Ezine Marketing vs Article Marketing via Ezine Articles

Newbies are confused and I wanted to clear the air on something:

What our members do when they submit articles to EzineArticles.com has nothing to do with “Ezine Marketing.” We are not the ‘Ezine” nor is “Ezine” just a noun that we plucked out of the air as some believe. :-) Really.

Definitions:

Ezine = Email Newsletter

Ezine Publisher = Someone who publishes an email newsletter

Ezine Marketing = Creating, promoting, managing, & publishing an email newsletter.

Article Marketing = Creating quality original articles 400-1500 words that you make available for syndication by others, preferably by others who have niche websites or ezines that are related to your core area of expertise, with the hopes to attract traffic back to your website and generate demand for yourself/your business.

Ezine Articles = A matching service between expert authors looking to share their expertise in exchange for traffic back to their website thanks to ezine publishers who reprint their content without any changes – sent to their email list membership and/or added to their website.

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EzineArticles on your Cell Phone

Here’s a question for the super geeky nerds who use cell phones for more than just making phone calls:

If you could surf EzineArticles via your cell phone, what would you like to be able to do?

We’re going to begin investing in resources to create a custom cell phone version of EzineArticles, but need some direction from the market as to which services you’d like to see us provide in a cell phone friendly format.

ie: Should we be focused on the needs of our end-users who surf the site to find information or should we start our focus on providing members with access to membership status updates in terms of whether their submissions are approved or to view basic summary stats or what?

Use Nobility When Article Marketing

Sometimes it becomes tempting to promote your EzineArticles everyplace you can strategically find to promote them, but in this short article, you’ll discover that a little ‘nobility’ goes a long way to ensuring that no one gets hurt along the way. Let me explain…

Here’s what’s acceptable if you intend to promote your articles on EzineArticles to others:

  • Sending a title, summary and a link to the full article to your clients and other permission-based email members on your list.
  • Mentioning your newest EzineArticles in your blog (heck, why not load up your EzineArticles RSS feed to do this automatically?)
  • Any promotion or announcement on any web property that you own or to any permission-based email list that you own/control.

But, what if you want to promote your EzineArticles beyond web properties that you own or control, such as social networking, social bookmarking or other social media sites? That’s where the concept of ‘nobility’ comes into play.

When you are contributing to websites that you don’t own or control for the purposes of promoting your articles as listed on EzineArticles, it’s important to be noble… meaning, to not promote your URL if it’s clearly self serving (that would be un-noble). Since it’s always self-serving, how do you go about promoting your EzineArticles if you want to?

Answer = You don’t. Instead, only promote your EzineArticles to web and permission-based email properties that you own and let the universe take care of promoting your EzineArticles to the appropriate 3rd party social media sites. When you produce a high enough quanity of quality articles, your content will get picked up and promoted in the appropriate places.

Updated: Butterfly asked us:

Hi Chris, I have 12 articles on EA and have been given the title of Platinum Author, but still can’t figure how some authors manage to gather so many comments. My articles are well written and offer insight or you would not have selected them for publication. My rankngs are good but few comments are submitted. What am I not doing to attract comments?

Answer = Authors who receive a lot of comments do one of two things: 1) They submit a lot of articles and therefore have a higher chance of attracting a comment or 2) They promote their new articles to their clients and/or permission-based email list member and thus drive thousands of eyeballs to view the article with a request for them to vote and comment on the article.

SES NY 2007

This week I’m in New York visiting clients and attending Incisive Media’s Search Engine Strategies 2007.

The major players are well represented in exhibits as well as panel experts and if Google & Yahoo didn’t have people on the panels, the quality of the sessions would have suffered. Thankfully they sent quite a few of their managers and various engineers and business leaders.

This was my first time attending this conference as I didn’t think I’d be able to learn any actionable best practice strategies, but I was wrong. One of my primary goals in attending was to make sure we’re helping the major search engines to efficiently find our members content while ignoring content that shouldn’t be indexed (example: the *print an article* view). Our long-standing SE strategy has been to simply add lots of fresh high-quality content, provide a fast and positive user experience and make decisions to ensure long-term success (skipping all short term fads).

It was good to hear from many pay-per-click advertisers talk about the type of quality they want from their PPC investments. Remember the quality landing page thread from last year? Many of the same concerns are still important to providing a positive user experience. The last thing we want is poor quality content leading to a poor quality website as it violates the trust of our users and those who bring traffic to our members content.

We’re not involved in paid search abritrage (the act of creating revenue by purchasing traffic on a PPC basis and then immediately selling it through affiliate marketing or other revenue means), but it’s clear that the most egregious offense in terms of advertisers and end-users are MFA’s (Made For Adsense) sites. If you’re an author that drives traffic to a MFA site, this is your early wake up call that you need to find a way to add unique value with your site beyond the ads.

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New-RSS Feeds For Comment Threads

Today I’m thrilled to share that we’ve implemented an RSS feed for the comment thread on all articles that have live comment(s) on them. As of this morning, there are currently 7,665 comments live on 5,926 unique articles. [See Example]

What this means for the non-RSS savvy: People who comment on your articles can now subscribe to the RSS feed of the comments of the article that they are either engaged in the conversation or only want to lurk and watch the conversations taking place on a particular article. This helps them to be notified when there is a new comment on an article so they can read it or add to the discussion.

All together this means we’re supporting over 55,000+ RSS feeds (one for every author, one for every category and now one for every article with a comment). As a reminder to those who are hyper-RSS savvy, we do not allow RSS feeds to be syndicated on commercial websites.

Any questions?

Top 10 Expert Authors by RSS Activity

As you may know, you can subscribe via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to the RSS feed of any the over 47,000+ EzineArticles expert authors. This allows you to track your favorite authors (or yourself) via your RSS reader of choice or you can display in real-time your articles on your website (title, byline, summary and a link to the full article).

Here are top 10 EzineArticles experts by number of views to their individual RSS feed last month:

Expert Author Viewed
Marsha Maung 2,859
Brooke Schuman 1,050
Kitty Barker 1,041
Dennis Diehl 1,010
Vernon Myers 770
Michael Russell 732
Tim Gorman 618
Christopher M. Knight 518
Travis Sago 497
Sharon Hurley 497

Here are the top 10 EzineArticles experts by number of humans who pulled their RSS feed last month:

Expert Author Feed Entry
Tim Gorman 237
Joshua Feinberg 217
Todd Going 207
Nick Wright 171
Barbara Rose Ph.D. 163
Sam Udoh 148
Jim Kitzmiller 145
Peter Hale 142
Thea Westra 140
Hans Meijer 118

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Speciality Search Provider

For today’s blog entry, I went searching to see which blog entry out of 855 entries to date received the most views. It was this one with 3,341 views (Add EzineArticles Search To Your Browser).

Three months later after that blog entry about how EzineArticles can be searched from your favorite FireFox 2 or IE7 browser, we’re now seeing 14,176 searches last month alone and on track to see 200,000 search queries in 2007 from users who search EzineArticles directly BEFORE they land on our site (saving them time). Way cool. :-)

Those who use our SSP services (it’s an autodiscovery thing that is part of the OpenSearch standards) have essential access to EzineArticles from their browser search box and we’ve been tweaking our ability to deliver better search results based on feedback received. Have you tried this feature yet and what did you think of it?

RSS Marketing Interview with Rok Hrastnik

My friend and EzineArticles expert author Rok Hrastnik interviewed me yesterday for his 2007 edition of his RSS e-book. He gave me permission to share his questions along with some of my answers:

1. Could you please give us an overview of how you are using RSS for your marketing purposes?

We’re not using RSS for marketing purposes as the primary goal, but rather we use RSS for pre-qualified visitor traffic-attraction purposes.

EzineArticles has RSS feeds for every category and one for every single expert author listed on our site (45k+). For a select few publishers in a closed test, we also have a keyword RSS feed. Lastly, we’ve made our RSS feeds compliant with the browser standards that allow users to subscribe to RSS feeds very easily.

2. What general results are you seeing from your RSS marketing? Have you seen it drive traffic from the RSS search engines, drive new subscriptions … ?

I’m not certain it’s driving new subscriptions, but I do know that after search engines and email alerts, that our RSS feeds drive the next highest level of traffic to the site daily. This comes largely from a combination of RSS readers who subscribe directly to a particular set of feeds and from niche publishers who add the respective EzineArticles RSS feed to further add value to their web visitors. Example: A Yoga website could add our Yoga RSS feed to display automatically the freshest Yoga articles on their site. They win because they expose their users to a more complete set of information, we win because this drives highly desired and qualified traffic back to our articles and our authors win because they get more exposure.

3. What does it take to manage such an incredibly large number of RSS feeds? What system are you using?

Since 2003 we’ve been developing our own CMS (Content Management System)… So, it’s all done in-house and it’s full automated.

4. Could you please take us through your implementation process step-by-step?

How we implemented our RSS feeds would most likely be of no value to your readers who don’t have the benefit of an in-house CMS development team. I can tell you that we’re only scratching the surface of how RSS feeds will be used to grow the site and attract more qualified visitors.

We have not begun educating our publishers on how to intall RSS feeds in their own website as this varies widely depending on which CMS they are using. Most of the CMS engines today have RSS modules but I’m not sure they are as flexible or customizable as they should be/could be.

5. What are the key learning points you’ve learned through your RSS experience that you can share with other marketers?

  • Have them… meaning, get RSS feeds up on your site immediately if you don’t have them.
  • Test them often and make sure they work.
  • Only offer PARTIAL-FEEDS. I have yet to see any good arguments for FULL-FEED RSS feeds.
  • Watch for funny character-sets that can break RSS feeds… and pay close attention to the mechanical quality of your article SUMMARIES (because this is what the RSS reader sees).
  • Use your email newsletter to educate your audience on how to use your RSS feeds.
  • If you accept user-submitted content, give them the ability to have their own RSS feeds so they can display them also on their own website.
  • Autoconfigure your RSS feeds to be browser aware so those with RSS-intelligent browsers can bookmark your RSS feeds.

6. How well does RSS work with e-mail marketing?

A better question to ask: How well can you use e-mail marketing to convince your users and publishers to use your RSS feeds for their and your benefit?

I hope everyone enjoyed the interview. :-)
Any RSS questions?

Social Bookmarking Status

Jack writes:

It would be nice if ezinearticles could have an easy way for articles to be social bookmarked.

Here’s why we have not implemented a 3rd party social bookmarking system yet:

  • Our members, by their promotionally motivated nature (not all of them, but a minority of members could ruin it for the majority), would abuse the system leading our entire site to become banned by the major social networking partners.
  • We’re not certain that anyone that we bestow a several hundred thousand outbound link favor would return qualified traffic back to us worthy of the link risk & economic value.
  • We don’t own any of the social bookmarking sites nor have we been invested by any of them. What? You didn’t think there was serious social & economic politics behind which social media site links to which site…

Social bookmarking seems like a much more interesting traffic creation vehicle for low traffic websites because they have nothing to lose by creating a few hundred or thousand outbound links to one or more of the social bookmarking sites (stumbleupon, del.icio.us, technorati, digg, furl, rojo, etc).

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20 Things I Learned In 2006

Thanks to an idea from EzineArticles expert author Benjamin Yoskovitz‘s Instagator blog where he proposed a group writing project to answer the question, “What I Learned In 2006”…here are my answers:

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