As you know, I am a bit proponent of using article marketing to market your business. This is why I am very excited to interview Christopher Knight, the CEO of EzineArticles.com:
Biana: Many of us have had careers before getting into online marketing. What is your background? What did you do before starting EzineArticles.com?
Christopher: Before EzineArticles I was the Founder & CEO of SparkLIST, a permission-based email newsletter hosting service provider. I’ve been involved in several dot com companies since the mid 1990s ranging from website design, web hosting, running an ISP and an email newsletter advertising network.
Biana: Please tell us how EzineArticles.com got started. How did you get the idea for it? When did you launch it? What inspired you to start it?
Christopher: EzineArticles.com started in November of 1999 and our team acquired the site from its original owner as part of a 30 site roll up. I had raised VC and went on a buying spree to acquire sites that provided value for email newsletter publishers. EzineArticles was one of the 30 sites.
The site was largely ignored between 2000-2004 due to other competing priorities and then in August of 2004 our team scrapped the entire site and started all over again. The old model for the site included only the article title, author name and article summary…and our site visitors had to give up their email address in order to get access to the full article. Seemed like a smart idea in the late 1990s but no longer a smart idea in today’s world.
Biana: How many authors/how many articles do you have at EzineArticles now?
Christopher: As of this interview, over 150,000 expert authors in 570 different niche markets have registered and we’re hosting a little over 1.25 million unique/original articles.
Biana: Why is it important for business owners to write and submit articles online?
Christopher: Business owners gain market credibility, exposure and traffic back to their website in exchange for writing and submitting short 450-700 word articles centered around their expertise.
They are essentially exchanging content for highly pre-qualified visitors/traffic back to their website.
Articles are usually ‘how to’ or do it yourself informational type articles and they are followed by a “resource box” at the very bottom of each article. The article body is where the expert gives of their expertise; the resource box is where they get to promote themselves and give a link to their website.
Example: If an business owner is an expert in Vacation Rentals and wrote articles about various beach, cottage and vacation rentals; the visitors who come to the expert authors website are already interested in the topic they are reading… hence they are pre-qualified visitors (the best kind!).
Biana: Can you give your top three tips for business owners who are just starting with writing and submitting articles?
Christopher: CONSISTENCY: Know article writing & marketing is not a one shot strategy. It’s important to be consistent over time. It’s a lot like advertising where you market your business every single month.
QUALITY: Your articles should be easy to scan, include bullet points, numbered lists and proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. Articles must be original and unique / exclusive to the person who wrote the article, but does not have to be exclusive to EzineArticles.com (means you can also use your articles on your own website).
QUANTITY: After you master writing quality original unique articles, the only way to really succeed with this strategy is to build your article inventory over time. Every article you write is what I call an “article agent” that sells for you. More article agents = more articles out there attracting traffic for you. Build your article inventory into the dozens, then hundreds and eventually thousands of high quality articles.
Biana: Once we submit our articles to EzineArticles.com, how can we make them stand out among other articles?
Christopher: Considering less than 15% of our members write more than 10 articles; the easy way to immediately DOMINATE your niche is to enter yourself into the top 15% club of expert authors who write more than 10 articles! Yes, it’s this simple.
On the quality side, make sure your articles offer unique tips, tricks, strategies, and ideas that are not the same rehashed tips you see in every article written by a lazy expert copying some ideas found elsewhere.
Be sure to include your author photo and extended bio as this builds more credibility and gets you access to more exposure within EzineArticles.com as we restrict certain features to authors with their photo uploaded.
Biana: What’s ahead for the article marketing industry in the next 1-3 years?
Christopher: Every month the quality standards continue to raise and that means low quality thin content writers will find it harder and harder to get their content accepted by the best sites.
It’ll continue to take a higher volume of articles to make the same impact that a lower volume would do today. This is largely due to the rising content supply and competition… but again, remember that only a minority of expert authors publish beyond 10 articles. You should aim to be the expert author who writes way more than 10 articles.
There will continue to be a shortage of really high quality original & unique articles. Ultimately, there are no easy short-cuts to produce high quality work. You can stand out easily in the crowd of fellow experts by only putting out high quality work; but don’t be paralyzed by writing for perfection. Perfection is not necessary. Massive writing & article submitting action is if you want to be really successful.