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Writing articles for a local magazine

As part of my marketing strategy I am thinking about writing articles for a local magazine.

We have local magazine that is widely distributed and well read. I have seen articles written by solicitors and IFAs,  They appear as advertising promotion.

One of my clients (caperts and hardwood floorimg) advertises with this magazine and has generated good buisiness from this.

I am thinking about advertising promotion articles with the local monthly magazine. I know it will not be cheap. Sometime ago I looked ino this with another magazine the cost was £400 per article.

Have you done this? What was your experience like?

Any views on this as part of my marketing strategy?

Thanks

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great strategy

FT ... do it!

 

make the articles interesting & not "boring accountant" articles ... put some effort in, and put some of your personality in! 

 

when we met i showed you articles i write every month for 2 national mags, and they have halved the fee after the first year because my articles are now popular with readers.  i try to make them a bit quirky & write succinctly ... but defo worth it. 

 

one mag in particular gives us half our new clients ... so generates £5k new biz a month for a monthly cost of £250+VAT.  and, we ended up taking the mag on as a client!  LOL

 

get the articles PDF'd and stick them on your website - a little bit fo "celeb status" for you - people do respond well if they think you are the guy "in the know". 

 

it;s a drip, drip, drip tho ... takes time to see the results.

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Agree with Lancboy2

Ten years back I decided that I wanted to become an Accountant for Dentists.

At the time I knew very little about Dentists, other than I believed I could make a lot of money looking after them.

I did all the avaliable CPD courses, read a few books and then started marketing through my usual channels.

Telemarketing to this market did not work. You could never get to the Dentist as they were so well protected by reception.

Mailing had some limited success, but was a very slow process.

Then by chance one of the Dentistry magazines asked a question about profitability in practices. I emailed a reply - cribbed from Parkes Business Guides (whatever happened to them, they were great!) the magazine published it and my phones never stoped ringing with egger dentists desperate to work with a specialist in their field!

I subsequently wrote for the magazine (paying them for the privilage of doing so) for the next 3 years and ended up with circa 100 dentists and being approached by PKF to join them as a national healthcare partner.

I almost did join them, but they dumped the deal at 11:59 and 59 seconds - but that is a different story!!!!

Steve

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Focus on pain

Most of us have had the experience of being bored senseless by a teacher telling us a whole lot of seemingly irrelevant information.  Occassionally I have been in a training session where the speaker has spoken for hours and it felt like minutes.  The difference is almost always a combination of delivery style and relevance to the listener.

Articles can be very effective - if they are done right.

I am still a learner on the adventure of article marketing but we do generate a substantial number of leads each year from articles.  Four starter tips:

1) Identify 1 specific problem your ideal real client would experience without your help. (The temptation is to try to solve loads of problems because you have paid for the article space. It never ever works!)

2) Tell human stories to illustrate your point (and validate the point you are making).

3) Keep paragraphs and sentences short and to the point.

4) If all else fails remember: the heading is (I am trying to remember the exact percentage) but about 70% of the reason people go on to read the article. The first line and then first paragraph follow closely behind.

Good luck!

 

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Being brutally honest

Having read your posts and blogs etc, I doubt that you have the same skills that Steve & Lancsboy have to be able to write an article to fill a limited amount of space that is both informative and entertaining to read.

I notice that you never answer queries on here, only ask. Maybe you could use this as a practice?

I hope to be proved wrong but it seems to me that if this is done badly - technically inaccurate or boring (or both) it could do more harm than good.

Edit: I am not saying that I could do any better. I have always admired those who find ways of making a dry technical subject accessible to the man in the street but I doubt I am one of them.

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Roland185

You will be proved wrong.

I do not t think you are the right person to assess me. YOU SHOULD NOT ASSESS anyone here.

I will carryon  on asking asking. You do not have to read/respond. I will not change on this front.

 

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Calm yourself

FirstTab wrote:

You will be proved wrong.

I do not t think you are the right person to assess me. YOU SHOULD NOT ASSESS anyone here.

I will carryon  on asking asking. You do not have to read/respond. I will not change on this front.

I truly hope I am proved wrong however I am entitled to my opinion.

No-one is saying that you cannot ask questions but simply that it would be polite to respond to some yourself. This would demonstrate your technical knowledge (as well as help others) and give you practice at a skill you seem to desire to use.

 

 

 

 

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great advice

FT ... some great advice here.  

 

i have written 40+ articles on such riveting subjects as use of home as office and operating through a company rather than as a sole trader ... you've got to bring it to life though ... why should you, dear reader, be interested in this?  explain it in simple terms, and dont try to solve every problem with your article - all you are doing is pique-ing their interest to find out more, and position yourself as the guy to speak to ...

 

we use diagrams, photos, and worked examples to help to illustrate points ... and use a snappy headline to draw in the reader.  

 

a great trick is to provide some report / Excel tool / guide on your website, that you can tie into the article.  make the reader want to go to your site & download your guide etc. capture their email address and name & build a list that you can then market to - subtly - via a regular newsletter ... we have >3000 names on the list now, its a valuable asset in itself.  

 

the modern client wants to "experience" you a bit before contacting you ... so open up to them, tell them who you are, what you do, how you can help, give them some useful tips / content ... and wait.  

 

as the chap above says, writing the articles is also great for testing your knowledge, researching, and practising your ability to articulate yourself ... writing the articles is the last aspect of marketing i would ditch now - it is invaluable.  

 

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Blog and Any Answers

My writing on AW/blog is not meant to be a high standard of written work meaning  to get business.

I write quickly not caring for grammer ,spelling or the fact its does not come across as well throught out piece of written work. It highly informal.

It does shock me that some will get on their high horse and provide an unrequested assessment. They simply are not in a position to do this. 

This has really annoyed me. I know I should expect this in a public forum. Plus AW is far more tame compared to other forums.

 

 

 

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Professional appearances

FirstTab wrote:
I write quickly not caring for grammer ,spelling or the fact its does not come across as well throught out piece of written work. It highly informal
Without wishing to be rude, why do you not care about grammar, spelling or how you come across on here?

You are asking to be respected as a professional, and claiming that, if you put your mind to it, you can write in a professional manner. If that is the case, why would you wish to write anything in a professional forum that came across in anything other than a professional manner? If you can't act professionally when dealing with people you presumably think of as your peers, how can you maintain that image when dealing with the world at large?

You might also find that trying to write in a more formal style here will greatly help in your aim of writing articles that will present your business well. Having written articles (though not accountancy ones) for several years under the guidance of a very good editor, it is not as easy as you seem to think. Practicing here will allow you to hone your writing skills to a point where any articles you write for a magazine draw people to you rather than putting people off.

I can't stress enough the importance of a good editor. If you can't find one, at least get someone else to read any articles you write. Whatever you are writing about, you will always be writing it based on knowledge you already have in your head. It is astonishingly easy to forget that some things that you see as common knowledge as an accountant actually require more explanation when dealing with the public at large.

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As Chuck Berry said "everybody is free to do their thing,if you want to sing in harmony ,you sing in harmony"

 

F/T--just do your thing !

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKZcLEY2qEY

Reference after 3 mins 40 secs

 

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Tut tut, stepurhan

"Practicing here ..."  :)

Joking aside, all very good points. Anyone that sticks their head above the parapet on a forum such as this must be prepared to accept criticism for poor presentation etc. Appearances may well be deceptive, and not necessarily an indication of one's skills or abilities, but if the only evidence is what is on the screen in front of us, one must be prepared to be "assessed" on the basis of that evidence. If one isn't prepared to accept that criticism or "assessment" then they shouldn't be posting.

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Not looking for writing tips

Different perspective. I see this a informal communication medium. I really do not give much thought if I sound professional here.

I have people who will proof read and comment on my written work for publication. I am not looking for writing tips here. If I was I would ask for it.

The OP I asked for views on actually having articles published. Not my writing skills. 

I am will be spending £400. I am not looking at this lightly. I would not do this, unless if my communication skills were not up to scracth.

I took your comments to be very rude and personal. 

Can we now move away from the subject about  my writing skills and talk about people actual experience of having articles published. Not Intellectual mumbo-jumbo about writing skills.

Some people here love to show how superior to they are to the likes of me. Accepted move on  now!

 

 

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Tut tut bkd- move on

Stick to OP not personal attacks.

You are in no position to judge. Move on now.

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Poor reading comprehension ...

... as well as poor writing skills? Where was the personal attack? I mentioned no-one by name. My comments apply equally to every person that posts on this, and any other open, forum.

The simple fact is that whilst one reserves the right to post in whatever fashion they choose, and perhaps come across as unprofessional in doing so, other members of the forum have an equal right to comment. It is a public forum, so if one is unable to accept that criticism without over-reacting, they really need to think hard about the manner of their contributions here.

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bkd

On the basis that I over-reacted  and moving away from the subject of superior writing skills now, what views and experience can you share about having articles published?

 

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My experience

In contrast to the examples above is that rather than having to pay a fee to have articles published I am paid for them.

As far as business promotion is concerned, yes they do generate some enquiries/leads. But really in terms of new business generation it is trivial. The knack, as pointed out above, is - as is the case with public speaking - to develop a style that holds the reader's interest while at the same time getting the point across. And of course you need to be fully up to speed with any technical content of the article.

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FT - sent you some examples

have a look at my last couple of published mag articles.  might give you some feel for how to get started with article marketing.  

 

re. payment ... i provide the article for free but the mag (ahem) ask me if i would like to take an advert with them ... hint ... cough.  so, i do.  

 

last point - the kind of publication you write for will be an important factor in the success of this form of marketing.  as you know, we focus on one sector, and both mags focus on that sector, & i think that is a factor in the success for us.  i'm not so sure that writing for a general mag would be as effective.  the guys at Lancashire Life ("Lancsboy 2" = Lancashire-based ... for the sleuths!) mag keep asking if i would like to contribute, but as it is area-specific rather than sector-specific, i'm not keen.

 

 

 

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Professional writer

I think writing articles is a good idea. You may not get any new clients from it but you can always refer to the articles in your marketing which may help.

I don't like writing and I don't think it is my forte. Why don't you consider writing an article and then pass it to a professional writer who I am sure could make it more readable?

 

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Copy writer

Thanks for the response Lancsboy2 and Peter,

Lancsboy2 thanks for your email attaching the articles you wrote. I think they are a great example. 

Using a copy writer is a good point Peter. I have met one through 4 networking. I will use her. 

All just be aware I am looking at all marketing options. One of these is article writing. I will weigh up all the options and go for a mix that I think would work. I mayl blog about this.

 

 

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Can I see your articles please Lancsboy?
This is a good thread - got some good ideas too!

@Lancsboy2 can you please email me the articles you sent FT? I will PM you the address. I would really appreciate this, I've been impressed by your success so it would be good to see what you have done to achieve this :)

@FT - would you share the article you write with us all, after it has been published?

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you show me yours & i'll show you mine

dbowler ... you want my secret formula to achieve global domination? LOL

 

sure thing ... whizz me your email address by PM & i'll send you the goods ...  also, i'm in the east mids on 2/4 ... does my memory play tricks or are you based there?  if so, let's have a brew and a biccy & compare notes ... cheers, LB2. 

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I have had regular articles published in a local weekly paper.  It did get some business but not enough to make it a really great return on time. Telemarketing got me in front of plenty of prospects, some became clients but it was expensive.  If I was to start again I would target certain types of client as opposed to whatever paid and pitch my marketing accordingly.  

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dbowleracca

Thanks for your comments.

I would not mind sharing the articles. My concern is that these articles will be on the magazine's website. It would be very easy to work out who I am through a simple search.  

They are a number of people who know who I am but I would not like add to this number.

 

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My Experience

I would echo Fred Smith's experience ie little comback in the form of clients generated for the hard work required.

And I would add to Steve McQueen's comments - find a specialist magasine and try to be the only one writing. Remember.. continuity...an article will need to be written every month so your name gets to be known; that means even writing during your busy times.

 

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Writing for a living

What a lively thread. There's a number of pearls here that could be woven into an interesting article! I have written newsletters for accountants, that simplify tax issues, for over ten years. Best advice I can give is to get inside the head of your intended readers. There's no point in writing to impress yourself. Such a limited market.

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