NOTE: This is the author’s eleventh teleseminar report from the “Seminars with the Experts” series hosted by Hilary Stewardson.

In January 2006, it all started with a simple four-point strategy and the discipline to make it work:

Write an e-book that people want.
Put up a website that offers the e-book for sale.
Drive traffic to the website.
Rinse and repeat above cycle.
Sean Mize used the above formula to establish his Internet Marketing presence. Nothing special, right? However, his traffic generation method of choice raised eyebrows. Instead of using pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), or video marketing, Mize turned to article marketing.

By writing five articles daily and submitting them to the best article directories on a consistent basis, Sean Mize’s traffic steadily grew along with his expert status and marketing credibility. After incorporating list-building into his marketing equation, Sean’s income results took off. His regular release of e-books in the competitive and crowded Internet Marketing niche, coupled with a laser-focused approach to relationship marketing has proven popular with his subscribers.

Why Article Marketing Works.

Mize feels that article marketing is misunderstood by most people, and its effectiveness severely underestimated. In response to those who consider it out of place in today’s fast-paced digital environment he offers its core premise:

Article marketing is first and foremost a traffic generator. Period.

Commit yourself to optimizing all aspects of your writing (i.e. Niche selection, Keywords, Title, Body, Resource Box) so that readers take you seriously and want to come back for more.

Doing It Yourself, for Yourself.

Some consider Sean Mize’s use of article marketing stealth, cold, and ruthless. However, nobody can deny his results. In two years, Mize claims that 80% of his five-figure list has been build through article marketing. Needless to say, he continues to write for traffic. Yes, it can be time-intensive and expensive (e.g. ghostwriting), but there is no such thing as genuinely “free” traffic.

Mize is skeptical about article generating and submission software tools. You cannot automate article marketing, but if you commit to a well-planned and disciplined approach, the results can be phenomenal. Consider article rewrites for uniqueness and multiple submissions; instead of outsourcing Mize suggests taking the time to do it yourself, then test and track the results to make tactical adjustments.

“Affiliate Marketing is a Crutch.”

Sure, people can make money – even a steady income – by promoting other people’s products. However, Sean Mize’s philosophy focuses on building Me Inc.; after all, if you are prepared to devote time and energy (and money) for others, why not capitalize on those resources yourself?

Making your own products establishes credibility like no other activity. An original contribution within your chosen niche can build your reputation and income concurrently. Digital product creation in particular is well-suited for new entrepreneurs (short start-up time, low overhead, no physical inventory issues etc.). Yet before embarking on serious projects, ask your list subscribers what they are struggling with in their businesses, and what you can do to help them move forward.

Sean agrees with using ethical bribes, i.e., free reports and e-books, to obtain a prospect’s contact information. However, he reminds us to use “Thank You” pages that offer subscribers a quality product immediately after they opt in to your newsletter. Embrace the concept of product funnels to enable you and your subscribers to build mutually beneficial relationships.