Article Writing for Distribution
July 31, 2000

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Reaching Great Minds Online
July 31, 2000 Issue #55
Mike Valentine, Editor,


By subscription only Welcome to the July 31, 2000 issue


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online at WebSite101 Reading List

The Most Effective Technique for Small Business Visibility
by Mike Banks Valentine

It is extremely effective to write articles for distribution.
This is the method that has brought more traffic and more
sales for WebSite101 than any other technique. It always
leads to ezine subscriptions, which then lead to more sales,
more and better advertising in the my own Reading List and
more exposure. It is a self-feeding loop that grows your
business non-stop.

If I were to stop writing articles and submitting them to
other publishers, my advertising costs would skyrocket in
order to maintain the same exposure and visibility for
WebSite101. Having articles accepted by large circulation
ezines and published on high traffic web sites is of far
more value than having an ad appear below the article.
Subscribers of ezines may look at those ads, but they
are reading the articles far more often than the ads!

There is another method rarely used by website owners
that is very effective as well -- Participation in
discussion lists targeted to your peers! It is inevitable
that each web business owner will have their own ezine
because it isuch a well recognized method of establishing
a relationship with web site visitors and *maintaining*
a relationship with customers and clients.

Your peers are always looking for content for their ezine,
sometimes they will include an article on their website
permanently if it deals directly with an issue of interest
to their visitors! I have done the same with topics of
interest to my own visitors, I have reproduced articles
submitted by my peers on my own site just because a
particualr piece so clearly deals with matters of
importance to my site visitors. I have established
article swapping with some groups of publishers where
we all agree to run articles by each of the others in
a discussion list or professional organization.

Recently each of the members of Paul Seigel's "Learning
Fountain Network" contributed both articles and ads to
each other over several weeks to be run in the ezines
of each of the members of that organization. It leads
to a great sort of cross-pollenation of ideas and the
growth of each of our lists. Of course the main benefit
included several new members for the Learning Fountain
Network when readers of those lists dicovered the
viewpoints of the members of LFN.

Instead of placing ads meant to distract and sell, I am
writing articles meant to instruct and entertain! They
are both means to an end, but the latter establishes
rapport and respect from the readers (ideally) while
the former interrupts and often annoys us with hyperbole
and sales pitch. Obviously those who purchase products
and services based on informative articles will be far
more willing customers than those that were cajoled and
convinced by crafty headlines in advertisements.

IÕll go so far as to argue that good writing is far more
important to small web businesses than good advertising is!
Would you rather read 500 words of reason or one paragraph
of exagerated claims when both serve the same end but produce
vastly differing results?

These 500 words have more to say than the 50 in a carefully
crafted classified advertisement


Mike Banks Valentine operates WebSite101 Short Course, Small
Business Internet Tutorial

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What's It Gonna Take?
by Cathy Bryant

Operating a home-based business is challenging; anyone who
is doing it, or has attempted to do it in the past, knows
that this is an understatement! Nothing worth doing comes
without hard work and a personal commitment to succeed. If
you believe that you can achieve success in your home-based
business overnight with minimal effort (and there are those
who will try to tell you that their "opportunity" can do
just that) then you are setting yourself up for failure
and disappointment.

With that said, you may be asking yourself, "But what do
I really need to know to be successful, and what really
works?" Those are tough questions to answer, and the
answer is not the same for everyone. Each individual
person will have different talents, interests, and desires.
And each person also comes to the decision to operate their
business with varying degrees of knowledge.

Let's start with the first question - What do I need to
know? The first thing you need to know is yourself - let
me elaborate. Chances are, if you are reading this, you
have already attempted some type of home-based business in
the past. Perhaps you achieved some success, or maybe it
didn't work for you. But you probably did learn a lot
about yourself in the process. So ask yourself these
questions; What did I really enjoy about that particular
business? What parts of the business did I dislike doing?
Do I think - with more knowledge about this business - that
this is something I would enjoy doing again? If not, why
not? It's important for you to really be honest with
yourself, since you will never be successful doing
something you don't enjoy.

Now, there are always going to be tasks associated with
your business that are not especially to your liking -
there's no way around that. But it's important to
distinguish minor tasks that might be somewhat distasteful
to you as opposed to the central core of your business.
For example, if you dislike tasks such as bill paying,
filing taxes, and so on, would it make sense for you to
operate a bookkeeping service? Of course not. Yet,
bookkeeping in any business is a necessity - one of
those things that has to be done. Know what you enjoy
doing and find a business that will allow you to focus
most of your energies into doing those things you're
comfortable with. That's why you often see individuals
who have turned their hobbies into successful business

"What really works?" Simple - it's whatever works for
you, as long as you work at it! Consistency and
persistence are the keys to long-term success; no matter how
much you know about what you're doing, you will NEVER
achieve your dreams if you give up too quickly. I cannot
emphasize this enough - nothing else is as significant in
operating your own business as persistence. The reality is
that you are going to make mistakes, no matter what. Learn
from them and go on. Don't allow yourself to let minor
setbacks convince you that you can't do it, because you can!

Don't be afraid to start your business because you feel that
you don't know enough about it - as the Nike commercial
says, "Just DO IT!" You're never going to know everything
about a particular business when you begin - no one does.
The really important thing to know is that you can be happy
doing the type of work that is required to be successful.
And don't be afraid to ask for help from others. You will
find that most successful entrepreneurs are happy to give
advice to new business owners. Why? Because they've been
there, and you can be sure that they most likely can
attribute a lot of their success to those who helped them
when they first began their businesses.

Know yourself, and be confident in your ability to succeed.
Work your business consistently, and you will reap the
rewards that being your own boss can bring.


Cathy Bryant is the creator and publisher of HomeBizJunction
Herald, an email newsletter dedicated to helping anyone who
is interested in starting or improving their own home-based
business. To subscribe, send a blank email to: or visit
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  June 9, 2001