I am sick and tired of all of the bad, regurgitated, information regarding article marketing and how effective it is at ‘building quality, one-way backlinks’ blah blah blah blah. As with most internet marketing advice online, the advice that is parrotted by websites and blogs, alike, touting article marketing as an effective link-building strategy is either incorrect or, at the very best, incomplete. And incomplete information can sometimes be even worse than no information at all.
As new affiliate marketers try to gather knowledge about how to succeed online, it is essential that they weed out the bad information, so they don’t waste precious time pursuing an online marketing activity that is going to yield little to no results. My intention with this site is to only provide information I can prove and recommend products that I use to help make any new affiliate marketer successful in the shortest amount of time possible.
Case in Point
Earlier today I went to Google and typed in ‘best way to get backlinks to my site’ – without quotes. I felt this was a reasonable search phrase that any new affiliate marketer trying to promote their site would type in. Lo and behold, nearly 7 of the top 10 sites mentioned article marketing and how effective it is at ‘building quality, one-way backlinks’. Many of these sites mentioned the popular article directories, such as EzineArticles and GoArticles. These websites would have anyone believe that all you need to do is publish a few quality articles to one of these free article directories and “in no time”, many relevant, high-PR pages will pick up your articles and you will be the lucky recipient of many, free, ‘quality one-way backlinks’. Again, just a regurgitation of what one or two popular bloggers must have said. Today, I’m going to tell you what you don’t know and what nobody else tells you…
Article Marketing – The Real Story
I hate to break it to all you new internet marketers, but whether you are marketing your own company’s products or someone else’s products – as an affiliate – there is no shortcut to building ‘quality, one-way backlinks’, including article marketing.
First of all: High PR websites do NOT use content from free article directories, no matter whether that article directory is as popular as EzineArticles or whether its a new article directory you just started yourself yesterday.
Secondly: You might say, “OK, I believe you, but look at all the incoming links I get when I post a new article to the big Article Directories. Maybe I make up for the fact that the higher-PR sites don’t use my article by all of the lesser sites that do.” You might think you are sacrificing quality for quantity and feel alright with that. I believe you are being misled.
Thirdly: In my experience, the niche that your article targets matters a GREAT deal.
Still not convinced? Read on…
One thing I would recommend to any new or even experienced affiliate marketers is to check things out for yourself. Don’t blindly believe everything you read because a lot of the stuff you read online is just re-gurgitated information, without any proof. So now I give you proof.
If you’ve read ‘My Story’ on this site or any of my other posts, you will know that one of the niches I promote is online dating. So the remainder of this post will be mainly related to promoting online dating sites using Article Marketing and how big a waste of time it is. As I mentioned above, I believe that the niche you try to obtain backlinks in has a significant impact on whether article marketing will work at all. So back to the proof…
Let’s take a look at EzineArticles.com and find a ‘popular’ article in the online dating niche. In no time flat, I made it to the HOME:Relationships/Dating category. If you visit that category by clicking the link I provided, click the link to the first article you see to get to the ‘articles’ page and scroll down to the bottom half of that page, you will encounter some categories, such as Most Published EzineArticles in the Relationships:Dating Category.
Presumably, the top article from this category must be enjoying having their article published all over the web with a tidy Author Resource Box, providing ‘quality, one-way backlinks’ back to their site until the cows come home and all from posting one short article. Let’s see for ourselves, shall we?
Step 1) Click the link to the number one article in this category. At the time of writing this post, that article is: How to Flirt With a Guy – The Most Powerful 3 Tips You Will Ever Need! (Note: It does not matter if this is the same article you wind up at, just click the first article link in the Most Published EzineArticles in the Relationships:Dating Category)
Step 2) Highlight the Article Title
Step 3) Right-click the title and select copy->paste from the drop-down menu so that you now have the title of this ‘most published’ article on your clipboard or in memory.
Step 4) Go to Google.com
Step 5) Right-click in the Google Search Box and Paste the article title into the box.
Step 6) Enclose the article in double quotes so that only EXACT matches to the article title will be returned.
Step 7) Click the ‘Google Search’ button or press <Enter>
Let’s take a look at the results…
If you chose the same article I did (it doesn’t really matter) you’ll probably see a few results – or maybe even more than a few. Start to look at them one-by-one. Actually VISIT the page that Google claims to have this most popular article on. Do you see an Author’s Resource Box? Didn’t think so. Do you even see the article on any of those pages? Probably not.
Aha! At the end of the ‘normal’ results, Google will provide a hyperlink option that will allow you to ‘repeat the search with the omitted results included.’ OK, that must be where all of these wonderful, ‘quality, one-way backlinks’ are hiding. So click the hyperlink.
And what do you see? Oh yeah, about 70,000 pages from EzineArticles.com similar to the page we visited earlier, that had all of the article titles organized into different categories, such as Most Published EzineArticles in the Relationships:Dating Category, down in the lower half of the page beneath the article itself. So all of the seemingly 70k+ links for the sample article I chose for this post are coming from the SAME Website and each is ONLY the TITLE OF THE ARTICLE.
Guess what? It doesn’t matter which article you choose, the results are the same – NOT GOOD. Go ahead, do this same exercise with articles YOU’VE submitted. Try to find a website that has published your article, intact, along with the Author Resource box and all of its backlinks to your website.
Some Final Thoughts
Now, my experience with article marketing, thus far, is limited to the online dating niche, but what I have seen does not really motivate me to continue this waste of time activity in other niches. In my experience, from the quality dating articles I submitted to the various article directories, some were picked up by low quality, porn, or scraper sites. Surprise of all surprises, these sites did NOT include the Author Resource box, which is the only place EzineArticles allows you to embed backlinks.
I’ve also tried GoArticles because they allow you to embed links back to your site. The catch is that even the porn and scraper sites won’t pick up articles that have embedded links in them – they are not in the business of passing link juice – just stealing content. At least you will get the link(s) back from GoArticles.com once they publish your article on the site. Oh, but it won’t be from a positive PR page. (It may last on the homepage for a brief period until other articles supercede it, but this will only be the title and not the entire article).
And the list goes on…NONE of the article directories that I’ve submitted online dating content to were the least bit effective at providing the ‘quality, one-way backlinks’ to my dating site.
The point is that one of the best affiliate marketing lessons I could give you is this: Think for yourself. Approach all of the advice you receive online with a healthy dose of skepticism and try to either prove or disprove the advice you read before acting on it. So is Article Marketing Really a Waste of Time? All I can tell you is that for my main niche – online dating – it certainly IS.
What is an Affiliate Marketer to do?
Real quality, one-way backlinks come from guest-posting on other sites realted to yours and being allowed to embed a do-follow, in-content, text link back to your website or a relevant page on your website. You can also offer to submite free, original content to other sites in your niche in return for a link-back from within the content.
“Oooo, but that takes a lot of time..” you say. Well, nothing comes easy when it comes to building your website’s traffic and authority in the eyes of the big ‘G’. And, as I have proven, that even includes Article Marketing.