Article Banks Are Internet Marketing Gold

At the start of internet marketing, this marketing strategy used to be called “article marketing.”   Today it’s called, “content marketing”.  Same thing, for the same reasons.

What are article banks?

Article banks are two-way websites where authors “deposit” articles to invest and where lenders “take” the article to use. The “interest” someone pay for using an article consists of a bio or resource box. Each article bank site includes guidelines for authors and potential publishers. Authors retain first rights – retain ownership – to articles placed on article banks. Some article bank sites publish e-zines that include recently submitted articles, ad swap requests and/or an “articles wanted” area, too. You’ll find many article bank Web sites listed below. If you know of an article bank I’ve missed please, that could be of interested to financial advisors, add them to the comments box.

My blog, www.MarketingWithIntegrity.com  is an article bank because I give people the option to ask me for permission to use an article in their newsletter or on their blog.

 

For Authors
Are you a new writer? Gifted writer? A business owner who enjoys writing can find article marketing to be an excellent way to market services or products with little capital outlay. Any article posted to an article bank includes copyright year, the name of an author, short author bio (sometimes called a resource box), and a link to the author’s Web site at the end of each article. Some article bank sites or publishers may also request the authors’ picture and/or logo, too.

A few words of caution for authors.

  • Never give blanket permission to anyone to use your articles. Not an article bank, Web site or author. Instead, set boundaries and your articles will appear in places you’d enjoy visiting. When someone requests to use your article, check their Web site or request a copy of their e-zine. If you don’t like the Web site, the product or whatever – remember to say “no”!
  • If you don’t always catch your own writing mistakes consider hiring a Virtual Assistant,  Copywriter, fiverr.com person to assist you with proofreading, submitting articles, or keeping track of places, your article appears.
  • Place your articles on your Web site as a way for your potential clients or publishers to get to know you a better. If you provide your articles for free, make sure that your bio includes a link to your Web site or e-zine information. Also, include an easy way for anyone to request permission to use your article as text or to copy the code directly from your Web site (if you allow that).
  • If someone wants to use your article and they’ll receive compensation, you deserve compensation, too. Money, an ad’s in newsletters, paid membership, yearly subscription, a copy of an e-book for you to use and send your clients, these are all ways for you to be paid. If the way someone suggests you’ll be paid, doesn’t agree with you, well, here is another place you can say “no”.

 

For Publishers
Articles banks are an excellent resource for you if you don’t enjoy writing or are looking for some extra content for your e-zine, magazine, website, e-book, etc. With the permission of an article’s author and sometimes the article bank owners themselves, you will be provided with the free content. In return, the author will provide you with copyright information, a brief bio, and link to their Web site.

In the early 2000’s, there were nearly 200 article banks.   When you visit article banks, look for the other services that the site owner provides for you as a publisher and utilize the other helpful services, too. If you find yourself using an article bank over and over again, consider providing a link from your site to their site – maybe on a “recommended links” page. It’s an excellent way to thank the site owner for providing such a valuable resource.

 

Article Banks

Of the nearly 200 article banks I used in the early 2000’s, few continue to exist.  For transparency,  I am a member of the sites below and post my articles on their “banks”:

  • http://ezinearticles.com/   Every conceivable topic.
  • http://www.producersweb.com/  Insurance and advisor articles.   Do not expect that these articles are FINRA approved.  Many practice management articles.
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/  LinkedIn
  • http://www.selfgrowth.com/ Self-help and growth articles.
  • If you are using a newsletter creation service, that is specific to the financial industry, ask them if their articles are FINRA approved and use what’s been already written.
  • Many blogs, including this one, accept guest posts.  Check the navigation links on the top of the page for the guidelines.

What article banks do you know about?  Place your answers and suggestions in the comments box below.

© 1999-2004 

Updated 2015.  Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business.  Business coach and article marketing pioneer.   Learn proven ways to improve your bottom line and gain new clients with our Wall Street expertise and blue-chip strategies.  Signup for our Advisor Success Toolbox at http://CoachMaria.com

 

 

Create A Hot Sheet For Your Speaking Engagements

You’ve probably read an article or two about the 4-8 different learning styles.  If you take a course on the best ways to provide trainings, you’re bound to learn about the importance of considering learning style elements when you plan your seminars, workshops, or speeches.  Important why?  Because you want your audience to retain and take action on the information you’re providing.  Right?

It’s helpful to consider the learning styles of your staff or clients as you create systems and processes for them, too.   But I digress.

A hot sheet is often used as an internet marketing tool.  I think it’s an extremely important element for financial advisors to include in your marketing toolbox, too.

 

Why Use Hot Sheets?

Have you noticed that advisors take a lot of written notes at conferences?  They’re not the only people taking notes, of course.  But many in the industry, including me, take notes of various lengths.  Some people use the notes later and for some, just the process of writing allows us to retain the new knowledge we’ve learned.

A hot sheet is a tool to help advisors do that and more.

When you’re developing your talk, you write notes that contain the talking points or you put the entire talk into writing.

What you could do next is to choose 3-5 of the more important (hot ) areas you’ll be discussing.  Next you take these hot topics and write the concepts in a way that the audience can fill in the blanks.

Example 1:

The three important visions financial advisors must create to grow or improve their firm in a focused way are:

1________________

2________________

3________________

 

Example 2:

There are _____ steps to creating a vision statement that will bring you more clarity and focus.

 

As you can see from my examples, I’ve provided two different ways for the audience to fill-in-the-blanks.

Hot sheet topics provide your audience an opportunity to listen to you with more focus as they fill in those blanks.  You may even find members of the audience email you after the event to learn the answers!

 

How I Design a Hot Sheet

When I create a hot sheet, it consists of 4 pages:

Page 1: Graphic with the title of the event.

Page 2: The hot sheet.  Keep it simple and just one page long.

Page 3:  I put an empty sheet here, for more notes.

Page 4: Information about me, my firm, call to action (CTA) and contact information.

 

Additional Resources

Learning styles  https://www.mindtools.com/mnemlsty.html

(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business

How To Protect Your WordPress Website or Blog

You may not think of protecting your WordPress blog other than changing your password every now and then.  But it’s important to protect your WordPress website or blog from synyster bot net attacks, too.  (I mean wouldn’t it be great if all the hackers and virus, trojan, or malware developers turned their so very negative energy to something positive? I mean not even the sky would be the limit!?)

One way to protect your WordPress blog from one of the worse attacks to hit this program in many years is to add the plugin “Brute Protect” to your site. OR download the Jetpack plugins (it comes with some great marketing options, too) and activate their Jet Protect which now includes Brute Protect.  (I am using Jet Protect.)

What to do next

Add and activate a protect plugin on your blog.

If you’ve never added a plugin to your blog:

(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business

 

Financial Advisors Can Easily Set Up an Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendars Help Financial Advisors Focus On Topics That Are Important To Their Ideal Clients

Calendar2016I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of creating a marketing calendar.  Truth be told, most financial advisors don’t have one! You can start a marketing calendar very simply by creating an Editorial Calendar and then, eventually, expanding on it.   What’s an Editorial Calendar you say?

“An editorial calendar is used by bloggers publishers, businesses, and groups to control publication of content across different media, for example, newspapers, magazines, blogs, email newsletters, and social media outlets.”  Read more at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editorial_calendar

Here are a few examples of editorial calendars from financial magazines. Maybe the topics on these lists will provide you with ideas of what to place on your calendar.

Did you know that magazines from all industries use an editorial calendar? As a (former) monthly columnist for a few magazines, the editors provided me with their yearly editorial calendar to help me select topics and meet deadlines for my articles.

 

Create an Editorial Calendar for YOUR firm
Every firm has an overall editorial theme — the things you specialize in.  Then within those themes you have sub-themes.

For example: as a consultative-coach, my firm specializes in helping advisors create efficient operations and marketing systems that grow firms faster. That’s my overall theme.

Sub-theme could be: basics of systematizing, operations management, niching, simplified business planning, marketing strategies, social networking, creating templates, practice management, LinkedIn, finding your ideal clients, etc.

Once created, use your theme and sub-themes to:

  • write articles about that topic,
  • look for other articles on the topic and share them on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • host a seminar on that month’s topic,
  • design a template for your clients on that topic.

Request my First Editorial Calendar in MS Excel Template (and access to my Advisor Tool Box) click here

 

EASY Peasy Online Editorial Calendars

Consider using a calendar that you and your team are already using to create your editorial calendar. Your Google or Outlook calendars can be used for this purpose.  In fact my second EC was created as an additional Outlook calendar.

If you have a WordPress Blog, consider adding the editorial-calendar plugin into your system.   I recently tested it and think it’s the best of the EC plug in’s. You’ll find a very informative video, sample calendar to view, and learn how to upload it to your WP Blog at https://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/

Two features I like about the editorial-calendar plugin are:

  1. it helps you easily add or move posts to be published on different days.
  2. you can see which posts you’ve created that are currently unscheduled and easily schedule them.

 

BONUS Tip About Editorial Calendars

How many times have you read a magazine and said to yourself “I can write an article for that magazine”.   If the magazine is something that your ideal client reads, take your thought a step further.

Visit their website again and look for “media”.  That’s usually where you’ll find a calendar and even the demographics of the magazine.  See what topics interest you and submit a query. Here’s a brief definition of a query: http://www.fa-mag.com/userfiles/stories/Mediakit/2015/fa-media-kit-2015-editorial-calendar.pdf . (NOTE: if you want to be a monthly columnist, you need to submit a query that includes at least 8 article topics, all based on their EC).

More Reading About Editorial Calendars

3 Step Guide To Building an Editorial Calendar by Amy McIlwain. http://financialsocialmedia.com/the-financial-advisors-3-step-guide-to-building-an-editorial-calendar-2/

 

Do you use an editorial calendar?  What ways do you use themes in your business? What are a few of that themes your firm uses?

How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile URL Shorter

ID-100249677When you joined LinkedIn, their system  automatically assigned a Public Profile URL to your account.  It looks something like this:  http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/yourname/0/123/123

Make it shorter.

Extra letters and numbers make URLs harder to remember.

Sometimes, advisors who aren’t allowed to have their own websites (yet), use their LinkedIn address as a substitute for a website.  I often see those long random URLs on business cards.  It bears repeating:  Every extra letter or number in a URL makes it harder to remember (and type in correctly) when someone attempts to contact you.

You can do better than that!

Currently, LinkedIn allows you to change the URL for your LinkedIn profile.  But if you’re been using that URL throughout the Internet and in your marketing materials, changing it will be a lot of extra work.  If you start by creating the site with your name, life will be so much easier!

 

NAMING TIPS

Choose a Public Profile URL that is easy to remember and easier to share.  Here are some tips:

1)  Remember that your LinkedIn profile is PERSONAL. Don’t name your profile after a business. Your business name may change or you might close or sell your business*.

 

2)  If your name is taken when you’re naming your profile URL, then you’ll need to add “something” else to it.  My advice is to use your middle initial, middle name, or if you’re like me and have no middle initial, look at something else that is easy to remember.

Examples:  JohnDoe, JohnEDoe, JohnEdwardDoe

 

3)  Don’t add a hyphen, slash, or period to your Public Profile URL or for that matter, your email address or website name.  They’re just too easy for someone to miss, type wrong, or forget.

This also makes it easier for anyone who creates marketing materials for you, off or online.  Create a Public Profile URL that’s easy to remember and use without error.

 

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LINKEDIN URL

  • Log in to your LinkedIn account.
  • From the “Profile” drop-down, you can select “Edit Profile” and then click on the tiny gear that appears to the right of your Public Profile URL.
  • OR, click this link and find the Public Profile area on the right side of your screen. Don’t forget to give the new link to your web designers (so they can fix the social networking link on your website or blog).
  • Here’s the link again:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/public-profile-settings

 

*A Company Profile is created AFTER the owner/partner of a firm creates a Public Profile.  When you sell your business, your LinkedIn Company Profile is part of the business’s assets.

 

(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business.  Maria Marsala, RIA Operations Marketing Manager & Coach.  As an early user of technology (1973), Maria joined LinkedIn on March 27, 2004 and is their 399,261 member.  Like this tip?  Get the next social networking or best practice management tip delivered to your Inbox weekly. Go to http://www.CoachMaria.com