Recently, Brandon explained why he uses articles for gaining links and traffic. However, some people were wondering exactly where they should be submitting their articles. Yes, there is article submission software available, but it best to do this discriminately and by hand. Don’t get discouraged when wading through the increasing number of article submission sites. Just like site directories, you have to separate the good from the useless.

Below are the top five places to submit articles for links and traffic. If you are wondering how I determined this list, I merely narrowed down the most popular sites that allow bylines and backlinks by checking each article directory’s Google PageRank and Alexa rating.

1. EzineArticles (PR: 6, Alexa: 426)

EzineArticles is widely regarded as the best free article submission site. Content on this site is ranked well in Google, as you’ve probably already discovered just through casual use of the search engine. EzineArticles currently has over 50,000 RSS feeds, as well, which means you can get some massive exposure through the site.

2. (PR: 6, Alexa: 7,699)

    This is a unique place to make yourself known. Touting itself as a “self improvement encyclopedia,” currently receives over 1 million visitors a month and accepts articles from the public. If you have an article that encourages any kind of self-improvement, then this is a great place to submit it.

    3. Buzzle (PR: 5, Alexa: 4,914)

    Buzzle once had a higher PageRank, but its traffic is still steadily growing. Articles on Buzzle are fast competing with the search engine ranking of EzineArticles, so keep this site high on your list. Buzzle authors also receive added exposure when they are randomly featured throughout the directory.

    4. ArticleCity (PR: 6, Alexa: 34, 723)

    Offering free articles for reprint, this a great place to both submit your work and acquire free content for your site or newsletter. There are many niche categories on this site to fit your various needs.

    5. ArticleBiz (PR: 6, Alexa: 61, 404)

    This growing site also offers both exposure for writers and reprintable content for Web developers. If you are smart, you will take advantage of both opportunities. While ArticleBiz may not have the clout of other sites on this list, it is steadily growing in popularity and is definitely worth your time.

    There are many more article directories across the Web, but you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin by tracking down every last one. Instead, focus on making yourself known on the most highly ranked article sites. Not all directories were created equal and article submission is only one of many ways to market your site and obtain backlinks.

    This article is contributed by Heather Johnson, a freelance writer as well as a regular commentator on the topic of airline miles card. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address