Many people mistakenly believe that article marketing and blog posting are essentially the same thing. This is simply not true. You can have blog posts that read more like articles, but you should never have articles that read like blog posts.
What’s the difference?
Blog posts are intended to address your readers in a personal manner and attempt to relate to them directly. While articles should invoke a response in a reader, they should also be more informative than friendly. That isn’t to say they should be bland and standoffish, only that they should be more formal and factual.
Are You Speaking to the Wrong Crowd?
Basic marketing tells us that it’s vital to send the right message to the right group of people at the right time if you are going to see results. Granted, this is a bit more tricky to do with article marketing than with your basic blog posts, but not impossible.
If you haven’t seen any results from your articles, there are two likely causes. Either you are producing low-quality writing or you are not reaching the right demographics. Both circumstances can be helped by hiring a marketing expert or SEO company, or by taking some time to do your own research and hone your writing skills.
Finding where your target audience hangs out is essential. Simply submitting the same article to multiple article directories isn’t enough. It might reach a few people, but people who are truly interested in learning about the product or service you have to offer aren’t going to trust the material they find on these types of sites, unless you can get a well-respected expert in the field to endorse it.
Rather than wasting your time chasing this rabbit, try to find other respectable websites and contact their owners. Volunteer to provide high quality content to go on their site in exchange for a byline and back link. Your competitors are not likely to agree to such an arrangement, but complementing services may. Think of it very much like guest posting except that you are offering an exclusive, in-depth article for their resources page instead.
You may also considering creating your own page on your website for feature articles and placing a collection there. In this way, you will have links readily accessible should you discover an occasion to use them.
For example, you could browse through Yahoo questions in search for a user who has asked about a topic you’ve covered. Provide a brief answer to the question along with the link to your article. You already know that person is interested in what you have to offer and they may just stick around and explore the rest of your site while they’re there.
Good article. As you say, those old methods (article directories etc) are rapidly becoming outdated. I have found forum marketing to be very effective and guest posting on other blogs is another great way to reach your target audience.
What I am finding right now is that most of the link building methods still work however, many people only concentrate on one area so they might only be doing article marketing on article directories which leaves a very distinct footprint. What they should be doing is using a little of everything such as Forums, Tumblr, Squidoo, Guest Posts, Social Media even including business directories and blog comments. By doing this you are increasing the size of your footprint and that will make your linking profile look much more natural to anyone looking.