I have been doing this online article writing thing for a number of years now. I make much more money doing it now than when I first started out. But I originally only did it for the purpose of online self-promotion. As a musician, web developer and entrepreneur, I would primarily use the articles to promote my music, my businesses and my websites. Since then, though, I have also begun to do 3D art and animation and have written several e-books. So I have even more to promote online now, through my articles.
My articles would always contain links to whatever it was I wanted to promote at the time. When I first started out, I had read many online articles and blogs about the very subject I am talking about here. In one that I read, it was stated that it can be helpful to you and your business if you were to establish yourself as some sort of expert in your field. Writing articles helps to create that impression. It also doesn't hurt if you have a few e-books or books in print under your belt.
Often, people will get a sense as to whether or not you know what you are talking about from reading your articles. Also, if the article is vague and contains little useful information and then hits you up to buy something, you generally know it is pretty much just some sort of scheme to relieve you of some of your excess money.
What I prefer to do is to try to provide useful information and then post something about my credentials at the end of the article. Usually those credentials have to do with an accomplishment of some sort. This may help lend credibility to you in the area of establishing yourself as some sort of expert. So allow me to give you some examples of the things I may mention in my articles to help create that impression.
As a web developer, I write about website content, website promotion and internet marketing. So I will mention things like I have a number of websites that I have created and I have over 4,000 pages on the Internet. That establishes me as someone who may know something about productivity as it would relate to a website. So I may do an article on how to maximize your productivity as a web developer. After all, 4,000 pages is a lot of pages, right?
As a musician, I may mention how I compose my own music, play a number of different instruments, have done recording using various music programs and I can read and write musical notation. I have also done live performance. I have made my CD available for sale on Amazon and my music available for sale online as MP3 downloads. I could write articles about any one of those things.
As a writer, I have written several e-books and written for a number of websites. I could give advice to others who wish to do the same. The same could be said regarding my 3D artwork and animation.
Okay, now allow me to clear things up. What I just wrote was not for the purpose of bragging. It was to illustrate a point. The point I am attempting to make is: whenever you want to use your articles to promote yourself, your business or your products, try to establish yourself as an expert and try to give some credibility to that assertion by stating your accomplishments that are related to the subject matter of the article.
The next thing to concern yourself with is your writing skills. If you yourself are not a skilled writer but know someone who is, see if that person will work with you. You basically write the article and have the other person edit it. Give the other person partial writing credits for all of the work you do together. If you are a skilled writer then you need not worry so much. The thing is that many will disregard what you have to say when they see numerous grammatical errors or try to read incoherent gibberish. That could hurt you more than help.
I hope I didn't bore you too much by speaking about myself at length. But if you are a skilled writer who has something to promote online, try out what I have suggested. Now, to further illustrate my point, at the end of this article I will include a snippet that I sometimes use at the end of some of my articles. That's the section where I usually promote myself. This is a little longer than usual but I want to fully illustrate the point. So here it goes:
Bob Craypoe, is a musician, web developer, writer, 3D artist and animator. Bob's most popular website is the Doctor Psychotic Humor Site, which contains over 3,000 pages. Bob's instrumental CD, To Infinity, is available on Amazon.com. Bob has also authored various e-books and his most recent release is called What Not To Do As A Musician, which is available for the kindle. Bob also has an Online Gallery of his 3D artwork where art prints of his work may be purchased. You can find out more about Bob by going to his website, Craypoe.net.
Now, what are your accomplishments and what do you want to promote? That should be included in the snippet at the end of your articles.
Photo Credit: Image create by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau