The Right Way to Use Other People?s Articles on Your Website

Article Marketing Creates a Steady Flow of Fresh Content

Article writers, website owners, and site visitors all benefit through articles posted online. Simply put, the author's message gets broad exposure. Sites display their articles (some permanently), along with a link to their website. The ezine or website owner gets constantly updated content (site pages) without paying for it. That makes their website sticky - encouraging visitors to stick around. And readers get fresh, useful information on any topic imaginable.

Plenty is written to help authors write and submit their offerings (See the extensive free how-to collected at Yet almost nothing tells website owners or editors the best way to handle articles they use. Merely slapping a slew of articles onto your site won't bump your search engine rankings and traffic much.

Respect the Whole Article Marketing Process

1. Respect the Article Writers

- Request permission before posting their article(s) - unless it's from an article bank or permission was specifically granted

- Include the writer's Sig (signature) file at the end - Ask if that's their current or preferred Sig

- Create a live (clickable) link to the author's website

- Notify authors when or where you've used their articles (article URL)

- Build a relationship so they send their new ones

2. Respect the Search Engines

- Put each article on its own page, with focused keywords in the headings (H1, H2, H3) and the header title and tags

- Cluster articles around specific topics

- Frequently add new content related to your theme(s)

- Provide internal links and a site map

3. Respect Your Website Visitors or Ezine Readers

- Search for meaty information and organize your site so it's easy to find

- Steer clear of thinly-disguised sales letters

- Don't provide a home for crappy articles - reject poorly written ones

- Repair broken links and remove out-of-date articles

Both Types of Website Visitors have Different Motivations

Human readers and search engine spiders look for different things on your website. Strive to make them both happy. Readers want relevant information; while search spiders focus on keywords and links. Fortunately, considering both their preferences makes your website stand out from similar ones.

People prefer articles that provide specifics - practical how-to, examples and stories. In-depth articles attract people with a serious interest in the topic (and hence more likely to subscribe or buy). Your website gets a reputation for knowing its stuff - which cements its credibility within that niche.

Search engines prefer specifics also; general sites don't rate as well. They reward focused, keyword-rich topics with improved rankings. Spiders don't care if you wrote the content yourself or used the work of other authors. But they do rely on your links and sitemap, so they can index it all.

Add Your Own Personal Input to Every Article You Post

Take the time to add a paragraph above each article on your site - 80 to 100 words is plenty. Like a cordial host, introduce the information or author ahead. Build anticipation so they're eager to keep reading. Employ the keywords shown in your title and header tags. DO NOT ALTER THE ARTICLE ITSELF. That would violate the author's copyright, and it's not necessary.

At the bottom of the article (after the author's Sig) add another paragraph of your own.

- Summarize it

- Link to other articles along the same line

- Recommend resources

- Insert affiliate links or products you sell

Reuse the page-specific keywords in the bottom paragraph. Although that article also appears on other sites, your version is now unique to the search engines. Most submitted articles appear in multiple websites, directories, and ezines. Adding new language personalizes it, while avoiding the possibility of a duplicate content penalty.

You're also building a personal connection to readers, as they begin to identify your voice and online personality. That goes a long way toward return visits.

Package Articles in an Organized Way

Don't dump every article together in one long list. Cluster them into logical sub-categories which aid site navigation. Add links between articles and related pages on your site. Although everyone knows incoming links can boost Page Rank, links within your site (internal) benefit your rankings as well (though to a lesser degree). And they're 100% within your control. Besides, ample links help visitors move confidently around your website.

Despite the infinite supply of online articles, most dish out recycled stuff that everyone's seen before. Avoid that trap with information that's a cut above. Take the trouble to carefully select articles that provide extra value. Then by adding your own voice and unique comments you please both the human readers and search engines. And that's a winning strategy all around.

Copyright 2005 Off the Page

Dr. Lynella Grant Consultant and Author - Promote yourself, business, website, or book with online articles Free how-to. Or let me write and submit your articles online for you. No learning curves (719)395-9450

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