Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Importance of Articles in Web Promotion

No doubt you have come across this time and time again; to improve your websites popularity, search engine ranking etc., you need to write articles. You will also probably think, as I did, that I can't do this.

There are ways around this. You can purchase the rights to articles that will allow you to add your own resource box to the bottom. The content may not be the freshest and the newest, and many others may be using the same content or variations on it, but it is still content with your resource box tagged on at the bottom. There are numerous article submission directories and sites on the net, such as the biggies like, to small ones like You will be able to submit your article, even if it isn't original, to some of these without duplicating existing content on the article directory. This is what I did first.

The next possibility is to go somewhere like, and pay someone to write articles for you. This is more expensive than the first option, but has the benefit that the article is original, so it is more likely to be copied and published elsewhere. Also, make sure you have the complete rights to the material you commission, so that you may modify, relabel, or amalgamate into an ebook if you desire. Usually, you should get several decent articles for the amount of money you spend.

Finally, are you sure you can't write your own article? That you haven't found out something in your life that will be of interest to others? There is a huge list of possible article subjects at ZapContent and other sites, and you will be amazed at what you do know if you sit and think about it. After all, as I said earlier, I didn't think I was capable of writing an article, yet this is one I wrote myself, and it isn't my first. If you've made mistakes, an article describing how NOT to do something can be just as useful as one describing how to do something. If you still have problems coming up with a coherent article, jot down your notes and pay someone to ghostwrite it for you. Again, check sites like Elance for ghostwriters.

Why write and distribute articles in the first place? Free advertising and promotion. I submitted several articles to a handful (under five) of article directories. Several days later, after Google had done a recent crawl, I did a number of phrase searches on the web. If you enclose your search phrase in quotes, Google will search for that specific phrase. I searched for some of the article titles I had posted, and my own name (admittedly, this is only useful if you have a rare name that doesn't bring up pages of search results for other people of the same name). I found the articles I had published showing up on several websites. What made this even better was that a number of the places where I found the articles weren't places I had submitted them to. Other people had taken my articles and published them on their own websites. So the benefit is, lots of non-reciprocal links pointing to your website, that frequently you didn't have to do anything beyond initially publishing the article to get. Free traffic, advertising and promotion for a few minutes work.

A final note. Make sure the articles are useful, and not just promotional sales letters. They don't have to be long, 1-2,000 words is usually adequate as a maximum length for an article, but don't just publish sales blurb. Your article won't get syndicated elsewhere, and your reputation will suffer. Get known as a source of decent quality articles, and you will become known as an expert.

Happy Writing!

The Importance of Article Submission

Many website owners find the task of creating a website and then promoting that website a daunting prospect. This is especially true for anyone who is creating their own website for the first time. Although they may have great knowledge about their website niche, this is not enough when it comes to generating traffic to the site to get the information read. Unless a website owner is creating a site on an obscure topic, the likelihood is that there will be millions (or sometimes billions!) of websites to compete against for search engine traffic. This means that the site needs to generate the all important backlinks that play a significant part in many of the top search engines algorithms for high search engine placement. This is where writing and submitting articles to article directories can be very rewarding, but this is not the only benefit that article writing possesses:

- Aswell as the backlinks that are provided to a website, an article also provides an opportunity for an author to display their expertise in a particular field. The hope is that readers would then be encouraged to find more of your articles and to visit your website for further information that would be of interest to them.

- In all probability the visitor to the article directory who has decided that an article is of interest to them is reading the article because the article topic interests them. This means that any visitor that chooses to then visit a website in the resource box can be described as a highly-targeted visitor. It’s one thing getting a visitor to a site, it’s another getting a targeted visitor - they are already interested in the topic your website represents!

The level of success that one can achieve from article submission is largely dependant on the article quality and the value of the information it contains for the reader. The article topic will also determine the success and readership of that particular article. For example, it is likely that there is a greater audience for marketing related topics than there is for a niche like coin collecting. This is certainly not to say that an author cannot reap great benefits by submitting such an article. In fact it could be argued that an article written about a topic such as coin collecting has less competition within the article directory sites, allowing the possibility for a potential targeted reader to find it easily.

Article writing and submission holds benefits for all authors, no matter the topic of the article. Concentrating on the quality of an article and how informative it is for a prospective reader is important, but sitting down and actually giving article writing a go is essential for all webmasters in order to drive targeted traffic to a website.

Article submission should not be underestimated - it is one of the best promotional tools a website owner possesses.

Happy Writing!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Importance Of Article Marketing

When most people think of advertising and promotion, they think about the expenses involved and how, for most new business owners, there isn't a large amount of cash sitting around for use in an aggressive marketing campaign. Luckily for online entrepreneurs, there are plenty of ways to gain free publicity for new websites. One such way is through article marketing. While this new method is steadily rising in popularity, many are still unaware of it's many benefits. But, the truth is that thousands of website operators, business owners and Internet traffic specialists have found article marketing to be a very valuable tool in their success.

If you've ever read an article on a website and noticed a brief paragraph, located at the bottom of the article, detailing the author's name and website, then you have already experienced the success of an article marketing. An entrepreneur prepares an article, which is centered around their niche and submits it to an article marketing submission directory. Other webmasters are constantly in search of new material for their website, so they often visit an article marketing submission directory for information. They may see an article and decide to add it to their site with the condition that the author is given full credit at the bottom of the feature. The credit will likely include the author's name, brief bio and link to their website.

For each individual who reads these types of articles, there is added potential for new customers. If they weren't interested in the noted specialty, they wouldn't be reading the article. So, the author has already reached someone who has a direct interest in their product or niche. Once they are finished reading the article, they are likely to visit the noted website if they found the information to be valuable. In addition, they may tell friends and family about the new informative website.

Article marketing submission services are free to writers, as well as webmasters. Consider that you are opening an Internet clothing store and need to gain interest, spread the word and find customers for your new business. Well, you are obviously a clothing expert since that's your chosen business, so write about it. Start by choosing a topic, write a brief feature, offer advice and submit the final copy to an article marketing directory. At the bottom of the article, always be sure to include a brief paragraph with your name, some information about your company and a link to your website. When other webmasters stop by the article marketing directory in search of news for their site, they may be inclined to use your work on their website. If they do, they will also include a link back to your site.

Article marketing directories offer website owners the possibility of increasing their traffic dramatically. Whether it's a new or already existent website, there is no better way to gain free publicity while gaining respect in your profession than with article marketing. If you are an expert in your field, it will show through in your work and people will be drawn into your site in search of even more useful information. Article marketing services are one of the most powerful new tools available to online entrepreneurs and, best of all - they are free!

Happy Writing!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Four Elements Of A Nifty Marketing Article Like The Gurus Do It

You may think that the key to article marketing success is writing a good article. While this is true, there is much more to it than this. You will also need to consider your headline, your article description and your resource box. In many ways, these can be more important than the article itself.

The Headline

By far the most important part of your article is the headline. It is the first thing your reader or potential publisher will see. If you can grab their attention and get them to read your article you are on the road to success. Your headlines should only be between five and ten words, but these few words can be the difference between success and failure.

Write a few headlines, not just one. Also, once you have written a few headlines put them aside and come back to them later. You will then be able to better judge which is the best one.

There are a few tricks you can use to grab the reader's attention. One is to play to people's desires and offer a solution. Examples of this could be:

How to get rich in one month
How to retire before your 50

Headlines that offer to show a reader how to achieve something in easy steps also lead to a good click through rate. So, these could be something like:

10 top tips for getting rich quick
5 easy steps to early retirement

As you submit more and more articles, you will get a better idea of what is working for you both in terms of headlines and content.

The Description

Almost as important as the headline is the description. The description of your article will appear under your headline in the article directories. There is a temptation here to take your first paragraph and cut it into the description box when submitting to directories. This is a grave mistake.

While it is not as powerful as a headline, the description gives you another opportunity to sell your article so word it carefully. Describe what the article sets out to do, how it does it and hint at the great solution it is going to provide. A powerful introductory paragraph in the article may achieve all of this, but it is not always possible so generally you should write your description separately.

The Article

If you have grabbed the reader's attention with your headline and they are reading your article you are almost there. However, your work isn't done yet. The article has to be good, if not excellent. At least good enough to hold the reader's attention for its entirety.

In general, your article should either entertain or inform. Writing entertaining or funny articles is a skill most professional writers struggle at and is very hard to achieve, so you should aim to inform. Either tell the reader about something they want to know about, or tell them how to do something. Also, write about something you know about. "How to" articles are particularly popular. If you can show a reader how to complete a task in 500 or so words you are on to a winner.

When you are writing the article, keep it simple. There can be a temptation to use flowery language but this is a definite no-no. Keep your sentences short, your words simple, and avoid complex grammatical structures. One trick is to read the article aloud to yourself when you have finished. It it sounds good to the ear and flows smoothly it should also read well.

The Resource Box

Ah, the resource box. The forgotten child of article marketing. If you get someone to read your article it is a fair achievement. So do not scupper your efforts by writing a poor resource box, as so many people do. The whole point of the exercise is to get people to click through to your website, so your resource box content is key.

If you wrote a good article related to your website or product your reader will already be interested so you have a lot of the work done. The text in the resource box should include your name but for the most part should be about the reader, not about you.

You need to tell them why they want to buy your product and how it can help them. Remember, you are offering the solution to their problem. Also, be sure you can deliver on your promises. Do not offer something you can not provide. Finally, it can be a good idea to include a plain address for your website as well as a live link.

So, when you are next preparing a marketing article be sure to give each of the four steps the attention they deserve.

Happy Writing!

Target Your Advertising With Free Articles

You need to take advantage of targeted advertising, frequently to help make your online business profitable and successful. Targeted advertising means that you are advertising primarily to those who may actually purchase your product or service and those with a genuine interest in what you have to offer. You only want to advertise to those that may already be interested in what you have to offer instead of spending your advertising budgets on trying to reach everyone. One way to achieve targeted advertising is to use free reprint articles or custom written articles that will ultimately reach your targeted audience.

A lot of times when a new tv show comes out on tv there is a target market that the tv program is shooting for so they also search for advertisers who would fit with that audience. Also along with the target audience often times the show will be tested with the target audience and other audiences long before its even allowed to be shown on tv to make sure that they know what market to advertise to or that the show would even be successful. Also often times when the show has been on for a little while they will do studies to see who watches the show and advertising and then will adjust the show and marketing accordingly.

Why have advertisers been doing this for years? Because it is shown to be effective and cost efficient. Billboards have long shown to be very ineffective and expensive. A billboard advertises to everyone that drives by it instead of focusing on a target audience.  It would be silly to advertise products targeted towards women during cartoons, it would also not make sense to advertise children's toys during the overnight hours when most of the children are sleeping. Advertisers want to advertise to those who may actually have an interest in their product or service.

How all this can be applied to your online business? You need to start hitting your targeted audience with your advertising in order to find true success online and offline. One easy, effective, and inexpensive method of doing this is through free reprint articles. Free reprint articles are articles that you write and then have distributed in ezines and newsletters. You write the article offering information that the reader will find useful or entertaining, and the hope is that the reader will then use the author’s resource box at the bottom of the article to visit your website. A distribution service can help you get one of these free reprint articles placed into dozens of ezines and newsletters if the article is well written. You will include a small text box at the bottom that offers information about yourself and a link back to your website.

These free reprint articles will go out to all of these ezines and newsletters and the publisher of each of those will decide whether or not to use your article. This is where the targeted marketing comes into play. A publisher will determine if the article is relevant to his or her subscribers. If the publisher decides that it is relevant, the publisher will include it in their next publication. This is a very easy and effective way to reach your targeted audience. It is also relatively cheap considering that all you have to pay for is the distribution service if you write the article yourself.

Some people do not feel comfortable with their own writing or simply do not have the time or energy to do the writing. If you are one of these people there are always ghostwriters for hire who will do the work for you. You can then publish this work as your own, with your information in the resource box and the link back to your website. Ghostwriters know that you will be placing your name or a pen name in the article as the author, and they agree to surrender to their client's any and all copyrights to the article.

If you want to reach your targeted audience in an easy, inexpensive, and effective manner, then consider the use of the free reprint articles to reach your potential customers. Whether you write the articles yourself or pay a ghostwriter it will be a worthwhile investment. Even paying a ghostwriter and the distribution service, you will still be getting more bang for your buck than if you were to simply place an ad that is targeted to everyone. Remember, these ezines and newsletters that carry your articles will be going to people who are already interested in the topic that you deal with. Get started today and watch the new customers roll in.

Happy Writing!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Future Of Article Marketing - What 2011 and 2012 Reserves For Article Marketing

Before I get into the future of article marketing, let me first talk about the past history of article marketing. In fact, let me go back even further. Over the last few years, as the internet has made many people millions of dollars each, people have tried to find easier and better ways of making that money. For example, when email marketing became popular, people began to abuse email marketing, sending millions of unsolicited emails daily, raking in large fortunes doing so. Now it is practically impossible to do that, and it is even more difficult to be an honest email marketer.

Next came advertising – when pop up and then pop under ads came out, many people made fortunes advertising using them, then they became overused and their effectiveness fell apart. The same thing has happened with the pay per click programs – my opinion on those right now is that the people making the most money with ppc programs are the ones who are selling templates for web sites!

Another area of incredible profits over the years has been search engine marketing – taking different measures to get your web site into the top ten for a particular keyword. The search engines have done an incredibly effective job of eliminating junk and computer generated content from the top ten results.

Now, people online are often looking for good, original content, since they cannot computer generate it and make it pass for search engine worthy content. Enter article marketing. Many web sites are willing to take your content, personally written by you, and use it as content for their web sites. Because this was an incredibly easy way to get around the content problem, article directories popped up like crazy over the years, with their peak proliferation in 2006. Literally hundreds of article directories popped up, trying to get people to submit content to them.

The result of that has been interesting. Most of the web sites that were created for that purpose, are in my opinion, only good for creating multiple back links to your own web sites. Of course, since that is highly important, the web sites continue to grow with original content. But what has happened is that a few article directories have kind of risen to the top of the article directory chain, achieving pageranks of 6 or 7, creating an interesting place in terms of search engine optimization techniques, and an easy way to get your own url listed on a pr 6 or 7 page. Even more important than that, I think, the opportunity to have your personal content on the top ten pages of search engines, due to the page ranks of the directories to which you submit. This means that, without any optimization on your own web pages, you can achieve top ten rankings for your own content, and of course you have links back to your own web page on each of these article pages.

Now, why do I think that this is so interesting for 2011 and 2012?  Because the article directories that have page rank 6 and 7 are somewhat careful about the content on their web pages.  What this means is that the only way for someone to play in this game is to write their own great content.  That means that you are on equal ground with everyone else out there, except perhaps the person who is willing to pay a team of people to write their content – but even this content would probably not be as effective as great personally written content.  You see, writing compelling copy is a skill that is learned, and I think that most internet marketers will not be willing to go through the process of teaching that skill to paid workers.

I think that another thing that is going to be very interesting for 2011 and 2012 in article marketing is that since article writing is such a laborious task and cannot be reasonably automated, that only the hardest workers of all will be involved in it.  This means, in my opinion, that it cannot become abused, at least not with the highly ranked article directories that are responsible for most of the profits derived from article marketing.

I think that for 2011 and 2012, if you are willing to work hard and write consistently for a few hours a day, you can achieve incredible wealth through article marketing. Now, the income itself will not come directly from the article marketing – it will come in whatever field of internet marketing that you are promoting and driving traffic to in your article marketing.

So, for example, you might be a list builder – I think you can grow huge lists online in 2011 and 2012 using article marketing. Maybe you are a pay per click marketer – I think that 2011 and 2012 are going to be great years to send traffic via article marketing to your ppc web sites, and I think article marketing can generate huge returns for you their. I think that anything you do online that requires traffic can be maximized in 2011 and 2012 using article marketing.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Clash Of Titans: Article Directory Owners Vs. Automated Article Submission Services

Article marketing has been considered a useful method of promotion on the Internet, since the very early days of the Internet. By writing an informative article, writers have been able to get their sales message read by millions of online consumers, through their resource box that follows their articles. Until 2005, the whole point of article marketing was for the purpose of attracting huge numbers of readers as a result of the articles being published in ezines that had a large reader base.

A New Kind Of Article Marketing For Link Popularity

In 2005, Jason Bradley, owner of Article Dashboard, released his free article directory software. Websites that use his software are commonly referred to as AD sites.

During the same time frame, people began turning to article marketing in droves, based on its promise for building link popularity with Yahoo, MSN, and primarily Google. Most people who jumped on the bandwagon in 2005 to endorse article marketing for link popularity purposes promoted a very limited view of this promotional technique.

Their thoughts went along the lines of "the only purpose for article marketing is link popularity." There was no other role for article marketing, they said. And since one only needed to type enough words to get a link into an article directory, the most common recommendation was that articles should only be 300-400 words in length.

It was also commonly recommended that most article directory owners do not review the content submitted to them, so it was not important that the article made sense or pleased the article's readers. After all, the recommendation being made was not for the possibility of generating traffic from articles; it was only for the purposes of influencing the search engine algorithms, which are not capable of actually reading articles for grammar or understanding.

People flocked to this new kind of article marketing, and they were more concerned with "quantity than quality" – quantity of links that is.

Software Developers Rallied

With the mass deployment of websites under the Article Dashboard software, and others since, programmers jumped through hoops and developed new article distribution systems that relied on computers instead of people for the distribution process.

Soon, these programmers had systems in place to mass submit articles to the new breed of article directories. They told the new article directory owners that if they would add a simple script to their website, then the submission service would populate their directories with article content.

Hundreds of directory owners flocked to this new kind of article distribution system.  Early on, people who used article marketing to promote their businesses were elated. They were getting links all over the place.

The Realities Of Article Directory Management Sank In

In September of 2005, one company bought nearly 200 domains and installed the AD software on all of them. By May of 2006, their operation had never actually gained a foothold in the profit sector of the Internet, so they sold their domains to another company. In early 2006, I had documented a list of 180 websites owned by this operation. On a recent review, I was unable to locate a single one of these 180 AD sites still running the AD script, and most were offline completely.

In order to fully understand the job of the article directory manager, the manager must manually approve or reject every article submitted to an AD site. Many AD directory owners realized that the approval process was a long and tedious affair, especially when they were receiving hundreds of articles per day from these automated distribution systems. For testing purposes, I had set up my own AD site and subscribed to receive articles from these automated systems. I let go the approval process for one week and returned to find 800 articles waiting for approval. It does not take long to get overloaded with articles that require manual approval.

After only a few months of operation, many Dashboard sites stop approving articles for one of two reasons: 1) it took too much time to manage their article directory website, or 2) the amount of income generated from the process did not match the time requirements of the directory.

The Clash Of Titans

Things really began to change in the AD directory ownership game a few months into the project. Directory owners began to realize that in order for them to profit from their article directories, they must do something that brings readers to their websites and encourages loyalty from their site's visitors.

Since most article directories rely on advertising to drive their revenue stream, the directory owners had to do something that the other directory owners were not doing. They had to distinguish themselves from the masses.

The AD owners who have survived the early explosion of AD sites have generally taken the attitude that they should focus on "quality over quantity".

This one step has set the goals of the software developers' article distribution systems and their customers (quantity over quality) in conflict with the best interests of the article directory owners (quality over quantity).

Directory Managers Began To Implement New Submission Rules

Early on, many of those article directory owners who were intent on survival took actions to reduce the garbage flowing into their directories. Directory managers noticed trends in the articles that consistently failed to measure up to their new standards.

The owner of Invisible MBA, an educational article directory, told me that he had to review ten articles to find one he wanted to use. He also regularly complained about people who did not follow even the simplest instructions about appropriate content on his website. He eventually resorted to banning 70% of the people submitting articles to his website, including the automated article submission services, because they simply could not follow his category guidelines for submission.

His whole issue is a common complaint among the article directory managers. They insist that writers should take the time to appropriately categorize the articles they submit. Since it takes so long to approve articles manually and to select the correct category, directory managers have resorted to deleting articles instead of categorizing those articles for the writer.

Article Dashboard, Article Garden and many others have taken the step to prohibit the submission of articles that only point to affiliate websites. Article Express had gone one step further to prohibit affiliate links, even if the affiliate programs are advertised from the writer's domain.

Across the board, directory owners have stomped on Private Label Rights (PLR) articles. When article directory managers began to realize that their websites housed dozens of copies of a single article, each of which had been signed by different people as the stated author, they realized that they had a serious quality problem. They instinctively knew that those PLR articles created a trust problem with their readers. When one article has been claimed to have been written by twenty people, it makes one wonder how the website owner can claim to have a quality website. And if the trust factor has already been raised as an issue, why would the reader want to trust anything else on that website?

Lee Asher who owns Articles-Galore and a couple of other AD sites was one of the first to come down hard on software submissions to his website. His guidelines state in no uncertain terms that if someone uses software to send articles to his websites, the person will have all of their articles removed from his website.

Some AD site owners have implemented minimum word count guidelines as a measure to break some of the junk article peddlers. After all, the people focused on writing articles for link popularity are driven by the concept of 300-400 word articles. I have seen word count restrictions that include the minimum of 500, 600 and 700 words. 80% of what is submitted to my AD site does not even have the number of words I require.

Proper Category Placements Is A Consistent Issue For Article Directory Managers

Article directory owners want to impress their readers and the search engines. But, they need the properly categorize articles primarily for their human readers, who are looking for specific information on their website.

In order to help their website visitors, the directory managers frequently update their category arrangements. For example, on my AD site, I provide several well-defined subcategories for the health category. In the cancer subcategory, there is a wide range of cancers that needed their own child categories. Since the AD software only shows 30 articles per listing page, and since there is one writer who has written more than 400 articles just on the topic of mesothelioma, it made sense to subdivide my cancer category so that it was not an advertisement for only one writer.

One of the main problems with the auto-submission software is that the software does not accurately address the up-to-date category hierarchy for each article directory. This creates a real quality issue for the directory owner and managers. In order for the directory manager to stay true to the formatting of his or her directory, he or she must either complete the category selections for the auto-submitters or delete the articles submitted through them. Manual deletions take as much time as manual approvals, unless the manager has to choose the category for the article, then it takes longer.

Article Marketing Still Works For Those Who Care About Quality Over Quantity

If you still like article marketing for its ability to get your business seen by ezine readers, then it is as effective as it has always been. If you only like article marketing for its ability to influence your link popularity, it can still be effective, if you do it right.

It is true that those automated article distribution services can get your article to a lot of websites, but on a percentage basis, how many of those submissions are getting approved?

For my own use, I use my own article distribution service to reach ezine publishers. And for mass directory submission, I prefer to submit articles to the directories by hand, because hand submission permits me to get the category right every time, which in turn permits my articles to get approved more often.

In the end, it is a karma thing – if I treat the directory managers right, they will treat me right by approving more of my articles. Since it is not uncommon for me to spend six to seven hours to write an article like this one, it makes a lot more sense for me to spend the extra time to get a wider reach for my articles, by honoring the desires of the more substantial article directories.

Happy Writing!

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