If you’re wondering what this Case Study is all about, please read the introductory post from Week One.
Last week we briefly summarized how Suzy is using Social Media networks  such as Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, and YouTube, to broaden her reach and increase the number of site visitors to her new travel blog.
This week we’re discussing how Suzy can use Article Syndication (also called Article Marketing) to accomplish two important goals:
- Increase the number of inbound links via article syndication;
- Establish credibility as an expert in her travel niche;
Article Syndication is simply taking an article that you’ve written that contains timeless, authoritative content, intended to be useful or valuable to a reader, and submitting it to one or more article submission sites  or directories, such as EzineArticles.com  or GoArticles.com . Article Submission sites serve as a resource for websites that are looking for articles specific topics.
Websites that are looking for content on your topic can choose to reprint your article. The websites that reprint your article are required to keep your “author resources” (byline, bio, and link to your website) intact. The effect is the same as newspaper syndication – you benefit from the increased exposure by having your article reprinted across [potentially] many other websites, and you’ll get inbound links from those sites back to your travel blog.
Many of the top Article Submission sites are free to submit your articles to, but most have some fairly strict rules for acceptance, so you’ll want to read their submission guidelines first.
Suzy has never submitted any of her articles to an article submission site before, but she realizes that she has a lot of knowledge and experience within her travel niche, and that there are others who could benefit from the information that she could share.
What types of articles work best for article syndication?
Most article submission sites do not accept articles that are reviews or marketing pieces for places or products, nor about events or other time/date based topics that would be obsolete quickly.
The most popular articles are advisory – how-to’s, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and lists. While a list of top destination spas would not likely get accepted (a spa on the list could be out of business when the article gets reprinted) but a list of most popular spa treatments and their benefits would be a hit.
To be really popular, an article should educate and inform the reader from an expert point of view.
Think of the questions that people could ask you about your travel niche, and how you could structure an article that would answer that question. It isn’t necessary to write an article that answers all questions (save that for an eBook, which we’ll cover in Week 13), in fact, shorter articles tend to be more popular because many people have little time or a too-short attention span for long articles. A good length to aim for in an article you want to syndicate is roughly 400 to 600 words.
Tips for an effective article marketing strategy
- Before you ever submit your first article, be sure your Author Biography , which will go in your Author Resources section, is as good as it can be;
- Remember to follow the article submission site’s guidelines to ensure article acceptance;
- If you’re submitting something that you also wrote for your own or another travel blog, modify it by at least 20% to avoid any duplicate content issues;
- Pick several article submission sites, modifying your article for each, and gauge how each works for you;
- Just like with your travel blog, regular article submissions will keep your content fresh and build credibility – the more articles you submit (on your travel niche topic), the more of an expert you are perceived to be;
- Set a goal to submit an article at least once per month, weekly if you have a lot of knowledge to share – if you can’t be frequent in your schedule at least be consistent;
- Quality counts for much more than quantity – long articles aren’t necessary, but good ones are!
Remember that just with print syndication, patience is key – it can take a while for an article to get reprinted by enough other websites for you to see any significant bump in traffic, but with regular article submissions, it will happen.
Stay tuned! Next week we’ll cover some techniques that Suzy will use to build her email subscriber list, which is a vital component of being able to monetize her travel blog.
What other ways do you attract visitors to your travel blog? Share your tips!