Jason McGovern wrote:
Hi Brandon -First off, I love your blog. Second, I was reading your link building in 2007 post, and wanted to request an expanded post on article submission. I would love to get your thoughts and ideas on this when you get a chance!

Thanks for the email Jason! Articles. One thing I always wish I had more time for. However, also something I can’t ever justify outsourcing.

For me, article marketing plays a crucial role in two ways. Whenever I decide to try out something new like Build a Niche Store or ClickBank ideas I always start with articles to test the waters.

When starting a new site in a niche, articles are one of the first parts of my marketing plan. The reason behind this is that you can get a few easy links and some easy traffic. Once those articles are spread to the thousands of crappy article sites, the value of the link degrades, but you’ll still see some traffic every month in my experience.

When I write articles, I try not to target a flooded market, or the main keyword.  I like to write my articles with a focus on a long tail keyword.  Once you can lock in a good position with a long tail keyword, it’s easier to build traffic and a following.  Think of it like a snowball rolling down a hill, all you need is a little push (article) and you collect more snow (rankings) on the way down!

In addition to building links and testing the waters, articles can actually convert to sales. I used to have a Squidoo lens and 99% of my marketing for that lens was with articles. Consistently I sold about one ClickBank ebook per month. The net revenue was not much, but neither was the time commitment.

All in all I still like articles as much today as I did 2 years ago. I do however avoid owning article directories. Too much work without enough reward.

Thanks again for the question!