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Article Marketing as a Traffic Driver

July 1, 2012 by Larry Dozier divider image

Is article marketing still effective? Have the Panda and Penguin updates wiped out article marketing as an effective SEO strategy? Is article marketing even worth the time and effort involved?

The answer is that article marketing can still be an incredibly effective website promotion strategy if done correctly.

Let’s take a quick look at the history of article marketing.

Once upon a time, The Internet consisted of communities built up around discussion boards and e-zine newsletters. Some e-zines grew to massive sizes, and there  were tons of them out there, about just about every topic imaginable. Usually, an expert in a specific field would send a monthly email newsletter – an e-zine – to all of his or her subscribers. Because these e-zines were usually full of useful info, subscribers were likely to read them and also trust the author. This made them an excellent marketing tool.

The problem with publishing an e-zine is that your subscribers expect good quality content in their email every single month. Start putting out garbage and you’ll quickly see your subscriber list dwindle. Having run an e-zine, I know well how tough it is to crank out good quality content every single month. It’s a very time-consuming task.

Eventually, some enterprising folks began launching article directory sites where you could find free content for your e-zine or newsletter so long as you published the articles you found there intact and included a blurb found at the end of the article which identified the author and provided a link to the author’s website. This was a win-win-win situation. E-zine publishers now had a source of quality content, subscribers had quality articles to read, and authors could get their link in front of large audiences.

Article Marketing for SEO Backlinks

Soon, there were thousands of these article directories. Enterprising SEO’s figured out you could get backlinks from the directories themselves, whether your article ever got published or not. By submitting your article to thousands of directories, you could get thousands of backlinks and Google would love you. This eventually devolved to a point where many article directories would automatically publish your article, and the appearance of article spinning software sent quality plummeting through the basement.

Panda and Article Marketing

The death of article marketing for SEO purposes happened in 2011 when Google released the Panda update. This update devalued links from low quality websites. Today, links from article directories are virtually worthless for SEO purposes?

Is Article Marketing Dead?

Not at all! Article marketing as a traffic driver – as originally conceived – is very much alive and well. The fact is that there are still a ton of e-zines and newsletters being published every day. The original premise of article marketing was that by writing a quality and interesting article you could get it syndicated in newsletters and drive traffic to your website. That’s all still true.

Your Article Marketing Strategy

In order to make article marketing work for you, you’ll need to break out of the SEO mindset and adopt a copywriter’s mindset. An effective article writing strategy must be based upon exciting interest and delivering value.  Your goal, here, is not to gain backlinks, per se, but to attract visitors to your website. In order to do so, you must first get them to read your article, deliver valuable information in an interesting manner, and leave them wanting more.

Syndicating Your Content

You may not think that you’ll have time for article marketing, since you’re already busy writing articles for your own blog. Here’s a little secret: You can take all the great articles which you publish on your own blog, and syndicate them through article marketing. Simply publish an article to your own blog, wait until Google has indexed it, and then submit it to Many people believe, mistakenly, that you must submit only unique content when article marketing. This isn’t true at all. Because we are not concerning ourselves with the SEO value of the backlink, but with traffic, we don’t care about duplicate content. If Google sees it on your blog first, they will assume the duplicate content is anywhere they spot it except your blog.

Another secret is that submitting to is all you need to do. Don’t worry about submitting your article to dozens or hundreds of directories. Most publishers won’t look there. Most publishers look at the two largest directories, which are and

Quality – Quality – Quality

Finally, if your article marketing campaign is to be effective, you must pay particular attention to quality. Not only must you impart valuable information, you must make the reading of it an enjoyable experience. Keep your articles interesting.

If you do this, and do it consistently, you’ll soon find your site visited dily by visitors who are uniquely interested in what you have to say, and predisposed to purchase from you because you’ve built a trust relationship with them.

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