- Internet & the Web
Choosing The Best Article Directory
What Features Should You Look For In An Article Directory?
Join us in the discussion below as we examine what makes a good Article Directory. Make an informed decision where you should be posting your content for the best possible outcome.
What Makes A Good Article Directory?
Let us examine the basics first
When choosing an Article Directory there is an important choice that you have to make.
Should you choose a free directory or a paid one?
- Free Article Directories: Let us begin by saying that the term "free" article directory is a little misleading. What is generally understood by "free" are directories that allow you to submit articles with out a cash payment.
However, there are no free lunches when it comes to article submission. Although you are not paying cash up-front (what we call the front end) you are paying on the back-end (as we shall explain). So called free Article Directories do not charge you money to submit your articles, but they do not exist just to make your world a better place, they too are businesses and have to make money.
So how do they make money if they aren't charging you?
They make their money by including advertising around your articles. When someone who comes to their site to read your article sees one of these adverts and thinks "I am interested in that, so I will click the ad" the Article Directory makes money. This may be a few cents, or it may be several dollars for every person that clicks one of these adverts depending on the topic that you wrote about.
What is the problem with that, it hasn't cost me anything?
You are correct if you think it doesn't cost you anything when one of your article readers clicks on an advert. You are also dead wrong!
If the reason that you are writing articles is for profit or reward then every customer that you have worked hard to get to that article (by sweating over the article content, or by social bookmarking the article to send people to it) needs to take the action that you intend. That may be to click through to your website and join your email list, or it may be to purchase the product that you mention via your affiliate link.
So by listing your article on a "free" Article Directory you are leaving gaping great holes in your sales funnel. You will notice on many of the favourite free Article Directories that finding the article is hard work amongst the many Adword and other ad blocks. In other words, they cram as many adverts around and through your article as they possibly can (this is how they make their money after all - stealing your traffic). Yes, that is right. They are stealing your traffic which is costing you a lot of money on the back-end. These are sales you lose every day because someone gets distracted by an ad and never finishes reading your article to get to your call to action.
Once someone clicks off your article because they have found the product they were looking for in an ad they aren't going to come back. No thank you for information, no tip, just another lost sale.
So I hope you understand how "free" directories are not free at all. They are costing you sales which is all your back-end money.
Paid Article Directories: These are Article Directories that charge you an annual or monthly fee to belong (and/or they may charge you per article you upload).
There is no hiding how these directories make their money. It is from the memberships of their authors - people like you and me who like publish articles. As you have already seen, free directories cost you on the back end by way of lost sales, paid directories charge you up front to submit to their service.
The advantages of this kind of directory are that you know exactly how much it is costing you to publish articles whether it is so much a month or so much an article. You should then be able to track how well your articles are doing because all the people who visit each article have much fewer options. Your readers do not have dozens of ads to choose from when reading your article (or they will not with a good paid Article Directory). When they get to the bottom of the article they are forced to choose whether or not to respond to your call to action.
If the product you are selling is worth several to many dollars to you as an affiliate, it will not take many extra (saved) sales to pay for membership at paid directory service. If you have many articles multiplied by much traffic the amount saved (or lost) can quickly add up to the thousands of dollars.
Now do you see why a "free" directory may not be the cheap option it first appears?
Points To Consider When Choosing An Article Directory
- Cost: If you are writing for pleasure and do not intend to make any money, and you have no website to send customers to, then a free directory might be for you. For the majority of people writing articles for reward, I strongly suggest you add up the cost of back-end revenue you stand to lose by submitting to a directory that swamps your article with your competitors adverts.
- Layout: Does the directory present your article in the easiest to read manner possible. Are there no distractions that would cause one of your potential customers to get side tracked before clicking through to your website. This is especially noteworthy if you are paying that site for the privilege of publishing your articles.
- Terms Of Service: Does the directory allow you to write on the topic of your choice. Some Article Directories (especially the free ones) have strict terms that you must abide by. They will have a list of topics that they deem not suitable to be promoted on their site. They are also able to update these terms at any time they choose which can essentially shut your account down over night if you suddenly find yourself in a newly banned niche.
- Ranking: Different Article Directories have different ranking in the eyes of the Search Engines. If the directory that you submit to has a low ranking, the chances are that few people will find your article while browsing the internet. A good Article Directory will have a high Page Rank (PR) and will pass that to your articles so that they will appear on page one of the Search Engines for the chosen keywords that you have created your article around.
- Article Design Tools: A good Article Directory will give you full control over the layout of your article. You should be able to use full html editors that allow you to control the layout, the colors, and the addition of pictures and logos.