Image via WikipediaFor about two years I 've written articles and published them in different sites. Because these publishing sites have tremendous readership I was happy to see that my articles were being read. It never occurred to me to just publish them in my blog and hope that eventually I would develop a readership of my own. Too late.
About 200 or my articles are now in those sites. What is disappointing to me is that the traffic I got from those sites was but a trickle.
To give you an idea, my article on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, has been read close to 13,000 times. The traffic --by readers clicking my link in the resource box-- I receive was less a dozen. So the ratio is a miserly 13,000/12. But it gets worse: several of my stories together were read by 450,000 people. My traffic--48. Then I thought, "Well, if people like my stuff, let me publish in my blog and benefit from my own labor, and not the labor of others." The result was that readers asked me to publish the stories in a book, which I did: East of Tiffany's.
Now you tell me who benefits from this nifty arrangement of article submitting. They--not you! Therefore, I no longer submit articles. What I find is that by writing original articles --for my blogs and only my blogs-- over time I get plenty of organic traffic from the search engines. Within a month I get more traffic than all the 'article marketing' and 'article submitters' put together for several years. To be open and truthful, I sell my books and e-books in amazon.com. On average --according to my royalties report from amazon-- I sell 5-8 copies a week in the United States and 2-3 in England. During the Christmas season my collection of short stories East of Tiffany's sold at an average of 5 a day!
Did I pay a cent in advertising for amazon.com to sell my books? Not a cent. Not a dollar. Noway. My sales come from the free traffic that my blogs generate. Since I am a retired person, I welcome the extra income from the sale of my books. Because "I wasted" three years sending articles to those 'article publishers,' without any tangible results, I am a little annoyed. But live and learn. And you, my readers, will make your own judgment.
To complement the organic traffic I use Feedburn (a free service). With every new post I make sure I feed it to Feedburn; they in turn will make the posting available through the Web through Atom or RSS. While you get a trickle of visitors right after the new posting, in the long run you'll see excellent results because with each post to Feedburn you get a link. So this is the open secret that I want to share with everyone--pile up links! In a separate posting I will share my procedure for picking up links painlessly: i.e., no begging, no swapping, no paying.
What I do now is publish my articles my blogs, and in my blogs only--no more Ezines or article submitters, etc. And the traffic I get is healthy to keep me alive, optimist, and producing even more articles. Blogs are easy to set up and publish and maintain. I use Blogger and Word Press (WP). It isn't rocket science. Those two publishers have made it so easy that even a child can post and maintain them. Blogger is owned by Goggle and probably they send traffic to Blogger; knowing this I have four Blogger blogs. I don't know about Word Press, but after a while I started to get traffic without me doing anything about it. Both --Blogger and Word Press blogs-- get indexed every day (if not several times). Of course, you need postings that are original; if you only post a picture and one or two lines of text, the search engines are programmed to ignore those postings. To make sure my articles are indexed, my postings contain more than 300 words of text. And if I quote something, I run the quotation through the "plagiarism" check (copyscape) to make sure is okay. If the quote is carried by 10 or 20 other sites, I puck it out.
By know there's a whole industry that has grown around 'article writing and submitting and marketing.' I don't want to discourage anyone from using them, but beware of the outrageous claims some of the people in the industry make. They tell you that they will blast your article to millions of hubs in the Internet and that your traffic will grow exponentially the longer you stay with them. So it you pay $47 a month for 10 months hoping for that elusive traffic, you will have spent $470 and your traffic will be but a feeble handful of no more than 3-5 visits a month. So go figure! No torrential traffic as you were promised, but puny results.
By the way, both Blogger and Word Press are totally free. Read the articles below and you'll see that what they tell you doesn't hold water in my experience.
To become a writer I write every day. Since English is my second language, when I write articles I consult Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers.
When writing a novel or short stories I consult Toolbox for Writers