A new trend in book promotion is “article marketing” in which authors submit unpaid content to websites such as ehow.com in hopes that it will lead to Internet exposure and eventually book sales. Personally, I’m not a big fan of that approach because the articles on those sites (often called “content farms”) tend to be very generic, not well screened, and often produced through what seems to be translation software. However, the concept behind article marketing is excellent. I spent nine years working at a PR agency, and we used this strategy a lot for our clients. Here’s how to do it right if you’re an author:
- Identify magazines and/or websites your target audience reads
- Narrow that list down to outlets that accept unpaid “contributed” articles – often called “bylined” articles
- Develop an outline/concept for an article you could write that would fit with the style/tone of the media outlet
- Contact the editorial team at the outlet and pitch your idea
Here’s a brief article I wrote for the MA Conference for Women’s newsletter, which is sent to thousands
Major publications usually don’t accept contributed articles. However, smaller operations such as trade magazines, school alumni magazines, even regional club newsletters, do. For example, if you’re a financial planner, and your book is a practical guide to saving money, there are many publications and websites that would love a short article called “10 Tips for Saving for Your Dream Vacation.” If the media outlet prints the article, your name, short bio, and maybe even a photo will appear at the beginning or end of the piece. Tack on “author of XYZ” to that bio, and everyone reading your informative article will know you also have a book they should immediately run out and buy.
Article marketing may sound complicated, but believe me, it’s not! It just takes some focus, effort, and perseverance.
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