Many people who use the Internet in their marketing do so for specific reasons. I work with many speakers, authors, trainers and consultants who want to gain visibility on the Internet and within their market. Many have heard they can achieve this outcome by submitting articles to various online directories and Ezines. Although this is true, there are pros and cons to using this strategy.
When done correctly, article writing and distribution can be an incredible tool for marketing a site, business, product, service or person.

The upside of online submissions is that in a very short period of time your article can be submitted to dozens, even hundreds, of online locations. In some cases, you will reach thousands of readers within hours of your submission. In some instances, your article will be visible on a site, directory or blog within minutes of posting. In addition, articles can remain online for an indefinite period of time, allowing for continued visibility for the author.
For those new to posting articles, finding locations can be challenging. To find directory locations simply do a Google or Yahoo! search with the words “article directories + your topic”. Replace the words “your topic” with your actual topic or market.
One of the most popular article directories is Christopher Knight‘s directory is by far one of the best you will find. There are others like it, so do your homework and you will find many directories that are a great fit for your articles.
For Ezines, do the same search but replace “article directories” with the word “Ezine.” You can also look in Ezine directories for numerous listings specific to your topics and market.
Ezines are different from article directories. Directories may take articles in hundreds of categories while Ezines are targeted to specific topics and markets.
Be sure to utilize a very targeted approach for distribution of your articles to Ezines. For example, if you specialize in articles specific to pet owners, submitting to a business Ezine is likely to be a complete waste of time. Submitting to Ezines specific to pet owners will give you greater results.
The number of locations you can submit to it is almost unlimited. This in itself can create challenges. How do you know where the best location is? Spend time reviewing the directory or Ezine. Subscribe to the Ezine to find out how consistently it is distributed and review the quality of information included in the Ezine.
Look for quality when selecting locations for article submission. Virtually anyone can be published on the Internet, often with no restrictions. This means the quality of writing can be mediocre at best, and yet the writer still gains visibility.
Consider all of these are factors when you submit articles.
-Distribution and reach
-Ease of submission
-Demographics of readership
Another challenge is that some people use articles as a blatant form of advertising rather than a valuable resource of information to the reader. Avoid this temptation! Although you may gain in the short term, over the long haul you will be viewed as less than professional.
A huge benefit of posting to various article directories and Ezines is that your articles can and will be viewed by editors, publishers and journalists from many other publications, including trade journals, traditional publications, and radio and televisions producers. Many opportunities have been created by way of articles on the Internet.
To learn more about how to use articles for your online marketing listen to my interview with Jeff Herring, The Internet Article Guy. Jeff is one of my featured experts in the Top of Their Game Expert Teleseminar Series. FREE