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Article Marketing: We Can Do This The Hard Way, Or The Easy Way

Aug 17, 2007
Wow, what a month it's been. I've spent the past several weeks researching and testing the waters with online article submissions.

Imagine yourself as a newbie in article marketing (maybe this isn't so hard to imagine for a lot of you!). Now imagine you're submitting your first few articles to the various article banks and directories. You are quickly learning the hard way what's allowed and what's not. And you're learning just how much time the whole process can take, too.

Trial by fire, I guess you could call it.

That was me a couple of weeks ago, trying my best to get a handle on all the various publishers and their requirements. Who takes 500 word articles? Who wants longer pieces? Can I send in something with HTML, or does it have to be plain text? What categories do they want? What topics? Yikes, it's a lot to remember. And my articles...well, let's just say the publishers weren't showing me much love.

And I was spending waaaay too much time doing these submissions. Input each article, format it just so, choose the right categories (which are different at each site), tweak and poke and prod till I had it just right. Honestly, I think I could have built and painted a billboard in the time it took me to get just a handful of articles out there. Surely there had to be a better way.

So I started searching. And I found several article distribution services out there, including SubmitYourArticle.com, ThePhantomWriters.com, isnare.com and ArticleMarketer.com.

All of these services get pretty good reviews, judging by the testimonials on their websites. Some offer "pay-per-article" pricing, and others offer unlimited submissions for one price. I like the idea of unlimited articles, since I do tend to write...a lot!

I chose to buy a quarterly account with one of the distribution services to get started. And I have to tell you...automated article distribution is so much easier than manual distribution. What was taking me hours (submitting to individual article directories and publishers) now takes minutes. And I don't have to keep track of which publishers want which articles, and how to format them and categorize them. Automated article distribution takes care of all those details, leaving me free to do the work I love!

My articles are getting picked up by more publishers than I could have imagined. My very first article ended up getting some great exposure (one day I had more than 300 links on Google, and 980 links showing on Yahoo!). It was even reprinted on a Chinese website! I could never have gotten this kind of exposure doing all these submissions by hand.

I'm convinced; automated article distribution is the way to go.

A few words of caution, though, which I've picked up from some very helpful people at a number of forums and blogs:

* Write for the right reasons. Submit articles that are full of good information, not just keywords. It's really about educating the reader, not stuffing the search engines with keywords.

* Be original. Use your own thoughts and ideas, not rehashed or (gasp!) plagiarized content.

* Offer the reader something they can relate to. Make it personal. If the reader wanted to learn from a textbook, they'd go back to school.

* Have fun! Writing can be a joy, and a great way to feel connected with your audience. If you hate to write, it will show! Hire a ghostwriter to work with you, and the tone will be improved by leaps and bounds.

If you are looking for new ways to increase your exposure and build traffic to your URL, consider article marketing. Don't worry if you don't consider yourself a "writer." Just write about what you know, what's important to you, and what you think you'd like your readers to know. Then submit an article, and watch it make magic. It's really working for me, and I know it can work for you too!
About the Author
Nancy Amada offers more ideas for small businesses at her blog, Chapter Two. She is also a frequent contributor to Article Marketer, a highly popular article distribution service.
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