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Mythbusting: How Many Article Submission Sites Should I Submit To?
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Reader Question:

I have often wondered if you were doing more harm than good submitting the same article to more than one article directory? I try not to repeat articles, but it is difficult to keep on coming up with new content for each directory.

I’m so glad someone asked this! This is a question that I get from time to time, and it reveals a basic misconception about article marketing (an ‘article marketing myth’, if you will) that unless corrected will seriously impede your chances for success.

Is it a bad idea to submit the same article to more than one article submission site?

Absolutely not!

Quite the contrary–you are not doing any harm by submitting the same article to more than one article directory. You are actually helping your cause immensely.

It helps to remember the purpose of an article directory.

An article directory is a hub for publishers. People who need content for their websites go to article directories to find free content (your articles).

This is a win-win situation–the website owner needs content for his site, and you want the exposure for your article, as well as the valuable one-way backlink that goes along with having your article republished.

The reason why you put your article on an article directory is to position it to be easily republished.

This is the power behind article marketing–in order to work, your article must be republished. The idea is not to write an article and have it published on one site. The idea is to write an article and have it published on many sites. That is how you build links.

So, you could put your article on one directory, and then sit around waiting and hoping that someone finds your article and republishes it.

High work, low reward: Submit your article to only one directory

That’s a rather passive way to market your site, and it requires that you put in a lot of work compared to the reward. For example, you need to take the time to write an article (that is the work), but you may have only a handful of people (if that) who republish it.

Low work, high reward: Submit your article automatically to many directories

The smarter way to do article marketing is to submit your article to many directories and other types of publishers. That is what we do at SubmitYOURArticle.com, my article submitter. You submit your article one time to us, and then we distribute it to our large network of targeted publishers.

So, you have done your part by writing the article, and you have a big payoff because your article is being published on many sites. Low work, high reward. This is the most effective way to do article marketing and build links.

Conclusion

Remember, you wanted your article to be republished anyway. By submitting to more article submission sites right off the bat you are helping your own cause and speeding things along.

You are not at the mercy of how your article fares on one directory. You can do a more comprehensive article marketing campaign that is more stable in the results it produces.


NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"


22 Responses to “Mythbusting: How Many Article Submission Sites Should I Submit To?”

  1. Yes, over the past year I find the articles that I have submitted to five or more sites have been far more successful than the ones that I have only submitted to one.
    Hopefully now that I have joined Submit your Article, I will see even greater success with my articles.

  2. I have two (or three) questions that I think are relevant;

    - clearly , and certainly with submityourarticle, you have to put in quite some effort to enable the article to be “spun” before it is submitted to the various article sites. How different do the articles have to really be to avoid “duplication” from the outset??

    - given that duplicate content is such a big “no-no” on the web, are marketers simply going to stop taking articles from the publishing sites, over time?? And if that is the case, what would then be the point of the whole exercise??

    Andrew

  3. Steve Shaw says:

    @Michel Maling: Good to hear, Michel … a good way to look at it is, if you wrote a book, would you want it to be available only in one bookshop, or as many bookshops as possible?

    @Andrew Wright: I’m happy to share our thoughts on this–

    It may help to keep in mind that no one is able to guarantee how the SEs will view the different articles, and a lot depends on the extent of the variations that are put into place, for example, you can enter as many different titles as you wish, as many different versions of the introduction as you wish, and the resource box(es) too, and a variation of every sentence in the article can be provided too.

    So the different versions of the articles out there will have certain similarities, but it also means some versions will be almost entirely different, depending on the level of variation that the author chooses to put into place.

    So SEs may view some of the variations of the articles as essentially the same, and treat them as such; and others it may consider as different content completely, and consequently the page(s) they are on may get higher PageRank, increasing the quality of the link, and so on.

    But even if two or more articles on different sites are viewed as duplicates, it doesn’t bring a penalty back to the author of the article–it just means the SEs will give value to just one or two of the pages showing the article, rather than all of them.

    Neither should article submissions be seen as some sort of underhanded tactic – it’s not, article submissions simply involve sharing content legitimately with other sites on the web who wish to publish it.

    Press releases work in a similar way, and a whole load of other online content is syndicated too, not just article submissions.

    While the search engines don’t see it as a problem if sites contain the same content, this doesn’t mean that they want to show their users the same article on a ton of different sites in the search results; they want to show a variety of different content that may be helpful to the user.

    So they do recognize duplicate content, but that doesn’t mean they penalize sites because of it– syndicated content plays a big part on the web and how the web works (eg. RSS provides an easy method to spread syndicated content).

    Article submissions increase your chances of one of your articles showing up on one of the sites on which it is published when a user searches on a particular topic. The more articles you have out there, and the more sites your articles are published on, the more chances you have that a search engine user will click to read your article when searching for something.

    So, I haven’t noticed that the duplicate content issue plays that big a role in a website’s results, but knowing that some people are very concerned, we do offer a free tool to the members of SubmitYOURArticle.com called ArticleLeverage, which allows the author to create unlimited variations of their article, which decreases the amount of duplicate content.

    Using ArticleLeverage certainly increases the chances that more pages displaying the article (or a variation of it) will get value from the SEs, and thereby boost the quality of the link pointing back to the author’s site; and more chances that different searches in the SEs will display a variation of the article in the search results.

  4. Stuart Young says:

    Hi,
    I enjoyed reading your article but here’s my question: How does your system get around the myriad different submission criteria imposed by the directories. I find this more time consuming than creating the articles in the first place.
    cheers
    Stu

  5. Steve Shaw says:

    @Stuart Young: When you speak of “submission criteria” I assume you are referring to editorial requirements?

    We base our own editorial guidelines off what most quality publishers are looking for in an article, and we pre-screen each and every article that is submitted to 1) be sure that our publishers are receiving the quality articles that they are looking for 2) give our members the best chance of distributing an article that will be accepted by the most publishers possible.

    There may be some slight variation among publishers as to their editorial requirements, but basically most publishers want articles that are well-written–grammatically correct, free of spelling errors, and logically structured. There are many other criteria that we screen for as well.

    It also helps that the vast majority of our extensive distribution network consists of publishers and web sites who have directly requested to receive content from our members, so our member’s articles are expected, desired, and commonly receive a warm welcome at the publisher level. Due to our editorial controls, we have a reputation for quality content that continues to attract publishers to join our network.

    I hope that answers your question–just let me know if I am off base on what you were trying to find out.

  6. Miriam says:

    To follow up on Stu’s comment above, the rules of submission for many of the sites specifically state that you cannot upload duplicate content. The restrictions further say that your article can be banned (perhaps you as an author as well) for submitting articles that have appeared elsewhere.

    Did you find a loophole?

    Take good care,
    Miriam

  7. Steve Shaw says:

    @Miriam: I’m glad you asked this–this would make another great article marketing myth post.

    There is a misunderstanding in terms here:

    There is a difference between a non-original duplicate article and duplicate content. These two are apples and oranges.

    It is very likely that the directory said that they did not want duplicate article submissions, not that they did not want duplicate content. (More on why it would be an unusual occurrence for a directory to request ‘no duplicate content’ towards the end of this reply)

    So, they probably said they were sick of receiving duplicate submissions. When a directory says that they do not want duplicate article submissions, they are saying that you should not submit the same article more than once to their site. So, you would not submit your article in August and then two months later submit the same or similar article to that site again.

    Every publisher wants fresh content (as compared to the other content on their own site, not fresh on the entire internet)–they do not want to receive the same article more than once.

    We have a “duplicate article” detection tool that we use at SubmitYOURArticle.com that allows us to catch any articles that have already been distributed through our service. So, if the same or very similar article has already been submitted to us, we will not distribute it to our network again.

    Duplicate content is something entirely different–this is in reference to search engines and the same content being published on more than one site. When a search engine detects that a piece of content is appearing on more than one site, it does not penalize the website or the author of the piece of content. As I mentioned above in my reply to Andrew Wright, free reprint articles are syndicated content, and syndicated content (such as articles and press releases) plays an integral role in how the web works. Please read my reply to Andrew above for more info on that.

    Sometimes an article directory will ask you not to submit duplicate articles (submitting the same article to the same site more than once), but it would be extremely rare that a directory would not accept an article that is already published on another site (duplicate content).

    Article marketing is all about republishing articles–that is why they are called ‘free reprint articles’. Publishers get the content from article directories and then publish that content on their sites. Article directories are not expecting that the content on their site will be unique–that is not the nature of an article directory. They will however expect that you do not submit the same article twice to them, as it is no benefit to them to publish the same content on their own site more than once.

    See the difference?

    Thanks so much for your question. That is an easy one to get confused on–would make a great ‘article marketing myth’ blog post!

  8. I stand with Miriam on this. Once I had to change the title of my article because the system of a popular article directory detected similarity with an article submitted to an entirely different directory. Good thing is that I was given the chance to make amendments but others don’t even give you any chance once they think you duplicated an article even if the original and the said “duplicate” are yours.

    Second, is there a way to buy credits per article instead of the $47/month? It is good for those who submit articles everyday but what about those who write articles once in a while?

  9. Steve Shaw says:

    @Admin – Health Blog:

    I have heard of a very popular directory requiring that each title submitted to their own directory be unique on their own site, but I have never heard of a directory requiring you to have a title that is unlike any other title on the entire internet (that would be hard to accomplish anyway!). There is probably a misunderstanding somewhere…

    Regarding the pricing for SubmitYOURArticle.com–it’s a flat rate for unlimited article submissions, and I’m sorry–we won’t be moving in the direction of article credits.

  10. Andrew Wright…don’t worry about being penalized for submitting the same article to multiple directories. Google has publicly stated on their Webmaster Central Guidelines that there is no penalty for duplicate content. Rather, as Steve Shaw said, they may not give you credit for all copies of your article on different sites.

    With that in mind, we tested spinning articles and not spinning articles and publishing them to multiple article directories. We were actually surprised at how many of the exact same (“unspun”) articles were indexed by Google, especially compared to the results of the spun articles. This confirmed for us that spinning really isn’t as critical as some people make it out to be, and submitting your articles to multiple sites is the way to go.

    I hope this helps.

  11. Hi Steve – this is so interesting. I’m really grateful for the questions asked and answered. To add to the conversation, when you publish one of my articles, I may receive two or three confirmation emails from other directories saying my article has been approved, but that’s all. Does that mean that only two or three directories have chosen to publish my work on their pages or do other places publish without confirmation back to the author?

  12. I agree with Miriam and Admin Heath Care blog. I almost got banned with e zines because I submitted a article to them and someone else and had to do a bunch of groveling not to get banned.

  13. Hello Steve, You have clarified article submissions for me. I have not had it explained as simple as you have in this article. Thanks, Andrew Gallop

  14. Steve Shaw says:

    @Chuck Lawyyers: Hi Chuck–because I am submitting automatically and our system submits to EzineArticles.com as one of the very first places it submits to, I have not run into that problem. I also tend to trickle out my own articles eg. over 90 days, so it’s going to be several days before the same article appears elsewhere or shows up in search engine listings.

    An obvious solution therefore is to submit to EA first before your other submissions. Generally, the sites in our network do not require that an article is not published elsewhere.

  15. Steve Shaw says:

    @Jannette Barrett: Hi Jannette,

    Most publishers will not send you a confirmation–it is only a handful that will. To see where your article has been picked up for publication, it is a better idea to do a Google search on your article title (putting it in quotation marks).

  16. i have found this method very successful and at the end of the day if your not seeing results then maybe your articles are not that intesresting perhaps

  17. Thanks for the advice on article submission. There does seem to be some confusion over this subject and Im still a little unsure, however worse case for duplicate content is google ignores it, you may not receive extra credit, but it wont do anything negative to your website.

    Here at CustomerLoyaltyCards.co.uk we’ve found it hard to write unique content on loyalty cards, and it can be very time consuming. Thanks for the article…

  18. Eric S. says:

    “….article submissions simply involve sharing content legitimately with other sites on the web who wish to publish it.”

    I’m totally new and I wish to understand. How do other sites publish our article? When I see websites, I do not see any articles written? Hope you’d help me to understand this clearly.

  19. Steve Shaw says:

    @Eric S.: Hi Eric,

    There are two ways that a website would publish your article:

    1 – Sometimes website owners who want content for their sites will go to article directories and search for content. They find articles there and republish the article and resource box.

    Here is an example of what an article directory looks like:

    http://www.submityourarticle.com/articles/

    2 – An even better way to get your content into the hands of a publisher is to send it to him directly, rather than waiting for him to go to a directory and find your article.

    At SubmitYOURArticle.com, we submit your articles to our distribution network of publishers. So, we cut out the article directory middle man, which gets your articles republished faster and more often.

    Any other questions, just let me know.

  20. Eric S. says:

    Well, you show that it’s inside the ‘Submit Your Article’ site, but I’d like to know how it’s being used by the other websites or publishers, where does it lead to. Sorry, I’m still cracking my head where does it go to. I’d appreciate it if you can help me understand more. Thanks.

  21. Steve Shaw says:

    @Eric S.: Hi Eric,

    I’m not totally sure I’m understanding what your question is, but I’ll take another stab at it :) :

    How are articles used by websites? There are tons of website owners who are looking for free content for their sites. They either go to an article directory, or they get on our publisher distribution network to receive articles.

    The articles are either sent to them automatically (so the article automatically appears on their website), or they receive the article via email or via an article announcement list.

    Those who receive an article via email or find it on an article directory have a means of easily publishing the article–there is a special publisher’s tool that allows them to put the article on their website.

    You had said before that you had never seen a website that had articles on it–here are a few examples for you:

    http://theboardmagazine.com/
    http://onlinewealthunlimitedblog.com/
    http://bestscrapbookdeal.com/

    You had asked “where does it go”: Again, not sure exactly if I’m understanding your question, but the article goes on the website owner’s site on a web page. If you look at the examples above, you’ll see articles on the home page, but you can also click on different categories for other articles. The website is comprised of a lot of web pages, and there are free reprint articles on some or all of the pages.

    Some website owners just use a few articles a month to supplement their own writing, and others rely heavily on articles that others write.

    Articles can also be republished in ezines–if you’ve ever subscribed to a newsletter that you received via email, you have likely seen some free reprint articles in action.

    I hope that helps!

  22. Thanks for the advice on article submission. We’re trying our best to follow this and learn from this regards our own printing business (Best at Printing).

    There does seem to be some confusion over this subject and Im still a little unsure, however worse case for duplicate content is google ignores it, you may not receive extra credit, but it wont do anything negative to your website (I hope).

    Anyway thanks for the advice Steve Shaw

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