One of the best ways to get links back to your website is through article directory submissions. Not only do you get free and easy backlinks, but you also get to establish your expertise in a given niche, you get direct traffic back to your site, and you can even get your articles syndicated across many websites by publishers looking for quality content.
Article marketing, as it's called in the business, is one of the skills you should endeavor to get really good at from the very beginning of your internet marketing career.
It is THAT important.
What Is Article Marketing?
Article marketing is simply writing articles for article directories (ADs), who then publish your work and display your articles on their websites. There are literally hundreds of article directories in existence but there are only a handful worth looking at (bonus tip at the end of this article).
The article directory services are essentially matching writers with publishers. Say I just started a new website but I have very little–if any–content published on my page.
I could spend the next 2 weeks writing or I could search article directories to find suitable articles that I can put on my site.
As a writer, I can author various articles and know with sufficient certainty that people will read them and may even choose to use one of my articles on their website. I also get that valuable backlink. (Valuable because I am getting at least one relevant, anchor text optimized backlink per article I submit.)
The backlink should drive to your “money page” (more on that in a bit).
It's really win-win (and win for the article directory, too, because they get a ton of high-quality articles written for them that draw millions of visitors across the globe).
As a publisher, I have to keep the article intact; that means that I cannot alter it in any way whatsoever. I must leave the title, body, and resource box unaltered in order to use the article for my purposes.
The 800 Pound Gorilla
Everything has its dominant player. Article marketing is no different. Ezinearticles.com is the big ape in this parade called article directories. If you want to establish that you are an expert in your field, you need to master EZA. They give you the most credibility, open your articles to the biggest audience, and have the strictest standards.
Get to know their Terms of Service and Editorial Guidelines. Note that they are guidelines, not rules. Also note that each article is reviewed by a real human being who may interpret the rules differently from his peers. I will say, however, that the people at EZA are very helpful. They do want you to be successful — your success helps them succeed.
Other Top-Tier Players
Needless to say, I spend most of my time with article creation at Ezinearticles. There are other article directories to which you should devote some time. They are valuable for all of the same reasons as EZA, PLUS their article acceptance rates are much higher because their standards are a little lower (in some cases).
Additionally, because your article gets approved A LOT faster, you can write a lot more articles, get them published, and build all of those high-value backlinks.
GoArticles.com, SearchWarp and ArticlesBase are 3 of these top-tier article directories.
Make sure you read all of their terms and guidelines so that you write your articles accordingly. One suggestion: Write all your articles for each article directory on the same day (that is, if you are going to write 5 articles for EZA, write them all on Monday; write 5 more articles for GoArticles on Tuesday, and so on).
Duplicate Content Myth Exposed
One other thing to keep in mind: Don't waste your time spinning articles for these top-tier directories. Write original articles only. You can, of course, write one article and submit it to multiple ADs; there is no such thing as “duplicate content penalty.” It's a myth. Don't misunderstand: If you 2 exact posts on your website, then you will be penalized for that. However, you will not be penalized for content that has been syndicated across the web.
Think of it this way: Yahoo and Google both get 99 percent of their content from other publishers; they syndicate other articles but they give attribution to the originating website and/or author.
In fact, this is exactly how article marketing is supposed to work! You write an article and other website owners publish it on their sites.
I am not really sure how this myth became “fact,” but I am sure that article spinning software publishers helped move it along. I am NOT condemning spinners, though. I use them. Just in a different way than many. More on that in a bit.
Lessor Known But Still Important ADs
There are a host of article directories that don't carry the same clout as the ADs already discussed. However, they have their place in your marketing strategy too. Their strength, in fact, may be in their relative obscurity: In order to try to even compete with the bigger ADs, they have to lower their standards. This means you can get (sometimes) instant approval. Use this to your advantage!
Here's how: When writing an article for one of these “mid-tier” ADs, you can actually use it to get your backlinked page indexed more quickly by the search engines. Put another way, if you just published a post on your blog about dog training, immediately write an article that is related to your blog post, link to your blog post in your resource box, and publish it to one of these “instant approve” ADs. This gets your blog post indexed (or “spidered”) more quickly because the ADs are spidered very frequently (as in every few minutes at the most). Once the SEs spider your article, it will find your link in the resource box and follow it, indexing your new blog post at virtually the same time.
Now, quick indexing does not make a HUGE difference in the grand scheme of things. Does it really make a difference between whether your post is indexed in 1 minutes, 1 hour, or 1 day?
Not really. But it does make a difference. And sometimes, every little bit counts.
For the really obscure ADs, I still submit articles to them. They most likely will not be original and most definitely will be spun! They may even be PLR and they may not even be related to the site I'm linking to.
I know, the ADs don't like this. But it's sort of like the promiscuous girl/guy in college: Everybody knows it's wrong, but we're consenting adults and none of us have been fooled into doing something we don't want to do.
You know what I mean?
I submit articles to these ADs for the backlinks only. Since there are hundreds of them, by using article submission automation tools, you can easily submit dozens of spun articles in short order, getting a ton of backlinks for every “root” article.
Now, that you've written original articles and have submitted them to the top- and mid-tier ADs as well as having submitted spun articles to the lower-tier ADs, don't stop now!
Collect all of those URLs (you may have to wait several days for all of them to be approved and hence published with a URL) and send them to your favorite pinging services.
You can also bookmark those AD articles with the myriad social networking/bookmarking sites that have proliferated over the past few years.
You can also mention your article and its URL on Facebook and twitter.
Tools I Use
For plain old article writing to the top-tier article directories, I use each article directory's web interface. For example, if I am writing an article that I want to publish on Ezinearticles, I log into my account there and begin typing. I will talk about specific article elements in a few moments.
For mass article submissions, I use several tools. ArticleBot is one that I highly recommend for article submission to multiple sites. You can use spun or non-spun articles, set up your accounts once, and then easily submit your articles to 400 sites.
Yes, you read that right. With only one article, you could get 400 backlinks!
The spinning tool I use is — appropriately — The Best Spinner. This tool is da bomb! Seriously. I have tried a lot of spinners and most are tricky to use (to say the least) and produce really crummy results (i.e., hard for humans to read, riddled with grammatical errors).
Not so with The Best Spinner! For best results, you simply copy/paste the text of an article (or you could write it right within the tool) and then cycle through each word, using only the suggestions that the tool produces. The really cool thing about it is that it uses a human-powered thesaurus so the suggestions really make sense.
You can run through a 500-word article in less than 5 minutes.
I also use some other automation software. If you buy my Article Mastery report, you will find out what I use. If I told you here, I'd have to kill you. Just kidding.
But a lot of sites frown on the mere mention of automation tools, especially one in particular that I use every single day in my business. It's not black hat, but it can certainly be used that way. You know, evil people do evil things, right?
Suffice it to say that I judiciously use all sorts of automation and semi-automation tools to speed up my workflow and streamline my business processes.
Once I have submitted my articles and they have been approved, I get each article's published URL and then I do two things.
First, I ping them. I use various pinging services as well as the aforementioned automation tools to notify a variety of pinging services about the article. Remember those 400 backlinks from one article? Now, if I notify 20 sites about each of those articles, I get 8000 total backlinks to those articles, boosting their own “authority” in the Search Engines. These, of course, are not direct links back to my money site; rather, they serve to boost the articles in the SERPs all on their own.
Result? I can get ranked for my chosen keywords for my money site, 3 or 4 articles, etc. all showing up on the first page of Google.
Imagine what having 3-4