Article marketing used to mean writing a short blurb about your business, pointing back to your main site or blog, and many directories allowed you to copy your work, or that of others, and simply paste a repeat post with a link.
Thanks have changed. In an effort to clean up the web for the searcher who was fed up seeing the same material over and over, the major article directories now require you to write unique content.
Think of any article you may write as being something a magazine might print.
It will complete in some way, and full of interesting information, written without spelling and grammatical errors. You can write your articles in a program like Microsoft Word, which will underline in red any spelling or grammatical errors, giving you the opportunity to fix them.
The browser Google Chrome also includes a spell checker, which is a great help if you are writing directly into a posting box. Simply right-click on the words underlined in red, and a list of options will appear, as the software tries to guess which word you meant to write.
Obviously, this is of little use to those foreign language speakers whose English is very poor. These people tend you use article spinning software and the results are sometimes hilarious, but certainly unreadable for the most part and obviously spun/translated.
Even when native English speakers use spinning software, it is usually possible to detect their use, and this is strongly discouraged.
How can the web acquire fresh, original content, if everyone chooses to simply re-hash what is already out there?
So, the article you write must be complete, contain a minimum of 150 words, depending on the site, but 300 + is always better. More words normally equate with more information and Google loves information.
You are not a politician, spreading words out while saying nothing. You words have to mean something online, so don't write something like "it can be ascertained that at this particular time.." instead of "now" because searchers only browse sites. They have a quick look and one or two words have to jump out at them to hold their attention, then they are gone.
Of course, with article marketing, you have two target audiences, one is the viewing public, and the other is the search engine spiders which are machines looking for data.
First and foremost you want the spiders to catch your link, while at the same time you want your article to be actually read. The spiders see the words you write too, that is how they know which adverts to put on your blog or site. So don't be shy about using as many keywords as you can find that relate to your subject matter, and putting them into the body of your text in a readable manner.
This is partly why longer articles are better. There is room for more keywords.
Article Marketing Sites
- Hubpages - Hubpages is a great community of writers. It is a great place to join and all they ask in return is that you write good, original content of at least 300 words, although 500 - 1500 words are better. Don't just write articles for links to your other sites, write some just for Hubpages too, otherwise you risk having your work taken down as overly promotional. You are allowed to publish without your work being pre-checked, but if it is poorly formatted, badly written, too short or copied content, it will be removed.
- Squidoo I only have one or two articles on Squidoo, but wish I had more because they are doing well in the rankings just now. Squidoo submissions will be pre-checked for quality before you are allowed to publish.
- EzineArticles Ezine also pre-checks your work before allowing it to be published. Ezine have dropped in the rankings since Panda, but they are sure to return to their former glory soon.
- ArticlesBase ArticlesBase is a very popular directory, although it is not one I have used yet. Others who have say their work, if well-written, is well received by their community.
- Excerptz Excerptz is a relatively new site which offers a 90% rev share and people who have published there report and very quick index time, as well as superb sales results through Amazon.
- Xobba Xobba is another up and coming site which offers a 90% rev share, and geo targeting for Amazon. Items are indexed quickly and get good search engine traffic.
- ThisisFreelance This is a great home for high quality web writers where a 60% revenue share is offered. If your writing is of poor quality, please don;t attempt to write there.
- Wizzley Wizzley is the newest of the article writing sites and is very similar to Hubpages but without their PR. However, they have a very active writing community and who is to say this is not the place of the future.