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Article Marketing: Why I’m Starting My Own Article Directory . . . and You Should Too

Written by Yuwanda Black

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that I’m an avid article marketer, which is just a form of content marketing. I’ve used article marketing since 2004 to promote various small businesses and side ventures I’ve owned; to promote Inkwell Editorial’s ebooks; and in my affiliate marketing efforts.

Before I explain why I decided to start my own article directory (and why you might want to as well), let’s do a quick rundown of why this form of marketing is so effective.

Why I Love Article Marketing: 3 Reasons

I love this form of marketing because (I) it’s free; (ii) it drives traffic (and sales) for years; and (iii) it gives me a chance to brand myself/my businesses.

How Article Marketing Works to Drive Traffic

It’s really quite simple. When you write informative articles and submit them to article directories like IdeaMarketers.com, etc., bloggers, newsletter publishers and website owners, etc. pick them up and publish them on their sites, in their newsletters, on their blogs, etc. They include links backs to your website/blog/online presence, which you include in your resource box when you write your articles.

Customers click through from this and find you/your website. Bang – you’ve generated a lead! Or, better yet – made a sale. It really is just this simple.

Learn all you need to know about how to make money online via article marketing.

Why Article Marketing Is One of the Best Ways to Make More Money Online

In my opinion, while all of the above reasons are important for on- and offline entrepreneurs, branding is the most important. Why? Because this is what allows you to start building relationships with customers. Relationships lead to sales – repeat sales – which are the best kind.

What Is Branding?

Branding is simply how you want your business to be perceived – what you’re known for. It’s defined by Wikipedia this way:

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. . . . The word branding began simply as a way to tell one person’s cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity — it affects the personality of a product, company or service. It is defined by a perception, good or bad, that your customers or prospects have about you.

Now that you hopefully see how beneficial article marketing can be, let me spell out why I’m starting my own article directory – and why you should too.

Why I Decided to Start My Own Article Directory

Tired of Losing Control of My Content, How It’s Distributed, Etc.

In the post, Opportunities in Freelance Writing Fading Fast for eHow Writers — Many Have Lost Their Sole Source of Income (How to Prevent This from Happening to You), we discussed how many writers who wrote for eHow (aka Demand Media) lost major portions of their income after the site changed its content strategy model due to being hit hard by Google’s Panda algorithmic update.

In the post, Freelance Writers: How Submitting Content for FREE to Write-for-Pay Sites Can Make You Money — for Years, we went over how HubPages had made changes because of Panda too.

Also two other sites I have regularly submitted content to over the years have made changes recently — AssociatedContent.com (AC) and EzineArticles.com.

I haven’t submitted content to EzineArticles since last summer because it’s more difficult than it used to be to get an article accepted. I stopped submitting to AC because they started rejecting content for being “too promotional”; articles that they had readily accepted before. Update Jan 2014: I started submitting again to EzineArticles in early 2013 because I can submit the same articles I write for my article directory to this site.

I point all this out to say, I’m tired of losing control over my content, how it’s written and how it’s distributed (or rather, how it’s NOT distributed).

I was talking to friend of mine recently about this one day. She’s an avid article marketer as well. She said, “I’m so sick of these sites changing their rules; I’m going to take control of my content. I’m starting my own article directory.”

I immediately thought this was an excellent idea, for a few reasons.

Article Marketing: 3 Reasons to Start Your Own Article Directory

(i) I control how and what I write: Many article directories have guidelines about what you can write, how many links you can have, how long your article has to be, what can go in your resource box, etc.

By creating my own article directory, I can create my own rules, ie, I can put in as many links as I want, decide the reprint terms, how long my articles can be, not have to worry about being “too promotional,” etc.

(ii) Stop writing for free: Many article directories have so many rules that it makes it difficult to get an article accepted. So in essence, you wind up revising to the point where you’re basically watering down what you really want to say and not promoting your product/service at all.

Many sites want original content that isn’t promotional. And this is fine – if they’re willing to pay for it. But even sites where you submit for free just to get the exposure (eg, AC) have become so stringent in their guidelines that it’s very difficult to get an article accepted that benefits you, the writer. In my mind, what this amounts to is writing for free.

Now mind you — I don’t mind giving content away. But, I do so to promote my products and services also – not JUST to add value to the site I submit to.

(iii) Monetize my own content: The final reason I decided to create my own article directory is that I can monetize my own content. Now, while I don’t expect to earn thousands of dollars per month, ANYTHING I earn from content I’m giving away for free (and others are monetizing anyway) is gravy.

See the graphic below. The highlighted portions are ads that appeared beside my content. In this case, it’s an article that used to be on AssociatedContent.com. Yahoo!, which recently bought AC, earns money from these ads. Note:  All of my content was removed from the site after Yahoo! bought it; it happened to a lot of content producers.

ACAds

I plan to monetize my article directory with Google ads. Again, I don’t expect to earn much  because ad payouts for freelance writing (one of the major niches I write in) is notoriously low-paying. I’ve written and given away well over 1,000 pieces of content since 2004, when I started heavily investing in article marketing. Who knows how much that might build up to over time.

Starting an Article Directory: Conclusion

The bottom line is, as a content creator – in my opinion – it’s becoming vitally important to seize control over your content in as many ways as possible.

While I can’t control who re-publishes my articles, I can control the message I want to get out. And that’s exactly what creating my own article directory allows me to do, which makes my article marketing efforts that much more effective.

Reprint My Articles – Free

From now on, all articles I write for article marketing purposes will be posted on YuwandaBlack.com, with reprint rights listed. As I’m stepping up my article marketing efforts this year, feel free to check the site often for new content, which will cover ebook publishing, freelance writing, SEO writing, search engine optimization, blogging, affiliate and internet marketing, article marketing, etc.

Your Thoughts on Article Marketing

Have you tried article marketing? Have you become frustrated with submission guidelines? Is starting your own article directory something you can see yourself doing – if not now, in the future? Please share in the comments section below.

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P.S.: You can pretty easily earn 4 figures per month online using this one free marketing method.

Learn everything you need to know about article marketing.

P.P.S.: Want to start a career that allows you to live and work from anywhere?

Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

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    Comments

    1. @Jessie, we’re eager beavers! I’ve found that this is a by product of being super focused. You want to do it all — like NOW! But alas, something has to give. Good luck with the launch.

    2. Heh, Yuwanda, you and me both on that to do lost overload. I actually set my launch back by scheduling too much, so I’m revising for the right, realistic fluidity.

      Good luck!

    3. Hi Yuwanda,

      Great post as usual. This is a great idea, and one I will put on my future “to do” list. At the moment, I got way too much on my plate to start something like this. However, I am planning to do more blogging on my site itself this year, and perhaps your directory will be useful to me for pulling quality content and republishing on my site. Sounds like a win-win here 🙂

      • Paul, I sooooo hear ya on the time thing. I overloaded my “to do” list this year; finding it hard to do everything I’ve put on it every day. So, this weekend, I will be revising it.

        It literally means some things will have to wait until next year, but I keep reminding myself, “One goal at a time Yuwanda, one goal at a time :-)”

        FYI, as I already write the articles, I just upload them to a site I already had. I’ve also stopped uploading them to other sites for the most part. Now, I just put the articles I write on YuwandaBlack.com and distribute them via Content Crooner.

        I say all this to say, it’s really not a big undertaking if you already write articles to distribute if it’s something you decide to move forward with sooner rather than later.

        As for using my content on your blog, please — do!

        Hope all is well with you and your family this new year.

    4. @Jessie: I’ve had my name domain for a couple of years now and I was going to buy another domain name to put my directory on, but I decided that this would be the best use for it. In fact, its’ perfect because it keeps all of my content in one place — which I love.

      Good luck starting your article directory.

      @Laura: Basically b/c freelance writing is not a niche that’s a high payout. But again, that’s not the point. It really is to gain control over my content. I think it’s something every freelance writer (content producer) should consider b/c content truly is king (and queen and prince and princess!) on the web.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    5. I second Jessie’s sentiments about this being good advice. I’m just confused as to why you “don’t expect to earn thousands of dollars per month” when you can and likely will. I’m sure you were being modest, but it’s completely doable. 😉

    6. I really enjoyed this article & it’s exactly what i’m going to do.

    7. After recently getting my name .com back from domain parkers, deciding to use it for my fiction, then rebranding my freelance writing into a company with its own domain to include my fiction, I have been wondering what I am going to do with my name website. I was bidding on an eHow clone of sorts on a few months ago but couldn’t bid high enough. I am with you on this: I am going to start my own directory with my name site. Great advice, Yuwanda!

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