Article marketing has been a longstanding topic of healthy debate for affiliate marketers.
Some affiliates have done well using it to deliver quality content to new audiences, and watching these audiences become new visitors to their websites.
On the other hand, there are many who have gone a different route with article marketing, using it to pump out as much keyword-saturated content as possible, with little concern for originality or quality. Advocates of the quantity-over-quality method use well-researched keywords hoping that the hundreds of backlinks they’re creating lead to increased traffic.
Like most debates, both sides have a good point. If you want to build an affiliate business for the long term, you’ll do better focusing on quality content. But if you’re just focused on short term gains – quickly making as much money as possible – you might not have enough patience to wait for an audience that appreciates quality content.
Google’s Panda update, which has lowered the rankings of low-quality and high-quality article marketing sites, complicates the issue even further. Some affiliates report getting consistent traffic from heavyweight article directories such as Squidoo and Hub Pages, even while overall traffic to those sites is down, according to the blog at SEO firm Vertical Measure.
Affiliates have also hung on every last word from Google’s Matt Cutts, who has openly admitted he’s not a fan of article marketing.
If you’re looking for a reason to stop article marketing, I think you can look at Cutts’ comments and tell yourself to stop. It’s pretty easy to forecast that Google is going to continue to emphasize sites that use article marketing. Focus instead on channels such as social media, which can get your content in front of people, and get backlinks to your site.
But if you’re going to continue article marketing, I recommend you follow these three tips to get the most of it.
Tip #1: Focus on Quality
Ever since the Panda update threw thin affiliate sites out of the rankings, the advice from Google has been simple. They want quality content. In general, quality content is hard to define. But if you make sure your articles are at least 400 words long, and provide your users with information that’s worth sharing, you’ll be heading in the right direction.
Tip #2: Be Original
Every article you submit should be original. If you’re going to use article from your site and submit them to Ezine Articles, rewrite them first.
Tip #3: Use Social Media
Take the content you’re creating for your site and article directories, and submit them to the major social networking sites. Be sure to set up profiles and join the conversation at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Digg and Technorati.
Overall, there’s no easy yes or no answer to the article marketing question. But if you’re going to do it, follow these tips and you’ll get the most out of it.
What’s your experience with post-Panda article marketing? Leave your feedback in the comments below!