There is a cliche’ in Internet marketing circles that says, «Content is King.» Worthwhile content is what brings most people to the web, whether that content is in the form of videos, the latest news about their friends at Facebook or MySpace or informative articles. Here, we talk about article content and distribution from a perspective of improving your e-commerce business.
Purposes of Article Marketing: There are two extremely important benefits to extensive article marketing.
- Increase traffic (number of visitors)
- Improve search engine rankings (SEO)
Methods of Article Distribution: In order for article marketing efforts to reach either of those goals, your articles need to be published. There are two ways of publishing your articles on the web.
- One-to-one distribution is contacting various web sites to see if they would be interested in publishing one (or more) of your articles (with your site link embedded) on their site.
- Article directories provide a faster method of accomplishing the same goal.
«Slow» Method of Article Marketing: Contacting individual web sites can be slow and sometimes frustrating, however the rewards can sometimes make it worthwhile. I rarely use this method, although I endorse it if you have the time (or an intern who can do the leg work for you).
An advantage to this approach is that you can tailor your article to the demographics and needs of the site visitors at the site where your article will be published.
Another advantage is that you can place you link (one or more) in the text of the article, itself, which most article directories do not allow.
If you decide to use this approach, be sure to target web sites that are in a niche similar to your own. For example, if your niche is «learning piano,» you might choose sites that show up high in the search engine rankings for search terms («keywords» or «key phrases») such as «learn to play guitar,» or «buy piano,» etc.
Be patient, many of your first inquiries will go unanswered. Try again, then move on to the next group of sites that you want to target.
Use a unique article for each web site. Do not send the same article to each. Because that requires a great deal of work, do not write the article until you have at least a tentative agreement on the part of your prospective publisher. You might use a process of article spinning to accomplish that. (Article spinning is explained on the page linked, above. If you click it, it will open in a new window.)
Article Directories: These are web sites that publish articles. Generally, those articles are made available to other online publishers (webmasters) who want content. The publishers must agree to keep all links intact (your link that you’ve put in your «resource box» that links directly to a page in your site and a link to the originating article directory).
The advantage to using article directories for your article marketing is that the technique can put your article on a number of web sites without you having to contact those sites individually. Unfortunately, the same article appears on multiple web sites.
I use this technique extensively. To reduce redundancy, I provide unique articles (by spinning those articles) to each of the directories to which I submit. Even though the articles may deal with the same topic, they do so in different ways. I achieve that by spinning the articles (see the linked text above).
What Links Do You Put In? This is an important and somewhat complicated issue, so I deal with linking text in a separate article. For now, I’ll simply say that your linking text should be a keyword or key phrase, while the link itself goes to the page that you want to associate with that key phrase. (There’s an active example in this paragraph. If you click on it, you will be taken to a page that I want to rank for in a search for the phrase, «linking text.»)
Here are a few of my favorite article directories (they are all «.com»):