How Authors Can Use Article Marketing: Linking Strategies

by Joel Friedlander on July 7, 2010 · 2 comments

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This article continues the series How Self-Publishers Can Sell More Books with Article Marketing that I started last week with: Part I: The Big Plan and Part II: The Ezinearticles.com Submission Process. This article follows Part III, published last week on How Authors Can Source Content for Article Marketing.

There are several clear reasons for posting articles to Ezinearticles.com, as I’m doing in this experiment, or to other article distribution sites.

  • Create backlinks to your blog or author website
  • Attract interested readers to your community or to your products or services
  • Establish more authority in your niche
  • Multiply these effects by allowing publishers to freely re-use your content in exchange for attribution and links

The key idea in all of these aims is the links contained in the article. Without these links, you would not obtain any backlinks, readers would have a hard time finding your site if they even bothered to try, and your website or blog would have no corresponding rise in authority when viewed by search engines as a possible source of information on your area of expertise.

So the links themselves are crucial to accomplishing the goals of article marketing. In fact, we might even reach the conclusion that

We don’t link to share our content with other people, we create content to share our links with other people

This gives your article marketing effort an entirely different perspective. Seen from the linking end of things, articles exist to provide a reason to link to them. Links are what power the hypertext that forms the connections on the web. Your content has to be reasonably good, but only good enough to create enough value to support the links.

Linking Rules and Context

Ezinearticles.com is the largest article distributor on the web. One of the reasons they’ve grown is their editorial control over the content on their site, and their vetting of every article that gets posted there. If you’re thinking of trying an article marketing program, you’ll want to get their Editorial Guidelines.

There are very specific instructions about using links in the articles you submit to ezinearticles.com. Among the 14 rules, take a look at these:

  • You are allowed a maximum of 2 “Self-Serving” links to a website that you own.
  • You can have a maximum of 2 non-self serving links, and you have to put them both in the Resource Box—the area after the body of the article where you can talk about yourself and your products or services.
  • You can’t put any links in the first 1-3 paragraphs, and you can’t include the same link more than once.
  • The there’s this: “We do not allow articles which have strategic keyword anchor text links in the body to your domain that do not add informational value to the article. Any use of anchored text links to websites that you own should add value to the article topic rather than stand out as an obvious abuse of anchored text link. The goal with this policy is to be a good net citizen by only allowing articles that add value with the anchored text links rather than for pure SEO reasons. Please limit your anchor text link length to 3 words in an article that is less than 400 words and 5 words in anchor text if your article is more than 400 words.”

I’ve found that failure to comply with these rules will get your article rejected, although you can then fix it and just resubmit it and it will pass, as long as there are no “violations.”

In the last item in the list above, you can see how people use these valuable links. The important idea here is that you can craft your own links around the keywords that are being used by people looking for the kind of information you have available, and place them in a context that you devise—the article itself—and then place it on the ezinearticles.com site.

This is where the research you’ve done on keywords in your niche will become invaluable. By using the keywords as the anchor text for the link back to a specific article on your site you get the greatest emphasis on the connection between your site and those keywords. And if you link to content on your site that’s directly related to the content in your article, it’s even more effective.

Linking Strategy

So here’s how to maximize the links you put in your articles at ezinearticles.com. I’ll use an example from my own experiment. I just submitted an article called “9 Questions to Ask Yourself about Self-Publishing.” Here’s how I set up my links, and there are only going to be three:

  • Link Number 1: In the last third of the body of the article, I included the keyword phrase publishing a book and used this as the anchor text for a link to the article in my archive called “How to Create, Register and List Your New Publishing Company.” This adds value directly to the discussion in the article.
  • Link Number 2: In the resource box, I once again created a keyword phrase and used it as a link to an article deep in my archives. The anchor text is self-publishing a book and the linked article is 5 Good Reasons to Self-Publish Your Book.
  • Link Number 3: Also in the resource box, my last link is an explicit url to my homepage: http://www.theBookDesigner.com. Even if the links get lost in traveling the internet, this explicit link will always be there to connect the article back to its source.

With this strategy, each article links to relevant material deep in the archives, and the keywords gain emphasis from being used as anchor text. There’s the explicit link as insurance. You can see why I’m interested in this experiment.

Right now I’m at 24 articles. When I get to 100, I’ll have 300 of these links pointing to dozens of articles on my blog, with the possibility of any of them being republished across the web. I’m betting that the net effect will be good not only for my traffic, but for the authority of my site. And the articles will be there for a long time after I’ve finished the long job of posting them. They will gradually grow a whole network of links pointing back to these articles. That’s the effect I’m looking for, and why I’m showing you how you can do it, too.

Next time I’ll look at the analytical tools Ezinearticles.com provides to help track your article marketing campaign.

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iboy/

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