Is the marketing strategy really dead (or dying)? For too long, those of us looking for an honest way to make money online have been without an answer. No more. From the depths of his private island in the south Pacific, my mentor Po Stobinson (who you may recognize as a helper for my April Fools thread) has agreed to deliver a groundbreaking interview on what Article Marketing really is, and whether or not it is viable in today's IM world..
For those unfamiliar with the wildly successful online marketer, a candid shot of Stobinson contemplating why he ever agreed to this interview.
(From here on out, I will be referred to as "JR" and Po as "PS". Should you be unable to follow this, please begin your own thread concerning the death of abbreviations. Thank You.)
JR: Po, I just want to start out by thanking you for taking the time to cover such a hotly debated topic. Do you have anything you would like to say in opening?
PS: Yeah, you're an idiot.
PS: An entire two years teaching you how to act like a halfway decent marketer and that is the thread title you chose to go with? I'm ashamed to call you a student of mine.
JR: I thought it would be provocative and make people click through.
PS: It makes you look foolish and desperate for attention. It also lessens the effect of whatever message you intend to portray after the click. Don't do it again, or I'll tell your little Warrior buddies about Cancun.
JR: Yes Sir, won't happen again Sir.
Come to Mexico, they said. It'll be fun, they said.
PS: It's simple, really. Even the newbiest of newbies shouldn't have a problem understanding the concept. Article Marketing is creating content that your readers want and need to read, and using that content to prove you are worthy of selling to them.
JR: Well put. So what would you say the right keyword density is for the described content, and how many times can I spin it?
PS: Keyword density? You wanna talk about keyword density? If that is what you are worried about, you are dense yourself boy. You see that? That's a pun. If you ever learn to write like a man you can use them. Anyways, writers who plan on having a business for more than a week don't worry about keyword density. If you know what you are talking about in your niche, they occur naturally. Trying to force that crap in there just makes for unreadable junk.
JR: Speaking of unreadable junk, can you tell prospective Article Marketers why spinning articles isn't a tactic worth using?
PS: Simple. Spinners pump out crap. It looks to me like someone took the "put 3 million monkeys on a typewriter" idea to heart and transferred it into a piece of software. Now, you'll hear people saying "the backlinks are great though" or "doing it manually creates readable works". They're both sad statements made by fools holding on to a dead tactic.
JR: Quite the statement to make. Care to elaborate?
PS: If you'd stop interrupting like you are trying to prevent a wall of text or something, I will. The only way a writer is getting backlinks that aren't either worth nothing or liable to be devalued quickly is to create their own private blog network to work through. Even then, there is no guarantee they are safe in the short term, and will eventually be found out and taken down by Google in the long term. For those who think manual spinning is the "bees knees", think about this: in the time it takes you to rewrite one piece on one topic, you could have a completely new piece on a new topic. Same amount of content output; but you have now given something fresh and of value to your readers.
JR: Interesting. You don't see many article spinners thinking that way.
PS: It's also why you don't see many article spinners in business for long.
JR: HAHAHAHA, good one!
Stobinson is not one for humor.
PS: The overarching theme of article marketing is very simple. You put your content in front of the eyes who want to see it: the publishers and readers of your niche. Showing them that you are knowledgeable and can string together sentences is how you get them to your site and into your sales funnel.
JR: Seems simple enough. So I think the first place that a new Article Marketer would think to post their work is on a bunch of article directories. I hear there is even mass submitting software out there just for this task. I'm sure you use it.
PS: I could punch you for that.
JR: Please don't. People ask about the bruises. I can't say that I fell forever.
PS: Well if you prefer not being physically harmed you would do well to not attribute my thriving business to such failed tactics. Here is how real article marketers handle their content:
1. They publish their amazing article to their site first. This is your business, and if you aren't the first one benefiting from your work there is a problem.
2. You allow your syndication partners to publish to their sites/ezines/newsletters next. How do you know who to give your work to? You go out and find them. Some elbow grease (and a subscription to the directory of ezines) will find you more than you will ever need. Then, you reach out to them. Show them what you're worth. Build a relationship.
I know that's scary to some people; but contrary to what many newbies think this is a business. You are going to have to talk and network to get anywhere. Practice makes perfect, and anyone with the work ethic can do so.
3. Finally, you drop off your copy for the article directories. Not all of them, as most aren't worth the time. I know you only use EzineArticles Joe, might be a good idea for newbies to start out with that while they find other directories where their specific niche publishers congregate.
JR: Great, so moving on...
PS: I'M NOT FINISHED TALKING ABOUT DIRECTORIES!
Stobinson's family was killed by a rogue article directory. If he wants to talk about them, you let him talk about them. I have the medical bills to stand as motivation.
PS: *Breathes deeply* OK, OK, I'm good. It's just that, they deceive so many people, starting with Ma and Pa. You see, the rumor got out that somehow article directories are still good for these kinds of things:
1. Backlinks: People actually think a directory like EZA is good for a PR6 backlink on every page. It ain't happening. You get a PR0, no follow link for your article. You'll get just as much love from Google by not having a website at all.
2. Traffic: People actually think that traffic that they receive to their article from a directory is a good thing. If it is from a relevant publisher in your niche, then yes you are right. Otherwise that traffic is a waste. There are way too many ways for that viewer to click away from your article whilst never visiting your site. It's like a black hole.
JR: You make an excellent point. This makes the Google Panda update even better in retrospect, as Article Marketers no longer have to compete against their own work on an article directory.
PS: I could kiss Google for that sweet, sweet algorithm update.
JR: Well, in the spirit of keeping things PG13 let's get to the part many want to know about: monetizing an Article Marketing strategy. How does one do it?
PS: Easiest way is to build a list.
JR: :rolleyes: Heard that one before.
PS: Don't roll your eyes at me boy, we both know it's true. You just put in all that work to get readers to your page. Do you really want to run the risk of them leaving and quite possibly not finding their way back to you often enough to net a sale?
JR: Well, no. That would almost seem like a wasted opportunity, not to mention all the time lost just to hopefully get one sale.
PS: Exactly. Getting those readers nice and safe on your own email list guarantees you the opportunity to further establish yourself, pre-sell, and then finally sell what you have to offer.
JR: Any set email marketing formula that you think people should follow?
PS: Cater to what your user base wants. They opted into your list because you provide information for them that no one else could. You can't just stop that and blast them offers. That being said, you can now use your content to pre-sell whatever offer you have. That, along with the continuous flow of quality content, will condition your readers to trust you as a niche authority. Once you are ready to plug your (or another vendor's) product, your reader will be sufficiently educated on what they are about to buy and will click through that link because you recommended it.
JR: Wow, seems awesome and terrifying. That's a lot of responsibility to carry around.
PS: Not if you are in your niche for the right reasons. If you view your subscribers as nothing more than an ATM, you're dead in the water. If you genuinely care about helping them though, giving them the information and products that they need/want is a piece of cake.
JR: Huh, so it seems like building relationships with your customers is still the most fundamental aspect of business, even online.
PS: Now you're getting it boy!
I've waited so long for his approval.
PS: I've been around the block a lot. Seen things come and go that many men and women only hear about in the history books. Article Marketing isn't one of them. It's been going around since the beginning of the printed word. It's been going on since the start of Internet Marketing. It'll still be going long after SEO, Social Media, and all other forms of marketing fail.
The theme is simple: people want information that either informs or entertains them. Article Marketing gives them what they want. Do other methods work? Sure, there are a million ways to skin the online cat. But no method has been around longer. No method delivers a basic human need for good information in the same way. That human aspect boy, that is the key. Robots and backlinks aren't putting the money in your pocket. The people are. As long as you cater to them, and as long as the written word is a way to give the people what they want, Article Marketing will survive and prosper.
JR: Powerful words. Well Po, I just want to personally thank you again for taking the time to tackle such a large and continuously debated topic. Is there anything else you would like to say before you go? Anything about a favorite student perhaps?
PS: Oh, you mean you? Sure I'll say something about you for your little Warrior friends to digest. Joe Robinson is a pansy little marketer. Thinks he's funny; but he's not. You have to hit the boy over the head to get him to string more than 8 words together. If he ever tries to give you advice, ignore it.
JR: Y-you mean that?
PS: *To Himself* Now where can I find a good Philly Cheesesteak around this place?
JR: Po? PO?! Tell them you don't mean it!
Hehe, the man lives for these things. I'm sure he'll come back and tell you that I really do have half a clue of what I'm talking about...
Well, there you have it guys. Straight from the mouth of the best IMer ever. Article Marketing is not going to die, and is a great strategy for any marketer looking to engage their users on a personal level for years to come.