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Branding, control and results - Submit Articles in Your Own
by: Andy Beard
Article distribution is currently booming on the internet. Authors do it for a number of reasons.

- It is a good way to be picked up by the search engines.
- The backlinks from your resource box can help your search engine position.
- You have the possibility of secondary traffic if your article is picked up by a popular website or ezine.

Various products and services have become available that help you distribute your articles to the 100s of article directories and mailing lists.

a) Software that speeds up maunal submission, or can in some cases do this automatically. b) Services that distribute articles in your name c) Services that distribute articles on your behalf, but in their own name.

The Double Edged Sword

Many people pay a premium rate for article distribution on their behalf, without the worry of having to join various article directory sites as a member, giving their own email address, and receiving lots of emails from various Yahoo groups.

Unfortunately what they don't realise is that often this devalues their work.

1) In the author section on many sites, the name of the distribution service will be shown, not that of the original author.
2) Author sections of many article directories are a unique marketing venue. Many visitors will visit the author profile before reading an article all the way to the bottom. Most profiles could have one or more websites listed.
3) Within RSS feeds from the article directories, the distribution service might be shown in the byline, not the original author.
4) Many article directories allow an author to change or modify their resource box. If an article was submitted using an account owned by a 3rd party distribution service, that avenue will be closed.

Complete Control

For authors who want complete control of their branding, either submit manually, or use article submission software. You will receive more emails, but can always have a special email address for this purpose. Googles Gmail service I find is an excellent choice. Article Announcer and Article Submitter Pro are two examples of such software.

Limited Control

Use an automated submission service that ensures you are the author. There are services that signup for members to directories on your behalf, using a username and password of your choice. One such service is Article Marketer.

The Inconvenience

You will have to confirm your membership to many distribution points, and some will continue to send emails containing articles from other people. Yahoo groups normally allow you to select a digest mode, or to not receive emailed articles at all. Most of this is a one time effort, although you will have to be on the lookout for important messages on the email account you use.

The Massive Gain

They are your articles, and you should gain maximum benefit from them.

Using article distribution is much like a varient of Pareto's 80/20 rule. You potentially gain 80% effective results compared to manual distribution, for 20% of the work.

However if your method of article distribution doesn't give you all the possible credit for your articles, rather than 80% effectiveness, you might only be getting 60% or less.

Managing your own article distribution with tools such as Article Announcer or Article Submitter Pro gives you complete control to achieve your 80/20 goals. A service such as Article Marketer which gives you full credit, and reasonable control, might be 70% effective, for 10% of the work.

Refining your processes, and only using the most effective method where it benefits you the most, you can maximise your return for the work invested.

I use a combination of service and software for my own distribution.

About the author:
Andy Beard has worked in Sales, Marketing and Localization for the last 15 years, primarily in the computer games industry.
On his blog Exploring Niche Websites read his review of 3 killer article submission products.


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