Article Marketing Success: The ‘5 Things To Look For’ Template

In the last post I was preaching to you about how important it is to NOT try to sell anything in your articles, but to rather discreetly, indirectly, subtly engage your readers through your article content.

This template I’m about to share with you is a perfect way to do that.

This template is ideal for

  • people whose businesses are service oriented (plumber, accountant, article submission service owner (that’s me!), business coach, etc)
  • or can even be used by people who own product based websites (that would be a website that mainly sells products rather than provides services.)


The Ground Rules:

You know your industry inside and out, so you have valuable insight into what a person should look for when searching for someone in your field. Now is the time to share that knowledge, in a way that does not mention you or your business personally.

  • Do not write about yourself or your business in the article (save that info for the resource box)
  • Do not even allude to yourself or your business in the article–don’t even think about it!
  • Write objectively, like you are an outside expert consultant who is helping people to choose the right XYZ (lawyer, plumber, product, etc)
  • The most powerful article will be one that is truly helpful to a reader who is trying to choose a plumber, accountant, etc. The article should provide serious, helpful tips.
  • It is not necessary to talk about yourself at all in the article–no need to mention anything like, “Because I’m such an experienced and skilled lawyer, I get people asking me what to look for in a lawyer all the time…” No, don’t do that–it weakens the piece of content. Put that you’re a lawyer (or whatever) in your resource box. People will put two and two together without having to be beaten over the head with it.

Your mindset for this article should be…

For just a few minutes, pretend like a close friend of yours has asked for your advice on how to choose a great lawyer. You are a great lawyer, so that is why your friend asked you.

You personally are not in the running to satisfy your friend’s need for a lawyer for one reason or another, so your reply is very objective and aimed at helping your friend do the detective work in locating the best person to help him or her.

This is the attitude that you are to take when writing this article. It’s not about you and it’s not for you, but you do have special knowledge that can help someone else.

This mindset is extremely important, or else this article could very easily become a “5 Reasons To Work With Me” type of article, which is not what we’re going for here.

Here is your article title:

5 Things To Look For In A [Whatever your occupation is]


5 Things To Look For In An Account

5 Things To Look For In A Plumber

5 Things To Look For In A Camping Tent (if your business is selling camping gear, for example)

The Article Body:

The Introduction

This is a list article, so it is necessary to put an intro paragraph before the list starts.

Your introduction should tell the reasons why it is so important to choose the right lawyer, accountant, camping tent, etc. If you like, you may also tell what might happen if a person doesn’t pick the right one.

The List

List 5 of your top crucial things to look for when searching for a lawyer, accountant, plumber, etc–whatever your field is.

Put your strongest item at the top of the list, and your second strongest at your last item in the list. The reason for this is that you want to strategically arrange your items so that the reader is drawn into reading your article and so that your article finishes strong.

When creating your list, be sure to number each item, like this:

1. First thing to look for

2. Second thing to look for

3. Third thing to look for

4. Fourth thing to look for

5. Fifth thing to look for

Readers really appreciate numbered lists in articles, as that makes it easy for them to glean information. Be sure to number clearly.

After each list item, elaborate a bit. You want to be sure that your point is clear. Why should the reader look for this thing that you’re recommending? Why is it important to watch out for that certain thing?

The Conclusion

After your items are all listed and explained, write a conclusion. You might do a recap of the most important things to look for, or you might pick out one item that is important above all the others listed.

Remember, you are giving advice to a friend–it may help to end your article with an encouraging word that makes the reader feel like he really can find the right person or thing for the job if he’ll just follow your steps.

The Resource Box

You’ve just written an extremely helpful article where you educate readers what to look for when they’re in need of someone in your field. You were totally objective in the article–you did not mention yourself at all. You were writing as an expert adviser.

Now, the resource box is your chance to stand in the spotlight a little.

Tell your name, what you do for a living, what makes you an authority to be handing out this type of advise, a reason to go to your website and finally, a link to your site.

Media Relations: Know the Facts from the Fiction

Media relations has always been a vital part of a successful communications strategy. What has changed, however, is the way communications professionals must interact with The Media — and, by extension, the bloggers, journalists, freelancers, and syndicated writers who generate coverage.

It is no longer enough to merely send out a mass press release — also known as the “spray and pray method” — and hope that someone working at a relevant media outlet or online site not only reads it, but then acts to convert the release into a story. No, in working with The Media, the expectation is that media relations professionals are educated and informed about proper targeting and evolving trends. This includes building one-on-one relationships with bloggers and journalists, regardless of their title, assigned beat, or outlet/website affiliation.

Beware These Lurking Media Relations Myths
There are many misconceptions floating around (not to mention plain old bad advice) that prevent media relations professionals from optimizing their efforts and connecting with The Media in meaningful ways.

Here are six myths and facts about media relations and how savvy PR practitioners can get a handle on them:

1. You need a “list” of the top blogs in order to send their contributors a press release.

False. This particular misconception is tricky for a couple of reasons. First, the idea that there is a single list of top blogs ignores the fact that the value of any such list varies according to each organization’s media-relations objectives; one size, so to speak, certainly does not fit all. Second, a blogger is not necessarily a member of the credentialed press and, as such is often working without the backing of a large news organization. The result is that, in general, they are often more hard-pressed for time (most are blogging part-time or as a hobby) and, thus, they are less likely to weed through untargeted pitches. Instead, target your blogger outreach to include only the most relevant influencers. And by “influencers,” we mean those people whom you identify as being closely associated with your subject, client, industry, or audience.

2. It’s OK to send an email blast as part of your outreach strategy.

False. Actually, it is anything but OK. For starters, bloggers are unlike the writers for mainstream media in that they do not have a “beat,” their outlet doesn’t necessarily dictate that they write on certain topics, and they are not necessarily bound by geographic limitations. The same also can be said for an increasing number of journalists, as there is a general trend toward producing more hyperlocal and mobile content. Thus, you need to research each and every targeted writer, and customize the pitch accordingly — regardless of their media segment — and understand federal shield laws as they relate to journalists and bloggers.

3. Media relations should take time and resources.

True. Absolutely. If you’re not willing to invest time in proper outreach, how can you expect journalists and bloggers to show a willingness to invest time in considering your pitch or story? A post on the Bad Pitch Blog sums it up best: “Does this read like a lot of work? Well, as the definition of a media outlet morphs, so must our approach to engaging with them. And as more and more bloggers extend the olive branch, the price of a bad pitch is increasing — less coverage, whiny bloggers, angry clients and amused competitors.”

4. As long as the release or pitch includes a lot of information it will get picked up.

False. More than ever, journalists, bloggers, and their audiences are being exposed to information overload. As Seth Godin writes , “Once you overload the user, you train them not to pay attention. More clutter isn’t free. In fact, more clutter is a permanent shift, a desensitization to all information, not just the last bit.” Therefore, quality of information is much more important than quantity. Perfect the headline. Lead with the hook. Skip the fluff. Write concise messaging. These measures don’t guarantee that The Media will act on your story, but they can certainly help it stand out from the other information already cluttering email boxes.

5. Search engine optimization is important.

True. SEO is crucial for successful media relations. In fact, 91 percent of journalists search Google for stories or other relevant material, while another 89 percent use blogs and still another 64 percent rely on social networks, as noted in this post from BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blogger, Tressa Robbins. Understand the impact of industry terms and their effects on search and traffic to your website. Always include relevant keywords in your copy as they relate to your target audience and how they search. But do not confuse SEO with jargon.

6. Learning never stops.

Even if you are a senior communications or media relations professional at your organization, you must always be aware of new trends and developments in the industry and be willing to shift your efforts accordingly. Things are constantly changing and if you are not willing to keep up with those changes you cannot expect that your campaigns will be effective and gain the respect of your audience, The Media, and your peers.

Understanding BurrellesLuce ContactsPlus
BurrellesLuce ContactsPlus is revolutionizing the way PR professionals interact with bloggers and The Media. ContactsPlus is a media research tool that allows communications practitioners to target their efforts so that they are connecting with only the most relevant journalists and bloggers, based on a writer’s most recent body of work. Stop building lists and start building relationships. Learn more about the BurrellesLuce Media Outreach module of WorkFlow™ and schedule a demo, today.

About BurrellesLuce

Taking control of every stage of your media planning, monitoring, and reporting needs is simple and effective with BurrellesLuce. Our comprehensive suite of affordable services is fully integrated in one convenient and easy-to-use portal, BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™ . Incorporate and review your traditional print, broadcast, online and social media results in one report. Research and engage journalists and bloggers, and intelligently plan future campaigns. Build and manage social media communities. WorkFlow gives you everything you need to start organizing and managing your media relations and public relations results.

Online Tools For Your Online Business

By Chris Sturk

Examples of how to use online tools as partners for your online business

Developing partnerships makes life much easier, especially when you’re operating an online business.

Let’s be honest, a content-based business needs a lot of attention to become successful, especially with the massive amounts of competition found on the Internet today.

At the SES Conference in New York City, Jim Boykin, CEO of WeBuildPages, shared an array of Internet-based tools. Some of these tools help determine competition or potential partners, while others are used to streamline the content you produce and publish. Either way, these tools can be used to help dramatically improve the overall experience users will have with your brand and website.

6 Tools for Successful Online Businesses

#1 – Xenu Broken Link Report: This tool crawls your entire website and shows if you have any broken links and where they are located. Broken links can negatively impact your reputation with searchers and harm your authority within search engines.

#2 – ClickTale: This tool allows you to see where the average person clicks on your website. It incorporates heat maps that show how far down the page your audience typically scrolls. This data can help you place content and ads in the most effective manner.

For an in-depth look at six partnership types Carl Kravetz of Vida y Salud has used to create a successful, market-leading company in under 24 months with minimal internal risk, join us for our Building Online Partnerships webinar on April 12th.

#3 – Sitonomy: This tool can show you the affiliate programs your competitors are involved in. You can then attempt to create similar programs if desired.

#4 – Jigsaw: This tool will help you find the important people within an organization. If you know your market and have interest in partnering with a specific company, this website can help in the process of contacting the right individual for your inquiry.

#5 – Twitturly: This tool tracks and ranks the URLs of websites people are talking about. If you have anything in common with those popular websites, you can leverage your own content around it, in hopes of getting new followers.

#6 – Social Mention: This tool will help you find specific topics and the top users associated with them within Twitter. This information will allow you to engage with the most relevant users while participating in conversations that may ultimately increase brand awareness.

These six examples are ways online publishers or content marketers can use Internet-based technology as partnerships to help find potential content synergies, competitors in your market and tools for monitoring your own content.

Social Segmentation Key For Brands Reaching Consumers

Social Segmentation Key For Brands Reaching Consumers

Thanks to Reggie Bradford for sharing this.

As the father of a teenage daughter, there are a few things that I know for sure: Teen girls love to shop, always have their phones (quickly becoming smart devices), and are all extremely active on Facebook. A few more things to consider: Facebook’s growth will only continue; the proliferation of smart-mobile devices will explode in the next few years; and teens will still gather and meet to shop. Yes, as in real brick-and-mortar stores.That should make all brands who market to teen girls smile with possibilities. Marketers can marry these to reach and engage teens to drive purchases. But, increasingly, brands need the ability to segment their audience to deliver relevant content based on a consumer’s likes, interests, location and other factors. Social segmentation is a key to your brand’s social media success.

Hyper-targeting and localizing content to fans is finding much success. In fact, Facebook announced last week it’s starting to mine real-time conversations to target real-time ads. This is really brilliant as it plays towards the long-held promise of local to deliver timely, relevant and measureable ads that will drive sales. And Twitter is now letting some marketers segment by location, allowing a Twitter user in, say, England to see a different ad than a U.S. user.

This is a trend we are seeing across the industry — using the power of the social graph to hyper-target content to consumers, both in paid advertising and through the content your brand publishes on Facebook and other networks.

Consider this possible experience: My daughter, armed with her mobile phone, enters an American Eagle store. She checks-in via Facebook Places so now American Eagle can deliver her timely and relevant content, like a coupon or sales information on their new line of cool sweaters. The coupon pushes her to purchase. While checking out, American Eagle can deliver additional rewarding and engaging content — a thank you for her purchase. Maybe it’s another coupon?

Or, even better, 20% off if she buys a virtual gift card for a friend, perhaps to purchase one of those cool and hip new sweaters. So the virtual gift card, along with an image of that really cool sweater, shows up in that lucky friend’s newsfeed. Of course, all this is happening for her social network to see. And I’m certain that lucky friend who got the gift card will come to the store (or go online) to purchase something. And then the process repeats itself.

According to Facebook, the average user has 150 friends, and I’d argue that teens average slightly higher. And we know that peer recommendation accounts for 90% of purchases. That’s a powerful and influential social network. Social media has a tremendous local-connection capability. Brands just need have the tools and platform to target and segment their audiences so they can capitalize on it.

It is Marketing 101: Know your audience and what they want … and then deliver it to them at key times. Today, there are platforms like ours that allow brands to deliver locally relevant and timely content effectively and efficiently, as well as plenty of other social functionalities. It doesn’t have to be hard and complicated if you have the correct tools to manage your increasingly expanding and sophisticated social communities. And with Facebook’s growth, marketers are moving towards these comprehensive, turnkey platforms to harness social media’s full potential, especially the growing need to segment and target.

One of our clients, a global quick-serve restaurant, does a remarkable job of leveraging the full potential of social media. Its social presence is not only through its national voice on its official Facebook Page and Twitter accounts but also through locally relevant content delivered via its “Local” Tab. It allows the QSR to segment its 7.6 million Facebook users to deliver locally relevant content about events, coupons and specials. The iconic brand is enabling highly personalized, targeted and relevant social content that gets customers in the door and drives sales. That’s true social segmentation that gets incredible engagement and results — a real ROI.

Facebook holds a wealth of opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers based on location, interests, gender, history and even your circle of friend’s interests. And teenagers are the most active audience on Facebook. Think of the possibilities for your brand.

As social media continues its mainstream adoption, brands must start truly maximizing all its opportunities and functionalities. We believe further social segmentation, especially at the local level, will be a key to success. Social segmentation is a word your marketing staff should be actively promoting and using daily. Get to know it and put it into action.

8 Good Friends, Maybe, But the Ones Are Something Else

Subject: Fwd: 8 good friends

This year we’re going to experience four unusual dates. 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 and that’s not all…Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born -now add the age you will be this year, and the result will be 111 for everyone…!! This is the year of Money..!!! This year October will have 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays and 5 Saturdays. This happens only every 823 years… These particular years are known as ‘Moneybags’… The proverb goes that if you send this to eight good friends money will appear in the next four days as is explained in Chinese fengshui Those who don’t continue the chain won’t receive.. Its a mystery, but its worth a try.
Good luck.

What Every POS System Should Have – Free Guide

What Every POS System Should Have – Free Guide


As per our conversation, I have put together some brochures of various hardware and software for POS system need of your client.  Just click on the links below to view them.  I recommend Keystroke POS because of inventory control, time clock, customer tracking, history tracking, reporting, sales/sales tax reporting, label printing, database maintenance, time clock and etc..  In addition, as I explained we use a remote access software to help you on training or questions that may arise in future. 

Brochures (Software):
Keystroke Brochure (Software):
Cash Register Express (Software):

Brochures (Hardwares):
All in one Touch Computer:
Scanner Orbit:
Scanner Voyager GS:
Scanner Voyager:
Cash Drawer Image:
Zebra Label Printers:

Credit Card & Gift Processing
Gift Card acceptance program delivers everything merchants need to generate new revenue, increase brand exposure, and easily manage gift card sales for one store or an entire chain.

Credit Card Processing with MPS:
FREE Gift Card Processing with MPS:

Please confirm the receipt of this e-mail and  let me know if you have any questions. 

Best Regards,

A. D. Business Solutions
11412 Vanowen Street
N. Hollywood, CA 91605
Tel: (818) 765- 5353
Fax: (818) 759-7474

AD Business Solutions has been serving customers in Southern California since 1964. We at AD Business Solutions have been able to install & support thousands of customers both in our local area, as well as nationwide. Since inception of company, we have established the reputation and customer base that proves we have what it takes to get and keep your business. Quality Customer Service is our number one priority!

3 Ways To Strengthen User Relationships With Content Marketing

3 Ways to Strengthen User Relationships with Content Marketing

By Chris Sturk

Content marketing is designed to create stronger relationships, but only if you’re doing it correctly

Content marketing is the most successful method for creating a devout online audience.

That is my honest opinion and I stick by it.

Many Internet marketers who expressed interest in allocating more money to content marketing for 2011 share my opinion. In fact, the B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends from MarketingProfs and Junta 42 reported that 51% of B2B marketers planned on increasing their spending on content marketing throughout 2011.

However, becoming a great content marketer won’t happen over night. Calling yourself a content marketer isn’t enough to convince people that you’re a trustworthy source of information that they can rely on for answers to their most pressing questions.

Many consumers have no concept of what content marketing is, nor do they care. All they care about is the content they seek and the answers that help them lead a better life.

For anyone embarking on the evolving road of content marketing, keep in mind that this form of marketing is all about creating strong, long-lasting relationships. There is no trickery or deceit behind this strategy – only high-quality content, transparency and an open dialogue on community needs.

Are you stuck on relationship building components of a highly successful content marketing strategy? These three tips should pose as a helpful starting point.

For the most complete, time efficient program on the seven principles of a highly successful content marketing strategy, join us for Content Marketing Made Simple on March 22nd.

-Express that You’re a Journalist: There’s been a debate lately about what constitutes someone as a journalist. Regardless of whom you work for, if you articulately present factual, unbiased information to people on a regular basis, then I’d personally consider you a journalist. Be this source of information for your audience. Be honest and open with them, and if you make an error, own up to it. Doing so will humanize you and further the bonds of trust you work hard to create.

-Begin the Conversation: Creating a dialogue helps you understand and better serve your audience. Unfortunately audience members may not always be the first to leave a comment on your blog post about what they liked or didn’t like about it. We cannot blame our audience for this, as sometimes it’s hard to be the first person to leave a comment. To combat this, have other members of your team share their opinions on articles in the comment section after they publish. Multiple voices and opinions will hopefully do two different things. First, it may create additional questions or comments that can be addressed. Second, it will often times lead to more people joining the conversation.

-Give Away Content for Free: Whether you give away white papers, video or audio files, content marketing is all about FREE. Many of your audience members have already provided their email address in exchange for a free product. Don’t let this be the only free product of yours that they see. Be sure to remind them regularly of additional free information. At Mequoda Daily we use Fridays as audience development days where we email our list brief synopses of free reports that they may have not seen. The emails link directly to rapid conversion landing pages where the free report can be downloaded.

For those of you already engaging in content marketing, what do you think of these tips? Are they along the lines of strategies you’re partaking in? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Do you know who’s in your online neighborhood? Find out with an Online Market Audit

Buzz Posts

Buzz posts serve as great social media fodder while displaying your industry knowledge.

Creating the best buzz post is harder than you may expect. It is not as easy as going to your favorite websites and referencing content you think your audience will find interesting. You have to use metrics to truly find the best sources to base buzz posts on.

The process, known as an Online Market Audit (OMA), will help you create the most relevant buzz posts while identifying competition and discovering the size of your entire market.

The Online Market Audit

This metric-based analysis of your competition will help dictate the best sites to monitor while writing buzz posts.

The Online Market Audit consists of the following steps and can be used for any keyword phrase you are targeting.

#1. Determine the primary keywords you want to be the focal point of the OMA.

#2. In Google, search each primary keyword to get an idea of the associated competition.

#3. Capture the list of the top 30 web pages. Copy each URL and paste each into an Excel spreadsheet for easier data collection.

#4. Classify each website by revenue model. Once you’re finished copying and pasting the top 30 web pages, note the business model (content-driven, retail, vendor, etc.) of each site.

For blogging skills that will help you attract and retain an online audience, join us tomorrow for our Blogging for Editors webinar. Sign up by 10 am ET tomorrow to participate in this webinar.

#5. Quantify website traffic history. Put each URL into Compete and get the monthly unique visitor data. Then, paste all of this information into your spreadsheet. Compete should allow you to do five websites at a time.

#6. Capture website keywords. While in Compete, you can find the amount of keywords under the website’s name. The number will be listed next to the Top Search Terms category. Collect the number and put it into your spreadsheet.

#7. Determine the top 10 neighbors. Once you are done with the spreadsheet, you can sort the sites by traffic to determine who the top 10 are in terms of size.

#8. Quantify key metrics for the top 10. To do this, use the Yahoo Site Explorer tool to get the total number of pages and the total number of inbound links for the top 10 websites. Input this data into your spreadsheet.

Make the results work for you

After determining the top 10 websites for the particular keyword phrases you researched, you can use this data to focus on the websites with the most relevant content to your audience.

Additionally, the data will help you determine websites you could potentially create mutually beneficial relationships with. These relationships could include content sharing, inbound links or cross promotions.

Lastly, knowing the statistics behind these websites allows you to better understand your competition. If they aren’t providing the best content on each keyword, you can fight to take a bigger piece of their traffic.

Creating the Perfect Digital Magazine

9 characteristics of the perfect digital magazine

#1 – Digital magazines should be linear: All issues contain a table of contents, are read front to back and include a series of articles.

#2 – Digital magazines should be finite: They have a beginning and an end – readers can experience a sense of accomplishment by finishing a magazine.

#3 – Digital magazines should be periodic: There is a natural, organic frequency designated by the audience’s desire to consume the associated content.

#4 – Digital magazines should be cohesive: Editors collect the most interesting and relevant content to supply audience members with a unified collection of articles.

#5 – Digital magazines should be portable: Readers can take their favorite issues with them where ever they go.

For a stimulating discussion on the future of digital magazines, join us at the Mequoda Summit West 2011.

#6 – Digital magazines should be textual: The main component of magazine articles will always be the written word; photographs are additional enhancements to the content.

#7 – Digital magazines should be collectable: Readers like to own the content they pay for.

#8 – Digital magazines shouldn’t be limited by platform: Consumers of digital magazines will want to access content through multiple mediums, from laptops and desktops to tablets.

#9 – Digital magazines should be searchable: Publishers should build companion subscription websites where they can disaggregate all digital magazine content and create a searchable HTML database of editorial content.

How important do you think these nine characteristics are to a fundamental digital magazine?

How about the requirements I listed in yesterday’s post regarding digital magazine publishing security, ownership options and pricing terms?