Article writing and distribution is a tool that has a lot of function. It’s like the Swiss army knife of SEO — it can build backlinks, expand your sales funnel, drive your online reputation, act as a secondary landing page, prime readers into a buying mood, and it bring business overnight and for life. But the cutting-edge market analysts are starting to talk in terms of entrepreneurs becoming “market leaders” rather than simply starting a website and profiting from affiliate sales or other such techniques from yesteryear. Can our favorite all-purpose SEO tool keep up with the changing demands from the gurus?
Of course it can! Becoming a market leader, if you talk to the likes of Ed Dale of The Challenge, is essentially an exercise in developing a reputation. Ed suggests a blog, and of course that’s a great centerpiece of on online presence, but it’s never enough. Blog posting is just part of what should be a larger, organized effort to get your name into the mouths of everyone in your target market.
And of course, the other parts of that effort are going to rely on techniques that SEO has used for decades. Get a static (non-blog) website, write and distribute articles about your market, start a few Web 2.0 properties (and maintain them!), and get yourself some expert credentials by putting on free talks at local community colleges.
Market leadership is about two things: actually learning the details about your target market, and showing everyone that you’ve done the learning and you know your stuff. The first part takes a lot of hard work — but the second part is actually mostly about old-school SEO. In the end it all comes back to the oldest truth in internet marketing: if you can’t drive traffic, you aren’t going to succeed, period.
Fortunately, there are several ways that you can use other people’s SEO efforts to boost your own visibility and traffic. Article writing and distribution happens to be one of the best, which is why it will always have a place at the heart and soul of every online company’s arsenal.