If you have spent any time at all researching internet marketing strategies then you know that writing articles can help position you as an expert in your field, gain valuable targeted traffic for your web site, drive leads to your products, grow your email list, and quickly multiple your site's text links.
Once you are ready to dive into article marketing - and you have a few articles all lined up and ready to submit - you can quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of article directories available. Sure you could simply use a search engine to locate article directories but a recent search netted me 17,800,000 results. That's enough to make anyone give up before they even begin! Plus that is really not a very effective way to determine the quality of a directory and doing your own quality check can be extremely time-consuming.
Why should you care about the quality of the directory? Just think about it. On the internet you are very much judged (by search engines and visitors alike) by the company you keep. Another important reason to carefully select your article directories is that your time is finite. It is better to regularly submit to a core group of high-quality directories than to throw the same handful of articles at every directory site you can find.
Finding the best high-quality article directories that meet your specific needs and match your specific goals can greatly increase the power of your article marketing campaign. You need to become a savvy article marketer to maximize your article marketing campaign.
Great, but how do you find those high-quality directories?
When I first embarked on article marketing I went straight to people who had been article marketing for a while and asked them for their top recommendations. I posted the question in a couple forums that I regularly check. I quickly assembled a list of hundreds of sites. Now obviously this list is much more manageable than the 17+ million I got from Google but still rather large. First I culled through and found the sites that were mentioned by more than one person and that list became my starting point. I then gathered as much information as possible to determine if they were right for me. I will share my criteria and priorities but you need to work out your own.
Here are the 10 essential questions I ask when reviewing a site:
1. How old is the directory? Is it well established and ranked or is it new and growing? If not then I cross it off the list.
2. Can you easily identify who owns and/or operates the directory? Is there a way to contact that person?
3. How fast do they respond to your email contacts and/or article posts?
4. How many authors does the site have listed? A lot of authors and articles mean a well established site but there may be room on a growing site for more exposure.
5. How many articles does the site have listed? Again a big site won't get knocked off my list for this but a small site that is growing steadily might be due for a good seo bump soon.
6. Think about the categories you are likely to need and see if they exist. Is there a place to submit all your articles? If this is a niche directory it may be very narrow but then might also be to your benefit in the long run - if at least some of your articles fit within the niche.
7. What special options does the site offer visitors and publishers? Do they provide RSS feeds, email alerts, forward to a friend function and other strategies to increase the distribution of your articles?
8. Are they responsible with the advertising clients they have on their site? ie: No popups, flashing, or offensive ads
9. Do they provide article reports to help you see which articles are getting viewed, rated, distributed or not?
10. How do the search engines view this site?
After visiting each directory and answering these questions it is easy to refine your list to a handful of top sites that you want to really concentrate your efforts upon. You can also maintain some a list of additional sites to submit to as time allows.
I also regularly re-evaluate my top article directory list. I check my backlinks and the directory stats to see how my articles are doing. Some sites move up and down my priority list (or even off the list entirely) when I investigate how they are performing for me.
Learn more about Creating Your Article Marketing Campaign by visiting http://AnswersAboutWriting.com or http://NowLearnMore.com . Sign up for our free Article Marketing tutorial to read the full article and many more helpful article marketing tips.