The internet is crawling with people who will tell you that articles are a great way to promote your business, that content is king and that search engine nirvana lies with the click of a button on some article submission software.
What if they were wrong?
What if what they told you was only part of the truth?
What if getting loads of sites to take your articles was only a part of the answer?
Then: What is the truth?
Ok, so we can agree that getting links to your site is a good thing. That people reading your articles can be presold on your product or service. That articles can be a relatively cheap form of advertising.
So what is wrong with that picture?
In this article we will look at what happens AFTER you press the button on your article submission software, or send the article to your article syndication service and we start at the beginning. Right at the beginning. Before you even write the outline for the article that is going to make you the expert in your field.
We are going to start by asking a question. The answer will tell us how everything else is done.
The qustion is this: What is my purpose in writing this article?
There are many possible answers, but perhaps we might summarise them as follows:
1) To increase the popularity of my site with search engines by bulding back-links.
2) To get lots of visitors to my site very fast so that I can sell them something.
3) To build the readership and credibility of my site.
4) To get lots of visitors to my site.
5) To become recognised as an authority in my field.
With these answers I thnk we can split the kind of results into three groups. The first group is those who want, for one reason or another, to get a fast and possibly short term result. The second group is probably more interested in a longer term goal. Of course, some people want everything – fast AND longer term results. This is the internet, anything is possible and we will be looking at strategies to meet the needs of all three groups. But the important point is that there is not one single magic bullet to address the needs of all article marketers!
First Past The Post!
For article marketers seeking a fast result the priority has to be maximum exposure in the shortest amount of time. How can this be done?
For you guys, I suggest writing several articles on a related theme, using keywords appropriate to your topic and that you make sure that all links are anchor linked to pages deep in your website, not just to your home page. When you have your content ready, then you want to blast it out to the world as fast as you can. For this you might want to use a submissions service such as ArticleMarketer.com who have a very large number of directories and groups to whom they can submit your work. When you use Article Marketer all you have to do is send the article and they will do the rest. You can spend the rest of the time preparing for the onslaught of visitors to your site! Another option is to use software for the job. Here the best, in terms of the number of outlets, is possibly ArticleAnnouncer, a very capable piece of software that can be used to automate your submission to many hundreds of Article directories and syndication groups. The process is semi automated, but still requires some user input at most sites and so is still a little time consuming, but it is much, much faster than manual submission. A big benefit of Article Announcer is that one can customize the article with different bio boxes and different formats, appropriate to each source. For example, one can have three different bio boxes and choose to submit in HTML or text. I like this product very much. Also, make use of blogs for your articles. This is a little outside the scope of this article but setting up an RSS feed from your website and making sure it is syndicated using products such as RSSAnouncer is a useful strategy. Blogging is a whole ‘nother area and subject though, albeit that articles still play a large part.
The bottom line is that for short term results, maximum output to as many outlets as possible makes sense. But given the way that search engines work, this is not the best strategy for long term success in rankings and thus, probably, traffic. It may well be that the search engine will penalize you for generating too many links too fast and this may affect your rankings, but having had a huge amount of exposure and hopefully rapid growth of non-search engine traffic through your new links you will have achieved your goals.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
For those seeking to build long term traffic and authority in their chosen fields, a different course of action is required. A more nuanced approach is best for the slow and steady guys. Here the trick is to use submission software and services to provide a gradual flow of articles and a slower paced spread across the available outlets. We are not trying to build hundreds of back links over a weekend, but instead to build 4 or 5 per week; week after week, month after month. Here, software submission is probably your best choice, because you have the control of distribution. Use Article Announcer or ArticlePost Robot to place content with perhaps ten directories per week and introducing one new article per week. In this way, growth of links and the spread of your articles wil be more organic, will seem more natural to the search engines who will then reward you with registered back links and credibility. These links, because they seem natural and ‘human-like’ will stay in the search engines for a long time and, if your articles are well written, will be picked up for many months to come from the article directories that you are using.
The difference in strategy might be compared to mushrooms and trees after rain. After a rain shower, often we see a flood of mushrooms on the ground, they spring up, but are gone after just a short time. The trees though, they were there before and will be there afterwards, grown a little taller and stronger. Group one is the mushrooms, the second group is the trees. The forest needs both mushrooms and trees to survive and flourish.
A Little of What You Fancy!
The third strategy is quite simple. A combination of both the above, but using different articles submitted to different submission sites. Again, because we are spreading our submissions out over a period of time, it is best to use a software solution to do the work. It will take longer, but the real grunt work is in making all the original registrations. Once that has been done, the submission process is much easier and, of course, if you are doing well, then you can always pay somebody else to to the work whilst you are busy writing the next article or building the next website.
When it comes to using article submission software or a submission service there is no single ‘best’ choice. It depends upon your needs. But for long term building of links, one must always seek to make the growth look natural and think about how that goal can be achieved.