The problem with many affiliate marketing forums is that, people tend to repeat the same information again and again. Somebody would ask a question and people who, whether they are veterans or newbies, would basically recycle answers that were given by other people. This type of group thinking is actually very stifling. It is also very annoying. If you are looking for real answers, the last thing you want is for group think to take over. When it comes to affiliate marketing topics, and traffic generation topics, one particular topic that gets more than its fair share of group thinking is article marketing.
In one particular website, which I am not going to name, article marketing is spoken of in such reverential terms that you almost think that you stumbled into a cult forum. So many affiliate marketers talk up the advantages of article marketing, that you are even tempted to try your hand at it. Well, before you waste precious time, effort, emotional intensity, and of course, money, on article marketing, let me break the bad news to you, for all intents and purposes, article marketing is dead. Skip it. Forget about it. Move on. Do not let the group thinking get to you. People keep talking about article marketing, like it is some sort of magical mantra, the reality is, if you try article marketing now, it is not going to yield the same results that it did back in 2010.
Let us face it. The game has changed. Google Panda is a reality, Google Penguin is a reality, Google Hummingbird is a reality. All those updates have drastically transformed the article marketing landscape. If article marketing is your only your only avenue of traffic or your primary source of traffic, you might want to re-think your strategy. If you are thinking of getting into article marketing, do not do it. Here is why.
Article Marketing for SEO is Dead
If you want to get definitive proof that article marketing is dead, at least for SEO purposes, you only need to look up Matt Cutts video regarding the subject. Mutt Cutts, as everybody knows, is the head of web spam for Google. Mutt Cutts is on the record as saying “…if you are using articles for link building, and you are using article directories like Ezinearticles and other websites, you are pretty much dead in the water…”. The reality is that, Google thinks that these links are low quality.
As a result, Google is depreciating the value of such link sources. You can still try your hand at article submission and article building, but the reality is that the SEO benefits you get from such activities will continue to erode with time. It is only a matter of time until article marketing produces absolutely no SEO benefits. Worst of all, Google might even penalize you for getting traffic from such low quality sources as article directories. If you are still doing SEO this way, you might want to stop before it is too late.
You have to understand that Google’s link penalties do not involve grandfather clauses. Stuff that might be completely acceptable now, might be unacceptable tomorrow, and guess what, you get penalized. Google does not care that you did not get advance notice. You should focus instead on getting high quality traffic. The sad reality is that, most article directories are focused on getting traffic, not providing a solid user experience. As a result, these websites tend to have huge inventories of low quality content. Moreover, they are still in the middle of a flood of low quality content from article marketers that have not grabbed the clue.
Article Marketing Syndication is Dead
One of the most common topics for group thinking on many affiliate marketing forums is syndication. This is so faulty that it is almost laughable. People equate article syndication of an article posted by a little known blogger or a newbie affiliate marketer with article syndication that appears on Huffington Post or the New York Times. Do you see what is wrong with this picture? People who know how to syndicate articles are heavy duty bloggers, or at least work for big digital media agencies. They know what they are doing. If you are trying to syndicate using article directories, do not even try. Why? You are not in the same league as these people.
These people do not even waste their time on article directories. They syndicate their articles on high quality websites. In other words, they do real article syndication. The problem is when you go to affiliate marketing forums and real syndication is confused with low quality article syndication. You will get into all sorts of trouble. You have to understand that Panda is out, and as a result, many web masters are scared to publish your syndicated article, because they fear duplicate content penalties. We can argue all day whether duplicate content penalties are a fiction, but the reality is the effect is still the same. The effect is that web masters are reluctant to publish “syndicated content”.
The Right Way to do Article Marketing
The good news is that, there is still a way to do article marketing. However, it is very different from the traditional way it has been done. Instead of merely submitting your article and getting it published in all sorts of article directories, the right way to do article marketing is to use social media to do influence marketing. In other words, you need to build credibility first with high quality outlets.
Next, you contact these outlets once you have established credibility with them regarding content pitches. You pitch high quality content that is published only at that particular outlet. Also, the content that you produce is often dictated by the content outlet. You do this, not because you want to get a back link, you do this for brand awareness. You do this so you can get your brand in front of the right eyeballs. You have to remember, these content outlets are already getting traffic from your target audience, they are already catering to your target audience. You are doing content contribution or article marketing to get your brand in front of niche eyeballs. Whatever back links you generate is basically an afterthought. Whatever back links come out of this type of article marketing is simply extra gravy.