As the owner of a professional article distribution service (I do this everyday), I have the benefit of reviewing and submitting hundreds of articles each month.
As you probably already know, article submission is just one way to build links online. The major problem with article marketing is that it can be rather painful. Consider people who don’t write well, type slowly, or don’t know how to use software to help automate the submission process. Writing and submitting one article can take hours!
On top of that, if you don’t follow the rules, your articles may get rejected, and you’re just wasting time, writing and submitting your articles.
Here are some general guidelines. If you follow these guidelines, you will yield the best results.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Submit articles with less than 450 words.
Most article directories accept articles with at least 450 words. Some may accept more, some less. But most will accept 450 words.
- Promote a site with nudity of excessive affiliate links.
It’s not common for article directories to reject a site that has been completed. But if you are trying to promote an adult site, or if your site contains nothing but affiliate links, your articles have a chance of being rejected.
- Use super long anchor keyword phrases.
Keep your anchor texts to 3 words max. Don’t link the entire sentence. Keep the links to your author resource box. The author resource box should not be more than 450 characters. 450 characters will allow you to write about 2 to 3 sentences. There is no need to write a short story here. Just a couple of sentences with static text links in them will do.
- Use profanity in your articles.
Don’t use any kind of profanity in your articles. Vulgar words and phrases are automatically detected by some article directories. Your articles will be rejected before they have a chance to be reviewed by a human editor.
- Submit an illegible article.
Articles are seldom disapproved because of grammatical errors, spelling errors, or sentence structure faults. But it has to be of decent quailty. In other words, readers must understand what you are trying to say. If English is not your native language, consider hiring someone to write for you.
- Use software to spin articles.
Some article marketers use software to spin PLR (Private Label Rights) articles, in the hope that the article directories won’t detect the duplicate content. Unfortunately, most software just replace words with synonyms. In the process, the meaning is skewed and the article no longer make sense. For instance, the word “market” may mean several different things depending on context.
Original sentence: I go to the stock market to invest.
After replacement: I go to the stock bazaar to invest.
OR: I go to the stock shop to invest.
The word “market” may mean “bazaar” or “shop” – a place for buying stuff. But when you put the words into context, notice that the same sentence now sounds funny.
- Use URL as your links.
You shouldn’t be using URLs as your links. The bulk of your traffic will be coming from the search engines. So make sure you spend a little time working on your keyword research, and pick some phrases to target. Use those keywords in your links.
- Write and submit an entire report.
You are submitting articles, not reports. Every now and then, I see writers submitting articles with over a thousand words. If you have long articles, break them up into separate articles. You are not posting to your blog. You are building links with your articles. More articles equal more links.
In addition, most readers just scan articles instead of read the entire page. If you write super duper long articles, you may lose your reader, and you never get the chance to see them again.
WHAT TO DO
- Write and submit articles regularly.
If you are not building links, your competitor may just be creeping up on you. So make it a habit to distribute articles regularly – even if it’s just one article per week.
- Submit to hundreds of article directories.
Don’t just submit to 1 or 2 article directories. Start with Ezinearticles.com. Once approved, you can use the same articles to distribute to all the article directories.
- Outsource of use software to help you distribute articles.
It doesn’t make sense to sit at the computer for hours just to distribute articles. You have better things to do. Outsource all the article submissions or use some software to automate the process. Your article marketing will become way less painful.
A word of caution if you are hiring writers to write for you. Use a duplicate content check tool like CopyScape to check for plagarism before paying your writers. Some writers are just out to scam others – they scrape content off other websites and submit them as their own. Don’t be fooled!
- Focus on keywords.
Try to dilute your efforts by targeting too many keywords at any one time. Focus on two or three keywords, and write your articles based on those keywords. Once they start to rank in the search engines, move on to other keywords.
Notice that there is a cummulative effect. The more keywords you target, the more traffic you will get. But be patient. SEO does take a little bit of time, especially for competitive keywords.
- Publish 100% original articles.
Using PLR articles is fine. But many directories (like Ezinearticles) will not accept PLR articles. You have to be prepared to accept that if you are using PLR articles. Otherwise, you just have to write 100% orginal and unique articles. Unique means that your articles must not be published on the Internet before. So don’t make the mistake of posting to your blog, and then submit the articles. Once the articles get indexed by the search engines, Ezinearticles may not approve the articles.
- Be clear about your goals.
What are you trying to achieve? If you just want to build links, you can submit general information articles. If you are trying to sell something, focus on the products and talk more about the problems that your products will help to solve. Don’t give away all the answers in your articles. In that 450 words, show that you understand the customers, and that you are sincere in helping them overcome whatever obstacles they are facing. That will encourage them to click your links and visit your site.