By Allen Graves of PromoteMyArticles.com -
I’ve been writing and publishing articles online for many years. When I first started, I was fortunate enough to make friends with a few pioneering article marketers who taught me the way article marketing is truly meant to be done – long before all the fads and gimmicks started popping up.
Possibly the biggest and best lesson I learned from these guys was that submitting your articles to article directories was not a bad thing. But submitting them ONLY to those repositories was a huge mistake.
You see, article marketing was originally performed as a way to market yourself or your product/services. But over the years, it slowly evolved and became known for something else – an easy way to get valuable backlinks to your website. Because of the ensuing flood of marketers and the sudden popularity of “article marketing” to get backlinks, the true meaning of the technique was quickly forgotten.
But the search engines aren’t idiots – collectively employing some of the smartest people on the planet – and as more and more people try to manipulate the SERPs by collecting article directory backlinks, the search engines have been lessening the value of backlinks from many article directories.
This is not to say that article directory backlinks are worthless, that’s not what I am saying at all. What I am saying is that they are no longer as strong as they used to be, and certainly not as powerful as backlinks from other niche-related websites.
And that brings us to the meat and potatoes of this post. Where should you be submitting your articles?
Like I said above, submitting to article directories is a good thing, it always has been. By doing so, you can leverage the article directory’s already-present search engine prowess to get your articles ranked highly in the SERPs. It’s no big secret that the biggest source of traffic your articles will get (on article directories) is from organic search engine queries.
This doesn’t mean you should blindly submit your articles to the proverbial “top” article directories, because different niches rank differently on different article directories. For example, article directory “A” may rank highly for blue widgets while article directory “B” may not rank for blue widgets at all. But at the same time, article directory “B” may rank highly for red widgets while directory “A” doesn’t rank for them at all. If you write about blue widgets and you submit to directory “B” then you are flat out wasting your time, and this is what you want to avoid.
So you need to do a little research to find out which article directories you should be submitting your articles to. I’ve always suggested sitting down with your list of keywords and keyword phrases and just start doing searches in Google, making note of which article directories consistently appear in the results for your keyword phrases. Repeat this with Yahoo and Bing and you will soon realize which directories are best for your niche.
But don’t become complacent with this newfound information. Complacency harbors inconsistent and sub-par results, and it can stop a once-successful article marketing campaign in its tracks! You should do this every couple of months to see if a new directory has popped into the results and/or if one of your old ones has stopped showing up.
Also, it’s important to remember that people actually do look to article directories when attempting to find content for their ezines and websites. Assuming your content is of high quality and your resource information is left intact, you can usually realize a sizeable amount of highly targeted traffic in a short amount of time if one of your articles is picked up by a savvy marketer.
Today, there are a ton of niche-specific article directories popping up all over the place. It would definitely be worth your while to find them! And if there are none, you may want to think about creating one yourself. These niche-specific directories are the new generation of powerful article directory backlinks.
But like I said above, submitting only to article directories is a mistake, one that most Internet marketers make. If you are only submitting to article directories, then you are severely limiting your potential.
Here are some other places where you could, and should, submit your articles for publication and syndication.
At first, you should seek out and begin commenting at blogs which are related to your niche. Look for blogs with a lot of traffic and/or comments.
But there are two fundamental rules that you need to follow when doing this. First, you need to find niche-related blogs. Commenting on pet supplies will do little to no good on a blog dedicated to quitting smoking. Second, you need to submit comments that are of high-quality and that will support or add more to the initial blog post. This will get you recognized, which is what you want.
Once you have left several comments on a few blog posts, you can make an attempt to contact the blog owner and ask if you can write a guest post on his or her blog. If your comments have been worthy and the blog owner feels comfortable with you, there is a good chance that they will allow you to submit a few guest posts. This is why the two rules in the previous paragraph must always be followed.
At the very least, you will have created backlinks to your website from commenting at the niche-related blogs. But if you can make actual posts on the blog, you can gain substantial credibility within your niche while getting your article in front of large numbers of targeted eyeballs.
Then go find another blog and start over from scratch. Eventually, you can be a guest poster at several blogs and your credibility (along with your website business) will take off!
Niche-Related Authority Sites
You can also locate websites (not blogs) that are closely related to your niche, which appear to be ran by other Internet marketers or smaller companies, not by larger companies. Then send an email to the website owner explaining the benefits of adding more content on his or her website.
Let them know that the more content they have on their site, the better the search engines will treat them. Then offer to write content for their website in return for one or two links on each page of content you provide.
This will give you instant one-way backlinks to both your your website and either another article or blog post that you have published! And since it is from a niche-related website, the backlink power will be even more powerful.
You can try this with larger companies, but my personal experience is that larger companies will either ignore you completely or they already employ someone for that purpose.
This strategy is not at all impossible. All you need to do is strike up some conversation in your niche’s forums or blogs and get yourself known within your niche. It’s not too hard to accomplish, and it will be rewarding when people start recognizing you as an expert in your field, giving you more incentive and encouragement to continue growing your empire.
And as a bonus, once you establish relationships with other webmasters in your niche, they are usually willing and eager to join you in some kind of JV partnership or linking strategy.
There is a forum out there for just about anything you can think of. Here’s how to make use of them.
Go to your favorite search engine and find the most active forums related to your niche. Make sure that there is activity on the forum and that it is not riddled with porn and online pharmacy spam posts! Always steer clear of spammed forums! When you find a good one, bookmark it to your favorites and create an account…the more the better.
Although some forums will frown upon submitting articles as forum posts, a lot of the non-Internet marketing forums will love it. You should keep them relatively short, though, 300 words is fine for forum posting. After just a couple of quality articles posted at the forum, the forum community will begin seeing you as an expert in the niche, and subsequently begin visiting your website(s).
All you have to do is create backlinks to your site(s) in your sig file. Then each time you make a post to the forum, your backlink will appear on the page.
Remember that it is very important to make legitimate, contributing posts! Doing this will allow you to become “known” in the forums and you can use your newly found friendships to build relationships and create those profitable relationships.
One little technique I have been using lately with Facebook (since Facebook is the top dog of social media right now) is to write and submit an article to any of the sites we discussed above. Once you get the URL to the published article, you can post the first couple of sentences, or a compelling summary of the article, and then add a hyperlink to the article itself.
To be fair to the social media sites, I would suggest doing this sparingly, within the midst of other useful social posts. If you have plenty of followers on the social site, you can get some substantial traffic to your article this way.
And if you do all of the things we talked about above, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have yourself a substantial amount of Facebook friends or other social network buddies.
In this day and age of article marketing, it is important to get your articles in front of as many interested eyeballs as possible. To do so, you need to do a little initial legwork to find the best places to submit your articles.
The most important thing to remember is to find sites that are related to your niche. If you manage to consistently get articles published at a variety of niche-related websites, blogs and directories, you will rapidly begin seeing a difference not only in traffic – highly targeted traffic – but in your search engine rankings as well.
If all of this seems a little intimidating to you, don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all at once. It’s going to take some time for you to establish yourself, find all of the best sites to submit to, and create relationships with other marketers in your niche. So just take it one step at a time. I suggest finding the right article directories to submit to first, and work on the other sites on an ongoing basis. Plus, it just looks more natural to the search engines when it is done slowly and consistently.
Good luck and keep writing!
Guest Post - Allen Graves has been active in the article marketing industry for several years openly offering his experience, assistance and guidance to article marketers around the world. You can find out more about him at PromoteMyArticles