For some types of business and website owners, it can be a bit tougher to think of article topics. What if your business is a website that sells products? What topics should you write about, considering that you can’t write about the product that you’re selling at your site?
It gets a bit trickier when you’re dealing with a product based website, but with a little creativity you can generate a steady stream of educational articles. Here are 4 tips for coming up with writing ideas when doing article marketing for a product based website:
1 – Decide what your general niche is.
It’s always tempting to try to write articles about your product, but you need to look at the bigger picture. Your website may be devoted to selling one product, but that product falls under a more general subject matter. For example, let’s say that your product is a special dog collar that helps a dog to walk without pulling the owner. In that case, your general niche would be “dog training”.
When you are thinking about what to write articles about, you can think about anything under the broader topic of “dog training”. So, you can write articles like “How To Teach Your Dog To Walk On A Leash”, etc. When you look at your general niche rather than your specific product, you have virtually limitless possibilities when it comes to article topics.
2 – Be careful not to write on a topic too close to your specific product.
Of course “dog training collars” falls under the general niche of “dog training”, and you may be tempted to write on that very specific topic. You may think, “My product is a dog training collar–maybe I can get by with writing my articles about dog training collars in general.”
You can try, but it’s like walking a tightrope. When you write on a topic so close to your product, it is extremely hard not to write in a sales oriented way. In the back of your mind, you’re always thinking about your own product, and it’s very easy to unintentionally write a piece of content that tries to steer readers to your own product, which would make the article promotional. Even if you do manage to create one article on a topic that is very close to your product and have it come off as unbiased, you would be hard pressed to do so on a regular basis.
That’s why it’s good to make a habit of writing on your more general niche. Don’t forget that you can talk about your specific product in your resource box, so you can bring the reader’s attention to your business there.
3 – Be subtle.
When I explain to beginners about why writing articles about their own products or business is not the way to go, sometimes people say, “I am writing an educational, helpful article–I’m educating people about my product and helping them by pointing them in the direction of my product.”
In the article marketing world, the minute you make the article about your own product, it ceases to be purely educational and becomes promotional. Readers will be looking to your articles to solve problems. You help the reader to solve his problem in a general way in the article, and then in the resource box you can point the reader to your website for a more specific solution to the problem (your product).
4 – Article marketing is about building relationships with potential customers, and it takes time for those to develop.
Ideally, your articles will result in more visitors to your website, and then at your website the “relationship” is taken to a more intimate level. Maybe you have a free newsletter that the reader can sign up for, where he can receive fresh content on the topic that he’s interested in and you can continue to build the relationship you’ve started. Or maybe you have a blog that the reader will subscribe to, so you can stay in touch with him there.
When doing article marketing, you’re more like a teacher who people turn to for help than a door-to-door salesman. It is a more subtle relationship than you might have expected, but the reward is deeper and more meaningful relationships with people who will hopefully one day become your customers.