Article Marketing - It's a Jungle
You can build a beautiful website with great content but without visitors it is all a waste. In order to get visitors to your site you will need to promote your site in some way. I have seen it stated that you need to spend about 70% of your time promoting the website. This will be particularly true if you are on a low budget.
A part of the recommended promotional mix has traditionally been article marketing. There have been many people that were very successful with article marketing campaigns. There is still value in article marketing at this point.
What is Article Marketing?
The way that things are found on the web is through links. The plan with article marketing is to place a link to your site in a resource box. When the article is published you have a link to your website also published. If the article gets syndicated on an ezine site or an email newsletter you may get many more links.
The search engines consider the link as a vote for your site. The best votes are from authority sites in the same area of interest. If you should get an article syndicated it should be well targeted.
Why is it A Jungle?
The plan is simple and good on the surface. You sign up for the finest article sites, you produce good articles, you build links, all is good. Or is it?
I recently got a tool from a site called SEObook called SEO for FireFox. It gives a great deal of extra information with Google and Yahoo search results. One of the things that is listed in this additional information is the number of links. On several searches where there are active affiliate marketers I have seen links reported in excess of one million. How would one go about getting that many links?
There are softwares that are used by some of these 'super' affiliates. There are both article writing software and article submitting software. With the writing software you put in some keywords and the software generates an article using those keywords. Some software will make multiple variations of the article. The submitting software automates submissions to various article directories.
I once saw a demo of article software. I have no idea of the sophistication of the software that I saw in comparison to other article software. I put in some niche market keywords, but the article generated did not talk about that niche market. I guess that if your primary purpose is to spam article directories for links the quality of the article is not too important.
On many of the article sites you will also see a large percentage of articles that were written by people for whom English is a second language. These articles probably have limited chance of achieving syndication but they do provide the resource box link. In a lot of cases this will probably redirect to a sales page somewhere.
Is Article Marketing a Viable Plan?
There are a few sites with high editorial standards. There are also other content sites like Squidoo and HubPages that are well recognized and indexed rapidly by the search engines. If you write quality articles and submit them to quality sites you will probably get a good bang for your buck. Article marketing should be part of your long term strategy to succeed as an Internet Marketer.