Content Marketing Cost-Effectively

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Have you ever wondered how content marketing works and how it is being used to influence Google’s search rankings? Until very recently (Panda update) this was single-handedly the most effective popular way of improving page rank for a website, via inbound links.  An author would create a lot of original articles related to their site, spin them to create unique versions of these articles, and then submit them to all the various article directories.  Each article might have a link back to the actual site and would be published under the Creative Commons license, enabling other sites to copy and use these articles too, thereby providing more inbound links.  But she you think about it, that is a LOT of work if you do it manually, so its critical to look at this from an automation perspective.  Here’s basically how it works:

1. Commission Content – Step one is to get the original content written for a low price. You could use CraigsList for higher quality writing but its probably going to be too slow and a little more expensive than other resources such as iWriter.com or from someone on oDesk.  The key with success with both of these resources is to stick with the top-rated resources, even if they cost a bit more money.  It will save you time, money, and a huge headache later.  If you’re going to do this en masse, finding a team on oDesk is probably a better solution than iWriter over the long run. If you’re going that route, be sure to *avoid* content from places like India or Pakistan; I find the Philippines a lot better for content.

2. Article Spinners – in the case of aggressive content marketing via the articles directories, you’ll need unique version of your articles to post to all of these directories, in order to overcome the Google duplicate content filter. The way many have figured out to do this, is to have cheap articles written overseas via oDesk, iWriter, etc, and then spin these to dynamically create “unique” articles in the number required for all the different directories you’ll submit to.  So if you are going to submit to 20 places, have one article written and spin 19 new versions. There are many popular tools but the most popular seem to be Article Marketing Robot, The Best Spinner, and Spin Chimp. I’m personally a fan of SpinChimp as it is just as good as the others, but a lot less expensive.  It also will run on your local computer, not requiring a constant online connection.

3. CopyScape – As with any content commissioning project, you’ll want to check the validity of the content to make sure it wasn’t just ripped off.  Or even if you’re just spinning content, this can be a really good tool to validate your spinning quality.  Get a premium account and run the articles to make sure there are either no, or minimal matches that occur.  Note – regarding the article spinners, if using SpinChimp, you can even integrate directly to streamline the workflow.

4. Submitting – Finally you need to submit your content.  Article Marketing Robot is very popular because of its submission engine but there are other tools you can use for this purpose too. Many of the articles directories have Captchas, so you’ll need to find one that has built-in de-captcher.  There are more than a few of these out there.

Note – it would be a myth to suggest this doesn’t work at all any more, but Google has certainly cracked down on the practice by punishing the articles directories that publish this often thin and low-quality content.  As a result, places like EZineArticles and HubSpot have increased their qualities requirements, etc.  Its still worth exploring in a more limited capacity and as a part of a more holistic SEO campaign, but don’t expect the wild success this would have brought you in 2009. :)