Author, Web Developer, Internet Marketer
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Darren Chow is a full time writer, web developer, and Internet marketer. He graduated from the National University of Singapore and started dabbling in web design while still studying. Today, he spends his time writing for established websites and promoting websites for clients. You can also learn more about me, by watching this video.
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After sending the blog post on the death of article marketing, I’ve received several emails with questions about article marketing. I’ve decided to post them here for the benefit of everyone. My responses are polished so as to make the reading easier and to add-on information.

Q: How much would someone need to spend in order to have enough articles to be a player?

If it really does take thousands of articles nowadays, it seems like a game that only the big boys can afford to play.

So I can see what the guy was getting at when he said article marketing was dead. It’s not “dead” per se, but prohibitive in terms of time and cost for many.

That is a very good question.

Spending will depend on the niche that you are in.

For most niches, a budget of around $500 per month will be enough. That works out to 3 to 4 articles per week, or 20 articles a month. If you hire your own writer, that amount may be even lesser (perhaps $200 a month?).

Or if $200 is too much, you can save even more by writing your own articles and then reinvest the profits when you make sales. You don’t really need to wait till you get thousands of articles before you become successful.

I’m just saying that the players are getting bigger because they have spent a lot of time and effort generating content consistently.

My point is, anyone can get there as long as you put in consistent effort and write quality articles, as mentioned in my post.

But if you consistently put out 20 articles a month, over the course of 1 year, you would have 240 quality articles. Over 3 years, you would have 720 articles…see, now you are becoming one of the big players and other people have to catch up.

If you put out 50 articles, and then stop, what kind of results can you expect? But now, after 3 years, you are sitting on 720 articles and I bet your site has attained pretty high rankings in the search engines now (assuming you did your SEO right).
That’s not a bad position to be in.

At $500 a month, that’s not a lot to spend on advertising for a business, and it’s certainly not prohibitive.

Consider the alternatives – how much are you going to spend on other forms of advertising to build up your business?

Businesses can EASILY spend way over $500 a month on PPC or other forms of advertising every month. And when the spending stops, the traffic stops too. Not so for article marketing. Don’t forget, once your own site becomes an authority site, you get a LOT MORE traffic from the search engines and you get the traffic every single month.

And it all starts with building links consistently.

But I’m not going to kid you. The article marketing game will continue to evolve and it will become harder and harder to get a foothold in any niche due to competition. The same cycle happens to all niches, and to all marketing channels.

It’s $500 a month now, and in a few years time, maybe it’ll need $1000 a month. Similarly, Adwords used to cost just 10 cents a click. Now you may have to pay $1.00 for the same keywords.

Lesson here is that the early bird catches the worm. If you can get things done today, DON’T WAIT. When opportunities present themselves, take advantage of them.

Hope that helps :)

Q: Speaking of SEO and article marketing, here’s a question for you:

Do you advise optimizing your articles for the same keywords as your site? Or does that mean your articles will end up competing with your site?

Yes. The articles on your own site can have similar keywords but content should be original. It’s good that articles end up competing with one another – they are all your own articles! It’s completely possible to occupy numerous spots on page 1 of search engines.

You should start optimizing for one set of keywords (2 to 3 articles at least for each keyword) before moving on. In the long run, it’s beneficial to continually search for new keywords to optimize as you get more traffic from different keywords.

 

Here is a more recent question I just received in my inbox.

Q: You are great about responding so quickly and I really appreciate it. I am not as familiar with the video procedure as I would like to be. If I have an article and that is all, but I would like to have it made into a video and distributed, what is the charge? Also, I have not had much luck lately with articles getting distributed. When I first started with fastsubmitarticles, I seemed to constantly see them coming up in different publications online. In the last six months or so, I don’t see them at all. Any explanation? Thanks.

For an article to be converted into a video article and uploaded to 4 video sites, the cost is one-time $40. You only have to provide the article and URL to promote and we will do the rest.

The results have been pretty steady with premium submissions. As for normal submissions, I believe it’s a lot of low-end article directories dropping out due to hacking issues.

But that’s nothing to worry about as long as the links stick in more established directories. Since most established dirs like Goarticles and ezinearticles are included only in premium submissions, we expect results to be superior to normal submissions.

For normal submissions, you can still expect to to acquire 30 to 40 back links for each submission.
I dug out a few normal distribution articles so that I can show you the type of results to expect:

Distributed: 27th May 2011

Distributed: 27th May 2011

Distributed: 26th May 2011

Note that some articles have been de-indexed from search results due to duplicate content.
The back links do however, show up in your webmaster account.

Premium results:

Distributed: 1st June 2011

Distributed: 3rd June 2011

 

Here, I want to remind you about how article marketing works. When you distribute articles, you can expect traffic to come from 2 sources.

1) Directly from article directories. – This usually happens only to well established sites like Ezinearticles or Articlesbase. Just four to five years ago, many article marketers are teaching others that the more you have your articles published on different sites, the more traffic you are going to receive. For example, if you receive 10 clicks a month from one site, you can easily publish the same article on a hundred other sites and get 100 x 10 = 1000 clicks.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. We all know that search engines filter their search results to remove duplicate content. If you do a “site:” command search, you still see these articles in the search index, but they just don’t show up for keyword searches. What does that mean?

It just means that the search engines are policing the search indexes pretty heavily to ensure a positive search experience. For this reason, it’s common that some of your articles may not show up. But if you create a Google Webmaster account, you will see those links showing up in your account.

2) Traffic comes from search engines. – For the longest time, I’ve always emphasized on the SEO aspect of article marketing because the bulk of the traffic will come directly from search engines. That is, if you manage to get your rankings up in the search results. New sites will experience the Google dance (rankings dropping in and out of search index) more often as the search engine learns about the sites. But you should still see an average of 30 to 50 unique visits daily. As you build up content and more links, the site will slowly work it’s way up to 50 to 100 unique visitors daily. This will take 3 to 4 months and by then, you should be able to see some revenue.

The exciting part is when the site becomes an authority site and achieves top 3 rankings in the search results. That is when your income REALLY takes off. Traffic level from 100 visitors a day can jump to 1000 visitors a day.

Are you already in the top 3 for your primary keywords? If not, there is more work to be done.

Of course, to get to that level, it takes time, commitment and effort. That’s why I say, “NEVER GIVE UP!” It takes some webmasters years before they get to the authority site level.

If you are persistent enough, success will eventually be yours.

 

Sincerely,

Darren Chow

P.S. If you need more information about SEO, check out the SEO definitive guide.  Coupon: seocoupon6547