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,  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, 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”:

  •   Every conceivable topic.
  •  Insurance and advisor articles.   Do not expect that these articles are FINRA approved.  Many practice management articles.
  •  LinkedIn
  • 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



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:

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

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: . (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.


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?

Advisors: 15 Ways To Select Your First or Next Article Topic

Starting an article with a blank page in front of you is always difficult.  What if you started an article by writing a sample title on the top of piece of paper? This article will give you ideas on how to do “just that” and may bring you just a little more confidence to write your first or next article today.


At the end of 8th grade, I was told that I’d do better in high school if I went to summer school for my worst subjects — Math and English. I went; however, one month later I was diagnosed with pneumonia and spent the summer in intensive care at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn.

Fast forward eight years. As a way to increase bond sales among the Registered Reps at Bear Stearns, I interviewed the RRs to learn what they needed from the trading desk. (That is where I was working at the time as a Junior Trader). Out of those many conversations, I designed new marketing forms, provided more information than what was previously taken place, and wrote a short article each month. The topics of the articles were actually chosen by me from a list of questions the RRs asked me most often. My colleague, George Adell, proofread whatever I wrote.

I wrote about the nuances of municipal or government bonds.  I also wrote about the operational side because, well, it’s very different than selling stocks, options, mutual funds, etc. Over time, I was asked to put all my articles into a Bond Operations Manual — a first ever at Bear Stearns.  The manual was given to every new hire by their Branch Manager.


I tell you this, not to brag, but because you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or have an MBA to write an article, as I’m doing now, in 8-15 minutes.

1) Write a title and don’t worry if it’s not perfect. For your first article, write Top 5 (7 or 10) Ways To _____.
2) Write an introduction (this could be a two sentence summary up to a few paragraph, like this article).
3) Write a list of the 5 (7 or 10) topics for the subject you chose.
4) Go back and explain each of the topics in 1-3 sentences

You’re done!

You can use a mind map, if that helps you come up with ideas.

I’ve had clients create articles at a meeting with their team.

You can hire a hire a ghostwriter, PR, or content marketing person to do your writing for you. (Please see your compliance department for guidelines regarding using a ghostwriter to write for you.)



My coach made me to it! (Really, she did!) We were discussing ways I could market my business and since I liked teaching, we were brainstorming about ways I could teach more. She said “write and teach about what you know”. At that time, I was working on ways to reduce stress, so I wrote an article called the “Top Ten Ways to Eliminate Stress.” Later, I would go on to create a course called “Clean Sweeping Stress out Of Your Life” — a very popular topic I speak on… to this day.

In 1998, I started my first business email newsletter (ezine) by writing the answers to questions clients asked me. I learned how to “article market” (as it was called then, now it’s called content writing) on the internet, and by 2003, I was being called a pioneer of article marketing on the web. It still seems strange to me!



While some people write reports every time they write a blog post article, keep in mind that on average, the acceptable length of an article is 450-750 words. However, on your own blog, you can write 250-1500 words. Longer articles can be turned into checklists, eBooks, or reports.


Remember: An article is not the next best novel!  Write your first article about “The Top 5 (7 or 10) Ways To “X” and go for 450 words. See the article within an article below called “15 Ideas on How To Develop a Topic For an Article”, which is located below.



If you are writing as a way to bring more eyes to your business, especially your business website and blog, you really need a niche.

To attract your ideal clients, you write TO them and FOR them. It could be about a product or a service, but it can also be something your clients are passionate about (like wine, food, etc.) It could be about pain or joy that they are dealing with in their lives that you know something about.

Way too often I find advisors writing articles “just because”. They wonder why people are leaving their blogs. (They don’t see “themselves” in your writing). So, before you write an article on a topic you would like to write about, ask yourself “Is this something that would interest my ideal clients.” If not, move on. If yes, start writing.

If you don’t have a niche or want to re-fine your niche, there are articles about niching under the Marketing category of this blog. You can also view a video on niching

15 Ideas on How To Develop a Topic For an Article

  1. Your clients.  Keep track of the questions they ask and write about those topics.
  2. Your clients.  On the evaluation you provide to attendees of your seminars, you should have the question “what else would you like to learn about this topic” write about those topics.
  3. Other articles.   Have you ever read an article and thought to yourself, “they left something very important out form this article”? Write about what’s missing.
  4. Learning.  Maybe you’re reading a book or taking a course. Maybe you need to learn something new.  Once learned, write about it IF it would interest your ideal clients or newsletter readers.
  5. Speaking.  When you’re asked to speak, write an article or two on the topic and use what you’ve written as hand outs.
  6. Being pissed off.  Maybe you see something or something happens that just ticks you off… write about it… I call it article marketing therapy.
  7. Social Networking.  Heck, this article came from a question asked of me on Twitter.  The writer asked me “how do you decide on a topic to write about”.  Many other article topics come from questions asked or article posted to LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc.
  8. News.  What is happening in the news at the local, national or global level that affects your clients lives? Write about it. The PBS News Hour or Business News is good for topic ideas.
  9. Research.  Go to the library or Amazon to see what new books are being written about on topics of interest to your niche. Write about those topics. You can always read a book and write what you learned.
  10. Seasonal.  Write about a story regarding a holiday. Once I took the story that I wrote about reducing stress and turned it into “50 Ways to Find Serenity During The Holidays When Serenity is the Last Thing On Your Mind” and I’ve turned the article into Serenity Cards For Business Owners.
  11. Life: Mix “human interest” stories in with the business articles. This allows your readers to get to know you better; after all, your clients are human, too!
  12. Repurpose.  Take an article you wrote 5 years ago and updated it. You can even turn it into two articles or a report.
  13. Experience.  Write about an experience you had or a lesson learned.   Show people your humanness.
  14. Write when you’re asked to write. As you become known as an expert in your niche, you’ll receive invitations to write for magazines or newsletters.
  15. Proactively write. If you haven’t heard of HARO, you’re missing out on access to journalists. Learn more about HARO.



(C) 2014  Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business.

Financial Advisors: Collaborative Article Marketing Generates More “Buzz” About Your “Biz”

See how collaborative article marketing works and the steps you can take to easily create your first collaborative article

beehivesmallfreedAre you looking for additional ways to market yourself authentically, establish rapport with your clients, and easily create marketing materials? Let me tell you about a simple way financial advisors can write articles and create "buzz" among clients and strategic partners. It’s called Collaborative Article Marketing. The advantages of collaborative article marketing are many, the uses are endless, and the rewards very much outweigh the effort you put in.

Over the years, I’ve created a few collaborative articles. I’ve collaborated with an expert in the field of web design to create the article, 10 Parts of a Financial Advisor’s Website

I also collaborated with 3 groups of business owners to create "10 Ways To Say No To Freebie Seekers Who Want To Pick Your Brain"

Top 10-type articles are the best to collaborate on. These lists are highly readable and engaging to people. Hey, it has worked on Letterman for years!

As a financial professional, you know that "high-touch" practices are linked to profitability; however, there are only so many ways to remain in front of clients and strategic partners and to ask for referrals without appearing "salesy". There are many buzz-generating advantages to writing an article with this collaborative process, such as:

  • Collaborative articles are easy and fun to write, especially if you format them as Top 5, Top 7, or Top 10 lists.
  • You can dramatically build and strengthen relationships when you collaborate with strategic referral partners and your clients.
  • You have a reason to touch base with your referral partners or clients without it being a sales call. It’s actually a compliment when you request their contribution to your article. Your clients will enjoy helping you, as you’ve been helping them.
  • You can write articles without dinging the compliance bell if you write about passions or hobbies (wine, golf, boating, travel, knitting, etc.), general business ideas, tips from executives, and other creative topics. Note: Please always check with your compliance department for its guidelines!
  • You will strengthen your rapport with others as you connect on different subjects of common interest, which could tip the "likeability" scales in your favor and land you more referrals.
  • You’ll gain respect as an authority in another area of life that you love to communicate about, whether it’s golf, the best area restaurants, or staying organized.
  • Collaborative articles are a great way to get your name “out there” and reflect your uniqueness in a marketplace teaming with financial advisors who just blend into the status quo.
  • Because people like seeing their names "in lights", you’re bound to attract traffic to the online version as all your contributors share the article with their friends and colleagues.
  • You’ll be marketing smarter and marketing with integrity, too!

A collaborative article represents a gold mine of marketing material for a financial advisor. It’s a remarkable timesaver and efficient marketing tool. You only have to do the work ONCE and then can re-purpose it in many different ways:

  • Post it on your blog.
  • Print it in your newsletter or send it in your ezine.
  • Send a nicely formatted copy to your clients.
  • Market it on your LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
  • Put the article on your firm’s stationery and distribute it at networking events. I love leaving someone with business-boosting tips or advice that saves time. I bet you do, too! It imparts more meaning than a business card…and is much more likely to be remembered and kept!
  • For people who aren’t as computer literate, send the article via physical mail. This keeps you in their thoughts–and on their desks.

You’ll be able to find at least 10 ways to use your collaborative article! And you’ll have 10 people “marketing” each other in a non-pushy way. Now that’s a win-win (or should I say, buzz-buzz?)…100 times over! For more re-purposing ideas, read this article on my blog: "15 Ways to Promote Your Business by Article Marketing"

Here’s the process I use to write a collaborative article:

  • Send an email to your contacts (other business owners or clients) that announces you’re writing an article on a specific topic through collaboration.
  • Explain that you’d like your contacts to contribute their tip to the article. Ask them to write their tip in a simple paragraph and to embellish the tip with a good intro title.
  • Tell them that you’ll identify them as a contributor with their name, title, city, website and/or Twitter URL after their contribution, or at the end of the article.
  • Include a sample of the kind of tip you’re looking for in the format you want to receive it in.
  • Include any restrictions as to the topic or the type of responders you’re inviting to participate. Often, I like to invite submissions from financial professionals and small business owners whose ONLY niche is financial professionals (like me!).
  • Give them a deadline to submit their tip.
  • Don’t feel bad if you either don’t get a response, or a positive responder doesn’t actually follow through. Just shorten your Top 10 to a Top 5 or sprinkle in more of your own tips.
  • Pull together your submissions (or have your assistant do it) and then pen a headline, an introduction, and a final thought to end the article.
  • Make sure you have someone proofread your article! I’m an idea, thought, and solution-type person, so the most difficult part of writing an article for me is proofreading and putting my thoughts in a readable format. That’s why I run it past Chris Mifsud of WordPower Marketing, my firm’s marketing partner. She makes sure that my errors don’t show up. Take the time to shine and make everyone else who contributed look good, too.
  • Remember…it’s important when you collaborate to include each person’s name, title, website and/or Twitter URL after their contribution or, at a minimum, at the end of the article.
  • When the article is ready, send it to your collaborators with profuse thanks and give them ideas how they can use it to market themselves (and the others), too!

For an example of a finished collaborative article, read the "8+ Email Productivity Tips" article I wrote with other financial professionals, here:

As you can see, collaborative articles are a powerful way to strengthen relationships and stand out in the market. Very little time and a lot of good will can create a "buzz" about your firm and for other businesses, too. Go ahead, be a catalyst for 100x the marketing power with collaborative article marketing!

P.S., I posted a note about my next collaborative article to a few of my LinkedIn groups. One teacher wrote to me that he’s going to create a collaborative article for their next student newsletter. A business owner is going to ask her clients to collaborate on an article. If you use this tip, drop me a line and let me know how your firm benefits from it.

©2013 Maria Marsala guides high-achieving independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, and a pioneer in article marketing in 2003, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base.

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Financial Professionals: Let’s Write an Article on Productivity Together!

Dear Financial Advisors, CPAs, Accountants, Benefits Managers, Bookkeepers, Insurance Agents, etc.


I haven’t done this since 2003, when I wrote a Top 10 Article on the Ways to Say No to Freebie Seekers…

I’d like your top two tips for saving time in regards to EMAIL. For each tip I use, I’ll credit you (your name, title, website URL and twitter account).

Below are a few tips in the right format (title, paragraph, your name, title, website twitter account URL):

Create a REMOVE Folder

Always unsubscribe to newsletters you realize you don’t want. However, instead of taking the time out to find the unsubscribe link, then make sure the link really did unsubscribe you etc, do this instead. Create a REMOVE folder in your inbox. Quickly move any unwanted emails into that folder. Then each ____ you pick the day ____ (I like Friday afternoons) go into that folder and unsubscribe to anything you no longer want.
Please create your tip in the form of a paragraph. If you have a title for it, provide it. If not, I’ll provide one for you. You can send me your tip by hitting reply. Thanks much! I’ll let you know if your suggestion has been chosen and tell you when it’s on my blog for you to share OR use on your blog, too.
— Maria Marsala, Business Coach to Financial Advisors, >@mariamarsala


Here are a few tips I’ve received from my newsletter subscribers and LinkedIn followers:

Automatic Emails

I create ‘standard’ email responses for questions I consistently receive.  I maintain these responses as Drafts in Outlook  Then, when a question comes in, I click on the draft, forward the email, take out the “FW:”, customize as necessary and hit send.  HUGE time saver.
— Kim Bryant, CPA, Lincoln, NE @bryantcpa

[Maria’s comment: I send myself the email and maintain them in a folder called AutoMessages].

Create Rules

Use email that come in from certain carriers, vendors, and clients to automatically go to certain staff members.  That way your staff can be informed and help get a jump start on tasks.  Have conversations ahead of time with your staff so it is clear who takes the initiative and responsibility.  You can also use rules to block spam and certain vendors to reduce e-mail clutter.
— Elaine M. Shanley, CFP®, AIF®, Partner at Young and Company, Brooklandville, MD

[Maria’s comment: Spend the time and learn how to use Rules. They will save you oodles of time! Start here:


Just One Click (For MS Outlook 2010 Users)

Is there someone (or a group of someone’s) you often email? Instead of starting to type out their email address and hoping it’s in the list of people you’ve recently emailed, use “Quick Steps”. Introduced in Outlook 2010, you can perform frequently performed Outlook tasks in one click! Quick Steps are located on the Home Ribbon. Leonard send me his instructions on this tip, however, I’m unable to post the photo’s in this article. You can find the instructions on the Microsoft website, here
— Leonard N. Katz, CRC®, RFC®, MFP™,  S K Management Consultants Inc, Long Island, NY

[Maria’s comment: When I finally upgrade, I’ll be using this tip a lot!]

Use the latest tools to streamline your inbox

Most of us are able to keep spam out of out inbox with strong filters  – but what about BACN? – the stuff you have subscribed to and would like to read, if you have time, its just not ‘real email’!   I use a tool called which has a clever system to filter out your non urgent/essential emails automatically. It has saved me countless hours and stress staring at an overflowing email inbox!
— Alan Smith, Capital Asset Management, England & Wales,  @alanjlsmith

[Maria’s comment: Thanks Alan for teaching me about a different type of bacn!]

Dealing With Several Email Accounts

Having a few email accounts, my tip is to make folders in each account along with setting up rules for mail to automatically be moved to each folder. I have folders for each of the associations I’m a member of, each client, prospects, etc. I check my daily and sort what didn’t get in the files. I review emails from client I’m working with that week or association whose meeting I’m attending soon. If I don’t have time to read them in the morning I read them at my leisure at night. Because I use folders, I take care of what most important first and then read the rest later.

Cindy Worden, Founder, Bookkeeping Etc., Piece and Kitsap County, WA

[Maria’s comment: If you use Outlook (and a few other email programs) set up all your emails to come to 1 place. I have a few (older) personal email accounts (using Comcast, Gmail or Yahoo). When I send/receive in Outlook, I automatically get ALL my emails. I also set up a rule so that the mail from each personal account automatically goes into a folder named that email account.]

Submit your tips here, on my blog as a comment, OR send it to me at

NOTE: Only tips from financial advisors, planners, professionals, etc. will make it into my article, but anyone who wants, can contribute a a comment and tip here on my blog.


Maria Marsala

Financial Advisors’ Accountability Coach, Speaker, and former Wall Street Trader


P.S.:  Do you like this idea?  Consider asking your clients to help you create an article on a topic of interest to them! Then send it out in your newsletter (with proper Compliance OK of course)