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The Free Article Directory - What is it?

Aug 17, 2007
The radical changes in the structure of the internet and its adoption by people of all ages throughout the world have lead to new business models being adopted. As a webmaster, it is now possible to provide quality free information to the public while still earning a healthy income for your hard work. The free article directory is a perfect example of a new type of revenue model that has been proliferating across the web.

While there are a few notable exceptions (such as non-profit Wikipedia.org), most content-driven websites are able to earn money by displaying advertisements on their pages. These types of advertising are either keyword-based text ads (such as Google's Adsense program) or paid sponsorships. Keyword-based text ads allow targeted ads to be delivered to the visitor based on the content of the page. Paid sponsorships are where the webmaster receives a fee for linking to an external website. A free article directory provides a wealth of information at no charge to the visitor.

Of course, not all article directory webmasters are completely altruistic. If the directory is popular and publishes current, well written, informative articles, it can provide the webmaster with a handsome income solely from advertising. Now I have come across dozens of free article directories that exist solely to display ads. The pages on these sites are littered with advertisements, making the pages a complete eyesore. These directories typically don't receive high traffic because visitors find it hard to actually read the articles.

The article directories that do last are the ones that have successfully integrated the ads into an efficient and eye-pleasing layout. These directories have loyal followers and typically rank better in the search engine ranking pages. It is this type of article directory that I wish to discuss - the visitor-oriented, free article directory.

You may be just a curious websurfer wondering what the purpose of an article directory is. As I have mentioned previously, it is a directory that provides content on a variety of topics of interest to the visitor. There are general directories with dozens or hundreds of different categories. There are also niche directories targeted at a certain small segment (such as health related article directories).

Authors write on a topic relating to the theme of their own website in order to establish themselves as experts in a given field and to obtain important links to their website from the article directory. The author generally submits his/her article manually to a few directories or uses an automated submission service to submit to hundreds of article directories. If the article is approved by the article directory, it provides a targeted low-cost form of advertising for the author.

For those who are looking for an inexpensive way to get your feet wet in web marketing, this could be an attractive option. I have built dozens of websites, and article directories are among the easiest to manage and promote. You can obtain quality directory software for free (ArticleMS and Article Dashboard are the two most popular). They have excellent content management systems and can host thousands of articles with no problem.

Once you have the backend in place, you can customize the free skins that are available. Then you need to promote, promote, promote. Trade links with other related websites and directories, and write a few articles yourself. Play with different advertising methods on your pages. Because these sites are dynamic, it is usually possible to cut and paste a single snippet of code in order to place an ad on every page of your site.

A free article directory proves that it is possible to provide a quality free service, and still be rewarded for your efforts. Hopefully we'll see more and more online businesses turning to this type of revenue model.
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