The Lowdown on Article Directory Contributions

Article directories remain an important force in marketing your work, so much so that tens of thousands of people make use of them on a regular basis. Just take a look at EzineArticles.com, the leading directory out there — that site is exploding in traffic with new authors signing up daily. Something must be working for them, don’t you think? But, with anything, there are some good and bad sides worth taking a look at.

To that end, I’ve written out some of the positives and negatives associated with article marketing:

Positives: You write wonderful content that will get the most reads on a site other than one that you own. Pick a reputable article directory and people may find your article, read it, take some sort of action (that is, click through to your site or buy what you are selling) and give you a way to reach the globe with a certain form of free advertising.

Negatives: You write wonderful content and it gets stolen. Yes, your article gives you exposure via that particular article directory but it also gets picked up and posted to other sites without author attribution and links which point to your site. Someone may not have intended to steal from you, but leaving out important information brings about the same result.

Positives: Your article directory contributions help establish you as an authority in your field. If you are not all that well known outside of your corner of the world, then an article directory can connect you with a broader audience.

Negatives: You are already well known as an authority but you think that contributing articles to a directory will improve your position. Unfortunately, you didn’t do your homework — you submitted your articles to a directory that doesn’t exactly have a reputation for the timely acceptance of new articles. Later, you learn that your article was never approved and they didn’t even bother to inform you that it was rejected.

Positives: Your submitted articles do really well in the search engine results pages [SERPs].

Negatives: Your articles submitted to an article directory do really well in the search engine results pages [SERPs]. Why am I repeating myself? For a good reason: your article does quite well, but the copy you have residing on your website is the one that Google considers to be a duplicate. In addition, it shows up in a lower position in the SERPs while the article directory version gets the PageRank. Next time, post the article to your site first and wait a week or more until the search engines indexes the article before submitting it elsewhere. Even then the article directory may be considered to be a much more reliable and established authority than your new site. This means that you could still find your article being ignored.

Consider Writing A Refreshened Or New Article

One way to get around the duplicate penalty problem is simply to write unique articles for the article directories. That way, you won’t be competing with your own site and you’ll still have an article that says what you want it to say and have the reach you want it have.

Specifically you could:

  • Write an original article similar in tone to the previously written article.
  • Your new article could be of similar style, for example “dog walkers and fleas” but it’ll take a different look at this subject. Make certain that you do not copy content from one article to the other. You can say the same thing, but use completely different words.
  • Submit the article to only one article directory, preferably one that is well known. Minimally, the article will create links back to pages on your site, perhaps receiving PageRank which can be an attractive side benefit!

I still submit articles to select directories (I currently use four) while keeping my many sites updated. Writing is a passion of mine, one that I hope that you have if you choose to go the article marketing route.

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and owner of several websites including WordJourney. Matt covers a variety of inspirational topics including reviews of some of his favorite gospel music.

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