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Still The Best Way To Get Traffic & Links: Quality Writing!

Updated on July 19, 2008

So much of the internet is duplicated and derivative that it really leaves one to wonder whether 95% of the web pages are of any real use at all and would be best deleted to make navigation easier for everyone. There must be thousands of websites dedicated to chronicling the activities of one particular group or enterprise, even when that entity might only release news once a week or so. That leaves the rest of the time for the merciless creation of filler. For example, how many sites are focused exclusively on Apple? The web site owners and publishers of these sites have to wonder just how many times they can comment on Steve Jobs' wardrobe which has been exactly the same black turtleneck and jeans since Eight Is Enough was a top rated series on ABC.

If you are interested in building traffic, then it is imperative that you provide quality content. As the old programming saying goes: Garbage In Garbage Out. If you rely on copy and pasting news releases or rephrasing forum postings, you are really not contributing anything of value but just engaging in a policy which can be compared to a spamming of the web. If you work hard at your own content to ensure that it is late-breaking and evergreen at the same time, featuring content which is not duplicated in another thousand places, then your site, blog or Hub will soon be acknowledged as an authoritative and informative leader among your field, and people around the world will soon be attracted to its unique, interesting, accurate and verifiable form of online journalism.

No matter how much time passes and how many SEO black hat trickery comes and goes, writing and publishing unique and interesting articles on your site, your blog, Hubpages, or any quality site that will accept your articles is the best way to win at the internet game.

If the article has your byline on it and nothing else but the text body copy, the only advantage from a link building standpoint is going to be derived by the website that is publishing your article, not you. That's why whenever you are negotiating with a site to publish one of your articles, it is extremely important to clearly specify in advance that you want to have a link directly back to you on any article you publish. The link doesn't have to be overly obvious or in the form of an advertisement or endorsement, but a simple signature link at the end of the article will achieve all of the linkage results that you desire.

As in the case of the "link farms" who take your money and give you nothing of any real value in return, and may even get you blackballed from many of the major search engines, you should beware of any of these neophyte article directories and article submission services. They will definitely publish your article on a wide range of sites, however the sites they publish to are just shell sites that are usually operated by the service owners themselves, and carry absolutely no value from the standpoint of building a quality link. There is no advantage to spamming the net with pointless articles on pointless sites. You must always remember that quality, not quantity is one of the major keys to proper link building technique.

As an online link-seeking writer, you should carefully research the market and then approach a selected number of acknowledged and authoritative top-quality sites with a proper and professional pitch to get them to run your article. This process is not as one-sided as it may first seem to appear. You are in a position to provide valuable content that will appeal to the readers of their site, thereby profiting the web site owner and publisher. In exchange you will receive not only links back to you, but if you negotiate properly, you might even find that there is some element of payment that will go with the writing of the articles, either in a percentage of the monetization that will be received via Google AdWords or other similar services, or in rarer occasions in a lump sum cash payment.

You also might keep in mind that you can't pay your rent with quality links. Your landlord wants cash.

This does not mean that you can just write a piece of discordant, non-sequitur, imprecise and unfocused fluff and expect that the top site in your field will feature it on the front page. The top site in your field got to be the top site in your field by providing quality and exclusive content that the readers can't find anywhere else. They are not going to indulge your fantasies of becoming the next John Dvorak.

You will also have to submit to their editorial comments. The customer is always right, even when they are wrong, thus you may find your treasured article returned to you blasted full of holes and require several drafts of re-writing or even a full re-configuration and re-conceptualization.

The editors of the top quality sites will be able to see right through any efforts to promote your own products and services, let alone your website. If you are too enthusiastic about any one particular product, they will suspect that you are either on that company's payroll, or have received free products or other perqs from that company. Even though product payola is rampant in online review sites, the better sites do not engage in taking bribes in exchange for good reviews, and strongly frown on anyone who submits articles to them that are obvious pay-for-play as the publication of such an article would be deleterious to their own internet reputation.

Frequency is also a good carrot to dangle in front of the web site owners, publishers and editors. Not only will publishing an article a week or a couple of articles per month keep your links fresh and humming with activity, but the publisher will find it of advantage as well, as a repeated publication of a good quality content writer's articles can help build return visitations for the website.

You want to choose a quality site to provide quality links for your quality article. Quality articles are not miscellaneous, stream of consciousness ramblings jotted down with an appalling disregard for the rules and regulations of the English language. In order to be taken seriously as a writer by the top quality sites that you are seeking links from, you have to ensure that your article is properly and thoroughly well-researched, factual and, perhaps most important of all, well-written.


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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      IMHO, SEO is a bunch of dog doo. In a thousand Hubs I have done ZERO SEO and I'm ranking in the top 10 results in Google on a very wide range of highly significant and popular key phrases. Heck, I think I go out of my way to un-SEO my Hubs and the proof of the pudding is always in the eating! My conclusion is that to all extents and purposes SEO is a cruel joke played on the deluded. They'd be much better off learning to write well and choosing subjects which interest a reader... Geez... you would think that those were the keystones of proper journalism and literature before the internet wouldn't you? :)

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      It's just kind of nice to read something that emphasizes the quality of the material, rather than just how to promote "whatever it is". These days there's so much emphasis on networking, linking, SEO optimization, and whatever else (and too infrequent mention of quality material).

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Gotta watch that Post Comment button as it isn't the most reliable one on the site! :(

      You are absolutely correct: There is sooooooooooo much "puking out crap in hopes of making a buck" on the net that it is truly overwhelming and it truly leads one to wonder whether there really is any point in creating quality, unique, interesting, engaging content as it will forever be lost amidst the expulsions of the schlockmeisters. But the bottom line, as I stated to Shirley, is that there is an essential validity to truly valuable content that transcends the Black Hat games of the deluded millions who think that they can get rich by putting up 10,000 jetspinned pages of incomprehensible garbage. I guess we just have to be patient and keep producing quality to counter the quantity of the others! :)

    • Shadesbreath profile image


      9 years ago from California

      Damn, I just wrote a long ass comment about the nature of caring about the reader and respect, and all the noise of the Internet... and (once again) it didn't register and the back button doesn't take me to it. I have to train myself to to copy my replies before I post I think. Grrrr.

      Bottom line, thanks for writing this. Good content stems from picturing the people you are writing to, picturing them as they read what you wrote, as people, people you know, love or care about. Are you writing with that kind of respect and care, or are you just puking out crap in hopes of making a buck.

      I liked my other comment better, but, meh. Been happening a lot lately. Rock on, Hal.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      I guess that between Hubpages and Google they just love me. Especially in the last few months, my Hubs have been getting ridiculously high Google placements... I don't really know exactly why, but I'm certainly not complaining! :)

      Thanks for the compliment but in my time I have turned down plenty of projects simply because I felt I didn't have the background that was suitable for a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter. As you have found out it is very difficult to be able to pull that off, and there is always an element of imprecision which is visible in the final work. IMHO, you're always best off sticking to what you know thoroughly and well, and letting the other topics get handled by people who (hopefully) are experts in their fields.

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great article, Hal. It came up 3rd on a Google search for promoting a website, congrats!

      I have this theory that regurgitated content comes from people who are trying to write about things they know nothing about. It's faster to grab bits and pieces of info online than it is to let a driving curiousity lead to deeper knowledge and understanding of a topic. Just my opinion, of course. I do know that I was once hired to write an article about something I knew next to nothing about (I warned the client) and I'll be the first to admit that it was NOT my best work.

      Somehow, I can't imagine that happening to you.


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