In spite of this, I continue to invest in article marketing. In fact, I’ve doubled down on the strategy this year. I write 3-5 articles per week and submit them to EzineArticles.com, the #1 article marketing directory on the web. This is up from 3-5 per month last year. To this end, following are . . .
8 Reasons I’ve Increased My Article Marketing Efforts This Year
I. Content Marketing: Article marketing is just another form of content marketing. And we know how hot that is right now, right? In case you didn’t, here’s some food for thought:
Spending on content marketing, video marketing, and social media content creation will increase by 15.1 percent in 2013 to total $118.4 billion, according to eMarketer. What does that mean? It means more and more marketers are allocating their budgets toward content, and there is no sign of its slowing down. [Source: Ragan Communications, 24 Stats about the Importance of Content Marketing]
“But,” you may be thinking, “search engines want unique content. When you market with articles, the content is not unique.”
And you’re right. This is why article marketing must be just part of an overall content marketing strategy.
For example, I have several niche blogs I update to sell affiliate products. I update them anywhere from 1-3 times per week. Instead of writing all new posts every week, sometimes I post an article from EzineArticles.com.
In essence, I supplement my original content with relevant, high-quality articles I find in article marketing directories. This cuts down on the writing I have to do, which is a blessing because between writing my own ebooks, publishing 2-3 newsletters per week, writing for clients and updating my niche blogs, some days I just don’t have time to create new posts.
But again, I do this sparingly; it’s a part of my overall content marketing strategy. And, you know what . . .
II. Article Marketing Works: This is probably the main reason I continue to use article marketing. I rank well in several niches, eg, SEO writing, because some of my articles in these niches appear on the first few pages of Google.
For the keyword phrase, “what is SEO writing,” content written by me appears on the first page of Google in two spots: #1 (the PRLog.com article); and #8 (The EzineArticles.com article). See?
I have several ebooks and e-classes I’ve written in this niche, ranging in price from $10 for an individual title, to $99.95 for a bundled SEO content writing package; to $997 for the SEO writing course.
Think being on the first page of Google for these keyword phrases helps?
III. Article Marketing Works for Years: Piggybacking on the last point, the two articles in the graphic were written in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Those articles have been ranking on the first page of Google – in various places – for years.
IV. Google Doesn’t Hate It: Contrary to popular opinion, Google doesn’t hate article marketing. It’s all in how it’s used. Again, it has to be “a part” of an overall content marketing strategy.
Here’s what Matt Cutts, Google’s SEO guru says about it. Kim Castleberry over at Just-Ask-Kim.com summed it up beautifully, writing:
Google did drop the ranking of those article directory sites in a recent algorithm change [Panda 2011] and has “somewhat” devalued links from such places … but at this moment, the Google SEO/SERP algorithm still appears to us to give some value to those links and the algorithm places strong weight to sites with backlinks.
What this means is that it’s not that article marketing will not build backlinks for you now, its [sic] that it is not a great primary traffic course and needs considered in tandem with other methods. [Source: What Does Google Think of Article Marketing?]
Here’s a video of directly from Matt Cutts himself explaining Google’s position.
V. Easy to Dispense Info: This is another reason I like marketing with articles on the internet. It’s easy to dispense helpful info to a lot of people in one fell swoop.
Many times web surfers have told me that they ran across some content of mine on another site and were “so glad I ran across that article because it brought me to your site, which has so much good information.”
VI. Eyeballs on Your Content: Below is a graphic from EzineArticles showing my article views for a 24-day period (click for larger view). Over 1,200 views (50+ per day) with 166 click thrus; averaging a 13.4% click thru rate.
This means others are viewing your content. The great thing about it is these tend to be highly targeted click thrus.
Know what the response rate of direct mail is? 4.4%, as reported by the Direct Marketing Association’s 2012 Response Rate Report. And not to mention, article marketing is free, whereas direct mail can be very expensive.
Another thing I like about EzineArticles (even though I hate how persnickety they are about their submission guidelines), is that they give you performance reports like these that show which keyword phrases web surfers used to land on your article.
This allows you to write more content around those phrases that get a high number of click thrus. Another important metric I use is the one that tells you how many views an article has, which allows you to determine – and write about – topics users want to know more about.
VII: Community Building: I remember reading a post on John Chow’s blog a few years ago (in case you don’t know, he’s one of the biggies in affiliate marketing). One of the things he talked about was getting away from relying so much on search engine (Google) traffic. In the 2007 post, It’s All About Pushing the Envelope (which is linked to in the above paragraph), he wrote:
. . . if you live by the Google, you’ll die by the Google. I do not depend on Google for my traffic and neither should you. Thousands of people have this blog bookmarked and nearly 6,000 read it by RSS. Way too many webmaster put too much time and effort into Google to try and gain a number one ranking. Google doesn’t stand still (they can’t afford to). They are always tweaking their search system so the chance of holding a number one spot forever is next to zero.
You should work on getting Google traffic for your blog, but you shouldn’t do it the exclusion of everything else. If all your traffic is coming from Google, then you need to work on getting other traffic sources.
One of the ways John built his community was via his RSS feeds and newsletter subscribers. Today, that includes his social media accounts as well.
As I mention in the conclusion section below, if you use article marketing as a lead generation tool, it helps with building your online community of followers. They are your loyal customers; the ones who will buy from you over and over again. Article marketing can be a conduit for reaching them first though, and turning them into loyalists.
VIII: Free Content: The final reason I write and distribute free articles is that many bloggers, newsletter publishers, internet marketers, webmasters, etc. either don’t like to write, don’t have time to write, don’t want to write and/or or don’t have the skill to write. Hence, they’re always looking for well-written, free content for their endeavors.
I’m happy to give them mine.
Marketing with Articles in 2013: 5 Article Marketing Tips
Learn more about how to do article marketing right in 2013, namely:
a) Write longer articles: Many article directories have a 400-word minimum. Mine tend to be between 450-700 words or more. Proof? See articles in my article directory.
b) Make sure you write high-quality content: This is where so many fail. Just because you’re going to submit your article to an article directory doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be as well-written and useful as a piece of content you intend to use solely on your site.
c) Don’t Keyword Stuff: Many article directories won’t accept content that is keyword stuffed. These days, Google and other search engines want 1-2% density; that’s it. If you use the “don’t use the keyword phrase more than once every 100 o 150 words,” rule of writing SEO content, you’ll be just fine.
d) Write Themed Content: As in, use secondary and tertiary keyword phrases to round out copy. Learn more about writing themed SEO articles.
e) Supplement Article Marketing with Original Content: Again, article marketing is highly effective when used IN CONJUNCTION WITH other traffic-generating strategies.
Google doesn’t want to come to a site and see ALL of the content coming from article directories. You should post original content to your blog all the time (eg, at least once a week in my opinion). Articles from article directores should be used to drive traffic to your site, where surfers should be able to find more in-depth, unique material.
Internet Article Marketing: Conclusion
I hope what you take away from this discussion is that marketing with articles will always be effective if you produce good content because web surfers look for information. Remember the articles I wrote back in 2009 and 2010 that are on the first page of Google for “what is seo writing?” This proves that good content will continue to rank well, even if it’s found in an article directory/content farm.
Where people get it twisted is that they lump a lot of the bad content found in article directories (and there’s a lot of it) in with the gems that can be found.
Think of article marketing as a lead generator.
It whets the appetite of the web surfer enough to want to click through to your site to learn more. In my opinion, this is its real value – that and the fact that you get in front of many more eyeballs. But article marketing should never be the foundation of your content marketing strategy; in the long run that just won’t fly with search engines, who prefer unique content.
Hope your Tuesday’s been productive!
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