Article Marketing - Answering the Three Big Questions
The Internet is crying out for content. There are billions of web pages with millions more being created every day. And every single one of them needs to have something to say - some content to attract visitors.
Article marketing is a branch of Internet marketing that focuses entirely on providing that content. Many people make good money online simply by writing a few articles on a regular basis.
So what is article marketing for, is it as easy as they say and what kind of results can you expect?
Big questions, but I'll do my best to answer them as comprehensively as possible.
What Does Article Marketing Entail?
Article marketing can be as simple as writing a series of articles to put on your own blog or website. If you've ever written a blog post that ran to more than a few hundred words, you've done it already. That is fine, as far as it goes, but why go to all that effort of writing something to only use it once?
Article marketing is about leveraging the effort you've put into creating an article in the first place and getting as much benefit from it as possible.
You do that by syndicating your article for other people to use, with the condition that every time they publish it on their website, they also include a resource box that you specify. That resource box will usually include a link back to a website, or product offering of your choice.
Syndication of your work is easy: there are hundreds of article directories on the Internet who are happy for you to post your work. EzineArticles is perhaps the biggest and best known, but there are many, many more that you can use. The article directories serve two purposes for article marketers: they are a central source for website builders to go to to find content, and they are also quickly indexed by search engines so you'll get backlinks even if nobody else uses your work.
Is Article Marketing as Easy as They Say?
For some people, writing articles is very easy, but for others it can be a chore. Fortunately, like any other skill you need to learn in Internet marketing, the more you practice, the easier it gets.
The trick is to discover what kind of articles are the easiest for you.
The best articles for beginners to write are how-to and tips articles. Both formats start out by identifying a commonly asked question, such as 'how can I stop my dog barking?' or 'what's the best way to make money online?' and provides an answer.
The how-to format is very straightforward - the article would start with a paragraph that expands on the question, move on to four or five paragraphs that explains the solution and ends with a paragraph that sums up both question and answer.
To write a tips article, on the other hand, you would first research 3 or 5 solutions and then, instead of the 4-5 paragraphs in the middle of the how-to article that explains just one solution, you'd have a separate paragraph - perhaps as bullet points - for each tip. The intro and outro paragraphs would be very similar to the how-to ones.
Once you've written your article (allow anywhere from one to two hours for each one until you get more proficient) your main job is then to get it onto as many article directories as possible. Although you can do this by hand, it takes a lot of time so I would strongly recommend using one of the many article submission services who will do the job for you.
What Kind of Results Can Article Marketers Expect?
The answer to this question depends on how much work you are prepared to put into it.
Frankly, if all you do is write one article a month and submit it to just one or two directories, your results will be very poor.
Professional article marketers write a lot of articles and build up a big online presence for their body of work over time. That can bring them a huge number of backlinks to websites of their choice, a constant flow of traffic to their money sites and, most importantly, a stream of income that once started, is almost impossible to turn off.
In summary, article marketing is a very effective branch of online marketing that can bring excellent results for those who have the writing skills and the determination to build a big body of work online. It is unlikely that any individual article will make very much impact on its own, but 200 or more scattered over the Internet can bring many long term rewards.