Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Case Study: How article marketing is significantly increasing my income (Part 2 of 5)

Following are the latest details on my experiment – article marketing (does it work, or not?). Listed below are more of the sites I’m consistently submitting articles to.

See Part I of this series for how and why these sites were chosen.

6. Alumbo.com: This site has a PR rank of 5 and an Alexa rank of 64,317.

You must sign up for an account to submit here. I find their submission process awkward and a bit confusing. Eg, you have to choose what category to submit to, and this is not easy they way they have it set up because you’re not sure if you’re choosing the right thing.

Also, no article stats are provided here – not even a page that lists the articles you’ve submitted. Without this, it makes it hard to keep track of what you’ve submitted already. In my opinion, this is a basic because if you write a lot and submit to a lot of directories, you need some type of tracking mechanism to stay organized.

NOTE: In most of the directories, you have to choose a category, but it is pretty simple and straightforward. This is not the case with Alumbo. You’ll just have to see for yourself what I mean.

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7. ArticleCity.com: This site has a PR rank of 6 and an Alexa rank of 6,630.

You don’t need to create an author account to submit here. The process is very easy and straightforward. No article stats are provided though (bummer!).

You can click on your name and find out which articles are live on the site, but there is no way to find out which articles you’ve submitted already. This is important because they take 15-30 days to approve an article for publishing, and if you don’t keep track, you won’t know if you submitted a piece already, or not.

One cool feature of this site is that you can submit articles in bulk (more than one at a time). There are stipulations, but being able to do this makes submission so much faster.

8. Zinos.com:
This site has a PR rank of 6 and an Alexa rank of 6,630.

Zinos is not an article directory, but a digest of eZines on the web. You must create an author account to submit and it provide a list of articles you’ve submitted, but no article stats.

The one thing I don’t like about this site is that they assign you an Author ID, which you must use to sign in. I don’t like this because most of the time, once you’ve created your account with a directory, your username is your email address and your password is something you create.

As they assign you an Author ID, I can never remember it, so I have to stop, locate it and put it in. It’s a small thing, but it interrupts my flow of work. When you’re manually submitting to many directories, this is a major time buster.

9. WebProNews.com: This site has a PR rank of 7 and an Alexa rank of 3,980.

This is a news site for e-business professionals. Although this is not an article directory, I had written an article that fits well with their content and I knew it had a good chance of being picked up.

FYI, this site only accepts articles related to “eBusiness, search engines, information technology, or web development.” So, I haven’t submitted every article I’ve written to them, because all of my articles don’t fit their guidelines.

Tip: To dovetail on the above, only submit relevant content to directories/sites. The one thing you don’t want to do is get banned from a site for submitting content that doesn’t fit their guidelines and/or submitting poorly written pieces.

Most article directories have sufficient categories that you will easily be able to find one that fits your material. If a site is not an article directory, then look for guidelines that tell you what they do accept.

10. Buzzle.com: This directory has a PR rank of 6 and an Alexa rank of 5,835.

You must create an author account – then wait. With most directories, once you create an author account, you are able to log in instantly, after clicking on a confirmation email that they send to you.

With this site, you have to wait to be approved – it only took a few days, but compared to other sites, it’s a little hitch that makes you go “rats!”. Worth the wait though with their rank and all.

This directory provides limited article stats and it’s easy to submit once your account has been approved.

Questions from Readers

Q: Are you posting the same article to each of these different directories?
Yes. This is how article marketing is done.

Is this seen as spamming? To be honest, I don’t know. All I can say is many times I have found one of my articles in a directory that I did not post to. I can only assume that some directories pull from others.

Q: Are you posting to each directory every day?
A: Yes, which makes it so time-consuming.

Many of the directories are similar, but some allow HTML, while others do not. So, I create an HTML-coded version of the article, and a plain text version. Then, I simply copy the version the directory accepts into the box.

How the Money is Shaking Out?

Right now, running about 2.5 times/day what I was making before I started this experiment. FYI, I’m doing a day-to-day comparison (eg, Sept 30th to October 30th earnings). At the end of the experiment (11/18/06), I will compare 10/18 thru 11/18 to 9/18 to 10/17 for this year and for last year.

Building Your Brand — Getting Name Recognition

Before I started this experiment, when I typed my name into Google, the count came back at between 700 to 800. Yesterday, I googled my name and the count came in at 11,200. Last Friday (10/27), my name returned 14,200 results!

Why is this important? Simply put, the more visible you are, the more credibility you build. Remember, most prospects have to see your ad 7-28 times (depending on the source you cite) before they will buy from you.

So, while this may not lead to direct sales, when a prospect is looking for what I’m selling (my ebooks if I can ever find time to get them onto ClickBank.com), my name will hopefully be top of mind (at least in the top 3).

Stay tuned for Part III tomorrow.

P.S.: Please send in your questions. So we all benefit, I'm trying to wring every bit of useable data out of this experiment that I can. As with any study, it's input from many sources that yield the best results.
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