Definition of Article Marketing:
A few years ago, article marketing involved writing and posting content for re-print on article directories and syndication site. During this time, having your articles appear on other websites was an advantage not only for the exposure to the audience on other sites, but in search engine optimization (SEO) as well.
Over the last few years, the effectiveness of article marketing as described above has waned.
For one, many people using this method wrote poor content. People needing articles for their sites began to look elsewhere. Second, Google made two changes that impacted content marketing. One, it ranked one site with the article, but wouldn’t give equal consideration to the same article (duplicate content) on another site.
Next came Google’s Panda update, which penalized websites it deemed as having poor quality or non-related content on it. The goal was to get rid of worthless spammy SEO articles in favor of high quality content. This in turn has impacted article marketing and guest blogging’s effectiveness at building backlinks for SEO, since many website owners have stopped using other people’s articles or are adding a no-follow attribute (a code added to the link that tells Goggle to ignore the link) to avoid a Google penalty.
All is not lost though. Distributing unique content to other websites can still work as a marketing tool. It may or may not improve your SEO, but it can get you and your home business in front of a new market.
Steps to Article Marketing for Home Business Promotion
When done properly, article marketing can be a highly effective, yet inexpensive means of promoting your home business. Here are the steps to making article marketing work for you.
- Research blogs and websites in your target market that need content. While the site doesn’t have to be in your niche, it should be read by your market and your article idea should be a fit to the site. Consider starting your focus on sites that pay for freelance articles (there’s no reason not to get paid for your effort), but don’t rule out offering your article for free.
- Look for information on the site about guest writing opportunities. Many blogs and websites have a link that says, “Blog for Us,” “Write for Us,” “Guidelines,” or something similar. Read this information carefully. Failure to follow directions will result in your article being rejected.
- If there are not guidelines, email the site owner. Many blog and website owners are open to guest posts, but may not have the information on their website. Email them and ask if they take articles. Be clear and specific in your pitch. Don’t just say you write in the same niche. Instead, present a couple of specific ideas or article titles. Further, let the owner know about you and why you’re a good resource to write about the topic.
- Submit your article per the site’s guidelines. Many sites don’t want attachments. Others don’t want links within the article, but will accept one or more in your bio at the end of your piece.
- Write an enticing bio that lures readers to check out your home business. If you have a freebie offer attached to your email list, mention it. For example: Sally Sue owns Acme Home Business. Get her free report by visiting Sallywebsite.com.
- Promote your article once it’s published. There are several reasons article marketing is a win-win for you and the site owner publishing your piece. You appear as an expert in front of the site’s audience, plus get shared on the site’s social media, and possibly, its email list. The site owner gets great quality content, plus can appear in front of your audience when you share it on social media or list on your media kitpage. There is an expectation by most site owners that you will promote the article when it’s posted.
Article Marketing Tips
When submitting articles for posting on other blogs or websites, make sure they are:
1) Exclusive to the site you send the article to. The site owner won’t want to run the article if it appears somewhere else. While Google many not penalize duplicate content, it’s not going rank well articles that show up on other sites. For the article to be worth it to the site owner, the content should be original.
2) High quality that doesn’t ignore SEO, but isn’t solely, obnoxious about SEO either. Search engines are an effective traffic source, so your article should consider keywords and other writing tactics of SEO. Nevertheless, keyword stuffing or writing an article with little value won’t rank well either. Further, links in an article that Google doesn’t think is a fit with the site, can lead to a penalty on your end.