July 28, 2010
Might I bother you with a question?
Like many others in small businesses, I am trying to figure out whose advice and expertise to trust, what we can do on our own, and what we ought to outsource, etc.
I spoke to someone who is offering to write 20 articles ($100 apiece, which he promises me is a deal) and who also wants an additional fee to post them on the site and integrate them with the content.
He and I have had several conversations with me being very skeptical and telling him this outright, that no one can promise that your site will rank on the first page. (I learned that from you, and am hoping I am still right?!) I also have learned from you that what I get on a search engine results page will vary from what you and others get, depending on our recent search history.
So my question here is: Are articles a smart and strategic way to invest our money? Is this person being completely honest in saying we "will rank on page 1" with their articles?
Thanks so much,
It all depends on which keywords the guy is saying he can promise to rank for. I can't imagine he'd get you to rank for something like "gift baskets" by writing articles. But he might be able to get you to rank for "buying a gift basket full of fresh fruit" with an article.
Articles on your site can be helpful if they're somehow so remarkable that they can draw links when others like them. (Assuming someone gets the word out to those others so they know your articles exist.) And they can also bring in some decent "long tail traffic," which means people using long phrases such as the one I mentioned above.
The hard part, of course, is actually writing articles that are that remarkable. Most articles that you'll get will just be the same old regurgitated stuff that has already been said a million times. What you want to pay for, if you want to get into article marketing, is the creative ideas more than the actual writing. That's what you'll find to be the most valuable.
Jill Whalen is an SEO consultant and CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO company.
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