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I've been noticing a trend over the past year where there are a lot of people asking questions about article marketing. How to do it, which directories to post on, how often, should the keyword be included in the title, should the article lead to a squeeze page / a blog / a website / a combination, should a submission service be used?

At one point I had a part-time, out-sourced staff of 7 people writing articles for me in a variety of niches (now I'm down to 2 - that's for a different thread). But in the beginning I did it all myself. I've used submissions services such as Article Marketer. I've used software programs such as Article Announcer and Article Post Robot and I've submitted articles manually. Some of it worked well, some of it worked okay, and some not at all.

There are 3 types of people that dive into article marketing:

* Those that make little or no money.

* Those that make some money.

* Those that make a lot of money (2k to 15k per month on article marketing alone).

Over the past few years I've been secretly master-minding with other marketers (some newbies and some veterans) and noticed that we all do things slightly different. There's no way that I can cover all the permutations of article marketing (and content marketing) in this post, but just to help a few of you who are just getting started here are some things to think about if you really want to make money using article marketing.

But first things first:

Article Marketing is not an easy or efficient way of obtaining traffic.

The exception would be if you got your article published in a very high traffic web site / magazine / or even read on a radio or television program. I'll cover some of the variables.

Sometimes it can take a few months to a year to really break the $1,000 per month barrier.

What I do like about article marketing is that you can start doing it and the only cost is your time, little to no money, and having to think on your feet from time to time.

Here are X amount of ways for getting your article marketing efforts going:

1. As already mentioned this is NOT some pie-in-the-sky or easy way to earn an income. Even if you are a master at black hat strategies they tend to fizzle out.

2. Picking the right product and/or service to promote is extremely critical. Whether it's your own or you're promoting someone else's product /service, it's critical that you promote something that's a proven seller. You can do that by looking at PPC campaigns, magazine ads, and a variety of places already mentioned throughout this forum.

3. Promote more than one product.

4. Collect information. Too often I see people sending people to a sales page or another article page that ultimately leads no where. It might take a little longer, but if you give people more free content (text / videos / podcasts) that are useful they would love to get your:

* Free 7 day course on how to....

* Free 14 minute video on how to.....


* Free 60 minute audio on how to.....

Collect their information (most common is e-mail address) so you can give them more content and then send them promotions for as long as you can.

5. Write one long version of your article and then split it into smaller parts. Submit each part to 1 or 3 directories. I've gotten far more bang than doing mass submissions. Search Engines love useful and original content. Since my goal is to have a viable business 10, 20, even 30 years from now, I'm not going for short cuts. This is why it's no surprise that an article I wrote 6 years ago is still bringing me traffic.

6. You've got to be a worker bee. Rarely does a week go by where I'm not submitting at least one article per product per day. Whether I'm doing it or someone else, the machine keeps on going. After 30 days you might not be too impressed with article marketing, but after 6 months, a year.....it's a whole different story.

7. Research Is Paramount. I'm not talking about plain old keyword research. That IS important. You've got to make sure that your article attracts the Search Engines. No need to worry too much about keyword density. Write the article for the reader's benefit. Does your article promote something? It better not. It should education first in an incomplete way so that the reader will want to join your newsletter / obtain your report / audio / video / or coffee beans......

8. Staying On The Online World. If you're really ambitious and love to write, grab a copy of the 2008 Writer's Market. After you've gotten some articles published on EzineArticles.com , Buzzle.com , AssociatedContent.com , or even IdeaMarketers.com then you can show the editors at Reader's Digest, Cosmo, Men's Fitness, etc. and start getting your article's published in the offline world.

9. Publicity. Don't limit yourself to content and articles only, especially if you are becoming an expert or are an expert in your niche. Check out RadioPublicity.com . It takes some work but if some regular dude can sell over a million dollars of his ebook on how to fight traffic tickets, I'm sure many of you can duplicate that level of success in other niches.

10. Don't Stick With One Website / Blog / Or Log. Once you start seeing some income, don't stop. I've seen so many people stop or quit right when success was just around the corner. Let me give you a rough example. I write a 1,000 page article for a particular topic, let's call it "4 Stocking Investing Tips That Made Me 277% In 2007!". I post that article on one directory. I've got 4 blogs about stock investing and it takes me about 20-25 minutes to post to all 4 of them (I post about 1 to 4 paragraphs, nothing too long). I post portions of that article on those 4 blogs, using my handy dandy thesaurus and my ability to consume large amounts of caffeine...which helps me talk into my Dragon Naturally Speaking.

The art of paraphrasing helps me create many articles and blog posts from one article.

11. Collect Freakin' E-mails!!! I know I already wrote that, but thought I'd point out how important this is by repeating it (okay, okay it's the coffee......).

12. Using Software Versus Manual Submission. If you're a black belt in copying and pasting, then starting off with manual submissions is a good way to start. If you can use Article Post Robot or some software that will help you fill in a lot of blanks, then it's worth the investment.

13. Check Your Articles. Every few days I go and check my articles to see how they're doing on Google, MSN, or Yahoo. I know software programs like Article Announcer have this feature where you can see how many links are pointing back to your websites. I look at that as well, but I also go back and type in the title of my article. For kicks and giggles I also type in my author name and see how many times my name or pen name comes up.

14. Branch Out. Article Marketing is great, but like I said it's not very efficient. For example I set up a website, a 48 page ebook, dozens of Adword Adgroups in under a week and created a new $1,112 net profit stream. That's far more efficient than article marketing. However....after a year of article marketing, if done correctly, I'd be getting some kick azz FREE traffic for years to come. It's all about the long-term view. Don't limit yourself to article marketing. It's a viable way to get traffic, but not the only way.

15. Check Out Other Authors. You can learn a lot from authors that have 200, 500, or even over 1,000 articles published. Look at their URLS and resource boxes. If they're promoting something chances are they are making money at it (or they might like to write a lot!). That's how I get a lot of my ideas from.

16. When You Get The Urge To Quit....Don't. I almost gave up on article marketing a long time ago and I'm glad I didn't. To make a long story short I wasn't doing any keyword research. I submitted one article every few weeks (that's not going to cut it). I had a resource box that was so boring people were going across the street to the park to watch grass grow. I made a ton of mistakes, but once I corrected them, began writing good articles and submitting consistently, and continually added products to promote in addition to my own....I began seeing a steady income.
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