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Does “Article Marketing” Work?

September 11th, 2008 by Bob Bly

A popular piece of advice given by Internet marketing gurus is to market yourself by writing and posting articles on article submission sites such as

The idea is to write a zillion articles, post them all over the Internet, and generate a ton of traffic as people who read your articles click on the link to your site in your bio or resource box at the end of the article.

Oddly, though, while this “marketing with articles” approach is widely recommended and sounds sensible, almost no one I know actually does it.

The usual reason given: “I know I should, but who has the time?” — the implication being that article marketing is a low priority compared to PPC advertising, SEO, e-mail, and other online tactics that presumably have better ROI.

Are YOU one of the smart minority of marketers who actively markets by writing and posting short articles at all of the online article directories?

If so, how do you manage to get it all done? Not just producing all those articles, but posting them on all those sites and tracking the results?

And speaking of tracking results, does article marketing give you a big ROI? Or is it a marginal marketing activity at best?

Does the quality of the content in the articles matter at all? Or does article marketing work just as well with crappy articles you pay some elancer to write for you for $25 a pop?


This entry was posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2008 at 9:52 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

92 responses about “Does “Article Marketing” Work?”

  1. Erik Deckers said:

    Actually, this is the whole point of blogging. The reason for reposting content elsewhere is because it will automatically point back to your blog or website, and thus improve your visibility.

    But search engines don’t focus on articles nearly as much as links. They LOVE links; it’s like food to the little search engine spiders. So rather than spend so much energy in writing and reposting new articles, give the search engine spiders what they love: link juice.

    1) Link to other blogs and websites that cover what you write about. For example, I just posted a copywriting article on my direct mail blog and linked to your blog. There’s a little juice for both me and you.

    2) Post comments in those other blogs. I just linked to my blog here in this comment. Now the search engine spiders will see the link from my site to this one, and give me a little spider point. Then they’ll see the link here (assuming html works here), and we’ve both got a little more juice.

    The upside is that by writing this comment, I’ve taken a fraction of the time and energy as the article writers and posters, but gotten as much, if not more, benefit out of it as the article writer. And it didn’t cost me $25 to do it.

  2. dianacacy said:

    I’m doing this, just because I’m not ready to do PPC yet for myself. I do see a jump on hits when I use the articles.

    As for increasing sales, I’m not a good judge of that yet since I’m using it to build my presence, rather than sales. Also, I’m only using this method on a market that’s tough to work right now. But my opt-in list does seem to grow because of it.

    I can say that I’m happy enough to continue using this method when I finish putting together my affiliate sites this month and next.

    As a side note, the blogging, responding to message boards, and making articles available that drive to a sales page have made me a buck or two in affiliate sales.

    I suspect that once I pick up the pace on this method that it will give me good results.

    Not sure on the quality. I know I improve with each effort, but can’t really tell the difference in results with the way I’m using it. Plus I have a problem with many of my articles turning out too long and becoming free-bees for my subscribers instead. *grin*

  3. DM Wrecker said:

    It depends, mostly on where the articles are published. Erik is right in the approach for articles and comments. Another ‘faster, better cheaper’ way is to write proper, intelligent comments in chat forums, since Google constantly tracks for new content everyday, and add a link yo your site there if possible and appropriate.

  4. Internet Marketing Archives» Blog Archive » 'Does 'Article Marketing' Work?' by Bob Bly said:

    […] Does ‘Article Marketing’ Work?… […]

  5. Nickolove Lovemore said:

    There are many marketers who are using article writing to promote their products and services very successfully. One key to achieving success with an article marketing strategy is consistency and a second is volume.

    One person who I know who is a master at article writing and marketing is Jeff Herring, The Internet Article Guy. He has produced a number of free templates that you can use to speed up the article writing process.

    He also provides great tips on how you can maximise the returns you achieve on each of your articles.

    For more information visit:

    To your article writing and marketing success!


  6. Matt Ambrose said:

    I heard that Google ignored a lot of the more general article directories because they tend to republish and duplicate the same content.

    However, I’ve found targeting specific industry websites to be effective. A couple I use are and, and republish your RSS feed.

    When discussing article/content marketing with clients I always ask for a list of their industry magazines and then check whether any of them accept submissions for their website’s news page. They get free content to attract visitors and my client gets exposure and a backlink from a highly relevant source.

  7. Ken said:

    Apparently Google loves and
    If you can find search terms that have a decent number of monthly searches but not too much competition you can rank on the first page of Google search results within a couple weeks.
    The key is to use the search term as your headline and maybe a few times scattered throughout the article. Also, make sure that your content is relevant to your title. Give them what they want!
    Once it’s ranked in Google it can stay there for months or even years…it can take some time but it’s certainly a “set it and forget it” type approach.

  8. A Little Mid-September Weekend Link Love | Freelance Writing Jobs said:

    […] I’m not a huge fan of article marketing, to be honest. I think it’s spammy and much of the articles sent to these article marketing sites aren’t very well written. I know plenty of my web writing friends disagree though.  Check out “Does Article Marketing Work? at Bob Bly […]

  9. Liz at Sleep Sound said:

    I do write and submit articles but I only submit to a couple of sites. I do get visitors from these articles, even years after submitting them. So yes, it is important to write well and ti include keyword.

    I do it more for links though. The more I submit the more links I get. Not every site is one you would advertise on PPc either. Most of mine aren’t.

  10. Alternatives to article marketing websites » B2B MarCom Writer Blog said:

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  11. James said:


    I have used internet article marketing for the past 6 months, and so far…

    -I have received dozens of new clients.
    -Been approached to write articles for ALL of the large trade magazines in my industry.
    -Had other blogs and “gurus” use my articles on their blogs (with proper credit given)
    -I now receive about 20 more hits to my website per week because of article sites (per Google Analytics)
    – Been asked to be on the advisory board for two startup companies in my niche.

    I use articles I have sent to my clients in my client only newsletter, or even short articles I post on my blog. My assistant is actually in charge of distribution to all the article sites.

    I create good content once, and share it with everyone I can through my blog, articles,videos, and even twitter and facebook (GASP!)

    You can choose to ignore the internet, or you can make it work for you…

  12. Brian said:

    The majority of the free articles out there are completely useless. They consistently state the obvious and offer no helpful information whatsoever. It’s rare to find a blog with tips, hints, advice, etc. that you can really use.

    Another thing that concerns me about article writing is the unethical SEO types who lift your original content, post it to a blog, and insert spammy words with links to their sites.

    Hopefully those unreadable postings are completely ignored by the search engines.

  13. Kristi Holl said:

    Thanks for all the helpful responses. The article submitting is something I keep meaning to do, but it keeps getting put off. I can see that it works for some. I think quality is critical for your reputation though–so many of the articles aren’t well done. I appreciate this discussion.
    Kristi Holl
    Writer’s First Aid blog

  14. Susan Greene said:

    I’ve used article marketing for some of my clients. I’ve managed to get their website and some of the articles placed on page 1 of Google for their main keywords.

    The result is not only increased traffic because of their good ranking, but it’s also effectively kept some of their main competitors off of page 1 results.


  15. Anthony James Barnett - author said:

    I’ve recently tried writing a couple of articles and had a few limited hits from them.

    I really don’t know whether I can afford the time to continue. I know all the theorists say I should. But time is a constraint.

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  17. Morgan said:

    No one really reads those articles, but according to so-called SEO experts this tactic works well at building inbound links to your site.

  18. Albania Property Zone said:

    Writing articles is indeed a well cited SEO tactic for propagating back links to your site. The logic being that you write a cracking article with relevant useful content that other website publishers incorporate into their own sites. Obviously you leave a relevant keyword rich link (a keyword phrase for which you would like to be ranked of course)in the Author bio in the footer.

    As someone pointed out above though, a large proportion of the articles are trash and other than getting a single link from the article in the article directory your wasting your time. The real results come from spending the time and effort to produce a quality article that is worthy of being used by website publishers. One good article that is published on 20 different websites is better than 10 poor articles that are published on non.

  19. Steve said:

    I have had over 1000 articles and can confirm that it certainly DOES work.

    I write an average of one article per day.

    Forget buying links, you may have a short term gain but it will create long term pain.

    Article marketing brings long term success for the people who have the patience to stick with it.

    20 articles will have little impact, 200 will, 1000 and your laughing!

  20. davey said:

    Those who profess it works seem to be in the business of article guru, article sem ebook, etc. which states that is doesn’t work, but enough ppl want to believe it does and will pay a little to get more info. See many article threads on DigitalPoint.

    True, many eZine articles are rubbish so would be SHOCKED to see ppl hosting them on their sites, wish spammy link intact.

    Start a blog, host ur articles there and network network network. Its a long term strategy, not an overnight traffic barrage (who DOESN’T want that?)

  21. Jennie said:

    I agree it works, but is time consuming. On the bright side, you get what you put in. I submitted two article to a few article submission sites including Ezine, and within a few weeks I went from a page rank of 0 to a page rank of 1 for the promotional products and advertising website I was trying to build traffic for.

  22. John Henderson said:

    Although it takes alot of time to write tons of articles it can benefit your seo efforts and provide a steady stream of targeted traffic.

    I write articles that explain about domain names and web hosting which have cost me around £3 per click when using adwords.

    If i had to pay adwords for the amount of traffic i have received from my articles then it would have cost me over £5000 and ive only been writing articles for around three weeks.

    Ive made 3 sales from article marketing for web hosting companies that pay me $100/sale so im happy with the results.

    Of course article marketing works. It just takes alot of effort and time to create quality unique content.

  23. Yasir Khan said:


    Interesting conversation. Here is the thing: If you are operating in a niche where you can pre-sell to your customers, go for article marketing because it will work. This only happens for micro niches where you do not have thousands of people writing the same thing as you are.

    Try doing that for a big niche and you will have to write thousands of articles to get any meaningful results.

    For me, I have got 2-3 clients who read my articles then decided to buy my services. I guess it is the industry you operate in.

    Anyone has any ideas on duplicate content. Do all your links count when you submit the same article to hundreds of directoriesÉ Please let me know!

  24. Richard Cummings said:

    Article marketing can generate thousands of inbound hits.

    I disagree with a comment above though. If you are doing keyword research and find some great terms, use those terms for YOUR site, not the article site.

    Then, write an article for the article sites which has similar key terms.

    Google loves this…it’s called semantic latent indexing…Read more on my site 🙂


  25. Peter said:

    Article marketing does work, but it is tme consuming and you have to submit hundreds, not just a few.

    You need to submit one a day for a year and you will start seeing results. Post to only a few article directory sites, do not mass circulate.


  26. logo design crowdsourcing said:

    yes also if i were to write a great article why should i post it on any article site?
    should i not post it on my site to gain more traffic by search engines?
    I am really confused about this.


  27. Stacey Henry said:

    I have written a ton of articles on eczema and health on my website and a host of others and can tell you for a fact that article marketing still works to build traffic!

  28. Claire Satin said:

    I am just starting out with article marketing now, does anyone know how many articles you should be posting? I keep hearing different numbers here, some people say hundreds some say way more.

  29. cDc said:

    Article marketing only works if you write good quality content. Stick with a field you know and write in a fashion that interests your readers and you will generate traffic as well as exposure.

  30. Johnson Yip said:

    I also read you should make your articles around 400 words, so people don’t get bored and not reach your resource box at the bottom. I had some success with Article marketing like on Ezine, and Squidoo. It is also important to do keyword research to see if what you are writing about will not have too much competition in search engines like Google, or Yahoo.

  31. TJ McDowell said:

    I’ve been using article marketing for the past few months, and I’d say it’s been moderately successful. At a minimum, I’ve gained some valuable insight into which articles get more reads, more clicks, more published. I’ve seen some slight change in Google, but the progress is slow. I’m planning to continue writing to see if the trend of increased traffic continues or if I will only get traffic in small spikes.

  32. Brad said:

    I am in the beginning stages of writing articles for a few websites of mine. I have yet to see any benefit. I do believe that article writing is one of many ways to promote your website and gain traffic. It is however not the only way.

  33. Greg said:

    I just started posting articles last week in the hopes of getting some of my competitive keywords, like movie posters a little boost in Google’s organic results. So far no noticeable results, but I only started last week, so I’ll wait it out and keep writing. Most articles I write have to do with promoting cheap posters, I’ll report back when I start seeing some results!

  34. kby said:

    I think it is the backlinks that may somehow pay off and not the direct traffic. Most of the people read what you submit and then leave, don’t come to your website. But if is a ‘follow’ site, then spiders may find ur links and give u some credit. Or always leave some information and ask readers to meet you at your website

  35. Tanner said:

    I think that backlinks are more weighted in Google than articles. On the other hand I have yet to actually run an article campaign but I intend to do so. From all the research I’ve done I would say its a bout a 50-50 split with those that claim it works and those that say it doesn’t. I also believe that there are certain niches that it would give more of an advantage to.

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  38. Ben Locker said:

    I think quality matters – I hate link building that ignores the intended audience.

    But it seems the power of articles is diminishing post-Panda, which means you really need to consider your likely returns before investing lots of time in them.

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