Saturday, March 22, 2008

3 Ways to Make Article Marketing Work

Article directories are losing their value right? Then why are we bothering to add it to a “best practices” site? Writing interesting, informative articles that will educate readers and introduce them to your website can still be an excellent way to improve your business’s success. 

Surf Board MaintenanceJust how successful your articles are depends on a number of factors. The articles have to be interesting, well written and contain enough helpful information to have real value to readers, but they also have to be marketed properly. All of the articles in the world won’t help you if you post them in places where they won’t be found by the right audience. A fascinating, informative article about proper surfboard maintenance isn’t going to help you if it’s lost in a general article directory or posted on a website where most readers are avid mid-west gardeners.

How do you find really solid places to market those great articles you’ve written? This week we have three suggestions on how to match your articles to the right publications and at the right times

1) Find the right editorial calendars. Look for the editorial calendars of online publications. Most online publications provide an editorial calendar that outlines what the main topics will be several months in advance. Reviewing these can not only give you an idea of when to submit articles you already have, but give you some great ideas for future articles. For instance,, an IT publication, is focusing on Mobile and Wireless in early May of 2008. In April 2008, there’s a feature titled “Security Focus: Email Security Challenge.” 

Whatever your business’s niche, check the magazines and review editorial calendars and make sure you match your articles to their focus – and be sure to pay attention to their submission deadlines! Editors love to run articles that dovetail with a particular focus.

2) Find niche publications. After you’ve checked out the editorial calendars of the magazines you’re already familiar with, look for publications you aren’t familiar with. For example, if you have an ecommerce website, search for “ecommerce magazines” and you might just find this:

When you search for Surfing magazines, you can find magazines that include online magazines focusing on female surfers, North Carolina surfers, New England surfing, Australian surfing, competitive surfing, long board surfing…well, you get the idea! Even a niche like surfing can be narrowed even further, so be sure you look for any potential niche magazines that you can really tailor your articles toward that will love you for sending them some high quality content.

3) Find niche article directories. There are good niche article directories out there that either supply niche businesses with quality content or can point you in the direction of respected online publications that are looking for content. Lets say your site is about human resources, here is an example of article dedicated to HR

You can do basic searches for “human resource article directory” or whatever your business niche is, and you’ll turn up various directories where you can get your articles published.  Do some homework, however, to make sure that you utilize the best directories for your own articles. A few things to look for in an online article directory are:

  • Read several articles in their supply of articles to check the quality. The articles should be well-written, with plenty of information and excellent grammar. If the quality isn’t consistent, then the directory doesn’t set high standards.
  • Does the site indicate how many articles are actually downloaded each month? You want to compare figures from directory to directory to see how much of the traffic to the site is actually downloading articles.
  • How recently has the site been updated? If there hasn’t been new content added in more than a month, then the directory may not get regular visits from publications. It also means there aren’t very many authors. The more authors, the more frequently articles are added. Publications are looking for fresh content – and fresh content means content that’s new and different every time that a visitor logs onto a directory. Look for sites that are changing every day.
  • And of course you might check their pagerank, backlinks, traffic stats, etc. to judge the quality of the link juice or traffic they might send your way.

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