Article syndication, when approached correctly, is in my opinion, a brilliant promotion tool. Unfortunately, a great many internet marketers just don’t “get” how to implement article syndication correctly and effectively. The primary purpose is simple: write articles and make them available for republishing on sites relevant to your own niche. This provides opportunities to grow your presence, increase your credibility, and widen your marketing reach with new, highly targeted traffic to your website. People reading your content, are exposed to your brand, and perceive you as an expert in your particular niche. If you are especially lucky, one or more of your articles may even go “viral”.
The mistake most people persist in making, is perceiving article syndication as a means of obtaining backlinks, or “link-juice”. They write content and blast it out a to proliferation of article directories. Agreed, this will result in backlinks, but all you will achieve from article directories in SEO terms are non-context-relevant, PR-0 backlinks. Actually, it will require somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 article directory backlinks to provide the link-juice equivalent to one single backlink from a relevant authority-site.
Similarly, you should not engage in article publication as a direct means of obtaining traffic. Your highly targeted traffic will be created following syndication to other, popular, niche relevant websites and blogs. Look at it this way, when your potential customer searches on one of the keywords targeted in your article, which version of that article do you really need them to find? The version in an article directory (lost traffic)? or the version published on your own website?
Another major mistake occurs when marketers spend a lot of time researching and writing articles, but publish them to article directories, without first publishing them on their own websites or blogs. This is folly, unless of course they feel an inherent need to donate their work to the directories. The purpose for which article directories were created was to provide depositories which internet publishers could visit and obtain quality content for their blogs, newsletters, etc. They are not, and never have been, sources of targeted traffic.
Look at this way, suppose the version of your article, hosted in a directory, is read by 1,000 people and 20% of them click through to your website. That’s 200 visitors, agreed, but how about the other 1,800 readers? They are lost; gone forever.
Since Google’s February Panda update, it is now especially easy to outrank article directories with solid, authoritative content on your own website. Publish your work there first, wait until it has been indexed by Google, then move forward to offer it for syndication in front of highly targeted traffic, in a few of the best article directories. Don’t waste your time submitting to hundreds of directories, you won’t get any more passive syndication. From my own experience, the top web publishers go to just Ezine Articles, ArticleBase and GoArticles (in that order), when seeking content. After more than twenty years writing for the internet, I’ve yet to discover any of my articles syndicated from any directory other than those three, and Ezine Articles accounts for more than 95%. It’s way the best established, highest quality article directory, and it’s where web publishers invariably shop first for their content.
So, the actual syndication process aside, what can you do to increase the likelihood of your articles being picked up and published by webmasters?
- Always write articles of at least 1,000—1,200 words. Webmasters seeking content for their sites, blogs, newsletters, etc., love longer articles, simply because they fill more space. So, give them what they are looking for! For a long time, I followed others’ advice to create short pieces of content, but it wasn’t until I began experimenting with much longer pieces that I saw them being picked up for republishing consistently.
- Create catchy titles. You need your titles to grab the attention of webmasters seeking content, and encourage them to publish your article, as well as the readers on his site. This will do wonders for getting mentioned on social sites, as well as enticing people to click your links.
- Write a great first paragraph which carries on from the title and “hooks” the reader. Your opening paragraph needs to convince the reader that the entire article is worthy of his attention.
- Don’t just regurgitate the same ‘ole same ‘ole. Be funny, be controversial, let your writing entertain. Remember, you are writing an article you hope to get significant mileage from, so make it newsworthy and shareworthy. Research before you write and verify any claims or statements.
- Never, never use your articles to sell or promote. Doing this will kill your syndication prospects stone dead, because no webmaster wants to republish your sales material. Syndicated articles should be informative rather than self-serving; your writing should educate, illuminate, explain and entertain, but never sell.
- Rethink your Resource Box (Author Bio). Here again, the usually accepted, sales oriented Resource Box just doesn’t work. Instead, turn the final paragraph of your article into your resource box, with a couple of targeted key phrases linking back to your own website or blog. Blend the paragraph seamlessly into the flow and style of the article as a whole.
Also, make full use of your Author Page in Ezine Articles (and any other article directory you submit to). Use it to list and link to all your available articles and outline your expertize in the niche. Remember to do this for every pen-name you set up.
Once your content is published on article directories, follow up continually and efficiently. Discover exactly where your articles are being republished by taking a random text string from an article, placing it in quotes, (an exact match) and performing a Google search. You can also set up a Google Alert for that same string and receive an email from Google whenever it is discovered.
Begin keeping a database of web publishers who have used your content and offer to send them new articles before you add them to directories, (but after you have published it on your own sites). They will usually jump at the chance.
To differentiate between articles you may have submitted to different directories, just alter the punctuation in each; maybe substitute a semi-colon for a comma. Keep a record of these changes, and you will instantly discover which directory was used.
A final point: in addition to submitting your material to article directories, be pro-active; expand your scope by seeking out likely places where it can be republished. Build a list of relevant search strings, for example:
- [niche keyword phrase] +”write for us”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”submit”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”author guidelines”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”writer guidelines”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”article submission”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”submit content”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”submit an article”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”author submission”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”article submission guidelines”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”online magazine”
- [niche keyword phrase] +”online newsletter”
If you find you are discovering too many “content buying sites”, and those which only accept previously unpublished content, you could try adding +”powered by WordPress” (in quotes) to your queries. This will restrict the search to sites built with WP and still displaying the blog footer WP declaration.
You can also try adding +”Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com” to your search strings. This will return articles copied or pasted from Ezine Articles. As was explained above, you know these sites use syndicated material.
Take a look at the content already published on the sites these searches uncover, and if you feel it matches your style, contact the webmaster with a sample of your writing.
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