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Start Your Own Free Article Directory

Aug 17, 2007
Internet marketing has become an exciting industry with the potential for anyone to earn a healthy living. You can easily get a website with your own domain and have it up and running within a day. The challenge is to create something that (1) you are knowledgeable enough to operate and (2) will bring in enough visitors to start making you some money. A free article directory allows you to accomplish both of these requirements and much more.

Simply stated, an article directory is a database/website combination that allows you to accept articles submitted by different authors. Anyone can signup to submit articles, and then start submitting their own articles for you to approve or decline. There are general articles with a variety of different categories, and niche directories that only accept articles within a certain category.

You can download free directory software or you can elect to buy a software solution that will have a few more bells and whistles. I find the free software adequate enough for my needs. Once you have chosen the heart of your system, you will need to think about what kind of directory you wish to operate and how you want it to look. By visiting forums and doing Google searches, you can often find free templates or skins that you can use as is or customize to give your site a unique look.

You generally have to set up your database and modify some of the setup files for your directory, but these are usually pretty simple tasks. No matter what program you are using, you can always find a support forum, wiki, blog, or other means of finding solutions to your problems. Once you have everything working, you can start editing some of the html so that your pages are optimized for search engines and you don't run the risk of incurring duplicate content penalties by the search engines.

Your directory doesn't have to be perfect before it goes live. You can always iron out any bugs as you go along (so long as they're not too serious). Promotion of your article directory early on is important. You should submit your URL to as many portals as possible.

You can add a "Resources" or "Link Partners" page to your site and develop link exchanges with related websites. Participating in forums and commenting on blogs are good ways to build links to your site and help other people out along the way. Don't forget to add a link to your directory in the signature file for every post.

You can also add RSS feed and social bookmarking buttons to your site to allow visitors to easily subscribe to and share your content. Submitting articles to other free article directories will get you quick targeted one-way links to your website. This is my preferred free method of website promotion. Not only do you get visitors that follow the links to your site, you also improve your ranking in the search results.

Starting an article directory is a good way to get your feet wet because you can get most or all of the components needed (including promotion) for free. You also don't have to write content yourself. One drawback is that you can spend a lot of time reviewing the articles that are submitted.

When I started my directory I received about ten articles submissions a day. At the date of writing this article (after being online for three months) the number went up to 200/day. As with many other kinds of websites, you will encounter glitches or things that will need to be improved in your directory. Tracking visitor and advertising statistics can also eat up a lot of your time.

All in all, the returns you get for the amount of work put in are quite good. It takes a bit of time to get most of your pages indexed in the search engines. And don't expect to instantly have a high PageRank with Google. These things take time. I am not yet aware of any 'get rich quick' scheme that is possible with article directories. But if you put in some time, maintain a quality directory, and exercise some patience, you can create something very rewarding.
About the Author
Learn more about starting a free article directory at Articopia.com. If you would like to submit articles to receive free website backlinks, visit my article directory.
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