Guidelines for writing great articles

Part of my efforts with the Mississippi Magic Magazine involve setting up guidelines for writing great articles.  If you are wondering why a technologies consultant is posting guidelines on writing great articles then let me explain.  We are in the business of creating success in our constituents that we partner with through consulting and development.  That being said… Mississippi Magic Magazine provides an outlet of expression for people and businesses in Mississippi but it does not employ writers to produce magazine content.  Therefore, all the writing done on the Mississippi Magic Magazine is done by volunteer writers that have a vested interest in the community.  From business owners to pastors of churches, people active in leadership in the community provide all of the content found in magazine.  To make this a profitable venture for each of them, we’ve found it necessary to publish a guidelines for writing great articles.

Benefits:

  • People like to do business with those they are familiar with.   Through connecting with our community through your articles, you’ll lower the barriers that people have to traditional broadcast style advertising communications.  .
  • Articles will be broadcasted to the RSS subscription readership.
  • Articles will be indexed by search engines so that anyone looking the information you provided will find it and you on the internet.
  • Articles will spread in a viral method through through social media sites such as twitter, facebook, and linked in.
  • Unlike traditional media, articles written will be available online well into the indefinite future.
  • Articles will link your thoughts, expertise, and methods to your perceived value as a solutions provider and allow people to reach you.
  • Articles always make the front page when they are published.
Good practices:
  • Offering needed information to make an informed decisions.
  • Offering solutions by showing how to solve a problem.
  • Providing lists of methods or resources.
  • Expounding upon a subject.
  • Offering information about events by featuring information, pictures, and video covering people in the community.
  • Praising and pointing out the good about others.
  • Simplifying complex information, instructions, or events.
Avoid:
  • Slandering others.
  • Defaming others.
  • Advertising your products or services.
  • Soliciting business.
Using these methods, community leaders can provide invaluable content that leads people in the community to them as a provider of services and goods.  Through the relationship formed between the reader and author in the magazine articles these leaders have an inroad to the reader when the reader seeks to find a provider for a need or want that the author can fulfill.
This style of marketing defined in these guidelines for writing great articles are known today as inbound marketing.  By using them you’ll get found on the internet and connect with your customer.
– Joel

Thoughts on Content, Context, Connection, and Community: The new marketing mix

The days of the old marketing mix are passing away.  While product, price, place and promotion are still essential for success in many industries, a new mix is replacing them on the internet.

How the old mix doesn’t work like it used to:

  • Place: E-commerce on the internet eliminates the importance of the physical location of the business.
  • Product: Knowledge about products is rapidly disseminated through the internet and manufacturing cycle time is at an all time low.  Creating a better mouse trap and marketing it on the basis of uniqueness alone is more difficult today then ever and copycats abound.
  • Price:  The internet is the great equalizer in pricing because information about it is so easy to come by.  It is incredibly difficult to offer a great distinction in pricing because every competitor can get this information and react instantly.
  • Promotion:  Traditional marketing focused on impressing a prospect as many times as possible in order to sway the buying decision.  In today’s media saturated environment, prospects have learned to tune out messages that are not relevant to what they are doing.  Also the sheer volume of messages causes prospects view the validity of each “offer” with a degree of skepticism.

The new marketing mix

  • Content:  The information do you provide about yourself and your value propositions to the consumer.
  • Context:  The find-ability of your information when it is needed.  Like when your prospect needs to make a buying decision or research a solution.
  • Connection:  Your relationship with your prospect?  What the people connected to your prospect have to say about you.
  • Community:  An environment that engages prospects and customers and elicits referrals, knowledge, and resources from them by bringing them together in a way that causes them interact with each other.

The game is changing and it’s a great time to market your business.  While these new channels require more time energy and commitment they are far less expensive the the old traditional mix.

Your thoughts?

– Joel Caton