Let me start this post by stating a couple of things that article marketing is NOT.
Article marketing is NOT about attracting strangers to your website and turning them into instant clients. Instead, it turns those strangers into prospective clients by inviting them into your tribe.
I recently read Tribes, by Seth Godin. It was recommended by client Barbara Richards, who was as inspired by it as I was. I now believe that writing articles is a form of tribal marketing, since it is such a beautiful way to:
1. Attract your tribe. The premise is that there are people out there who are just waiting for you to step into a leadership role in your area of expertise. By writing articles about those topics and publishing them online, you are helping those seekers to find you.
2. Recruit your tribe. A good article will draw people to your website to find out more about you and your ideas, products and services. As long as your website is working and has a pink spoon, this is an opportunity to recruit them.
3. Mobilize your tribe. By keeping in touch with your tribe on a regular basis via email updates, new articles and/or blog posts, you will build long-term, trusting relationships. At this point your members will genuinely appreciate hearing your new ideas, and most importantly they will be more likely to use those ideas, build on them and pass them along.
Your articles must do triple-duty to reach your tribe at these varying stages of membership, from curious strangers to hopeful new members to loyal long-term members. Keep that in mind as you plan your article marketing strategy.