I also mentioned that there are many benefits of article marketing - different types of article marketing each with it's own purpose. So I thought we would have a run through and clear a few things up.
Direct Article MarketingThis is where you write your content rich information and then direct readers through your affiliate link directly to the sales page. Your job is NOT to sell the product. Your job is NOT to justify the price. Or give the product a raving review of how it has changed your world.
Your job is to answer a specific question. Make sure your content is original and the information is accurate and appropriately answer a question that your niche is looking for.
Then you can honestly say "That's one great way to do things...if you want to learn more then visit [website]"
Or "I've given you one quick and easy solution, but if you want to hear an even better one then visit [website]"
See how that works? Your readers are happy because they have the info they were looking for. Google will love you because you have written original and keyword rich (rich...not flooded) info. And if the reader can see that you genuinely care then they are more likely to click through to the sales page. This is the sole purpose of Direct Article Marketing - to take people from your web page (your article) to the sales page of your website or you affiliate product.
Article Marketing For Traffic
This is sightly different but has the same concept. Because many Article Directories like HubPages don't permit affiliate links, you cannot send readers directly to the sale page. Or perhaps you have other motives - we'll get there soon, I promise!
In this case, you can send readers to a landing page instead. This may be a landing page at your website or your blog needs to be super well thought out - readers make up their minds within seconds and if they don't like what they see, if it doesn't have the information they want or it looks cluttered or difficult to navigate then they will hit the back button and you won't see them again.
The purpose of Article Marketing for Traffic is that you push readers through to your landing page with the hopes that they act on your desired action - sign up for something, join your mailing list or more importantly buy something.
One of the other great things about this technique is that you can use the article to boost your standing in Google by adding the name of the page in clickable words (that means instead of making "click here" the link, use the name of your website of blog to make the link). This is only a benefit, not the purpose. The purpose is to build a better relationship with your readers and pre-sell your product or get them to take your desired action.
Article Marketing For Backlinks
Backlinks are another keys to the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) puzzle. If you already know the concept, then skip the next paragraph.
Backlinks are your anchors to the internet. Imagine a web. In the middle of the web there are strands coming out in every direction - it's the cornerstone of a structure. It's pretty important then, right? On the other end of the scale is a strand on the outer side of web - it's there, but it doesn't seem to be doing very much. It's not very important. This is how Google will rank your site.The more links to your website, the more important it must be. So we can boost our standing with Google by creating backlinks (or strands of web) to our site making it a hub of activity.
When creating articles for backlinks, the aim of the game is to have as many different links from as many different domains as possible. They are not necessarily monetized articles - you are trading these sites (article directories like HubPages, Squidoo, EzineArticles) with a high quality article in exchange for a backlink. Your anchor text (the text you use to make your link) should be the name of the web page you are sending the readers to.
We don't really care if these articles rank well with the search engines. It doesn't matter if they bring us traffic (but it's nice when they do). The purpose of these articles is to make our website rank well. They better they rank the more organic (free) traffic they will bring us.
One method of creating articles for backlinks is to publish the same (re-spun) article all over the web with as many different article directories and blogs or websites as possible. I can't say I like this. In the long term, duplicate content is no good for the directories and we are working together - you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours type thingy.
In any case...
No matter what your purpose is, your articles need to be quality and original (Google punishes duplicates with poor page ranks). Your articles should target either a specific question or in the case of backlinks a theme that you niche is searching for. It should cover the topic thoroughly. If you article reads like one long advert, if it reads like one big brag page, readers are less inclined to click through at the risk of being talked out of their hard earned money (and it is hard earned).
You are not targeting a group of people who want to read all about how wonderful your site or your product is...you're targeting people first and foremost - not their wallets, their hearts. Those people are seeking options and solutions to their problem. Convince them that you care and that you have more great solutions than this easy one you have just provided and they will click through believing you have more to follow.
It's that whole "The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour" chestnut that Dr Phil is always raving on about. =)
So how do you know which one will work best for you? Unless you have ablog or websire, Direct Article Marketing is the way to go. If you do have somewhere you want to send readers, make sure it is attractive and the most appropriate for the topic. Just pick one and have a go.