Is article marketing just another ad fad? Why are online as well as offline business owners rushing to participate in this latest form of marketing and what distinguishes it from the other more conventional forms of marketing? Article marketing is undoubtedly red hot right now! So what is it that makes it hot? For one thing, when done well article marketing produces outstanding results; that too, at a fraction of the cost of other conventional means of advertising and marketing. It’s no wonder then that everybody who is connected with internet marketing would want to jump onto the article marketing bandwagon. Innocuous as it may appear; article marketing has overshadowed the glitz and glamour of all other ostentatious forms of advertising and has turned the conventional world of marketing on its head. With article marketing there are no huge million-dollar marketing campaigns run by scores of staff. Article marketing involves just one person - you; and it costs nothing at all. Article marketing creates the ideal advertising engine for internet businesses. This is what webmasters hope to achieve by using article marketing as a major part of their promotional endeavours: * Article marketing through publication in ezines give marketers unprecedented exposure to millions of readers right across the world in just one shot. * Article marketing through publication in ezines also assures click-through traffic to the marketer’s site as well as new sales from Click-though traffic. * Article marketing through publication on non-ezine websites gives marketers valuable one-way, inbound links to their primary websites, which in turn increases the link popularity value of the search engines * Article marketing through publication on non-ezine web sites attracts traffic from those websites where the article is posted and guarantees new sales from click-through traffic. The reason why article marketing is so effective is that articles are content-rich and this content offers valuable information to their readers. This is unlike conventional advertising, where advertisements and promotional articles are only descriptive and not informative. Traditional advertisements offered no real value to anybody else expect the advertiser; whereas articles provide real value to the reader. The new-age customer does not want a mere description of the product that is being marketed. Instead, he wants to know the inside story. He wants to know why he should buy the product and how it will help solve his problem. The promotional significance of article marketing lies in the innate ability of valuable articles to generate target traffic to your website, thus increasing sales tremendously. Effective articles do not directly promote their products. In fact most webmasters and publishers discourage the use of promotional materials within the body of any article that is posted on their site. All promotional materials are generally left in the 'About the Author' or the 'Resource Box'. Including any kind of self - promotional materials in the body of your article will only ensure it’s exclusion from more than 50% of potential publishers. How to write an article that sizzles Here's how to write a sizzling hot article that capitalizes on the article marketing boom: * Grab your reader's attention with the title itself – First impressions matter. Entice your reader with an attention-grabbing headline and lure him into reading more. If your title does not get the attention of the reader, you can be sure your article will languish, unread. * Know your audience – Target audiences are different for different products. Potential customers for cool ringtones are radically different from customers who are looking for wrinkle cream. Determine your target audience and write an article from the perspective of this audience. * Hook your audience – Now that you've got the attention of your target reader, your main aim should be to try and get him reading more. The first line of your article can either make or break your article marketing endeavor. Hook your reader with an amusing anecdote, an interesting byline or a thought to ponder over. Do not keep your best for last; you can be sure no one is going to wade through paragraphs of mundane drivel in the hope of finding something interesting. * Highlight the benefits of your product - Very briefly but very prominently, outline the benefits of your product or service. Make your reader feel like it is something he cannot live without even though he has not realized it yet. * Keep your article focused – When writing an article, stay focused on what you hope to accomplish with your article. Is your article meant to attract potential customers, to enhance your link popularity or is it meant to clarify a controversial issue? * Personalize your article – Speak directly to the reader; person to person. Use a lot of ‘me’ and ‘you’ in your article instead of he, she and they. Reach out to your reader with warmth and empathy; make him feel like you are they to help him, not just sell to him. * Keep your article politically correct – Avoid being prejudiced or opinionated about anything or anyone. You are trying to promote your product; not trying to run somebody down. Negative publicity will earn you just that - negative attention. It will not help you clinch a sale. * Keep your sentences short and simple – Internet readers have short attention spans. Long-winded articles that go nowhere are bound to get them bored and restless. Articles that convey your message in short succinct sentences have a higher success rate than articles that use long-convoluted sentences.