Last Updated: November 12, 2020

Remember the article you read online about that great newly released sports car or a review of a high-end vacation getaway? Or maybe you scrolled through the blog post about a new diet that promised to melt away fat if you just followed it exactly. All of these articles were likely part of a larger campaign known as article marketing. (See also Web Marketing)

Article marketing is one of the oldest strategies used by online marketers to acquire new visitors and increase sales on their websites. The practice typically involves writers and publishers as primary participants, with article marketing services working as intermediaries that help match writers with interested publishers.

The fundamental purpose of article marketing is to attract wider online audiences and increase the number of sales opportunities for products or services offered on websites. The most popular articles support an author’s or company’s reputation as an expert in a specific field, and help cultivate a loyal audience. Inceased site traffic boosts where their web page ranks in search engine results, which means more people will see the site and have the opportunity to buy what the author is selling.

Who employs article marketers?

Article marketers are often entrepreneurs who contract their services to online news sources, other independent writers and online publishers, bloggers, industry trade magazines, or other topic-specific journals. In most cases, article marketers and writers belong to a number of online marketing services that specialize in matching article writers with publishers for a fee.

Article Marketing Styles

Articles used for marketing typically fall into one of three categories,

  • Articles used for blogs or websites
  • Articles used for press releases
  • Articles submitted to article directories for distribution

Product manufacturers, service providers, and business opportunity or franchise companies often hire article marketers or source content from article marketers to help their businesses. Regardless of industry, a well-written article can be a big help to a business’s bottom line.

Some examples of businesses that use article marketing include:

  • Health and wellness service providers searching for new clients
  • Scientific journals aiming to increase subscriptions
  • Online retailers and resellers looking for new customers
  • Travel groups and hotels wanting to increase bookings

Content development and writing doesn’t always have to come from a writer. Employees working within a company’s marketing department include strategists, marketing coordinators, and marketing managers. In addition to their other daily responsibilities—creating marketing materials or managing budgets—they also frequently contribute to writing campaigns. Employees are asked to produce new articles or videos for the company’s blog, website, write press releases about a new client acquisition or product release, or even manage an entire network of freelance writers and marketers. (See also Content Marketing)

4 Crucial Steps for Successful Article Marketing

Article marketing is one of the fastest, cheapest ways to promote online content and attract new visitors. Here are 4 of the most important factors in a successful article marketing campaign:

  1. Keyword search optimization. Thoroughly research keywords that fit the needs of your targeted niches. Find keywords or phrases containing 3-5 unique keywords, and make sure that competitors use the keywords. This ensures that the keyword actually has value.
  2. Develop article content. Develop article content that addresses the personality and needs of your niche market consumers. Articles can be developed in-house or outsourced to freelance writers for a fee. In both cases, relevant content is the key component.
  3. Submit the article. Submit articles online to article directories with high PageRank scores and make sure to include a resource box with links, description sentences, and your name. Some of the most popular are:
  4. Promote the article. Getting eyes on your article is the last step. Promote the article on popular blogs and content aggregators to reach the widest possible audience. Some examples include:
    1. Digg
    2. Reddit
    3. Slashdot
    4. StumbleUpon
    5. Google+

What kinds of customers are effectively marketed to with article marketing?

Article marketing is highly customizable, allowing it to meet the needs of a wide array of prospective customer bases. These days, most consumers conduct research online, which provides direct, low-cost access to millions of potential customers. By providing relevant, timely content about a topic or subject, any company selling any type of service or product can reach their target market and develop new sales opportunities with the right content.

For example, an airline looking to increase bookings likely wouldn’t benefit from content related to car repair. However, the airline can use article marketers to provide tips on how best to navigate airport security, find hidden last-minute vacation deals, or earn free upgrades with loyalty programs.

By aligning helpful, non sales-related content with the airline’s brand, the company can strengthen its brand image and begin cultivating a loyal, dedicated audience. Increased traffic to its website enables the airline to promote credit cards, rapid rewards memberships, and other special offers for subscribers that ultimately help boost revenue.(See also Marketing Airlines)

How is an article marketing plan developed and employed?

Article marketing campaigns are based on content relevancy. The goal is to attract the highest quality, organic backlinks to other popular (and related) websites to help boost traffic. Organic links and natural search results provide approximately six times the amount of traffic that paid search advertising does. Therefore, a properly executed article marketing campaign can potentially attract millions of new visitors at virtually no cost. (See also Search Marketing)

The first step in this process is to identify specific target niches and create a list of possible topics that would entice and engage each niche. After establishing a list of topics, the next step is to develop a production schedule, a calendar of when articles for specific topics should be developed and published. Articles can be developed each week and published to a company’s or individual author’s website and then submitted to submission services for further distribution.

Writers use dedicated bylines, a link to their content, and a few description lines to easily show readers and potential publishing partners what their article is about. Promoting their articles helps writers gain increased exposure by making their content easily reproducible by a multitude of other parties online. The increased exposure helps generate new links to their sites that boost search engine results further and lead to future writing opportunities.

For publishers, article marketing provides virtually unlimited free content with minimal effort. Publishers can use articles to produce newsletters or blogs that provide their customers with relevant, engaging content that boosts their search engine results. Improved search rankings can help publishers, regardless of what business they’re in, increase traffic to their website and generate new and repeat sales opportunities.

What types of careers work with article marketing strategies?

Discover some of the various career opportunities involved with successful article marketing campaigns.

Marketing and Social Media Manager

What do they do?

What kind of salary can I expect?

  • Marketing and Social Media Manager
    Median salary: $101, 198
    Top earners: $117, 132
  • Content/Copywriter (mid-career, 6-8 years experience)
    Median salary: $68, 769
    Top earners: $87,623
  • Social Media Specialist/Strategist
    Median salary: $55,000; varies by city/location

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Marketing and social media managers work with executive-level officers to create, promote, and execute programs such as online collaboration tools, membership materials, and thought-leadership content. In this role, managers often are responsible for directing guest post article submission and publication processes, as well as scheduling and executing publicity campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Education and Skills

At a minimum, marketing and social media managers should possess a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, creative writing, journalism, or business management. In addition, because of the position’s high level of authority, managers are expected to possess 2-5 years direct experience in writing, copy editing, managing paid and organic search campaigns, and be proficient in current content management systems and blogging software.


What do they do?

Copywriters and content developers create web-based content which include website copy, blog posts, press releases, articles, email newsletters, and more. Projects come in all shapes and sizes, but all are intended to help business owners accurately measure and track their advertising and marketing strategies and generate more leads and sales from their website.

Education and Skills

Content and copywriters must have strong written language communications skills, be organized, and possess exceptional critical thinking skills in order to write from their client’s point of view. They typically possess a 4-year undergraduate degree in marketing or public relations. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, writers typically need 3-5 years of experience in marketing or general business.

Social Media Specialist/Strategist

What do they do?

Operating as part of the branding team, a social media strategist is responsible for monitoring social media conversations and interaction, including publishing and distribution of contributed articles.

Strategists are tasked with understanding up-to-the minute trends in the company’s social media campaigns and modifying activities accordingly to best connect with the intended audiences. They must be highly analytical and strategic thinkers, be savvy with current web technologies, and fully understand current SEO best practices.

Education and Skills

At a minimum, social media strategists typically possess a bachelor’s degree in marketing, general business, management, or advertising. Social media strategists are often expected to have 2-3 years of experience in online marketing as well as additional experience in writing or publishing.

How can a marketing school help you succeed?

Our Recommended Schools

  1. Grand Canyon University (GCU)

    GCU's Colangelo College of Business offers leading edge degrees that address the demands of contemporary business environments.

  2. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

    Explore the bond between business and consumer behavior with a degree in marketing.

Marketing professionals are expected to understand modern marketing techniques and technologies. Without this basic knowledge, individuals may struggle with implementing a successful article marketing campaign. A marketing degree provides a structured learning environment to help future marketing professionals better understand the relationship between Internet technologies and marketing principles.

In marketing education programs, students learn the basics of business communication, consumer behavior, and market research analysis, among other topics. Through hands-on projects and extensive research, students gain an in-depth understanding of how to analyze data of existing marketing campaigns and use consumer behavior profiles to adapt marketing efforts for maximum value.

Marketing degree programs also offer a highly creative, innovative environment, giving students all the skills they need to craft effective messages that reach their target audiences. Marketing students are encouraged to explore creative ways to deliver their message for the greatest impact and return on the investment of marketing dollars. They learn to identify new content distribution channels and to adapt the tone and tenor of a campaign to be more relevant to a target audience.

Top myths about article marketing

  • Myth: Article marketing doesn’t work.
    Fact: Article marketing is essential for building a network of incoming links that drives website traffic.
  • Myth: Distributed articles get indexed as supplemental pages.
    Fact: Articles can get top-10 placement in major search engines, depending on submission method.
  • Myth: You need to submit your article to thousands of sites manually to get a response.
    Fact: Articles can be distributed in many ways. The most common include self-publishing on your website, submitting only to sites dedicated to a specific topic, email a quality article to high-traffic sites, and submitting to popular article repositories.

These skills are transferrable to the business world and are essential to launching or managing a successful article marketing campaign. Marketers must be able to quickly analyze campaign performance and either modify the content or the overall strategy on the fly to deliver better returns. (See also Marketing Data Analyst)

Understanding how and why consumers seek out specific content allows article and social media professionals to focus on sourcing content specifically relevant to those needs. By identifying specific market segments and their desired content, marketing professionals can compile trusted sources of content for each vertical niche. This allows marketers to develop a delivery schedule to provide consumers with timely, relevant content that keeps the business moving forward.

To learn more about how a marketing degree can help you achieve success in article marketing, request information from schools offering marketing degrees.