While most people associate article marketing strictly with online promotion, you can get even more bang for your article buck by promoting your articles – and your business! – offline. Here’s how you can turn your online articles into offline marketing engines:
1. Submit articles to local papers and newsletters.
Many local newspapers, neighborhood associations or local organization newsletters will accept contributed articles. By submitting your articles on a hot and timely topic, you can increase your exposure and potentially gain new subscribers or customers.
To find local sources for your articles, you can do a simple Google search. Enter “CITY newspaper” or “CITY shopper” (quotes included) with CITY being your location, or nearest major metropolitan city, in the Google search bar. For instance, “Tallahassee newspaper” or “Seattle shopper”.
You are highly likely to find multiple small publications in your area. Don’t overlook neighborhood associations, as well as schools, daycares, gyms, community centers, churches, and clubs and organizations that create newsletters for their members. If their readership matches your target market, getting featured in these is free and can help you to grow your online business.
Make a list of publication names and contact information, and then either email them a link to your articles, or print out a copy and send it to their mailing address.
2. Share your content with associates and potential clients.
Print one of your favorite articles and mail it to prospective clients, business associates and others who might find the content useful. Include a sticky note that says “Thought you might find this helpful,” and sign your name. Be sure your website address or contact information and a business card are included as well. Then hand-address the envelope, include your name and return address, and drop it in the mail. If you make it a practice to send out a few every week, it can pay off in added readers, website visitors and customers.
3. Turn an article into a press release.
Newspapers are always looking for interesting news and stories they can use for their broadcast or print media. If your article has a strong news hook related to a recent event or season, you may be able to pitch a story as a press release. First, do some research to find out who your best contact at the newspaper is. For instance, if you’re a landscaping company, identify who covers home and garden, then read several of their past articles to observe what topics they cover. Next, email or call them. Introduce yourself and ask what type of stories and news releases they want to receive and how (via email, fax, phone or mail).
Once you know what the reporters are looking for, you can direct appropriate stories their way. If your article topic fits, format your article as a press release and send it to them as they requested. Keep in mind that reporters and newspapers receive hundreds of releases, many of which were written and sent by people who haven’t taken any time to get to know the reporters or what they are looking for. By doing your homework and developing a relationship with them, you stand a much higher chance of getting your information published.
4. Create print booklets of your articles.
Take a few of your favorite articles and compile them into a booklet.
- Lay out the articles in a word processing program (OpenOffice.org is free) or desktop publishing software.
- Add an “About Us” page and contact information.
- Include a free offer inside the book, if the reader joins your email list.
- Print one sample booklet.
- Copy the booklets at home or at your local print shop.
Then, it’s time to distribute the booklets.
- Mail them to prospective clients.
- Include them with all physical purchases.
- Offer them as a free gift to subscribers.
- Bring them to networking events and leave at information tables or booths.
There are many ways to use offline article marketing strategies to enhance your results. Be creative and search for new places to display articles and locate readers and subscribers. By offering them your well-written articles, you can establish yourself as a local expert and go-to person when they need your services or products.