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An article about articles

By William Charlwood

Why do internet marketers pay so much attention to articles? In this article I want to set out the reasons why articles and article marketing are so important and show you how they work to generate income for thousands of people.

I also want to generate some income myself so I thought I’d turn this article itself into a case study too. The idea is that you should be able to take away from this article one or two techniques that you can then apply to your own business and hopefully profit from.

First up then, an article is just a short written piece about a specific topic. Nothing more, nothing less, although I’ve noticed that many so-called “articles” on line in fact are very short, poorly written and completely void of content.

There are three things you can do with articles.

- You can publish them on your own site or blog as your own content.
- You can get them distributed about the internet, and I’ll explain why you would want to do this shortly.
- You can take other people’s articles and add them to your own site.

Let’s look at these in turn.

Content generation

Writing articles for your own site is purely about content generation. Each article you add to your site, if it is informative in some way, gives your visitors something to read and benefit from which reflects positively on your site. You can also monetize your article by including AdSense ads in it or links to affiliate programs. Someone then reading your article may click on an ad, which makes you money, or click your affiliate link and buy the underlying product which also makes you money.

Other web publishers simply want to write good articles on their sites because they know that high quality content attracts repeat visitors.

The best approach to content generation is usually to write your own content if you have the time and inclination. However, many people are so keen on article creation that they outsource it via elance.com or to some of the new “private label rights” sites such as www.PLRpro.info. These sites give you the same rights to articles as if you had written them yourself. You can edit these articles, include them on sites, blogs, emails or in ebooks. Other web publishers find that PLR articles give them new ideas about content that they then write themselves.

Distributing your articles around the internet

Getting your articles distributed across the internet is the next thing that people do with articles and there are two very good reasons for doing this.

First, you can include references in your articles to websites that you own and if you mention them in such a way that they sound worth a visit, then you will get visitors. So the more people you can get to read your articles the better and one effective way to do this is to get your articles onto as many sites as possible. The classic route here is to submit your articles to article directories such as ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com etc. (search Google for Article Directories)

The second reason for wanting to get your articles widely distributed across the internet is to generate a whole string of back-links to your website. A back-link is simply a link to your website and many of the search engines, Google included, use the number of links to a website to determine how “important” or authoritative a website is.

The designers of the search engine algorithms that work out how to rank pages for any given search term assume that good sites will have more links pointing to them than bad sites will. So if you can set things up so that hundreds or thousands of websites will link back to your site, you will increase the likelihood of your site ranking high up in searches and thus attracting free traffic.

So how do you go about getting links back to your site?

Using the Resource box

The standard way is to include a “resource box” at the end of your article that says a little bit about you as the author and includes a link to your site. However, search engines also make use of the words in a link to rank sites so if you make your link look like “click here” and you site is about VoIP you won’t do so well as, for example, making a link look like “How to save money with VoIP”.

If you are able to provide an HTML version of your article, these two alternatives would look like

Click here


How to save money with Voip

and they would display on a browser like this:

Click here


How to save money with VoIP

Incidentally, the ideal wording for your link is the phrase you are trying to optimise your site for so if you want to attract visitors looking to save money with VoIP, then the above is fine. On the other hand, if you actually want visitors to find you when they are searching for “Cheap VoIP” it would be better to make the link look like this

Cheap VoIP

In many cases though, article directories will only let you work with text versions of articles in which case you need to work your website’s URL into your resource box more carefully. For example, if I was writing an article about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) I would put in my resource box something like this

Author: William Charlwood
For more information on how to save money with VoIP visit www.HowToSaveMoneyWithVoip.com

Using other people’s articles

The third way that people use articles is to pad out the content of their own sites and the reason they do this is to attract free search engine traffic. The way it works is simple: a site with only one page about a topic is unlikely to attract search engine traffic for more than one or two key search phrases and, even then, it is likely to rank quite low. However, if a site is rich in content then not only will the search engines like it more but each different page can potentially show up for different search terms.

Result: more free traffic.

For article authors this is good news because many website owners are always on the lookout for new content to add to their own site. For the site owners, the fact that many authors are cranking out articles regularly means that there is always new content to be had. However, you do need to be a little careful to make sure that you have the author’s permission to copy an article onto your site, or indeed, into your blog.

To make this clear, many authors explicitly state that readers can copy their articles and use them as content on their own site – provided that the resource boxes and all links remain intact.

3 ways to monetize articles

The final thing to run through is the process of monetizing articles and there are three ways you can do this.

First, you can simply publish them on your site and place AdSense ads on the pages. If you get traffic to the pages, you’ll get clicks and hence dollars.

Second, you can embed affiliate links into articles on your own site but you need to do this carefully so as not to annoy your readers.

Thirdly, you can get your affiliate links widely distributed if you embed them into your article and your article gets widely published. This can then lead to the almost magical process of someone, somewhere in a far distant country on a website you’ve never heard of clicking your affiliate link, buying the underlying product and earning you a commission.

My resource box

Copyright © William Charlwood 2006 (always include a Copyright statement)

William runs a leading AdSense newsletter that currently has over 19,000 subscribers. It provides profit-boosting tips and up-to-date news about AdSense. You can subscribe here http://www.factsaboutadsense.com

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