Article marketing

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Article marketing is a type of advertising in which businesses write short articles related to their respective industry. These articles are made available for distribution and publication in the marketplace. Each article contains a bio box and byline that include references and contact information for the author's business. Well-written content articles released for free distribution have the potential of increasing the authoring business' credibility within its market as well as attracting new clients.



Article marketing has been used by professionals for nearly as long as mass print has been available. In paper-print form (as opposed to online forms), article marketing is utilized commonly by business owners as a means of obtaining free press space. A local business provides useful content to the newspaper free of charge, and in return the newspaper prints the business' contact information with the article. Because newspapers and other traditional media are expected to present content on limited budgets, this arrangement is generally advantageous for all parties involved.

For example, an accounting firm may market itself by writing an article entitled "The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Being Audited" and offering it to the local newspapers several weeks prior to tax season. Similarly, a roofing company may offer radio stations a concise article entitled "How to Avoid Ice Damage to Your Roof this Winter" shortly before the winter season.

Online article marketing

With the rise of e-commerce and internet marketing, article marketing has made a move to the online world as well. As in traditional forms of media, online article marketing has served the dual role of providing publishers with what amounts to free content, and advertisers with similarly free advertising.

The website where an author can post an article is known as an article directory. The primary reason an author can post an article without cost is that the directory owner places advertising on each article page and collects the revenue generated from the advertising. The article directory site gradually increases its own search engine popularity as more articles are posted, benefitting both the author and the directory owner with increased visitor numbers and therefore article page views.

However unlike the off-line version, there are additional dimensions to article marketing online. Most notable among the differences is the use of articles for search engine optimization. Articles are written to target particular keyword niches, and distributed to content publishers that cater to those markets. Authors are able to target their audience with informative content, sent to an already-interested group of readers.

Many online article marketers enjoy the low cost of this type of advertising and so have written hundreds and sometimes thousands of articles. One online article writer has written 12,900 articles.[citation needed] These prolific article authors also enjoy abundant backlinks (i.e., links pointing back to the business' website). When the articles are distributed via RSS, the exposure to the authoring business and number of backlinks is increased greatly.

Another article marketing option available is where the author can choose to take control of the advertising space on the page where his article is posted. With this option the author has the choice to either have no advertising to compete with the article, or to have control over the advertising on the page along with the revenue generated.

Web 2.0

Article marketing has become increasingly popular as a marketing method under the Web 2.0 generation of business on the Internet. Many subjects have gained popularity through viral propagation of articles via social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Many authors have also joined web 2.0 sites like squidoo and hubpages in order to continue to distribute their articles.

The sudden popularity of article marketing has caused an overall reduction in quality in many subjects, mainly due to individuals writing low-quality articles as a quick way of achieving exposure. Efficient use of article marketing as a form of promotion requires invested effort in writing high-quality, relevant articles.[citation needed]

Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) deals with the order in which webpages are ranked when keywords or phrases are typed into search engines. The higher a page is ranked, the more likely that page will draw a greater number of site visitors. For company websites, increased traffic often translates into increased sales, and article marketing has proven to be useful and effective for several leading Internet marketing ventures.

One method of SEO encompasses the idea that a website's rank in search engines will rise as it obtains more backlinks. There is no way to know for sure the complete accuracy of this assumption as the algorithm that Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines use is closely guarded. Therefore, writing and distributing articles that contain a link to a business owner's website within the bio box should result in more links back to that website. Theoretically this process will increase that website's rank within search engines. This theory has led to a trend in online marketing toward writing articles solely for SEO purposes, and are commonly referred to as reprint articles. This trend has been matched by a wide selection of article marketing directory websites which accept, vet, and provide redistribution of such articles to online publishers.

The free distribution of articles has, however, led to a large amount of duplicated content appearing on websites across the Internet. The quality of articles can also suffer as some authors seek a large quantity of backlinks at the possible expense of content quality. Further, scrapers and scraper sites are contributing to the problem with the copying of others' content and putting them on their own web sites. To prevent this from happening many website owners are using services like copyscape to prevent their content from being used without their consent.


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