The truth about article marketing

Article marketing is a well established and effective method for promoting a website because it’s an easy way of garnering traffic and backlinks. Here’s how it works:

  1. You write an original article on a topic you know something about
  2. You submit it to one or more article directories
  3. In return for your quality content, the directory allows you to place one or more links back to a site or sites of your choice
  4. By submitting your article, you make it available for reprint by website and ezine owners seeking fresh content
  5. Each time your article is republished, so are your links, resulting in a multiplication of backlinks over time – and we all know that this results in more traffic for your site, both via direct clicks on your links and via increased search engine rankings.

Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work!

In reality when people republish your article they often either remove your links entirely or make them nofollow, thus negating most of their value to you. Or at least that’s my experience, but I suspect I’m not alone in this. When this happens, your first thought might be to complain to the article directory and expect them to do something about it, but you will not get anywhere with this – the article directories’ terms of service almost always state that it’s your responsibility to follow up any violations of your copyright.

So what can you do? Well, you could simply stop submitting content to article directories, but this is cutting off your nose to spite your face. And remember, there’s nothing to stop other site owners from illegally using your content even if you only publish on your own site, so whilst this approach may limit your exposure it doesn’t solve the problem.

Alternatively you could be vigilant and make it your business to follow up every infringement, first demanding that the relevent site takes the content down, and if that doesn’t work, by filing a complaint with their hosting service. Before embarking on this approach, make sure you understand the cost to your business in time and lost productivity, and also the emotional and psychological cost to yourself.

Or you could do what I do and simply accept that the practice will continue, but not let that detract from the benefits that article marketing will bring regardless. This doesn’t condone the wrongful use of your content, it’s simply an acknowledgement that we don’t live in a perfect world but we carry on anyway.

Related posts:

  1. Duplicate content in article marketing
  2. All backlinks are created equal…not!

10 Responses to “The truth about article marketing”

  1. Gravatar of Eric 1 Eric

    I have not tried this and am learning all kinds of things about how to market myself and write quality content and so fourth. I believe that doing whatever it takes and learning as you go is the best way to go about doing anything.

    This is no different. Good article and obviously something works because there are popular blogs out there being discovered somehow.

  2. Gravatar of Automatic Driveway Gates 2 Automatic Driveway Gates

    I have been article marketing for some time now, and that is one of my biggest pet peeves, when somebody reprints my article without my backlink. I have learned to just laugh it off and move on.

  3. Gravatar of Fixed Gear Bikes 3 Fixed Gear Bikes

    Thanks for this – it confirms both good and bad suspicions I’d had about article marketing. Everyone pushes it, but I haven’t tried it…guess it’s time!

  4. Gravatar of Roy Paeth @Chicago First Time Home Buyer 4 Roy Paeth @Chicago First Time Home Buyer

    Good post. I completely agree that putting your energy toward positive things rather than trying to chase down the illegal use of your content is a good idea.

  5. Gravatar of Sell Your Mobile Phone for Cash 5 Sell Your Mobile Phone for Cash

    Ahh man I have come across this many times. By searching for a “random peice of my articles text in quotes” or the articles “title in quotes” I am able to find where my articles have been posted online. I have come across a few that contain no links back to my site at all. Even the resource box isn’t included. It’s people that have ripped the content completley and put it on their site as their own with no kudos back to the author at all. It really winds me up. I mean how dare people do that! I worked hard to provide the content for them so the least they can do is give me the link back.

  6. Gravatar of Rodney Smith 6 Rodney Smith

    @phones: I feel your pain, but let it go man, let it go! It’s not worth it…

  7. Gravatar of SEO Manchester 7 SEO Manchester

    Certainly agree-there is nothing more one can do, if your attempts to improve your sites SEO are thwart by the evil nofollow tag or link stripped completely there is only playing the numbers-there are more people that won’t strip the links or nofollow them so take it as win some loose some in my opinion. You’ve to got to break some egg shells to make an omlette, so be it, if that’s whats required to conduct SEO then it’s what we have to live with unfortunately.

    SEO Manchester.

  8. Gravatar of Ganhar Dinheiro 8 Ganhar Dinheiro

    I own an article directory and I also submit articles, and I don’t waste any time looking for thieves. I just submit and forget.

  9. Gravatar of Avent breast pumps 9 Avent breast pumps

    Sadly, there will always be those who try to take shortcuts and piggy-back on other’s hard work (although they delightfully refer to it as “leveraging”). And although I agree you have to “work smart” in this business, you have to be prepared to put in the graft if you’re going to succeed.

  10. Gravatar of Pixelsmedia 10 Pixelsmedia

    I think that we who are on the article marketing industry should not care about the article thieves. If we take it seriously and stop submitting article to article directories that will cause harmful effects on our business only. So its better just to submit an article and forget it !

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