Article distribution is a very effective method of promoting your business. There are a number of direct benefits from doing regular article distributions. When done properly you can receive loads of extra traffic to your website. You can increase your search engine rankings, and of course you position yourself as a knowledgeable person on your topic – an expert.
However you need to do article distribution properly in order to get the most benefit out of your time and money. What follows is a list of important things to do in order to make sure your articles perform at peak capacity.
1) Take the time to write your articles for a very specific audience. You need to understand who it is that is consuming your information and then write articles that they need and want. Find out what are important issues for people in your market and then produce articles that provide relevant and useful information and solutions for these people. The better you do this, the more likely article publishers and webmasters will pick up the article and use it in their publications.
2) Extending the first point a bit here, be sure that you provide useful information for readers. If you want maximum exposure for your ideas, you need to give people a reason to use your articles. The best way to do that is to write valuable content that provides real information and real solutions for the readers.
3) Have a plain text and basic HTML version of the article and resource box prepared. Many (most) article directories do not allow html in their articles, so all your articles should start their life as plain text. However you should also have a simple HTML version of each article and each resource box. In the HTML versions, simply add hyperlinks with anchor text to make any URLs in your article “live”.
4) Don’t forget search engine spiders when you write up articles. Before you start writing spend a few minutes researching relevant keywords and then be sure to work them into your articles. Not only does this help your articles rank a bit better in search engines, but more importantly it gives extra relevance to the links pointing back to your site.
5) Spend time on the by-line and/or resource box of your article. Be sure to make it a call to action. In many cases your resource box is the only place you are allowed to put links to your site. Make sure that yours gets people’s attention and gets them to do what you most want them to do. An effective practice is to change the resource box slightly to match each article and each audience.
6) Use very a clear reprint permission statement that is as unrestricted as possible. Putting rules on the use of your articles, results in fewer people actually using them. Since you want maximum distribution, make it very clear and very simple to use your articles. A simple statement like the following is enough: “You have permission to use this article freely in any publication as long as the resource box and byline are included as-is and any weblinks are made ‘live’ when published on websites”.
7) Don’t fill your articles with tons of links. While there is clearly no set rule about how many links are too many links, human editors will treat heavily linked articles as spam and will be much less likely to use your them. One or two links within the body of an article and one link in the resource box is reasonable, much more than that will start to have a negative impact.
8) Don’t be shy to target specific publications with your articles. If you know of a big player in your industry, follow them a bit (get on their articles and watch their websites) and then write articles specifically for their needs. Often you can simply write an email and ask them if there is anything specific that you could write for them, in exchange for a link or two back to your site from within the article.
Remember that you want to get the most bang for your buck when you distribute articles. Article editors and website publishers are our friends, but they are also a filter between your ideas and possible readers. Anyone can just throw together an article that will sit in an article directory. What you want is an article that gets picked up and republished in dirctories and on websites as well as being in the article directory. If you want to get past the human article filters, you need to give them quality content that is easy to use.