are visual people so start with a photo, drawing, or video. A project on which you are currently working, or have previously worked, is a great topic. So is a building or neighborhood you like. Write a few sentences about it. You can rattle things off the top of your head that will be new and interesting to others. Then find an article publishing website you like, register, and submit your post. Add a key word link referencing your website. Include your contact information or a short bio at the end of the article. You’ll be amazed how quickly and regularly you can generate interesting and relevant posts. You’ll be surprised by the number of compliments and inquiries you receive. In a few months, you’ll likely see your articles and website rising in Google.