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So, having got your reader into the article, it goes without saying the article should be of sufficient quality and content to get them to read it all the way to the bottom, where lurks your resource box. The core idea of the article is to be full of useful information, but sufficiently incomplete to compel the reader to seek more information from you.
You should aim to make your article into a greased chute, leading your reader gently down the article, maintaining their interest until they get to the final paragraph and your resource box. To do this you can use a further psychological technique, called a nested loop, based on the deep need humans have for closure. Here's how it works.
When the anchorperson reads out the headlines of the upcoming items, they are carefully designed to keep you watching the entire broadcast. They do this by making the final item the most intriguing. That way, although you originally intended to just catch the headlines and switch off, that last intriguing headline keeps you firmly glued to the program (including all the advertisements) for fear of missing it.
Did you notice what I did there? That's an example of the nested loop in action. I ended the penultimate paragraph above with the words "Here's how it works." So curiosity compelled you to go immediately to the following paragraph, where the technique is revealed.
Now we come to the words in your resource box. In copywriting, this is the second most critical part of the sales letter, after the headline – and so it should be for you. When I tell you that, in copywriting, this part is known as the call to action, you'll get the idea. And the idea is to get the reader, having been interested in what you have to say in your article, to take action and come to your website, where you can further enhance the relationship – the eventual aim of which is to turn them into long-term customers.
But, unless you get your reader through this next gateway, you have wasted your article. So these are the vital points of a resource box that works.
Your name must be included (to build your brand). You show this in your copyright notice, but you can also repeat it, if you wish, in your resource box. What you must do is give a compelling, but succinct, reason why your reader should now visit your website. This should have urgency about it and be built around the promise of a free report, newsletter, or other information, which must be closely related to what they have just been reading.
Then, when your reader comes to your site, they will be a qualified prospect. In short, they know a bit about you (from your article and resource box) and are interested enough to pursue the same theme further. So, be sure to capture their name and e-mail before you provide the freebie, and then follow this up, later, with a closely related offer.
Never make the mistake of making more than one offer in a single resource box. Confusion kills response. One of the cardinal rules of marketing is always make it easier to buy than not to buy. Therefore you must have a live link in your resource box that the reader only has to click to be on your site. Test and retest that before you send your article to the bank.
That live link is the focus of your entire article marketing, so make sure it is a keyword phrase that encapsulates your offer. Being a live link, it will be picked up by the search engines and may just pick you up some bonus website traffic. If you want proof of that, simply type the link I've used below (free traffic volcano) into Google and you'll probably find my website. The last time I checked four of the first ten entries were for my website. That's the power of properly executed article marketing!
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