Article marketing is a good tool for reaching out to a broader audience and letting them know about your expertise on a given topic. The purpose is to establish credibility and drive traffic back to your website. So let's first cover the basics of article marketing and submission, and then touch on potential duplicate content issues.
What is Article Marketing?
Article marketing allows writers to promote themselves and their company by writing articles and making the content freely available for reproduction on other Internet sites. Basically, you're providing something of value for free to those who have similar interests or work in your field.
Writing articles helps set you up as an expert or authority on the topic. Writing a number of articles in a niche area helps establish you as a specialist in that particular field. Readers will reciprocate by wanting to learn more about you and your company.
Tips on Writing Good Articles and Headlines
The first thing to consider when writing an article is to find a good topic. Keyword research is a great resource here because it will help you understand where people's interests lie.
You'll want to incorporate those keywords into the body of your article and, most importantly, in your headline. Applying SEO best practices will also increase the chances your article will be picked up by search engines with your target keywords.
When thinking of a good title for your article, consider your target keywords and make sure you use them in your title. Consider using your keyword first and then follow with a catchy phrase or benefit (e.g., "Link Building -- The Top 5 Methods for Placing Links"). In addition to helping with SEO, this will help people quickly understand what your article is about.
Articles don't have to be long. They should be around 500-700 words and structured in a way that's relevant to the reader.
It's important to refrain from selling within your article. Your readers will genuinely regard your article as something of value if you provide good, useful, relevant content. Indirectly, you're selling them on your value, which is more important.
Article Submission Directory
You can post your completed articles to various article submission directories, such as EzineArticles. Here's a link to the top 50 article directories supposedly ranked by Alexa and Google PageRank. These directories are generally free and offer many categories of topics to choose from.
Duplicate Content and Article Submission
Now we run into the problem with duplicate content. You might get some good links from submitting your article to several directories, but you also might get lost from the search engines.
Ask yourself which is more important: links or SEO? You may not be able to have your cake and eat it too.
Search engines are looking for quality, original content. So if you're going to send your article to many directories, make sure you have a link pointing back to the original. For this reason, you should also avoid over submitting your article and try to look for quality placement by manual submission.
There are other methods for content syndication than just using article directories. We'll go into this in more detail next week.
If you've had success or failure with article marketing, please share in the comment section below.