1. Do You Giveaway Too Much Information in your Article?
Regardless of whatever you think, at the end of the day, article marketing is just another sales tool, (or shall I say, "traffic" tool?). And the purpose of any sales tool is to arouse enough curiosity in the mind of the reader so that he feels compelled to visit your site or salespage for more information. When you are doing article marketing, you have basically two options:
a) Giveaway all your knowledge in the article you submit, in the hope of being looked upon as an "expert"
b) Giveaway only as much information as needed to make the reader curious. A curious reader will obviously visit your site to satiate his curiosity.
Which one would you choose? I pick option no. b. After all, I use article marketing to drive traffic to MY site, not to earn Adsense money for EzineArticles. Which drives me to the second question…
2. Do You Make the Most of Your Site?
Take your pick from below, because I am going to rate you based on your choice:
a) You submit 90% of the articles to EzineArticles and keep the rest 10% for your site
b) Your submit all the articles to EzineArticles and don’t have anything left to put on your site
c) You post half of the content you have to EzineArticles and the other half to your site
d) You don’t even have a site to being with. You use a Squidoo lens or Hubpages Hub as your site.
Now here are my ratings:
To those who chose no. a, I rate them 4/10
To those who chose no. b, I rate them 2/10
Those who picked option no. c deserve a 8/10 rating
And for those who chose no. d, I give them a 1/10 rating (which one reflects your brand and business better – your website or a Squidoo lens?)
No 10/10 rating. To get 10/10, one needs to get traffic without EzineArticles. Tough I know, and that's why I didn’t provide that option here. That is something I do for my blog: I use don’t use EzineArticles to drive traffic to my blog, and still several blog entries are on the first page of Google for "long-tail keywords".
3. Are You Using or Being Used by EzineArticles
A true marketer uses a tool to his advantage rather than allowing himself to be used by it. The way I see it now, many good (and bad) writers are trying to showcase their talent by submitting good content at ezinearticles.com. And then they just install a redirect to their domain to promote their affiliate product.
This is a good way to start, but at best, this should be looked upon only as a short-term strategy. You should start adding content to your website as soon as possible, in order to start getting organic traffic from Google.
Note: When your site is brand new, you will receive the bulk of your traffic from the "lesser" search engines such as live.com, ask.com, yahoo.com, etc. Don’t ignore the value of this traffic; at the end of the day, any traffic is good traffic!
When you are submitting all of your content to ezinearticles.com, you are basically doing two things:
a) Making EzineArticles look good in the eyes of others
b) Earning them Adsense income from your hard labor
Sure, if people like your article, they will click-through to visit your site, but there are two points to note here:
1. They will visit your site only if your site has something worth reading and paying attention to!
2. Even before they have reached your article resource box, you will lose several of your potential prospects to Adsense clicks!
The no.2 is something we can do nothing about: it is out of our control. But we can surely make use of no.1.
In my last ezine issue, I told you how I write two articles on the same topic and keyword, add them both to my own site, submit one of them to article directories, while linking to the other from my article resource box!
In case it is not clear to you already, people really hate to be sold right at the first instance. First you need to win their trust.
You have already won half of their trust with the help of the ezinearticles.com article. You can win the other half by directing them to your site where they can find more information on the topic.
Now from YOUR site, you can suggest affiliate products to them.
For every niche I have worked in, I have more articles on my site than EzineArticles.
When people judge the expertise of a person, they don’t just look at how many articles the person has under his EzineArticles author name; they also take a look at his website.
There are some other things to note too:
a) The way I see it, ezinearticles.com is probably the only article directory that can boast of giving you RESULTS (most of the other directories hardly give you any top ranking in Google, but they sure give you backlinks).
However, the way EzineArticles is being used and overused by almost all the marketers, I won't be surprised if tomorrow EzineArticles fails to give you the same kind of results as now!
However, your site will always remain your site and you will keep getting traffic to your site no matter what happens to EzineArticles, but only IF you keep posting quality content on a regular basis on your site.
b) Saves you time: Have you heard about the premium membership of EzineArticles? They say that 'speed in article approval' is one of the 'benefits' of the paid membership.
I haven't logged into EzineArticles for sometime, but I am starting to feel that if they are asking members to pay in order to speed up the approval process, by implication it means that if you are NOT a paid member, it will take a considerable time for your article to get approved (since they will look at your articles only after they are done with those of the premium members)!
Of course, the 'delay' will depend on how many paid members they have at any given point of time!
However, you are free to post content on your site whenever you want. You don't need to wait for days before your articles can go live. This saves you a lot of time and money.
4. If You're only Interested in Showcasing Your Talent and Expertise rather Than Marketing, There's a Better Way to do It
Some people say that article marketing is a way to become expert in your niche, but I don’t fully agree to that. Sure, you maybe looked upon as an expert if you have 1000 articles under your name at EzineArticles, but only by those who don’t know any better.
If I want to find a REAL expert, I would contact the authors of authority sites such as about.com rather than ezinearticles.com. Why? At authority sites I won’t have to plod through a pile of charlatans in order to find the real expert. ;)
Not everyone can become a guide at About.com. Just to give you one instance, the health articles of About.com are not approved by "editors"; rather, they are approved by their Medical Board.
Therefore, as an author, if my aim is to show my expertise, I guess I will rather submit content to authority sites like about.com than ezinearticles.com.
Even SEO-wise, About.com has a PR of 8 compared to EzineArticles's 6.
FYI, the articles at About.com are not "SEO-ed" in any way – there are NO SEO tricks involved, so keyword spam, and no "black hat" stuff either! These articles are written not by internet marketers, but by people who really know their stuff: doctors, engineers, lawyers, so to speak…
5. Are There Any Better Ways To Get Backlinks Than EzineArticles?
Okay, let us get back to our topic. The question that might arise in your mind is: how could I get traffic to my blog even without EzineArticles? The answer is simple: for getting traffic to my blog, I keep posting good content, use some social bookmarking to get my articles on the top of Google, etc.
Sometimes I get linked to by other webmasters who find my content worth linking to!
But above all, I keep posting content. My articles are not optimized for any particular keyword: I have no time to spend on all that stuff (to be honest, I really don’t want to). I write fairly long articles and I write from the heart.
If you have been a Nuttiezine subscriber for a while, you will see that my articles are completely natural, with no "hidden" motive or purpose. My purpose is nothing except to teach people.
And as I said, I get traffic from several long tail keywords I wasn't even aware of!
Here is an example:
Early this year, I had written two articles on how to write testimonials:
I was amazed to see that:
a) For the first article, my blog is miraculously listed at the very top for the keyword "WRITE TESTIMONIALS" (As of this writing); yes, that is from the big G!
b) I am getting traffic from the following keywords, some of which I haven't even consciously used in my articles:
"how to write testimonial"
"How to write a business testimonial"
"sample testimonials how to write"
"testimonials how to write one"
"how to write a testimonial for a company"
"how to write a letter asking for testimonials"
Still don’t think you can get traffic to your site without ezinearticles.com?
Here is something to do:
a) Run a test site: Pick ANY niche (not necessarily the least competitive one), buy a domain, install statcounter code on your site's footer, and start submitting a couple of articles on the topic everyday. If you choose the weight loss niche, you can get plenty of content from my FatLossPLR.com site.
b) Everyday, find blogs related to your niche (that is, the top 10 blogs that come up in Google for your keywords) and post comments on them, linking to your site. Many blog owners don’t allow anchor text comments but some do.
It is always a good idea to check the approved comments before you start posting! See if the blog owner has already approved "anchor text" comments (FYI "anchor text" comments are those where the commenter uses a keyword in place of his name, so that the keyword is linked to the commenter's site; the logic behind this is that anchor text backlinks are far more valuable than general links)
c) Every third day of the week, submit a couple of your articles and some related articles from other sites to social bookmarking sites such as Digg.com, Stumbleupon.com Reddit.com, Delicious.com, Propeller.com, etc.
You will need to submit articles of 'other sites' because if the owners of the social bookmarking sites notice that you are submitting articles from only one domain name, they may assume that you are a spammer.
Do only this for two weeks straight, and see if you don’t start getting some long-tail traffic right away! You may report the results of your efforts to me after two weeks. I would be glad to hear. :)
There is another way to get backlinks: find websites or blogs that occupy the top page of Google for your selected keywords. Check the PR (pagerank) of each site: it should be at least 4-5. Also check if the site has a lot of outgoing links or Adsense ads; such sites are a strict no-no. Try to find CLEAN sites instead.
At any point, you should choose only 10 or 11 sites for this purpose, so as not to overburden yourself (unless you can outsource the whole thing).
Contact individual webmasters and tell them about your writing skills, show them samples of your articles, and offer to write custom content for them. You won’t obviously charge cash for the content; instead you get paid in the form of 'backlinks'. This technique is a bit tough, but it works!
This way, you can easily get 10 high PR backlinks without spending a lotta cash on them!
You might be thinking: only 10 backlinks-what benefit would they provide me? But just imagine: your article is not only getting listed on an almost clean site (which means you won’t lose visitors to Adsense clicks), but you also get 10 valuable high PR backlinks! Most webmasters would hardly turn down such an offer, given that you are a good writer.
At any rate, 10 high PR backlinks from authority sites will give you a lot more PR benefit than 100 backlinks from article directories; these backlinks are much better than those you get from article directories: in contrast to article directories, these sites have fewer outgoing links, and therefore, have more PR value!
At the end of the day, it is all about BALANCE. Article marketing should form only a part of your overall marketing plan, NOT the whole plan. The way I see it, most bum marketers focus 99% on EzineArticles and only 1% on other things. Relying exclusively on ezinearticles.com for your income is no different than relying only on the WSO forum for most of your sales.
Learn to diversify and think beyond your 'self-created hole'. You will see that the world is much bigger than you think it to be!
While you shouldn't discard article marketing, you should also use the other methods I mentioned here to get more traffic and backlinks!
The reason I offer unconventional advice is that I have no mentors and as such am not limited by anyone's "close-minded" opinions. I am my own mentor, my own teacher, and I have always preferred to learn stuff through trial and error.
No matter how much someone teaches you about driving, you won’t know the REAL thing unless you get behind the wheels and actually drive your car; the experience you gain by being there and doing that is something no one could offer you!
I know this a little bit long article, and I have no idea how I suddenly got so enthused about article marketing, but I hope it helps you a lot! :D
As always, your comments are appreciated! :)