Article marketing is one of the easiest and most effective methods of promoting a website. There are plenty of places on the internet where you can publish articles to generate traffic and SEO backlinks for your website. Not every place is ideal though. Some sites are better than others.
Which sites are the best ones for article marketing purposes?
I am a big fan of EzineArticles.com. I like their site because it has plenty of authority, high Google PageRank, and lots of traffic. Those are three important considerations when choosing a place to publish your articles on. They screen their writers so that the worst spammers are eliminated. You still see a bit of spam on there which bothers me. For the most part, though, their directory is of a higher quality than most. Their site is probably the best one for most situations.
There are a lot of other decent article directories. Two more that I really like are GoArticles.com and SelfGrowth.com. Those are both decent.
Here are some other article directories that I really like:
Each of these other directories might be more appropriate than another one depending on what I am trying to accomplish with publishing there. For instance, Ehow.com has No Follow on their outbound links. However, that directory still provides a substantial amount of targeted traffic.
You can judge an article directory by looking at how much traffic the site gets (I look at Alexa score), how much Google PR it has (I use Google Toolbar to check this), and how many other relevant articles are posted on that site about my topic. If you find an article site that is dedicated specifically to your niche, then it might be a great place to publish articles. You still want it to have some Google juice (PR) and a decent amount of traffic though. Relevancy is a big plus.
What can you really accomplish with article marketing?
Article marketing is best used for driving relevant traffic to a website. You have to keep this goal in mind when writing an article for publication there. I see an awful lot of people publish on those sites specifically for the purpose of SEO backlinks. You can do this. In my opinion, though, most of those article sites don’t deliver as much ranking juice as other places you can get links from. For purposes like that you are better off guest posting on someone else’s blog.
So I recommend using articles to drive traffic. That means you have to write quality articles that engage the readers. You want to reveal your understanding of the topic at hand so that the reader will follow the link in your resource box back to your website. Hopefully, the reader is interested enough in your website that he ends up linking to it or bookmarking it or telling some other people about it. Maybe you don’t care if that reader sticks around at all. You might just be interested in monetizing his traffic as he clicks to leave your site. I guess it ultimately depends on what your goals are for your website.
Do you have to write unique articles all the time or can you publish one article a bunch of times?
You can do either one. However, in my opinion, you are far better off producing unique content and publishing that unique content at the highest quality directory that you can. Here is why:
Quality in a website is measured kind of like the strength of an earthquake. A website that is one notch higher in quality is like being ten times more powerful than the site below it. As you could imagine then, it is in your best interest to spend all your time publishing articles at the absolute best possible places that you can. Some people think it is better to diversify their work more. I disagree. Diversification only matters a small amount. I highly recommend that you focus on publishing in the best possible places you can find.
The best article directories like EzineArticles.com insist that you publish 100% unique content. You cannot publish an article there that has already been published somewhere else. If they catch you doing this, and they will catch you your very first time, you will have a lot of explaining to do. They are likely to suspend your account and watch every move you make from then on.
The search engines don’t like duplicate content. To them, it is unnecessary repetition. Because of this, they end up de-indexing as much of that duplicate content as they deem appropriate. Google in particular likes to remove less popular content that is already published somewhere else. This is why you should not even bother with submitting the same article to more than one place. Submit it at the one place that provides the best possible result for you. Don’t worry about publishing it anywhere else.
Article distribution sites and services
Some smart people have developed services where they try to work around the duplicate content issue. Two more popular services are Article Marketing Automation (AMA) and the Unique Article Wizard (UAW). I have experience with both of them. These services allow you to spin your article using a computer to generate hundreds of unique versions of the same article. Then each unique version is published at a different article directory. This helps the writer to automate his article submissions saving him a ton of work. These services charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $50-$70 per month for this capability. You get to submit as many articles as you want without a limit.
Sounds great huh? Well, it is and it isn’t. The problem with these services is that Google can still identify a lot of these articles as a duplicate content. If you use these services now, try checking one of your articles with Copyscape and you’ll see what I mean. Spinning an article properly is a special skill that few people have learned to do properly. Your articles usually end up stuffed full of silly grammatical errors that annoy readers. Plus the articles don’t flow naturally. You can tell that the information was computer-generated for the most part. So, as far as driving traffic to your site, they will be mostly useless. That traffic will not be people who trust what you are saying. These articles do help with SEO. However, their influence on SEO is diminishing steadily in my experience. You literally have to publish thousands of these articles to make any SEO difference unless you are targeting ridiculously long-tail keywords. Another problem with these services is that the vast majority of article sites that accept these articles are very low quality. So you end up getting backlinks from super low-quality article sites. Remember what I said previously about the value of a website going up by a factor of ten for every notch it moves up the quality scale? Well, the vast majority of these article sites are right near the bottom of the quality scale.
One article published at a quality article directory could be worth hundreds or even thousands of articles published on these ultra low-quality sites. It stands to reason that this ratio will expand even farther over time. Google is very good and getting better at identifying these low-value article sites.
In my opinion, this article distribution services are not worth the money. These services would be worth the money and even ten times more valuable if they screened their distribution sites for quality and if they screened their users for spun article quality. They won’t be picky enough with the writers who are really responsible for destroying the value of the sites because those writers are paying for the monthly service.
If you want to use these services, I suggest you use them to point links to your articles published at the more valuable directories. This will give those articles more juice to pass on to your site.
Other article spinning services
There are other services out there where you can pay for just the spinner ability. One popular one is TheBestSpinner.com. I also subscribe to this service. The price is worth the value of this one. I recommend that you proofread every single spun article before you submit it though. Otherwise, you will still find some of those silly grammatical errors that a quality author would not miss.
Getting The Most Out of Article Marketing
In order to get the most out of your article marketing efforts, I suggest you focus on writing excellent quality 100% unique articles with exceptionally well thought out titles. Also, spend time writing a resource box that will tweak the reader’s interest to visit your site. Publish those articles at the best possible sites you can find. Spend the vast majority of your effort publishing at the top 2 or 3 sites that you can find. Publish lots of articles at each one. If you take the time to do this, you will see results.