What is Content Marketing, or Article Marketing?

Lately many people have asked me, “What is Content Marketing?”  I define Content Marketing as the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined target audience.  An effective and inexpensive website promotion tool, it can help you boost your organic search rankings and can also act as a form of Internet viral marketing.  If your articles are compelling, others will want to include them in their blog posts and on their websites.  It is a surprisingly effective way to get traffic-building  “backlinks” to your own site.  A backlink is where you get to post your URL or website at the end of the article you authored.

As you progress, you’ll use the practice of posting keyword-focused articles on article sites that will syndicate your content. This is an important website promotion technique because some of these article syndication sites have a significant readership following.  Articles can be written to target particular keyword niches, and distributed to content publishers that cater to those markets.  This way you will be able to “speak” directly to the market you wish.

The website where you can post an article is known as an article directory. The primary reason they allow you to post an article without cost is that the directory owner places advertising on each article page and collects the revenue generated from the advertising. The article directory site gradually increases its own search engine popularity as more articles are posted, benefitting both you and the directory owner with increased visitor numbers and article page views.

Professionals have used Article marketing strategies for nearly as long as mass print has been available.  The original content article you write related to your industry, product or service, serves the dual role of providing Article Directory Sites with what amounts to free content, and you with similarly free advertising.  Each article you write can contain a bio box and byline that references your contact information including a link back to your website. Well-written content articles released for free distribution have the potential of increasing your business’ credibility within your market as well as attracting new clients.  If your published articles are well liked, your content becomes available for all to see — and potentially reuse.

When done properly, articles you post on syndicated article sites can become “link bait” for other sites. For example, let’s say you own a home business that sells closet organizers. If you write an article about organizing your closet, others who want to post a blog entry about organizing a closet may link to your article, increasing exposure for your writing and your subject matter especially if the article site gets more traffic than your own website, which is likely.  Keep in mind; it is a stated rule that if someone is to copy or use your content, they must leave the links or “backlinks” in your bio box or signature area.

While all this is driving direct traffic to your site, it also provides other benefits.  It supports SEO (Search Engine Optimization) based on the idea that a website’s ranking in search engines will increase as it obtains more backlinks. Therefore, writing and distributing articles that contain a link to your website within the bio box should result in more links back to your website. This process increases your website’s rank within search engines. 

Some sites can even link your keyword phrase back to your specific website page that you’re promoting with that keyword — a highly effective search engine optimization technique. Other sites won’t allow you to do this, but they’ll have no problem with you including links in your resource box (your profile or signature information used to let people know who you are), which adds important one-way backlinks to your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO) deals with the order in which webpages are ranked when keywords or phrases are typed into search engines. The higher a page is ranked, the more likely it will draw a greater number of visitors to that site. For company websites, increased traffic often translates into increased sales.  Article marketing has proven to be useful and effective for several leading Internet marketing ventures.

So what does all this mean to the person that may want to start marketing a product or business, or even themselves on the Internet? An Article Marketing Strategy is a terrific choice for the person without a marketing budget who wants to create long-standing results. It may take more time to develop, but can be much more effective in the long run. 

Want to start building a following of people that look to you as the “expert” now that you understand what is content marketing.  Great!  To get help and training on everything from what to write about to how to get it seen all over the Internet, you’ll need a reliable system to set up, teach, and manage the elements of a successful article marketing strategy.

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