Article Marketing: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

by Andrew Wise

It’s amazing that people just starting out online are able to make money. It’s also no coincidence that so many people eventually give up. Why, you might ask? Well, if you haven’t realized already, 96%-99% of all the information on the internet related to online business is junk. The junk can be divided into two categories: 1) The Misinformed and 2) The Con Artist. Both can cost you thousands of dollars in wasted time and money.

Ranking in the search engines is one of the most important tasks an online business undertakes. It is also one of the most difficult. So, it’s no surprise that the misinformed and con artists come along and provide “easy push button software” that will skyrocket you to the top of Google and they’ll do all of this for the low price of $37. Meanwhile, the people who are actually succeeding aren’t rushing to sell their secrets to the masses because they don’t want increased competition. So, as you no doubt can conclude, it’s hard to find good information online.

In this article, I’m going to expose misinformation related to article marketing that may be costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in wasted money. Also, I’ll tell you what I’ve found to be the most effective.

Junk Articles and Spinning

Many sites online offer to distribute content you’ve created to blog networks, web 2.0 sites, and other sites promising fast distribution so that you can have anchor text pointed towards your website quickly. Fast distribution in itself, is not ineffective, and can be very effective if done right. However, many of these distribution services require you to spin content based off the misguided fear of a duplicate content penalty for having the same content on different websites. For those of you who don’t know what spinning is, it’s switching some of the words in an article into synonyms of those words, often done by software. You can also spin by paragraph by taking a similar sounding paragraph and substituting it for the original paragraph. Spinning usually creates junky and sometimes downright unreadable content.

Who would you expect to put this sort of content on their site? That’s right, junky sites. If you don’t know already, sending out content to junky sites is a waste of your time. Many of them are so bad, that they are eventually deindexed by Google or never indexed at all. If the site isn’t indexed, it cannot confer any benefit to your site. Of the junky sites that are indexed, very few of them are going to confer any meaningful benefit to your site. Google has a high preference for quality. One link from the Washington Post is worth more than 1000s of junky links.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may find yourself getting better rankings because of these distribution programs. However, if that happens, it’s because you were lucky enough to have one or a few good sites pick your content up. It’s easier, cheaper, and much more efficient to find good sites without using spinning distribution programs.

Start Thinking Like Google

If you think about it, you would expect Google to discount junky sites for the most part and focus largely on links from authority sites. Google isn’t stupid. They know how spam works. They aren’t going to base their organic search results on garbage that anyone can get a link on. So, what should you do to get links on good sites?

The most effective technique I’ve found using article marketing is guest blogging using leads found on Here you can find a large quantity of high quality sites interested in accepting guest blogs. It’s really quite simple. MyBlogGuest is a platform that connects blogs that want guest content with bloggers who want to post guest content in exchange for a few links to their site.

If you aren’t experienced with article marketing, you may not understand how nice it is to have interested leads all located in a single place. Back a few years ago, the internet was much more human. There weren’t nearly as many auto blogs or robot sites. If you try contacting blogs now, at random, you’ll find that very few actually even respond to you and even fewer accept your article. I would be happy if 3-4% of the websites I contacted accepted my offer.

Cold Calling Blogs

However, I’m not saying that this cold calling tactic on the internet is useless, it’s not. It’s just so inefficient that it may not be worth your time. However, I recently tried a tool called Ontolo which takes a lot of the grunt work out of finding good blogs in the first place. Ontolo takes keywords that you would use to search for websites, and then produces thousands of sites that can all be ranked according to the site’s authority. Then, the program provides email addresses, twitter accounts, contact pages and more, taking out the time consuming process of finding all that information on your own.

However, I’ve personally found that my cold calling response rate doesn’t justify the cost of the program. It may be different in your market. Even if you don’t use the program, you can find some outsources to do Ontolo’s work for you. Use Google blog search or preferably, Technorati, because you can search by authority. Also, when comparing sites side by side, I’d suggest using the moz score. Page Rank is a poor indicator of ranking because it is so rarely updated.

Andrew Wise is the co-founder of which specializes in resin wicker patio furniture.