By Stephen Spry
One of the things I discovered early on is that adding article content to your website is a good way to build up content on your site and get a lot of extra “back-door” traffic coming to your site.
I’ve used PLR (Private Label Rights) articles. I’ve subscribed to various article membership sites. I’ve used articles from the major article banks (eg Ezine Articles etc). I’ve used WordPress plugins which automatically add articles to your site (but not scraping software which “steals” content from other sites).
And in most cases, plonking Adsense ads on these pages provided a good return for the effort.
So it made sense that perhaps I should expand on this and build my own “article directory”. To have literally thousands of pages of good quality information, on all sorts of topics, dishing up mega ad impressions and making a fortune from it!
And, like my other “directory” sites… it would build fresh and unique content automatically for me because other people are submitting material for publication.
The initial version of my Latest Articles web site came out in early 2007 and was built around my RSS script which simply aggregated various feeds from the major article directories, in a wide range of categories.
In June 2009, it was “updated” to WordPress format and became a “proper” article directory, where initially I used the Unique Article WIzard plugin to populate the directory with new articles every day of the week.
A LOT of those articles were pretty crappy, so I did NOT have the “publish automatically” option turned on. Rather I went through each submission and probably published only about 10% of them.
Eventually, the site became known to the article writing people, and the SEO people, and got to a stage where enough people were registering and submitting articles directly, so I could turn that plugin off.
And in June/July 2010, Latest Articles was starting to attract some reasonable traffic as well… with unique visitors being around 3500 each month.
So How Did This “Experiment” Go?
Well for a full wrap up, you can visit Article Directory Profits???? Who Are They Kidding! but you can get a good hint on how it went by looking at that link title…
You see… when you ask people to submit material for publication, you open a HUGE can of worms which does require a lot of administration.
- They can’t spell for nutz.
- Generally the level of English is terrible.
- Many of the articles submitted are so-o-o over-optimised for SEO purposes that they are almost useless.
- Far too many of these “authors” wouldn’t know what an “Author Resource Box” was, let alone how to use one effectively.
- Many submissions are stuffed with links to sites in the body of the article.
So you have to have procedures in place to check for all this stuff, and notify authors of mistakes and how to “fix” them…
And you can expect a large number of people to totally ignore you and any “guidelines” you might publish and just keep doing it their way.
In fact, when the domain name recently came up for renewal, I almost decided against doing it because of these issues.
But then I thought well… something might come of it 🙂
The trouble with this type of site is… and maybe it’s only a “transitional” thing… that at this stage it appeals mainly to the webmaster/SEO audience and these people do NOT click on ads!
Maybe it might grow to a point where the number of “normal” viewers outnumber the non-clicking variety… But there is a LOT of work in keeping it alive to get there!
And by a lot of work, I mean several hours every day checking submissions and liaising with authors. Certainly NOT auto-pilot, earn money while ya sleep stuff here!
Now… if you want to run your own article directory… and have the time… it might be worthwhile.
If you have a range of advertising options to test/try on the different pages/categories… it might be worthwhile.
But in the meantime, I’m just going back to using hand-picked articles from various sources to add more relevant content to my own sites.
And hey… I’m even writing a lot more of my own stuff now! At least I have editorial control over that!
But as far as that article directory is concerned… I still have to work out what to do with it!