Let me first get my point straight: it’s not wise to compare article marketing to guest posting – this is much like comparing apples to oranges.
But we get back to this comparison again and again. I can’t do nothing about that except for offering my own comparison.
Here’s a handy table that makes my point clear: I do believe in guest posting and I do think article marketing is in the past. And here’s why:
|Guest posting||Article Marketing|
|Unique content?||Yes, absolutely||No (“spunn” content is NOT unique. Period)|
|Extra links? (to your article)||Yes!||Hardly possible|
|Potential promoters and followers?||Yes!||Hardly possible|
|Increased exposure to social media?||Yes!||No|
|Networking power?||Yes!||Hardly possible|
|Boosting reputation?||Yes! (if you are great)||Maybe (if you are great!)|
Why is it important to build links through unique content?
Google filters out all duplicate-content articles, therefore only one of your links might be considered. How “similar” should the articles be to be considered duplicates? No one knows the exact answer to that question, therefore the safest bet is to create totally unique content (no copying, spinning, etc).
What is meant by “indirect” links here?
Your article published on a well-read blog will be cited, included in round-ups, bookmarked, scraped after all – this all will result in dozens of backlinks to your actual guest post. This will, indirectly, bring you dozens of backlinks.
Do blogs have more people who are likely to follow and promote your brand in the future?
Yes, absolutely. Let’s face it: blogs and article directories do have different types of audience. People follow blogs while they only randomly check article directories (if they do that at all). Blog readers are much more likely to “stick” to you and help to grow your brand by spreading the word, linking, coming back regularly, etc.
Will a guest post bring you closer to social media front pages?
Absolutely! Blogs are MUCH more social-media friendly than article directories. Blog readers are social-media savvier than random visitors of article directories simply because blogs ARE social media. They have communities of their own – people who come daily to tweet, like, digg, mixx, etc every single post that gets published there including your guest post.
It’s all the matter of contacts, stupid!
Now, let’s just stop for a second and try to FORGET about links, social media front pages, traffic and all that stuff that we can’t live without. Let’s get back to the basics: to people.
Building contacts with real people is the most important step in promoting your business. You can’t do everything yourself. If you think you can, you will fail. You need people who will follow you and trust in you. You need people who will bring friends to your business and who will get the word out when you need it.
Guest posting is the most effective way to network with influential people in your niche. By contributing value, you win the bloggers’ hearts and turn them into believers. Next time you need them, they will be happy to help!
Building reputation through GREAT content
I’ve seen quite a few exceptionally great article directory contributors who have built their names via article marketing. But with guest blogging it is just easier. All you need is to be prepared to invest time and create REAL value, and you’ll see your guest posts build your reputation – it’s really the matter of a few months of active and “proper” guest blogging.
Conclusion: Let’s be fair here: if you consistently submit great (not spunn but unique and valuable) content, you are likely to succeed with both the tactics. Besides, if you do guest blogging, it doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand at article marketing as well. It all comes to how hard you are prepared to work and how much time you are prepared to invest because you can’t do both with the same content. You’ll fail.
Besides, yes, I am biased (because I love guest blogging and I have never been seriously involved into article marketing), so if you have other experiences, tips or insights, please share them in the comments!
And sure! To see what guest blogging really is, how it works and how to get involved, join My Blog Guest!
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Great post Ann. I like your arguments and agree with you. Furthermore, I've been ardently following the same line of thought since learning about MyBlogGuest. However, what about the pagerank issue? Admittedly, its something that's been on my mind a little bit lately-primarily because of the bloggers who I see occasionally who seem to do so much on the back of article marketing sites. Do you think that the fact that many of the mainstream articles sites have achieved such high pr numbers should be a consideration in this discussion?
Oh and nice table by the way.
I think that most often, articles are hidden far deeper within a directory than posts in the blog archive (oh maybe I just can't do article marketing LOL). So this is more the case of how much link juice can be transferred to the article than how high the home page PR is.
Deep Ripples Bill
Couldn't agree more. Hard to believe anyone who say's they're succeeding with Article Marketing. Now, we just have to get around to guest blogging.
On a side note, while i do share the distaste of "spun" content, I will say that almost no one comes up with truly unique content. As a wise man once said, "There is nothing new under the sun." For instance, how many truly unique articles were there on the Google Instant topic? Pick an SEO related topic (not the Uber technical ones). God only knows (and google) how many "articles" there are on that topic.
Anyway, just sayin'…those who fancy themselves writers should strive for unique, engaging, interesting content. They should be compensated appropriately. Many of us write because it works. If i achieve true uniqueness or remarkability, I'll count myself lucky.
Hi Ann great observations. I guess I never really tried to compare the two but I'm sure many people have when they are trying to prioritize the use of their time online. When I search for something on Google I will often hit "blogs" over on the left. I don't see anything for "articles" 🙂
Thanks for the advice.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Ileane! Yes, comparing the two is already a fail 🙁 but who would argue with the community?!
Didn't quite understand what "promotional material" you mean.
Thanks for stopping by!
Great insight, Ann, and quite an interesting observation!
I'm an avid blogger, not an article writer (not yet).
Is the "key" to success with guest posting that you show up on a "well-read" blog? I've been doing some guest posting and I get requests quite frequently to do more. However, the blogs I've been a guest on do not have a huge following yet. So do I need to approach some of the "big guns" to offer up a guest post? Is that the idea?
Melanie, I really think you should do both. Smaller communities are usually much more friendlier: they perfect for building long-term relationships. Besides, it is easier to get noticed there.
Large and active communities are more powerful in terms of exposure but often they are too "cluttery". So just play and experiment!
Appreciate your feedback, Ann, and it sounds like really good, sensible advice. Thanks!
For me it's a niche thing: in my niche (spiritual blogs) there are hardly quality blogs out there to guestblog for – that fit my approach anyhow. I do accept (good) guest blogposts to my own blog, but for myself I do more unique content article marketing (on Squidoo and Hubpages). Those two platforms CAN bring you visitors too. Both have their own audience.
I started guest blogging recently because for the last few months I have been hearing a lot of talks about guest blogging and the importance of it…
Excellent blog and I shouted a lot of "Amens!" as I was reading. I teach social media for writers and it is a real battle to get many of them to appreciate how poerful blogging can be, especially when it serves the reader. It is one of the best forms of advertisement an author can have.
Thanks for an excellent post, but I do follow you and have come to trust you for excellent content…WOW! Case in point? All the best and I will have to include this in next week's Mash-Up of Awesomeness.
Article Marketing = Cheap + Bulk Links + Easy to do
Guest Blogging = Costly time consuming + Quality Links + Very Hard Job
That's good to know that it takes effort to achieve quality… I'd hate it if it was quick and easy. Oh and good comment!
All depends how you define article marketing. Ann, you've chosen to equate it to spinning. It need not be. If you revise your table to accommodate quality article marketing (yes it exists), things will compare differently. I'm not saying article marketing would come out on top, but at least it wouldn't look as bad as it does here.
Of course, the comparison you HAVE made is entirely correct!
Very good point, Glenn.
It is said article marketing has become synonymous to article spinning to many, including me. I have never tried or come across any quality approach to article marketing: if you write a post on that (as well as results it yields), I'll be happy to publish and promote it.
Let me know
You have very valid point Glenn.
I still come accross a lot of people on forums for whome article marketing still works and they are not only able to get lots of high PR links from it but also good traffic.
You have very valid point Glenn.
I come across a lot of people on forums for whom article marketing still works. They are not only able to generate high PR backlinks from it but also lots of traffic.
I think for now, we can't completely ignore article marketing until Google completely goes against it.
This is a great article that really helps blog owners determine the pros and cons of adding content to their websites. Thanks for sharing and I will be passing this on to my coaching clients as a "must read" post.
In my opinion article marketing is only useful for SEO now, whereas guest posting will; increase your rep, attract social sharing, attract organic backlinks and help you build important relationships with other bloggers in your niche.
I'm not sure I quite agree with your views on spinning (in article marketing). I think if you have put the time into writing an article why should Google determine how much credit you get for it? Spinning an article (intelligently) for each directory WILL allow all versions to get indexed in Google (I know this for an absolute fact from 2 years of continuous testing). Rather than spinning to 100s of directories just generate a high quality re-write for a selection of 20 or so high quality directories.
For guest posts though I believe spinning is just wrong. The deal is to give the blogger some unique content, just because the words maybe unique doesn't mean its a unique post.
I think Guest posting is MUCH better than article marketing both for SEO purposes and for quality traffic.
With Blekko and Google moving content farms (i.e. article directories) OUT of their search indexes, guest posting is, without a doubt, a win-win strategy.
I have currently written a few articles and although many offers of article spinners have come my way, I refuse to use them. If I can't write my own unique content, then I shouldn't be writing and neither should anyone else who uses spinners. All you are doing is stealing someone else's work to make it your own in most cases. If you do have your own original content and decide to spin that into different articles, it's a different story. As for Guest blogging, I simply don't have the time to do it but, having said that; I do see the potential in it.
Wow. Great article. I'm with you – not huge in article marketing anymore. I have went deep in to in to it for several weeks and really got nowhere. I achieved great statuses and everything, it really hasn't done much. I do feel that guest blogging is 'where it's at'.
Not just for SEO sake, but they are sites where people are spending time, therefore getting to know you, your brand, and your information.
Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a big portion of people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.
Good post Ann, after the search engines have started to penalize sites for spun content I can't argue that guest blogging is the best way to build links. But I can't also deny the fact that article marketing once was a very successful technique for me in building hundreds of high quality links from just one article.
Grow Online Business
Great observation and arguments, Ann. I totally agree that guest blogging is more effective than article marketing in terms of driving targeted traffic and building more quality back links. To me its killing two birds with one stone, in a much better way!
Web Design Florida
Nice comparison, Guest blogging is effective techniques and booming these days because it is helpful to update unique and informative content but still many people are doing article marketing and it is beneficial for them.
I find that a great guest blog post to a well known blog can get you 100% more results than your article marketing can. I posted to one blog that is known to have thousands of loyal and extremely interested followers. I got more traffic from that post than I have ever gotten from my articles combined. Plus it was constantly being tweeted or sent to facebook – talk about social power!
Bottom line: If you can find a good blog with a huge amount of dedicated followers than spend the time writing for that blog. It WILL pay off more than article marketing.
Your not just biased, you have commersial interests also:)
But still, I think you are right on the post. Antother problem for the directorys is the panda slap many of them got. This makes it more likely for your guest post to get a good ranking than a dirctory article..
I’m really trying to nail down my back link strategy and this post makes a very strong case for guest blogging. The issue for me is that I’m a slow and average writer! Do you have any suggestions for a guy like me that is good with technical SEO but poor at content?
Just last week I began exploring both options and wasn’t sure which route to take. Your post and the many comments have been helpful. Thanks all
The above is ABSOLUTELY true. I know because I have tested it (against my better judgement) on my money site. I had 2 sites ranking on page one in Google and after Google destroyed the Blog Networks, I used AMR to post literally thousands of Articles and also signed up for an article distribution service where my articles were spun and distributed to 1350 article directories and a few hundred WP blogs. Well guess what… One site is now on page 14 last time I checked and the other which had a slightly better linking structure slowly but surely kept falling and now it’s on page 2 and stopped making money.
My personal belief is that Article Directories have now become second tier type links and are quite useless as direct links to your money site. Just adding my two cents worth…
I’m a new user of MBG. Get it from a popularity forum. I’m trying to learn about how to make use of this fantastic tool. It seems that most of article directories have lost their original sense.
Yes, I was little bit confused over the blog and article differences, but after reading your wonderful article, i am really confident to distinguished to each other.
Thanks for your sharing.
Article Marketing is hardly worth the time anymore.
Guest Posting is the thing we should be spending our time on – it doesn’t just provide value to us, but other people reading our well written and informative posts.