The Best FREE Marketing Technique On The Web: An Exclusive Interview With Michael Southon

Oct 24


Joshua Rose

Joshua Rose

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The Best FREE ... ... On The Web: An ... With Michael ... © 2002 Joshua RoseAre you ... for a free dynamic traffic and ... ... Well, the


The Best FREE Marketing Technique On The Web: An Exclusive
Interview With Michael Southon

Copyright © 2002 Joshua Rose

Are you searching for a free dynamic traffic and sales
building technique? Well,The Best FREE Marketing Technique On The Web: An Exclusive Interview With Michael Southon Articles the crucially important benefits
of writing articles make it a strategy that's difficult to

And when you think of writing articles, it's likely the
name, Michael Southon, pops into mind. Michael is simply
one of the web's most published and successful article
writers. He's been reprinted literally tens of thousands of
times and his articles can be found on over a staggering
8000 web sites.

Joshua: This is indeed a pleasure for me, Michael. Can
you tell us a little about your Internet background?


I got started out in online business in January 1999 with an
Ezine directory called the Business Directory of Ezines,
which I later renamed The Free Directory of Ezines. Back
then I was a total newbie and the idea of writing an article
that would get published seemed outrageous. But in May of
that year I wrote my first article "10 Tips For Successful
Ezine Advertising" and it was published a week later in
WebProNews (500,000 subscribers).

Joshua: Wow, that's quite an entrance! I also seem to see
your articles all over the net. Can you summarize the
specific benefits you're getting from writing articles?


This technique works on so many levels - for example, I get
'name branding' from people seeing my name over and over
again, I get free links to my sales page on hundreds of
websites, my 'link popularity' goes up because my articles
appear on hundreds of websites with an active link back to
my website, and that boosts my ranking in the search
engines, I get huge exposure to readers of Ezines or
Newsletters, and so on. It really is a multiplier effect.

Joshua: So, you're killing a number of 'big' birds with
one stone. While this is great, let me ask you this: Is it
REALLY possible for the average person to be successful
writing articles? How about for those who feel they're just
not good writers?


Absolutely. There's a very well-known Ezine Writer who
writes very simple articles - they're just a list of tips.
But they get published all over the Web and he's made his
name and his success with those articles. You don't need
any literary skills to succeed with this technique.

Joshua: I know what you mean. I've seen a lot of simply
written articles that were excellent due to the content.
But this raises an important question: How does someone
come up with content ideas? What do you do, for example?


The key to coming up with topic ideas for your articles is
to be very aware of what you yourself are learning. As you
know, ecommerce is a huge area and we're all learning new
things every day. Every time you learn something new, write
a short article about it. Because there are almost certainly
other people who are going to have to learn what you just
learnt and your article is going to make it much easier for
them to get that information. The other thing to do is pay
close attention to the questions people ask you. For
example, I had a question last week from a man in the UK who
wanted to know how to use articles to promote an affiliate
link. So I answered his question and then wrote an article
titled: "How To Boost Your Affiliate Sales With Free

Joshua: Okay, assuming I do that and then write my article,
how receptive are newsletter editors towards accepting
articles from other writers? Am I likely to get published?


The vast majority of Newsletter publishers don't write their
own content and even those who do still need outside input,
'guest articles'. The problem is getting noticed because
there are a lot of people writing articles now. One of the
keys to getting loyal publishers who keep using your
articles is to have a fairly constant output - at least one
new article every 2 weeks. Publishers like to use articles
from 'regulars' - writers who they have published before
and who they can count on for more articles in the future.

Joshua: Yeah, that's been my experience too. Each time I
submit, I'm finding that new editors are using them. You
also mentioned 'name branding' earlier. Is this a vital
ingredient to one's eventual web success?


Yes, I think it is important. You could also call it
'Establishing an Audience' or 'Building Credibility'. The
reason it's important is that people have become very wary
on the Internet (because of all the scams). If someone lands
up at your website and they have never heard of you before,
chances are they won't buy anything. But if they have seen
your name over and over again, as the author of helpful
articles - then you have a potential customer.

Joshua: Related to this is another 'payoff' for the writer:
the Resource Box -- your ad. What do you think is the most
effective strategy here?


Well, this really is an art in itself. It's as important as
the article itself. Here's a valuable tip: if you're using
your Resource Box to promote your eBook, don't mention the
eBook! Instead, create a free report (1 or 2 chapters of
your eBook) and offer that from your Resource Box. When I
started doing this, my sales tripled overnight.

Joshua: Wow. So, we shouldn't try to sell anything here.
We should promote a free information product that captures
their email addresses. In your opinion, Michael, does this
work best by sending them to your site to sign up, or going
with a 'mailto' address, or both?


Well, I have to say that I've had bad experiences with
putting my email address in my Resource Box. The spammers
got hold of it (or rather the email harvesters). The email
address was ept-subscribe@ followed by my domain name and
I still get dozens of emails every week that say 'Hello
ept-subscribe'. The best method here is sending them to a
sign-up form where they have to enter a valid email address
because they'll be receiving an email a few seconds later
with the download details for your free report.

Joshua: You've had tremendous success online. In your opinion,
is there such a thing as an *Internet Secret*, some magical
formula for easy web success?


Most of succeeding online is just sheer perseverance. But I
would also recommend reading as much as possible. There's
really masses of information on how to succeed on the web.
Having a mentor is also a key to success (I've had a few).

Joshua: Me too. This has been great, Michael. I really
appreciate your input. Thank you.


It was my pleasure.

Joshua: Any last tips or comments?


Do what you're passionate about, follow your bliss. Because
people will pick up on it and it will take you anywhere you
want to go. But one still needs to persevere. Successful
people are people who have learned to deal with failure.