Article marketing is a really interesting concept that can boost your online business in many ways. But before we examine the advantages and disadvantages of using this promotional method, let’s explain first, what the concept means.
Article marketing means that you promote your website by writing articles and submitting them around the internet. You write interesting content about your products, services and website, then you find places that accept articles to be published on that person’s website. Other people want your content because it gives them good content on their sites without having to do any work, thus building their own libraries, and also they ultimately will make revenue from your content. By having your content, they can place affiliate programs and other forms of revenue generating ads on their sites.
But even though they permit you to add your articles, the content cannot be a sales pitch. It has to have a little bit of useful information. Although your intent is to get exposure to your products, you cannot just say, “look we have gourmet, home-baked dog treats, come and get them”. You have to write an article that incorporates a good dog training tip with a link to your site. You might talk about the importance of using treats to teach your dog tricks. Now you have given the user something valuable to read. At the bottom of your article, you can state that if the user needs more info about choosing nutritional dog food, come to “such and such website”.
There are several different types of sites that accept article submissions, and the content you write should be tailored to each site’s criteria. Let’s look at where you can submit your articles.
Article Directories are places that have no other purpose than to accept articles and make money from them. Articles are approved based on any niche or topic. Generally speaking, your article should be about four hundred words and at the bottom, you are given “an author’s section” or “resource box”. This is where you may write something about yourself or your product, and you may link to your site, either the home page or the specific content page.
Press Releases are the same as print media where you announce your website or a new product. There are many sites that cater to press release type articles and you can write something in a “story-telling” way to let people know about your site.
Free Blogs are all over the internet. You can write your own content and link to your site or products directly. You can review products, add advertising, and usually create content on a regular basis to get a “following” of users.
Niche Sites are other sites in your category that ask for article submissions. These kinds of sites are great because their users are the same people you seek. And if it is a well-known site, you may get some nice traffic. When we did article marketing for our web site Wijntips.net; we had one main mantra though: “Always add value to the reader!”.
Finally you might ask yourself why you would go to the work of creating content for someone else when managing your own website is enough?
- One basic reason is to get your site indexed. If you do not have any other sites to which you can link temporarily, then writing an article and submitting it will get your site known to the search engines.
- Second, when you submit your content, it is assumed that other webmasters will print your content. Then you have the added exposure from more websites, not just the place where you added the article.
- Third, traffic from the original site plus the other sites will help your sales volume.
- Fourth, the more links on relevant sites should help your search engine ranking (positioning).
One final word on article marketing. The biggest disadvantage to this form of promotion is that you are giving your good content away. Plus, you do not want to appear as though you are a “spammer”. So before starting, know your goals and choose methods that fit.