Article marketing has been a popular SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool for decades already, but as with all other SEO tactics, article marketing has also changed over the years. The search engines have simply become stricter with regards to who does and who doesn’t get onto the front page of their search results.
In short, SEO has become increasingly complex during the past decade. Prior to that, the vast majority of website owners handled their own SEO strategies, and many were extremely successful. These days it is a different kettle of fish entirely. Many webmasters are now afraid to get involved with SEO because even the slightest mistake can result in a massive penalty from the search engines.
Despite all the rule changes, I personally believe that article marketing is still relatively safe. The biggest problem here is the fact that not everyone is able to write articles that generate leads. Not only do many people lack the necessary skills, but they might also not have the time. Fortunately, there are plenty of freelance ghost writers about, but you need to proceed with caution.
Writing for Article Directories
Contrary to what some people believe, articles come in many different shapes and sizes. Generally speaking, articles written for your blog tend to differ from those written exclusively for online article directories.
For the most part, articles which you intend submitting to article directories should always be written using relatively simple language. The use of long words and words which are difficult to pronounce should mostly be avoided.
You don’t want readers being put off because of a bunch of technical jargon that they might not even understand in the first place. Your articles should be easy to read; they should be entertaining, they should be highly informative and also factual, and of course they need to deliver what has been promised in the title.
Writing for Blogs
Any and all content that you publish should be well written, and it should be free of spelling and/or grammatical errors. However, this is even more important when it comes to content published on your own website.
If you post a poorly written article with one of the article directories, you might lose a few potential leads, but it won’t be serious enough to really damage your blog. If on the other hand you post poorly written articles on your blog, you’re going to lose a lot of traffic being driven by your other SEO efforts.
You could have a rock solid SEO strategy in place that drives massive traffic to your blog, but if your content is worthless, people are not going to hang around. Unlike general article, blog posts can and should be of greater value to your readers. To this end, you can use slightly more advanced grammar and etc. Providing you don’t go too far with this, it can help to portray you as an authority within your chosen niche.
You can also post articles that generate leads on blogs belonging to other people. This is known as guest blogging, and it can be very effective for generating quality leads. Nonetheless, guest blogging can also damage your search engine rankings if done incorrectly. I recommend reading a recent blog of mine where I discuss innocent SEO tactics that can get your site penalized. If you would like to read it, you can do so here.
The Power of Press Releases
Articles and blog posts can be exceptionally powerful lead generating tools, but press releases can be just as effective, if not more so.
Many people who routinely write their own content are inclined to shy away from writing press releases. In fact, many ghostwriters who write for a living also steer clear of press releases. If you fall into this category, then I strongly recommend that you embrace the idea of learning how to write your own press releases.
If you really don’t want to, or if you simply don’t have the time, then I suggest that you find a writer or SEO service provider who is able to write these for you. It is not uncommon to see positive results within as little as 48 hours after a press release has been published.
Providing you understand all the rules governing the publication of press releases, they are also one of the most penalty-resistant lead generating tools available. Let’s just say, there is virtually no chance of your site being penalized by the search engines because of your press releases. Please, if you are serious about generating leads, take this tiny bit of advice and make it work for you.