I frequently rant on Internet marketing and some of the gurus who try to bend your ear. Why? Because many of these so-called gurus trash everything that makes sense in this Internet world, especially when they realize that they cannot make money from the techniques being recommended.
I don't preach marketing concepts solely for the purpose of selling my products and services. (If you happen to buy my products or services, then awesome, but that is not my point when I share information from my SEO and other marketing campaigns.) I preach the concepts that I have used for myself successfully. Either you can trust me and test the things I recommend, or you can listen to the gurus and drown yourself in pity, when you realize you are not finding the success you seek.
I present things in such a way that anyone can actually go out and try my suggestions on their own, with or without my help. I want you to at least try what I suggest. I don't want you to try once, but I want you to commit yourself giving the suggested methods a chance to work for you.
Yes, I preach article marketing in connection with building link popularity value for your website (and I operate an article marketing company). But, I am not the only article marketing company out there. So, it remains possible for you to employ my article marketing techniques, without actually using my services specifically. (If you want to use my services, great, but you don't have to do so.)
Frequently, new customers come along and say, "Bill, I am going to try this once. If it works out for me, I will be back." My response is often, "Dude, you are selling yourself short, when you do something just once!"
As a person who has only written one article, you are just one in thousands of uncommitted, wannabe article writers. Your article may very likely be overlooked, because the publishers do not yet know your name or why they should care that you are writing articles.
When publishers have seen your name, 3, 4 or 10 times, then they are more likely to open your articles to see if they like your writing style and to see why they should pay attention to your message. Once publishers begin to pay attention to what you write, then publishers will open more of your articles, and perhaps publish your articles more frequently.
When you do a one-time out article, you are riding solely on a prayer, for success. (I am not in the prayer business - please see your pastor for that service.) But, if you can commit yourself to ten articles, your chance for article marketing success has been improved tenfold.
The first thing that needs to happen for article marketing to work for the promotion of your website is for you to create great content that other people want to publish. Then you must get noticed by the (ezine and website) publishers that will want to publish your articles. Once you have an audience, don't let them down --- keep giving them more content so that they can turn to you always.
To express this point, let me share a couple names with you. How many of you have heard of Willie Crawford? Willie has written and distributed 123 articles through my program, and he has 140,000 search results for his name in Google (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22willie+crawford%22).
My friend Clinton Douglas IV has written and distributed 36 articles. Google credits him with 17,500 mentions in the Google search results for his name (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22clinton+douglas+iv%22).
Both of these gentlemen suggest that they rely primarily upon articles to build their presence online. Of course, Willie is somewhat of an exception, since he has his fingers in so many pies. But, Willie still attributes much of his success to article marketing.
When it is time to measure your article marketing success, you should never go to Google's public search results and pull a simple search for your name or a link:yourdomainurl.com search. You should not even go to Yahoo's Site Explorer to find the same inforamtion.
Instead of relying on the public records for inbound link counts, you should register your website in Google's Webmaster Tools control panel at: http://www.google.com/webmasters
On the public side of Google, my site shows 33 inbound links (http://www.google.com/search?q=link%3Athephantomwriters.com) and Yahoo Site Explorer credits me with 1,478 inbound links. But, inside of Google's Webmaster Tools, I have +10,000 inbound links according to Google's records. I am not going to divulge exactly how many inbound links I have (according to Google's Webmaster Tools), but even I was surprised by the strength of my link counts.
The fact is that Google will only show you a really small sampling of the inbound links for your website, and while Yahoo is more free with this information, they also fail to show anything more than just a small snippet of the number of links you will actually have for your website.
So, if you are truly interested in learning the value that you created with your article marketing campaign, you absolutely have to login to Google's Webmaster Tools to get to the truth of the matter.
But, building links is just one facet of a successful article marketing campaign. There is also the reputation you build for yourself when you teach your readers something of real value in your articles. There is the consistent traffic you can receive to your website when your article is published on a website that has a regular audience. And there is the surges of traffic you can receive to your website when your article is published in a large newsletter.
I have always tried to play straight with folks, so please take this advice as it is intended. If you are only going to do one article to see where article marketing can take you, spend your money on paid advertising instead. But, if you really believe that those of us who have written hundreds of articles do so, because this marketing method works, then make a serious commitment to seeing an article marketing campaign through to success.