Why Article Writing Died

22 replies
I started out five or six years ago online, by writing articles, which never really made me any money, but taught me a lot about the way the internet works.

I started at Associated Content, which first changed in that it wouldn't pay non-US citizens, then got taken over by Yahoo, then completely dissolved recently.

I wrote on Bukisa, which is still there, but might as well not be, wrote on Factoidz, which became Knoji, and again, might as well not be there anymore, I can't publish an article.

I wrote on Info Barrel, which has made their rules so tough, I can barely get an article approved, and I wrote on HubPages.

Just now, HubPages banned my whole account, 100 articles over five years, which were mostly featured, because I dared to speak up on the forum about how the only way to make money from the site was to link to your own site.

These links are not really any good for SEO anymore, but may still divert some traffic over time, not that it's worth the 1,250 words you need to write to get a good hubscore and get featured.

Anyway, I'm fuming about that, but realise that it was probably just wasting my time to be doing anything at all on that site, or any other article writing site anyway.

Google has punished all of them, in favor of people's personal, niche specifc sites and blogs, and big news sites, and popular social networks, particularly their own, You Tube, Blogger, etc.

Anyway, I'm thinking of doing other things, mostly what I do is blog for my clients, who actually pay me a decent amount, and I'm thinking of moving into selling physical products.
#article #died #writing
  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    Article writing didn't die. The Internet is just one big massive collection of articles. It evolved.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
      Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

      Article writing didn't die. The Internet is just one big massive collection of articles. It evolved.
      Yep. This.

      Articles are merely a means of sharing information. Information-sharing will never die.

      Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author rowanman28
    Well, I make the distinction between sites where anyone can join and publish and sites which don't let just anyone join. Those sites definitely have died, to the point that some of the lower quality ones aren't indexed anymore.
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    • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
      Originally Posted by rowanman28 View Post

      Well, I make the distinction between sites where anyone can join and publish and sites which don't let just anyone join. Those sites definitely have died, to the point that some of the lower quality ones aren't indexed anymore.
      I think in that case you would mean "why low quality article directories failed?". In which case the question answers itself. They were low quality and got left behind.

      The reason they fell foul was that for longevity you need to provide value. They were too occupied with search engine algorithms and not focused enough on providing value to the reader. They were little more than nets to catch long tail searches and redirect to spammy offers.

      Look at that article directory that stopped allowing promotional links a few years ago (buzz something, forget the name now). Everyone got real mad and cussed them out but they flourished. I come across them all the time in random searches. They saw how things were going and realised they were getting spammed with low quality crap by affiliate marketers so they took steps to improve the end users experience at the expense of the marketers. The directories that did it the other way around didn't fair so well.

      The Internet has improved. The cracks and glitches are getting fewer and far between. To succeed online now you need a real business model that can compete. Either that or video yourself playing call of duty and talking in a silly voice.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
        Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

        The Internet has improved. The cracks and glitches are getting fewer and far between. To succeed online now you need a real business model that can compete. Either that or video yourself playing call of duty and talking in a silly voice.
        Very true. Like any system that stays around long enough, it evolves, it grows more complex, and to engage the system, participants must evolve themselves.

        Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      Originally Posted by rowanman28 View Post

      Well, I make the distinction between sites where anyone can join and publish and sites which don't let just anyone join. Those sites definitely have died
      Definitely. You're unreservedly right about that.

      Indeed, one of the golden principles of article marketing is and has always been that submitting articles to sites (like all the "Web 2.0" ones you mentioned) where you can just "get them published" with no editorial/approval/selection processes is more or less a waste of time, and has no role to play in article marketing.

      Unfortunately, though, your entirely true statement above doesn't even begin to justify (or even to exemplify) the allegation that "article-writing died", about which - with apologies - you're unreservedly mistaken.


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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I've had accounts banned on almost every major site, for trying to promote something, or make a link to something. The sites don't pay much, if anything at all, and so I try to make something by linking to some other site, and I'm treated as a spammer.
        So why were you writing for sites like that - and violating those terms of service - instead of writing good articles for your own sites/blogs?

        that are easy to do
        That may be a big part of your problem. Looking for "easy" sites to put articles on (and violating their terms of service) rather than putting articles on your own sites/blogs. Asking for places to get "easy" links.

        Amazon works great - but it's not easy to get started and earn from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author rowanman28
    OK, but me personally, as an internet marketer, or someone trying to make money online, I've had accounts banned on almost every major site, for trying to promote something, or make a link to something. The sites don't pay much, if anything at all, and so I try to make something by linking to some other site, and I'm treated as a spammer.

    What I'm saying is, you're much better off just concentrating on your own site or sites, and just sharing on social media. Hoping that the content itself is worthy of being shared. Then you can say whatever you want.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
      Originally Posted by rowanman28 View Post

      OK, but me personally, as an internet marketer, or someone trying to make money online, I've had accounts banned on almost every major site, for trying to promote something, or make a link to something. The sites don't pay much, if anything at all, and so I try to make something by linking to some other site, and I'm treated as a spammer.

      What I'm saying is, you're much better off just concentrating on your own site or sites, and just sharing on social media. Hoping that the content itself is worthy of being shared. Then you can say whatever you want.
      I agree that you're best adding content to your own properties. This is a given. Always has been. But there are vast profits to be made by distributing content. You just need to learn the systems. Some of the information is out there; a lot of it isn't, and you need to persevere and work it out. You're probably on the wrong forum for help on this topic. (From the general, list building populace, anyway.)

      Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author rowanman28
    I don't like list building, although I can see why it works. I get so many spam messages every day, I group all the messages from any lists I happened to sign up to as spam, and delete them straight away, before reading them usually. I don't see why anyone else would be any different, unless there was something amazing on the emails.
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    • Profile picture of the author helisell
      Originally Posted by rowanman28 View Post

      ................unless there was something amazing on the emails.
      And in one short, 'part sentence' you hit upon the secret of success in internet/email marketing.

      If you send out dull, uninspired, run-of-the-mill, repetitive, unoriginal, low value content...then how can you expect people to be responsive.....same with articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author rowanman28
    OK, so what should I do then? I heard a lot of people saying very vague things, I'm on the SEO board as well, asking for ten names of sites to link from that are easy to do and which work to boost your rankings.

    I'm thinking of becoming an Amazon seller, because there's no money in what I'm doing, or it takes too much work.

    If possible, I'd like to use what I've done already to make money, hundreds of blog posts on internet marketing, but first I have to get it to rank, then I have to monetize it in a better way than I'm doing now.

    Do you think my only option is building a list? I tried that once, and found that I just had to send out a bunch of spammy affiliate links, or there was no other way to make money.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    If you are writing articles for SEO links then article directories are not going to help you. That ship sailed a long time ago. You are going to have to write useful high quality articles and get them published on popular sites in your niche. Either that or give people a reason to link to your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    Well, you said it:

    Google has punished all of them, in favor of people's personal, niche specifc sites and blogs, and big news sites, and popular social networks, particularly their own, You Tube, Blogger, etc.
    All of the sites you mentioned are content mills. They put up crappy content for the sake of having something to wrap their ads up in. The biggest of these, Demand Media, was paying their writers $16 an article. Most of those writers understood that the crap they were producing just had to be "good enough," so they basically rehashed materail from more authoritative sites.

    Demand Media was very confident that Google wouldn't slap their wrist for this. After all, they were hosting AdSense ads. They were wrong.

    Google's #1 priority is to make money, but they also have to ensure that their search engine remains useful to the consumer and retains that #1 market share.

    So, Google didn't just slap DM's wrist, Google demolished their entire operation.

    Demand's sites, Ehow, Livestrong, etc, lost their #1 ranks overnight.

    A lot of other content mills followed. This meant, of course, that content mills could no longer afford to compensate writers. Many of them were only ever offering ad-share anyway. So when that dried up, they really had nothing to offer. So, they mass "fired" writers, often citing bogus reasons in order to save face.

    Anyway, writing hasn't died. In fact, Google's actions have increased demand for high-quality writing.

    If you're good, you can make a lot of money.

    You just can't rely on these content mill sites that pay peanuts.

    One tip I can give you is to use forums like these as loss leaders. I charge $10 here for 500 words when I have a lull because there are always Internet marketers in need of content. I charge much more elsewhere. The people who say that no one pays more than $10-$20 for content don't know what they're talking about, trust me.

    Just know that if you take a client at $10, they are unlikely to pay more down the road no matter how good you are. There are exceptions, but they are rare. Consequently, these clients can't make up a large percentage of your clientele.

    One more thing:

    I've sold articles for $10, and I've sold articles for $100. Each client is different and represents a different time investment.
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    • Profile picture of the author Teravel
      Originally Posted by rowanman28 View Post

      I started at Associated Content
      I wrote on Bukisa
      wrote on Factoidz
      I wrote on Info Barrel
      I wrote on HubPages.
      I started out five or six years ago online, by writing articles, which never really made me any money, but taught me a lot about the way the internet works.
      So let me get this straight...

      You joined Five content farms, who's purpose is to show the content of members to provide income for the owners, and you never made any money.

      And now, since you still can't make any money; You are claiming a completely different traffic model than the one you are using is dead?

      Just now, HubPages banned my whole account, 100 articles over five years, which were mostly featured, because I dared to speak up on the forum about how the only way to make money from the site was to link to your own site.
      They banned your account because you went on their forums and claimed the only way to make money was to link to your site?

      OK, but me personally, as an internet marketer, or someone trying to make money online, I've had accounts banned on almost every major site, for trying to promote something, or make a link to something.
      Are you sure this isn't why you were banned from Hubpages?

      The sites don't pay much, if anything at all, and so I try to make something by linking to some other site, and I'm treated as a spammer.
      Is it really that shocking that spammers are treated like spammers?
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Schuman
        I see your point, but article writing is still alive. Article marketing in article directories is dead if you do it for the purpose of getting backlinks and ranking your web pages on Google or any other search engine. I have had thousands of these online and they still bring me traffic, but all of the rankings I used to have from them are gone.

        Article writing is a great skill to have if you apply it correctly in today's marketplace. There are many ways to make money from an article and to promote it without publishing in article directories.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Teravel View Post

        now, since you still can't make any money; You are claiming a completely different traffic model than the one you are using is dead?
        You're right, of course. I've become so used to this being said, around here, that I don't even always notice it, any more. When people here "announce" that articles are dead, or article marketing doesn't work, or article syndication doesn't work, it turns out that what they were doing had about as much to do with article marketing as Stephen Hawking has with competing in decathlons. I've once even seen someone saying that putting articles in an article directory and not benefitting from it is "proof that article syndication doesn't work"! Who can compete with such "logic"?!


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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by rowanman28 View Post

        I don't like list building, although I can see why it works. I get so many spam messages every day, I group all the messages from any lists I happened to sign up to as spam, and delete them straight away, before reading them usually. I don't see why anyone else would be any different, unless there was something amazing on the emails.
        You are making two costly assumptions here.

        1) Assuming that any message coming from a list you signed up to is spam. If you delete them en masse, unread, how do you know which are spam and which are not? And even if what you say is true, and every message from every list you sign up for is spam, is says more about your choice of lists than the validity of list-building.

        2) Even more dangerous, assuming that everyone will act like you do. And just how would you know if there was "something amazing on the emails" if you mindlessly delete them unread? I have a clue for you...not everyone is as mentally lazy as you make yourself sound here.

        Another question, just a bit off the topic here...

        You have links to a couple of your services in your sig. No problem there. Except why would anyone buy such a service from someone who can't monetize for themselves and admits to being banned from most major services?

        With threads like this, you really aren't doing yourself any favors.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve B
          The takeaway I got from this thread:

          The thread title should have been "Why Article Writing Died for Rowanman28 and Why You Shouldn't Follow in His Footsteps."

          Sometimes you can learn as much or more from those that do it all wrong as you can from someone explaining how to do things right.

          Thanks for your share Rowan.

          Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
          I dunno, I think you are doing pretty good at writing, your post is number one in google for why article writing died and it looks like you've got some interesting ideas for your social promotion business.

          Maybe content mills got killed off, but writing as a whole, is still alive and kicking. Awesome.
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          • Profile picture of the author Teravel
            Originally Posted by Michael Shook View Post

            your post is number one in google for why article writing died
            Priceless!
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  • Profile picture of the author BernardR
    Article Marketing died because so called Marketers killed the Goose that laid the Golden eggs

    For example in it's day Ezine Articles was an awesome place to publish articles for the purpose of SEO and direct traffic from links. I got tens of thousands of clicks some great page 1 page ranks back in the day and loved this form of article marketing.

    So what happened

    Instead of writing quality articles people invented spinners and basically ended up producing millions of pages of worthless spam and crap.

    Google did the right thing. It protected itself and the integrity of its service by removing this junk.

    GUESS WHAT - Video Marketing is next. There is a frenzy going on and people are flooding YouTube with low quality worthless content and YouTube are already taking steps.

    Unfortunately this over exploitation will always happen when people find a way of making money.

    B
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