When I started blogging a few years ago, I had this strange idea that all I had to do was write good content and people would magically discover my site and become loyal followers. The reality is that once you hit the publish button in WordPress your work has only just begun.
Over the years I’ve been learning how to promote my blogs to a wider audience. My theory has been to work on getting people to my sites in two ways:
- Finding me through Google search.
- Finding me via other websites or social media sites that link back to my site.
Ezine articles helps me in both these strategies.
I started using Ezine articles in 2009, but never really had a strategy to go with it. Earlier this year I had another look at Ezine and decided to use it more effectively. In this article I’ll provide an overview of how I’m using Ezine articles and article marketing to promote my web sites.
What is Ezine Articles?
Ezine articles is a website that accepts articles from people. They have some editorial guidelines (you have to submit your own work etc) and a couple of levels of membership. It’s a free service, but Ezine make money from it by displaying Adsense on their pages. Every time someone clicks on the Adsense ads, they make money.
The attraction for a writer or blogger is that placing your article on Ezine gives you access to a wider audience. When I read an article on Ezine, I’ll frequently look at other articles in the same topic or by the same author. The main Ezine articles page has a high page rank, and individual pages can also quickly obtain page rank. I’ve had a couple of articles published that already have PR3.
Articles on Ezine get ranked by Google quickly, because it seems the Google bots are frequently crawling the site for new content.
If your articles prove to be popular, they can appear on the popular articles lists for the relevant category and obtain even more page views.
At the bottom of every article appears a resource box where you’re able to talk a little about yourself. Within that resource box you’re able to add two links back to web sites of your choice, with anchor text. Depending on the article topic, I’ll either link to two different sites, or provide two links to two different pages on one site.
A further benefit of Ezine is that your articles can be re-published. This means that other web sites take your Ezine article and republish it on their site. They have to include the full article and resource box, and can’t edit it in any way. I’ve had a few of my financial planning articles republished over the past few months. Each time they’re republished I gain two extra backlinks to my web site.
Using Ezine Articles Effectively
I submit articles to Ezine that I’ve already published on my blogs. Some people get concerned about duplicate content penalties but I don’t believe this is an issue. Duplicate content occurs when you have the same content on multiple pages of your web site. In my opinion it doesn’t apply if the articles are published on other sites.
A great example of this is press releases, or news stories that get syndicated. Google doesn’t penalise these stories – it’s smart enough to realise the original source and actually sees the syndication as an indication that this information is popular.
Once I’ve published an article on my website, I’ll copy it and paste it into the Ezine submission form. I’ll find the most suitable category for it and customise the resources box to flow on from the main article. It usually takes up to a week for Ezine to approve an article so I’m not fussed about making sure my original article is indexed by Google before I submit it to Ezine – I’m confident it will be found by Google soon enough.
Once the article goes live you’ll receive an email about it. I’ll promote it on Twitter by setting up a tweet telling people I’ve got an article on Ezine with the topic and a Bit.ly link to the article. I’ll also set up a Google alert with the article title or some keywords from the text, so I can see if it’s re-published anywhere else.
You can bookmark your new article with other social media sites like Digg etc, but I’m not sure it’s necessary to help with getting it indexed any quicker.
Content From Ezine Articles
One of the reasons Ezine exists is to provide content for people to use (with attribution). Ezine provides a range of RSS feeds that can help you automate the use of their content (more about this in another post).
If you’re looking for content for a web site, Ezine articles are sure to have a range of articles that will be suitable. You’re able to use these with the correct attribution.
I’ve also looked at popular articles on Ezine, and written articles that cover the same topic or issue, but from a different perspective.
Ezine provides some comprehensive reporting on your articles. You can see how many views your articles are receiving, and also see the click through rates – how many clicks your resource box is receiving.
My goal for my Ezine articles is to get people to click through to my web site, and become subscribers. For whatever reason, I have some Ezine articles that rank higher than my original article in the Google searches. This is ok, as it still enables people to read my article and take action if they want more information.
My secondary goal is to build up additional backlinks to my web sites via the links in the resource box. Ezine will provide you with two do-follow links, which help to create some link juice, particularly if your article page gets a higher page rank.
I’ve begun to see some traffic coming to my website via Ezine articles over the past few months. This traffic tends to have a higher number of page views on my site, which is a good result.
There’s other tricks to using Ezine – I’ll post more in future articles.