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3 Simple Steps To Generating More Leads

No matter whether you have an online business or a real bricks-and-mortar offline business, prospects, or leads, are the lifeblood of your business. Prospecting brings potential customers to your web site or into your store and gives you a chance to close the sale.

The problem with most lead generation is that it's costly, not very targeted, or both. For example, paying for an ad in the local newspaper not only costs you cash upfront, but it's using a "shotgun approach." You're putting that ad into a publication that everybody reads and hoping your target market stumbles across it.

You can pay for an ad in a trade publication to make sure your message gets in front of the right crowd, but there's an even better way -- writing articles.

Wait a minute, before you tune out because you think you're not a writer, there are ways to benefit from article marketing without being another Hemingway or Michener. If you are a good writer, so much the better, but even people who thought they were "hopeless" have been able to use articles to generate leads for their business.

The best thing about article marketing as a way to generate leads is the people who arrive at your business or web site are very hot prospects. They've already had a taste of what you're offering and they want more.

Here are the three simple steps I promised that will allow you to generate more leads:

1. Come up with a topic for your article. This will, of course, depend on what you're promoting, but it's very simple -- write something about which your target wants to know. For example, if you run a greenhouse, writing an article about starting plants indoors would be a natural fit. One good technique is to use an article to tell people what to do, and then use the article to send them to your store or web site to find out *how* to do it.

2. Get the article written. Notice that I didn't say you had to write the article? If you can crank it out yourself, that's good, but if not, there are two good ways around that. First, you can find already written articles that come with"private label rights" and edit the article so that it's unique. Starting with an article that's done and tweaking it is pretty easy -- even for someone who isn't a writer.

The other easy way to get the article written is to outsource the job. If you have someone working for or with you who's skilled at writing, put them to work. Or, head for a place like ScriptLance.com and hire someone to write your article for you. That can cost you anywhere from $2 to $20 or more per article, but it's a small price to pay for the leads your article can generate.

3. Publish the article. There is one really common way to get your article out there and that's to submit it to an article directory. When people need content for web sites and ezines they go to the directories and find articles they can use. If your article is chosen, people will be reading it and then heading to your site or store for more information. All of the major article directories are free to submit and you can find them by doing a search on Google.

There's a second way to reach your target market that's not quite so passive as waiting for someone to come looking for what you've written -- contact the publishers yourself. You can find online ezines and mailing lists for almost every topic under the sun -- find a match and let the editor know you have great content they can use.

If you have followed those three steps you may be thinking it's got to be more complicated -- but it's not. Article marketing has been in use for decades in the offline world and it's started taking the online world by storm. It's a simple way to get targeted visitors coming to your web site or store to see what you have -- and that's what lead generation is all about.

Submitted by:

Jay Jennings

Article marketing isn't rocket science, but it's a good idea to skip the pitfalls. Find out exactly how article marketing can generate more leads for you at http://ArticleMarketingExplained.com -- and sign up for the free article writing tips.




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