by John Eberhard
An article directory, also called a content hub, is a type of web site that has lots of informational articles on it. A person with a web site, who needs article content for their site, can go to an article directory and download articles for free on a wide variety of topics, and then post them on their own web site. These article directories allow you to search by topic or category or by keyword.
Writers can post articles on the content hubs. The benefit for the writer is that he can mention his company and include his web site address in the article. And that provides in-bound links to his web site, from the content hubs themselves, and from every web site where that article is posted. In-bound links, meaning links from other web sites that link to yours, increase link popularity, which is the main criteria used by Google and other search engines to determine web site ranking.
So the article directories service both writers who want to get the word out on their company or products or services, and people who have web sites who need article content.
The key, for a writer, is to write something that will appeal to the general public, or at least to a sizable specific niche public, so that the article gets downloaded and used on lots of sites in need of content.
It is also key to include the name of the company, and links to the company web address in the writer bio at the end. Most article directories will allow you to include up to three links in the bio box. But most will not allow you to put links into the content of the article.
The article itself should not be written in such a way that it is just a blatant promo piece for your company. It has to be written so that it is about a topic that your company deals with or you are an expert on, and it mentions your company, but it doesn't say "call us now at 1-800-222-2222 for a great deal on tires" at the end. In other words, what in marketing is called a "call to action," where you tell your prospect to contact you or to respond for more information or to buy now, should not be included in articles for article directories.
If you have a list of keywords that you are targeting, where you are trying to rank well for those keywords, then find a way to include those words or phrases in your article, preferably near the beginning of the article.
It's a good idea to look over the type of articles that are currently being accepted on article directories, to get a better idea of what works there, and so you can write articles that will fit this medium. Some good article directories to look at are:
There are currently over 700 article directories on the Internet.
Most of the article directories require that you register with them before they will allow you to post an article there. Some of the sites have your article reviewed by a live person before it goes up. Some will just post it without review.
Once you get registered on a number of article directories, it is best to post one article, then post more articles at intervals of about once a week. Make sure you include your company name and URL in the bio box.
If your company has any articles written already that were written for other purposes, you may be able to convert them into a form that will work for the article directories. The key is to read the types of articles that are already appearing on the hubs and convert your content into a similar form. Also, many article directories will reject articles of less than 400 words, so make sure they are at least that long.
I have been submitting client articles to article directories for about four years, and have found this to be an excellent way of building up the number of links to the client’s web site. I have built up the number of links to a client’s site from near zero to over 2,000 in 2-3 months. But I recommend doing this for 6-12 months at least.
I have observed that some search engine optimization (SEO) companies seem to look down on article directories or not consider it a valid form of link building. I have never been able to figure out why this is, since I have been doing it and seeing very valid, positive results for 4 years now.
Article directories are a great way to get out information on your company, and promoting on the net.