A programmer/marketer who’s really good at what he does sent out an email Thursday morning that I strongly disagree with. In fact, the word “strongly” doesn’t even come close to the way I feel.
EzineArticles.com is having a contest starting Jan 1 — if you write (and publish on their site) 100 articles in 100 days you’ll win a hat, mousepad, certificate, etc. Nothing huge, I’ll admit. But this marketer says to participate in that contest is a waste of time.
I understand his reasons, but I don’t think he’s looking at it with a long-term view. Following are his reasons (paraphrased) and my response.
Writing 100 articles in 100 days is too much work in too little time. With that schedule you can’t even take a day off — everybody needs a day or two when they’re not working.
There’s nothing that says you have to write only 1 a day. Sometimes you get on a roll and do several in a single sitting. What if you got on a roll once a week and did 10 articles? In 10 weeks you’d be done and you’d have had quite a few days off. Or do 2 a day every other day — that doesn’t seem so hard, does it?
Yes, 100 articles is a lot, there’s no getting around that. But we’re not talking about page after page — you have to write just 400 words per article to qualify for the contest.
But that’s not the biggest problem I have with his advice…
Why even write articles, all you’re doing is building EZA into a bigger site instead of working on your own stuff.
That’s like saying, “Why get your site spidered? All you’re doing is helping Google build a bigger search engine.”
If all you do is submit articles to the EZA site then sure, all you’re doing is help build their site — except you’re still going to benefit from the traffic.
Plus, who said that’s all you should do with the articles? You can publish the articles on YOUR site first and then submit to EzineArticles — they don’t have a problem with that at all. And now you’re building your own site PLUS getting free traffic from the people who read your articles on EZA and beyond.
But that’s still not the biggest problem I have with his advice…
If you don’t have a product sales letter, etc., you shouldn’t be taking time to write articles.
Ah-hah, here it is — the big problem I have with what this guy is saying — and why I say he’s not looking at the big picture.
Do you know what the main difference between an article and an ebook is? An ebook is longer, that’s all.
And do you know that a lot of ebooks consist of different chapters? And those chapters are typically about the size of an article or two?
See where I’m going with this? By writing articles on a specific subject you can cover many areas in depth — an article at a time. And by putting some of those articles together you can create a special report — and by putting even more together you can create an entire ebook.
Hold Your Horses Because I’m Just Getting Started!
Fire up Audacity and record each of those articles — now you have content for a podcast that can be used to promote that ebook for sale. Or, burn them to a CD and use as a bonus to get people on your list.
Now take that audio, add some slides via PowerPoint or Keynote, and you have a series of videos that can also be used to promote the ebook.
Or added to a membership site, or whatever you want to do.
Because now you have content — 100% original content that’s all yours to do with whatever you want.
To the guys at EzineArticles this contest may be all about building a bigger site, but to me it’s a way to crank out content that I’m going to use to make MY site bigger, to add new people to my list, and to turn into products that I can use for months to come.
Creating content is never a mistake.
And while you don’t need a “contest” to get it done, for some folks the structure of such a thing is helpful. If you’re that kind of person I recommend you join the 100 articles in 100 days contest and see how it can give YOUR business a big boost.