Article Marketing – How to Come Up With Topic Ideas
By Crystal Smith
In my work I write frequently about the use of article marketing as an online lead generation strategy. Well-written articles draw attention and visits to your Website.
With article marketing, the importance of the volume and frequency of article posting cannot be overstated. Some online marketing experts recommend one or two articles per month of at least 400 words in length. So, assuming you are a confident do-it-yourself marketer, how do you come up with ideas for 24 articles per year?
In most marketing writing, you are advised to keep it short – give customers and prospects the facts in a compelling manner and then wrap it up.
Article marketing turns that conventional wisdom on its head. When writing articles, you need to think big. That being said, you should know that most reputable article databases have rules about direct promotions in your articles. So what you need to do is provide information about your product or service that is of value to customers, while working in a very subtle marketing message.
Here’s how you can get the ball rolling. I like to call it peripheral thinking.
Think of one of your core products or services. Imagine it in the center of a wheel. The spokes on that wheel would be the many ways customers use or benefit from the product, and the information they might need in order to gain the most from the product. The information you provide is peripheral to your actual product, but it is still of value to your customer.
Confused? An example might be of assistance.
I have a client that creates digital signage using their own proprietary software. Instead of focusing articles on their actual software, I used topics peripheral to their product that would lead readers into a general discussion about digital signage.
I placed “digital signage” at the center of the wheel. The spokes I chose to add included: how digital signage has benefited specific industries (which led to articles on fast food restaurants, banks, public transit, restaurants, and hotels), the cool new hardware used in digital signage, the role of this signage in up-selling customers, the formatting and design of digital signs (which spun off into articles about font and color selection), how these signs can aid the recall of marketing messages, selling third-party ads on digital signs, measuring the effectiveness of this signage and so on, and so on.
These topics led me in all kinds of different directions as I did research into in-store marketing, point-of-purchase marketing, out of home advertising, the benefits of software as a service (SAAS), wait warping, planning digital signage networks, and more.
I ended up with close to twenty articles in a two-month span. And I still have more to write on the seemingly narrow topic of digital signage.
If you are in need of article ideas, a little creative and peripheral thinking may be all you need to get started. Try it and you’ll be amazed at how far you get!
Crystal Smith is a professional writer who specializes in search engine optimized Web site copy, article writing and blog posts. Writing samples and more information are available at
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About the Author: Donna Amos

I believe you can achieve anything you truly want to achieve. “It might sound trite, but time and time again, I’ve seen it happen with my clients. They overcome the fear of exposing themselves to the possibility of failure to creating profitable exciting businesses. My clients do great work, and sometimes it only takes someone else believing in them to give them the confidence to step out and take the chance.”