This is a question which I have seen asked a lot on forums and blogs recently, and one which is integral to any good article marketing strategy. It is essential that the aims of an article marketing campaign, whether this is to drive targeted traffic or to generate backlinks, are considered when designing the submission process. For this reason there can be no perfect submission model applicable to all affiliate websites, but this article outlines a general guide of where you should submit for optimum results.
Submit to relevant content sites
The first recommendation I have is to submit your articles to any niche specific article directories. This is especially relevant for those looking to drive targeted traffic with high quality and niche relevant articles. These kinds of sites offer the most targeted traffic and are generally highly though of within the industry – you may have to submit by email and explain your purpose but if you are highly knowledgeable you can get accepted. The value of the backlinks is probably not particularly high because the Google page rank may be a lot lower than large directories, but in receiving the repeated and targeted traffic over a long period the true value of each customer should be extremely high. There are also article directories with very strict rules on who they accept to be authors, but if you can get accepted this kind of content is only going to be given more weight in the future Spinbot.co .
Submit to mainstream article directories
The next stage is to submit to any high page-rank article directories, the best ones being those where the articles are checked manually by humans. The best examples of this kind of site are EzineArticles, which has been the industry leader for many years, and GoArticles and ArticlesBase which I’d rate as the next best (or at least which have given me the best results). Articles Dashboard and Buzzle are two more I personally use, or have used, but for more of these sites just do a quick Google search for articles directories on Google and it will throw up long lists of sites. Some of these more regulated article sites are valued highly by Google because they make a greater effort to ensure their content is of high quality – the new Google algorithm has meant content has become even more important, so the more picky the directories are, the more value your hours writing are given. If your articles are really of high quality then they are likely to get a lot of page reads and the exposure can go viral; this is another advantage of writing quality articles because people are automatically more likely to recommend them to others. All this means you can have a huge readership within just a few days of your articles being published.
The best article directories provide the best backlinks
Furthermore, with good quality articles and high readership figures comes the likely republishing of your articles. This is the most essential way to get multiple backlinks through submitting to just one article site – you are basically able to optimise your articles to create new backlinks exponentially if you spend a few hours writing each. I really don’t agree with those marketers who see articles as simply a tool for backlink generation and hence write short and useless articles.
The great advantage of the republish focused method is that it saves you a great deal of time submitting to hundreds of article directories – you can spend the couple of hours this can take on expanding your portfolio by writing new articles. If you spend a couple of extra hours on each the backlink potential is huge and, if you have a talent for writing, you may even make it onto other high ranking sites. This is why I wouldn’t recommend submitting your articles to more than about ten of the best article directories, including those mentioned above. Other than these, most of the article directories will only push small numbers of visitors to your site and, quite honestly, the backlinks you receive are next to worthless. In summary I recommend focusing on quality so that the articles do all the promotion and backlink generation work for you, in the longer term.
If you are intent on writing in quantity, and the only goal you have is to create more and more backlinks, then there are a couple of tips you should follow. Firstly you should make sure you spin your articles – this means changing your articles a little bit for each submission to avoid being penalised for duplicate content by the search engines. There is free software available to help you do this but, again, I will emphasise that this takes time and effort which is far better spent writing better articles in the first place. The second tip is to use automated software to submit to multiple directories at once – this service is available for cheap from many sites, but it is likely that any site that accepts articles without any verification will not provide a useful backlink. In fact one backlink from EzineArticles is probably worth about 200 from other, poor quality article submission sites.
My next step is to create a Squidoo lens using the articles I have already written. I tend to rewrite these quite substantially in order to avoid any sort of penalty from the search engines. I find my best lenses can receive a large amount of traffic, especially as they grow in size, and therefore the backlinks I get for my site becoming increasingly valuable. You can also link to your original articles from Squidoo to help your articles get to the first page of Google keyword searches quickly.
Promote your articles
This final step is also really important and often neglected by article marketers. Especially for your best articles you should try and create some backlinks, like I do with Squidoo, directed straight to the Ezine articles. There are different ways to do this – use free ads sites to post links, social bookmarking sites like Stumble Upon and Reddit, social networking feed like Twitter, and post on blogs and forums with links to your articles. Anything you can think of, just do it. If you think about it, you are just creating a new backlink for an extension of your own website – with the popularity of you articles comes higher value for each backlink to your affiliate sales page and more targeted visitors result.