One of the first internet marketing products I ever bought was a guide called The Newbie Workbook. It was written as a 30-day step-by-step guide on how to get a profitable campaign up and running and hopefully making money.
To say that I was green and completely clueless about how to make money online would be an understatement.
The first few days were all about doing keyword research and looking for high-gravity products on Clickbank.
Not particularly difficult stuff. Follow some steps, meet some criteria – rinse and repeat? Easy-peasy right?
I believe it was on Day 4 that my task was to sign up for an account at Ezine Articles.
“Articles?” I thought. “Why do I need articles?”
It quickly became apparent that the whole traffic generation strategy of The Newbie Workbook was article marketing.
That is, writing articles about a particular topic in a specific niche with a link back to my “money site”.
The strategy involved more than just writing articles and submitting them to Ezine Articles but the primary task was to be writing three 500+ word articles a day on my chosen subject.
At the time, this was completely overwhelming. 1500+ words a freakin day!?!?!
Nevertheless I put my head down and did the work.
At first I thought the whole point of it was to get clicks from the articles so I was underwhelmed by the results – especially in the early days.
When I started to get my head around the principle of backlinking and the fact that all the articles I was writing that were pointing back to my site were helping my rankings – I began to see the strength of article marketing.
My niche at the time was “chicken coops” so the competition wasn’t as fierce as something in the big 3 markets (health, wealth and happiness) and therefore I was able to drive a fair amount of traffic to my site. I even made a few sales directly from articles I’d written for EZA.
I eventually branched out into more competitive niches and found that it took a LOT more articles to drive any kind of significant traffic. I told myself that it wasn’t all about the clicks but also about the “link juice” that my articles were providing.
This is the key to why article marketing still works – and ALWAYS will.
As a pure traffic generation strategy it can be very time-consuming and your ROI (return on investment) in terms of time can be very low depending on the niche you choose.
The ultimate goal for anyone wanting to rank in the search engines and drive organic (non-paid) traffic is to build quality backlinks and increase your site’s standing in Google’s eyes.
The strategy I use to this day is from Joseph Archibald over on the Warrior Forum. He has a now-epic thread called “40 Day Challenge – Top 5 Within Google in 40 Days” that is worth it’s weight in gold.
When I first found this thread it was already six pages long and took me a couple of hours to make my way through. Every single page had great tips from Joseph and I eventually built my foundational traffic strategy around his tips and suggestions.
So is article marketing still a good way to drive traffic? Absolutely it is.
It’s a “tougher sell” than a lot of the other techniques one can use (like pay-per-click) because it requires actually doing some hard work but in my experience it is a time-tested strategy that works if you’re willing to invest the time and energy.
Next time I’ll talk about how I write my articles and whether article-spinning is the devil incarnate or a gift from the heavens…
What about you? Do you still use article marketing to drive traffic to your sites? Let us know in the comments!
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