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Of all the methods I’ve ever used to market my business online, the most effective has always been article writing. The reason is that the internet is a content-driven medium. Although articles are only one type of content available on the internet, it’s the easiest way to make comparisons, offer product reviews, and make your website sticky.

Article writing really isn’t as hard as you think either. Unfortunately, most who consider using article writing don’t because they remember what it was like in high school English, and they simply can’t imagine throwing themselves out there and facing the criticism.

Here’s what you need to know: although there are those out there who will criticize your writing, seldom are they people who actually write. Besides, they’re reading you. Are you reading them? Don’t get me wrong. Valid criticism is good but all too often I’ve seen a lot of criticism that was not only unfair, but it was also unwarranted and sounded more like sour grapes than anything else.

Now, although there are many ways to write an article, and you should test them out (different types of articles need different formats), the simplest article to write is called the list or the recipe. These are actually two different formulas, but they’re so similar that I can explain how to do one, and you’ll immediately know how to do the other.

With a list, you simply offer a list of things that go together: tips, secrets, strategies, ideas. Etc. They are all related ideas to a specific topic. A good example of this is the article series that this article is a part of: “29 Ways to Market Your Business Online for Free.” In that article, I provide 29 different free ways you can market your business online. You can also use this article to paraphrase your own one.

Once you write out your list of related tips, then all you do is write two to three different sentences for each tip. Write a beginning and conclusion, as well as a resource box, and you’re basically done. One thing I would highly recommend you do though is to make sure you research your keywords prior to writing your articles. If you don’t, then you may end up using the wrong keywords for what you’re doing.

The recipe allows you to offer step-by-step directions for doing something, similar to a food recipe. You should do each step in a specific order, and before you know it, you have created whatever the article tells you that you will be able to create.

Article writing is not only an easy and effective way to market your business, but you can use it to help you build great content for your websites too. Use it to make your sites “sticky,” and you can drive traffic automatically for years to come.