In 2005, a few of the Internet Marketing gurus took notice of the success people were having with article marketing, and they passed this news to the Internet Marketing newbies of the world. But, there was something missing from the advice given.
In a lot of cases, the people preaching the power of article marketing had never used the technique themselves. Even today, few of my article distribution competitors utilize reprint articles to promote their own businesses. Most of my competitors rely upon affiliate marketing to promote their websites.
Unfortunately, the Internet Marketing newbies of the world were given a lot of bad advice. It was said that:
- The only purpose of article marketing was to build links, and link popularity for search engine rankings;
- The writer only needed to write enough words to meet the minimum word count requirements of publishers;
- It wasn't necessary for the content to be well-written, since the publishers do not read the articles they approve for publication;
- Anything that can be done to reduce the time/cost of article writing would benefit the marketer.
The only suggestion that bore any resemblance to the truth was the first item about "building links for link popularity", but the error in this statement was to assume that there was no other purpose for article marketing.
The Bigger Picture
I have been using article marketing to promote my own websites since 1999, and I have offered article-marketing services professionally since 2000 and under my current domain since 2001. I had been using article marketing and providing services for at least five years, before the gurus started leading the uninitiated Internet Marketers astray in 2005.
As one of the pioneers in this industry, I have always attributed three benefits to article marketing, in this order:
1. Publication in a newsletter ensures that thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of readers, can read ones' article when it is published. (Frequently, publication day for my articles will generate phone calls from many potential customers and multiple sales, sometimes thousands in sales.)
2. Publication on a website increases the likelihood that your article will be found and read on websites that have targeted and loyal visitors.
3. Building links for link popularity and improved search rankings.
I have never denied the ability to use articles to build ones' link popularity and to increase ones' ranking in the search engines. In fact, my website ranks in the top 20 results in Google for hundreds of keywords.
But in my experience, using articles to increase search rankings is something that is ranked at #3 in my list, because it is a long-term play. Your ability to rank in Google for specific keywords is influenced significantly by what your competitors have done before you. I have used this example many times before, but if you want to rank for the keyword "travel" against such websites as: Expedia, Yahoo, Orbitz, The Travel Channel, CNN, Travelocity, Lonely Planet, USA Today, the New York Times, and the U.S. Government; then you better bring a huge budget to the contest.
Once the newbie in Internet Marketing is aware of the challenges of the search rankings game, then the newbie is better prepared to target and get realistic results from an article marketing campaign.
What Newsletter Publishers Require From Their Writers
While it may be true that a few article directory managers do not review articles before publication, it is not true of all article directories. Directories such as http://www.EzineArticles.com, http://www.IdeaMarketers.com, http://www.Website-Articles.net, http://www.InvisibleMBA.com, http://www.ArticleStars.com, http://www.ArticleDashboard.com, and http://www.Isnare.com have editors who personally review each and every article posted to their directories, to ensure that the articles meet the directory's editorial guidelines.
And, newsletter publishers personally read and approve every single article they publish. Why? In order for a publisher to be able to sell high-dollar advertising, the newsletter must attract and retain loyal readers. In order to get and keep readers, the newsletter must "absolutely" publish content that its readers appreciate receiving and want to read.
Herein lies "the secret to success" in article marketing. Not only do newsletter publishers read articles, seeking to find the content that will ensure the loyalty of their readers, the website publishers who have served loyal audiences for several years also strive to provide their readers only the best content available.
Article Spinner Software Stops Short Of Serving The Reader
No matter how well the Content Spinner software sellers may write their sales copy, one would be a fool to trust computers to write the kind of articles that people want to read.
Remember, the newsletter publisher and the successful webmaster are solely focused on finding content that will keep their readers loyal to them. Also remember that the "link building game for link popularity" is a long-term play that could take years to see fruition.
Given this knowledge, why would someone who is truly seeking success online be willing to trust that the article spinners are able to develop articles that would pass the "human eye test" or even the "smell test"?
What The Article Marketing Professionals Have To Say
I know that I have always suggested that one should take into account what someone is selling, before taking his or her word at face value. Since I sell ghostwriting services, it is absolutely in your best interests to take my words with much skepticism. BUT... I am not the only professional Internet Marketer with this viewpoint. Following are quotes by people whose names you may recognize.
Christopher Knight of Ezine Articles was asked, "How much must I change or rewrite my article so that your content filters won't reject it or suspend my account?" Chris responded, "The answer is all of it. Seriously, don't rewrite your own articles. Just create new ones. It's not that hard." Chris added that derivative content adds no value to his website. (http://blog.ezinearticles.com/2008/07/content-filtering.html)
Chris McElroy from http://www.ArticleContentProvider.com says, "Computer-generated articles can never replace hand-written original content. Just getting articles into article directories does not help your link popularity, so submitting garbage will get you nothing in return. Only when your articles are reprinted in newsletters, ezines, websites, and blogs that are related to your topic do you get any value from article marketing. Those who think otherwise don't understand the first thing about article marketing or SEO."
Allen Taylor, who contributes to the article marketing blog at http://articlecontentprovider.com/article-marketing-blog/ was asked to review someone's article spinner software. I am sure the guy who requested the review is kicking himself in the butt right now; since Allen proceeded to show his readers exactly how worthless the software is in the real world.
Allen concluded his review with the following words: "I would not recommend rewriting your articles. Just write fresh articles that don't threaten to have problems like the ones noted above. Really, it doesn't take long to write a 500-word article that can be used for article marketing or other online marketing purposes. If you're going to do something, why not do it right?" (http://articlecontentprovider.com/article-marketing-blog/?p=177)
Willie Crawford (http://TIMIC.ORG/) is not an article-marketing professional. Instead, he is a professional marketer, who uses article marketing to promote the many websites that make up his online empire. Willie is a seven-figure earner, and yet, he continues writing new articles whenever he has the time to do so.
Willie said: "I've looked a numerous 'article spinners' and seen that the output from them was generally so incoherent that it would have been an insult to my readers."
"I respect my readers and realize that writing is communicating one human to another. That's why all of the articles that I publish are unique and not software generated variations of my work."
Communicating One Human To Another
Those people who have found the greatest success utilizing article marketing as a promotional tool are those who understand that article marketing is best-used as a tool to communicate "one human to another."
At the beginning of this article, I suggested, "Success and failure is determined by the writers' motivation, and more importantly, by the writers' commitment to the reader."
Successful newsletter publishers are those who have made a commitment to keep their readers interested and reading every issue. Successful webmasters and bloggers are those who have made a commitment to keeping their readers satisfied and coming back to their websites frequently. All are looking for article content that will attract readers to their publications and ensure reader loyalty.
The successful article marketer is the person who understands his or her audience and gives his or her audience exactly what they want.
The article must convince the newsletter publisher that his or her subscribers will value the message in the article enough to read the next issue. The article must convince the Webmaster and Bloggers that the article will keep a reader on his or her website for a while longer. And finally, the reader must be thankful for having been given the opportunity to read the article.
In the end, the decision is yours. Are you simply happy complaining about what could have, should have been with the articles you have written. Or, do you want to invest what will be required to make sure your article marketing campaigns are successful?