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Thursday, February 23, 2006

How To Market With Articles: Shameless Self-Promotion

Now that you've made your site search engine friendly and submitted it to search engines and directories, it's time to up the ante and use a few more tried and true methods of raising your site's (or blog's) profile. If you're blogging here, you already have a head start, as you can use your posts to promote yourself, your site or your blog.

How To Promote Yourself With Article Marketing

Article directories are websites that have articles on almost every subject. Some are all-purpose, covering everything from family issues to healthcare, while others have a niche, such as computer advice or art. All of them are hungry for content. Here's how you can provide that content and promote your site, blog or business at the same time.

  • Step 1: Write an article. This can be about almost anything, as long as it's useful. Your blog posts here are a good starting point. Keep the articles short (250-500 words) and remember to spell-check.
  • Step 2: Sign up with an article directory and submit your article. Many article directories will vet your work before approving it. Whatever their guidelines, stick to them and your article should be approved. Avoid self-promotion or promotional links in the body of your article. Most article directories disallow this.
  • Step3: Make the resource box work for you. The resource box is where you can put your bio and a few links to your site, blog or product.

Example:I have three different resource boxes that I use on EzineArticles - and I have changed the content a few times over the last few months. Click on a couple of my articles to have a look (try this one on interviews and this one on funeral planning ). In the first, I link to my WritingUp blog; in the second, to a resource I'm promoting.

Article Submission

Article submission services extend the strategy. Although I recommend EzineArticles, I have also found the Article Marketer service to be effective. Article Marketer is NOT an article directory. Like EzineArticles, you submit your article (with bio) and get it approved. The article is then sent out to hundreds or thousands of publishers and article lists, depending on the service you choose. I'm on a budget, so I'm using the free service, which claims that 3500 people see my articles. You can set release dates, which is great if you want to submit articles while on holiday, and they just KEEP ON SUBMITTING your articles. Another option for article submission is Isnare, but you have to pay for this.

How To Automate Your Article Submissions

Many of the article directories run on the Article Dashboard script, and there's a free article submission tool that targets these sites. It's called Article Distributor. It incorporates signup details and an article formatting screen and will automatically paste your article into the correct boxes on these sites. Don't worry, it doesn't allow spam. You still have to select the category and press enter on each site. (Please note: The Article Distributor developer has stopped downloads while he works on the next version.)

Multiple Article Submissions: Pros and Cons

Pros: Your work is everywhere, with links back to your site. Inbound links are GOOD.
Cons: your work is everywhere; Google hates duplicate content

Some of my free to reprint articles are published in 20 or 30 locations, and as far as I can tell, this hasn't affected my appearance on Google, Yahoo or MSN. Perhaps that's because the articles are all relevant to the locations where they've been reprinted. I don't really know, but so far the strategy is working.

In the next part of this series, I look at other ways you could promote your website or blog.

Related posts:
How I Put My Site On Steroids
How To Optimize Your Website: Keyword Research
How To Optimize Your Website: Keyword Placement
SEO: What's Under The Hood?
There's Life Beyond Google

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