If you browse the big Internet Marketing forums like Warrior Forum or Digital Point, there is one question that always pops up:
“Is article marketing dead?”
Those of us who have been involved with affiliate and Internet marketing for a while probably remember the “glory days” of article marketing. Around 2007/2008, you could make massive profits with just an Ezinearticles account, and a simple landing page or URL redirect to an affiliate offer.
This approach, immortalized in Travis Sargo’s Bum Marketing Method, involved writing short articles with lots of keywords and a strong call to action in the resource box. The aim was simple; piggyback off the authority of article directories and Web 2.0 sites to get first page rankings, and watch the money roll in.
Then, in 2011, the article marketing world took an almighty sucker punch from a Panda. The Google Panda, to be specific, brought on the end of article directory marketing for most. As Google sought to improve the quality of search results, article directory listings disappeared from the front pages. Many lost incomes and clients overnight, with the fallout still being felt to this day.
But enough with the history lesson- we’re here for a reason. Does article marketing still work? Yes, but you have to get “smart” about it.
It’s no longer enough to write mediocre articles that don’t offer anything of value, and then submit them to article directories hoping for a miraculous first page ranking. Instead, here’s how you should be tackling article marketing in the post-Panda wasteland:
- Focus on quality – This is the key “metric” for all content these days. No amount of clever SEO or keyword-stuffing is going to be able to replace honest, quality content. Make sure you deliver stellar content that meets the promise of the article headline, and actually offers something of value (for example, if you promise to teach ten cool iPhone hacks, actually teach them, and don’t just waffle for 500 words then point to a landing page) As a caveat, longer articles are not necessarily better quality. Avoid the temptation to pad out a short article with lots of meaningless sentences and “weasel words”, as there is no magical article length that guarantees success.
- Look for syndication opportunities – There is still lots of power in article marketing, but it comes not from the directories themselves, but actually getting your content syndicated. This means that other webmasters pick up your articles, and republish them on their own blogs or websites. You need to actively encourage syndication by writing articles that deliver massive value to readers.
- Here’s a little bonus tip – Search for your article headlines in Google and then visit the sites that have republished your articles. If they look like human-edited websites, and not just automated scraper blogs, contact the admin and offer your articles personally (so they can cut out the middleman directories) In exchange, request that you get to add an anchor text link to your website in the body of the article. Voila- more links from higher quality sources!
- Move toward guest posting – Reaching out and connecting with quality blogs and bloggers in your niche, and then offering your best (unique) articles as guest posts is a powerful way of leveraging a hybrid form of article marketing. While everyone else is running around like headless chickens, trying to work out why they aren’t seeing results from article directory marketing, you will be laughing all the way to the bank with a proper guest posting campaign. Keep an eye on this blog for my next post, which is going to show you how to make the most of guest posting!
- Research keywords thoroughly - “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. This rings true when talking about article marketing and preparation. Research your keywords thoroughly, so you are sure that you have the best phrases possible. If you aren’t sure about keyword research then make sure you watch the Affilorama how to do keyword research video. If you can do proper research for your articles, you will experience
- Put content on your sites first – One of the biggest ways that people were stung by the Google Panda update was through having their original content wiped out of the search engines, because it was all on article directories. It is crucial that you focus on putting quality articles on your own website or blog first, so that you build up a base of content. The ultimate aim is to get your sites ranking well, and not someone else’s!
Article marketing isn’t dead per se. What has departed is the era of being able to churn out dozens of cookie-cutter articles and submit them to a few article directories, and then forget about it and watch the money roll in. This is bad for affiliates who want an easy way, but if you are willing to work diligently at creating content then you actually stand to benefit from the drive for better quality.
Rather than writing three or four 300 word articles of ‘average’ quality, spend that time creating one amazing piece of writing that will attract readers, captivate search engine spiders, and generate links to your website. I promise that you will reap the rewards.
How have your experiences with article marketing changed over time? What do you find works effectively in our post-Panda world? I’d love to hear your opinions, comments, or article marketing tips, and I’m sure other Affilorama members would too. Just leave a comment below!
PS: Make sure you are following Affilorama on Google