The Basics of Article Marketing

The Basics of Article Marketing

Article Marketing 101

What is Article Marketing?

Article marketing is an effective way to promote your website by submitting original content to online article directories. When an article that you submit is published, you gain a backlink to your website from a site with a high PageRank.

What are the benefits of article marketing?

One of the most important aspects of promoting a website is gaining backlinks, or websites linking to yours. Google determines how authoritative and trustworthy a website is based on the number of websites that link to it, resulting in a number that Google calls PageRank. PageRank is scored on a scale of 0-10, and when many sites have content relevant for a particular search term, websites with high PageRank are placed higher on the list of results. Good article submission websites have high PageRank — because they host so much content, many websites link to them — and use the “do-follow” tag on links, meaning that they confer a bit of their PageRank to the websites that they link to. In the early days after launching a new website, submitting content to article directories is the easiest way to get do-follow backlinks to your website from websites with high PageRank, eventually raising your own website’s PageRank.

What’s even better is that if your content is especially high-quality, other webmasters may choose to reprint it on their own websites. Why would you want this? Because article directories allow you to set your own reprint policy. You own the copyright for your work, and can grant webmasters permission to reprint it so long as they leave your author bio and backlinks intact. Each time someone reprints your article, you gain more backlinks.

Finally, article marketing establishes you as an authority on a particular topic. If your content is frequently reprinted, it not only means that more people will visit your website — either directly through the backlinks or indirectly due to your website’s increased PageRank — but also that people with an interest in your field will begin to recognize your name. If you think of your name as your brand — and you should — then you can think of article marketing as a way of increasing brand name recognition.

Until you are an authority, it will be difficult to get other webmasters to link to you because people tend to see a website with advertisements or affiliate links as a splog. What is the difference between MacRumors and your Apple fansite? Nothing. You use AdSense or affiliate links to monetize your content, and so does MacRumors. The difference is that MacRumors is seen as an authority on the subject. Article marketing is an early step toward building that authority.

Why would I publish good content on a website other than my own?

I operated websites for quite a while before I began to do any article marketing at all. If I had something really interesting to write about, I reasoned, I ought to put it on my own website rather than giving the potential revenue that content could earn to someone else. If your website is new, though, there is a problem with this logic. How many competitive keyword phrases does your website show up on the first page of Google for? If your website has a PageRank of 0, chances are that you do not rank well for any competitive keyword phrases.

Now, try a test: search for a few keyword phrases related to your website, and notice how many of the results on the first page of Google are hosted on article submission websites. Why? Because those article submission websites have been around for years, host thousands of pieces of content, are massively optimized for search engines, and have high PageRank. Article marketing is a way for you to get your content high on search engine result pages when that same content hosted on your website would be unable to achieve the same result. If the content is good, people will find their way to your website.

What types of content should I submit to an article directory?

To market effectively with articles, you need to submit content that provides value to readers for two reasons. One, article submission websites reject spam. Two, you stand to gain the most from article marketing by submitting content that other people enjoy enough to reprint. This is how one backlink can turn into many.

Are there any possible article topics that relate to your website’s niche, but wouldn’t quite work on the website itself? Perhaps you have a website that publishes product reviews in a highly detail-oriented and objective manner. You might consider submitting an article with a personal story about a product that you enjoyed so much that it has become an indispensable part of your daily life. For other types of websites, think about how you might be able to condense several of your past articles into a “greatest hits” of sorts. To get the most out of article marketing, you will have to “give up” a good article idea or two.

Can I submit the same article to multiple directories?

Check the terms and conditions of an article submission website to see if they allow you to post duplicate content. Be advised, however, that you will experience diminishing returns from posting the same article to many article submission websites. Posting duplicate content will not help your search engine rankings, and the best article submission websites are not likely to want content that you have already posted elsewhere.

What are the best article directories?

Google Knol, eZineArticles, HubPages, Squidoo, and Buzzle are a few of the best article directories. The Virtual Real Estate Toolbar website maintains a good listing of article directories along with the PageRank and Alexa ranking of each directory. The page also shows which article directories use the “nofollow” tag on resource links — this tag means that a backlink from the directory will not influence the PageRank of your website. Note that this is not an endorsement of the Virtual Real Estate Toolbar, which I have not used.

Should I pay someone else to write my articles?

When it comes to purchasing content to use for your website or article marketing efforts, the general rule is that you get what you pay for. You can purchase content from Textbroker, for example, at a rate as low as 1.2 cents per word. However, such content may have spelling or grammatical errors that you must correct. You can get higher-quality content by paying more. However, since Textbroker writers do not earn a great deal of money, they must produce an incredible amount of content to earn a living. You may receive content regurgitated from another source and reworded so as to be unique, and such content is not likely to earn many fans in your article marketing efforts.

Constant Content is another source of content for sale, and one that I advocate writing for if you need to earn money online. Authors for Constant Content set their own prices, which Constant Content keeps a small percentage of. Authors are expected to submit high-quality work that is error-free, and you can therefore expect to receive very high-quality work. However, this quality comes at a price; expect to pay $20 or more to obtain the full rights for an article from Constant Content.

Should I pay someone else to do article marketing for me?

To date, I have not done this. If I did, I would use Unique Article Wizard as their method seems the most sound to me. For $67 per month, Unique Article Wizard submits your article to many article directories on your behalf. You simply provide the original article, plus two additional versions of the same content rewritten so as to be completely unique. Unique Article Wizard does the rest, by spinning the article into many unique versions and submitting them to article directories. Over time, this can lead to hundreds — if not thousands — of backlinks to your website. If I use Unique Article Wizard in the future, I will post a review. The Internet is sorely in need of a Unique Article Wizard review that isn’t just a poor marketing attempt. However, I presently perform all of my article marketing tasks manually.

What is “content spinning?”

Content spinning is the act of taking one original article and changing the words so as to create dozens of unique versions that have the same meaning, but use different words. This leads to article marketing on an exponential scale. Consider these three sentences:

  1. Article marketing is an effective way of promoting a website.
  2. By marketing articles online, you can make your website gain in popularity.
  3. Submitting content to websites can help you get your site noticed.

Each of these sentences has the same general meaning, but few of the same words. Therefore, a search engine would consider each sentence unique. Now, imagine that you write each sentence in an article three unique ways, and then use software to build dozens of articles by picking one sentence from each group of three, using an algorithm to ensure that each spun article would not be considered a duplicate of any of the others. This is content spinning. This is something that Unique Article Wizard does, along with submitting the spun versions of the article to various content directories for you. You can cut the cost slightly with a software program such as Rapid Rewriter, which spins the article for you. You then perform the article marketing yourself by submitting the various versions of the article to directories.

The problem with content spinning is that it sometimes tends to produce articles that look good to search engines, but simply do not read very well. While content spinning may have its place in the grand scheme of article marketing, you may find in the long run that one great article will have far more value for you than many mediocre ones.

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