I am a freelance writer and entrepreneur, one of the places that I write online is for Examiner.com as the Atlanta Small Business Examiner. I provide localized content pertaining to small business. I have had a very positive experience writing for them and positioning myself as a small business expert. In this blog post I share (with evidence) why small business owners should write for Examiner.com in their area of expertise.
Increase your SEO
Writing for Examiner.com gives you an opportunity to increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) I honestly can say I know this to be a fact. I began writing for Examiner.com in October 2011 and if you would have Google’d me be back then you would have come up with zip-zilch-nada, among the hundreds or even thousands of Ashley Neal’s on the web. My web presence was not very strong. Google me now, 112 Examiner articles and counting later and I show up on the first page of Google twice; one for my Examiner articles and one for this blog, Small Biz Diamonds (which at the time of this writing is only a little over a month old).
(The red arrows in the picture above point to my Examiner.com column, this blog, and page 1 of Google search for Ashley Neal
Other ways Examiner.com can help boost your SEO:
- Link Examiner articles to blog or website for more traffic
- Examiner articles are available on tablets and mobile devices
- Get quoted by other sources ~ I wrote an article on award winning SEO company Vayu Media and it was picked up by CityBizList Atlanta a business publication that caters to a large Atlanta-based business audience. I have also received a few other mentions from bloggers.
- Examiner contests are a great way to increase SEO ~ From November 2011 until February 2012 Examiner.com ran a contest called America Inspired, it required Examiners to find local heroes within their topics that fit into 5 categories. Examiner.com was giving out $100,000 in cash prizes to the heroes/subjects of the articles in those 5 specified categories previously mentioned, and Examiners could win some cash too! For this contest I featured 5 Atlanta small business heroes and two of my articles (here and here) were selected to be a part of the 25 finalist to compete to share the cash prizes. The bad news: my articles did not win. The good news: Some really great candidates did win and my articles received rave reviews and comments as well as TONS of traffic from the competition. All 5 articles that were entered into the contest were promoted heavily by Examiner.com which increased visibility and traffic. For the month of January, I received over 13,000 page views. At the time of this writing they are holding a Pinterest contest. This will increase page views for many that participate and the winner will receive an iPad.
- Examiner.com provides a list of topic of ideas that will be heavily promoted by them if you write a great piece. Even if you chose to write your own topic ideas (like I often do) just make sure it is well written and newsworthy and it will get promoted.
The article pictured above circled in red, was promoted April 2, 2012 on Examiner.com’s main page.
The same article in the previous picture (pictured directly above this picture) was promoted on the same day in the Examiner.com/Atlanta page pictured above.
Additionally, the article mentioned in the previous two pictures was promoted on the Examiner.com/small-business section page. Notice, I also have another article (circled in red) being promoted nationally/worldwide on April 2, 2012. ALL of the articles in the column on the far right circled in red are also my articles which are being promoted if you visit the site page from my area.
Get invited to attend events within your industry/niche
I am often invited to attend small business; events, conferences, awards, etc FREE of charge in exchange for writing an article about my experience. Most of the events in my genre that I attend are between $100 - $500 to attend for attendees. I can’t always attend them all but just being invited is a wonderful feeling. The events that I do get a chance to attend are usually spectacular with networking opportunities and great food! Recently, I attended the Stiletto Woman in Business Awards
or SWIBA 2012, and it was absolutely phenomenal!
Summer McLane, event planner and SWIBA 2012 award winner & Ashley Neal
Invite readers to your website, blog, fan page, twitter, etc.
This is almost a no-brainer, writing for Examiner.com
gives the opportunity to invite readers to connect with you on your website, blog, and other social networks. Share this in your bio. I also include information on how to connect with me at the end of each article. Additionally, there is a ‘follow me on Twitter
‘ link in each article that an Examiner writes.
Build business relationships
Build business relationships
by interviewing and featuring business owners as it pertains to your topic. This is a great way to rack up warm leads! To be honest this reason alone was my reasoning for writing on Examiner. Last year, my family and I have relocated back to Atlanta, GA at the time I was pregnant with my 3rd child. I knew I would be going into business for myself, but faced the issue of having to rebuild my network (I attended college in Atlanta, but left shortly after graduation). I started writing so that when I open my business here in Atlanta, I’ll have a network to reach out to. I currently am a freelance writer and my business (in another field) will be open in the Fall of 2012. I have racked up a ton of contacts to do business with now
(if they need my writing skills) and in the future when I get my other business up and running. Mission accomplished!
Supportive Staff (Real People)
I can honestly say that the Examiner.com staff members are phenomenal! They are real people that are ready to assist you and they are very supportive. You won’t have to wait days for a response from them if you have a question. Shouts out to Max Miller, Experience Manager, Midwest and Southeast Regions and Steve Harbula, Experience Director, Midwest and Southeast Regions. They both have been extremely helpful and supportive throughout my experience as an Examiner.
Can lead to other writing opportunities
Alexa traffic ranking of 259 in the US and 849 globally
At the time of this writing, Examiner.com has an Alexa traffic ranking
of 259 in the US and 849 globally. These are pretty good numbers! Let’s say for example you wanted to write an article and needed commentary from an expert in your field or another field. You could use Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to make your piece more credible. HARO requires a site ranking of 1 million or less to use their FREE service to writers
(you may not be able to do the feature on your blog or website if you don’t rank high enough). Partnering with Examiner, gives you the ranking you need (at least for HARO) to get the information you need. You can then cross promote or re-post your Examiner article on your website or blog.
Alexa Traffic Ranking for Examiner.com on 4/3/12
Reach the ‘unreachable’
Writing for Examiner has afforded me the opportunity to feature a celebrity. When I found out that Hollywood actress Terri Vaughn has an actor’s lounge and cafe in Atlanta, GA called The Green Room Actor’s Lounge, I sent an email regarding a feature in my Examiner.com column and next thing I knew I had an interview appointment with Terri! Terri is widely known for her roles on Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and The Steve Harvey Show. Within a week of contacting her my article was posted: Terri Vaughn: Lights, camera, businesswoman!
Hollywood actress & Businesswoman
Get invited to do television/radio appearances
Depending on your area of expertise you may get invited for a TV appearance at your local news or radio station, again further positioning you as an expert in your field.
Opportunity to earn money
You’ll need to keep your small business day job because you probably won’t become a millionaire, or even thousandaire writing for Examiner.com, BUT there is the opportunity to earn money
based on the amount of traffic that comes to your site. The more you write and promote your articles via your website, blog, and social media networks —the more your wages will increase.
So there you have it my justification for why small business owners should have their own column on Examiner.com. If you are ready to start writing now (or in the future) click here.
Keep in mind for this to be even moderately successful, a small business owner must commit to writing 1-2 articles a week, with 3-5 articles being ideal and you MUST be able to give information that will be interesting and useful to your readers. So what are you waiting for? Let Examiner know I sent you if this post leads you to start your own niche column by using my referral link: http://exm.nr/uWqOhN.
Also if you get your own Examiner column leave a comment in this post with a link (URL) to your column. I’ll check your column out for Small Biz Diamonds!
Have a successful day!