I had no idea what an article directory was until this week. By definition, article directories are a really great idea; you write a short article about something relevant to your field, post it to a directory, and you immediately let your article fall into the hands of thousands of outlets to be published. What a great way to get your story out there without the hassle of pitching it! But after some research, it seems there can be some major pros and cons for article directories.
- Publishing articles to directories can disseminate your article much more widely than other vehicles can. Instead of taking the time to develop a pitch, research reporters, and make the call or email, you can click a button and your article is on its way.
- Articles will help you be seen as a subject matter expert. If someone is browsing through a directory looking for information on…let’s say…cooking, and you have a well-written article about cooking, then odds are your credibility will be boosted if the person reads it.
- You can keep an eye on the competition. It is always good to watch what others are posting and what kind of responses they are getting. Are their posts getting more attention/feedback? What can your articles give readers that other articles won’t?
- Article directories are outdated. I had a hard time finding research on this topic, simply because it seems no one is talking about article directories anymore. The most recent article I found (which is over a year old) explained why you shouldn’t use article directories: “The reality is that article directories have become overwritten with low-quality, stolen or spammy content but many just don’t realize it.“
- Google is moving on. As of the January 2014 article, much article directory spam is getting phased out of the Google search algorithm, which will make it harder for your article to be found (if you choose to post one.)
- You might not be reaching your audience. If even Google isn’t paying attention to article directories, then your target audience probably isn’t either.
So what do you do instead?
If you decided article databases aren’t the way to get your information out there, try a few other methods:
Blogging- A company blog is a great way to be a subject matter expert and provide content for your audience. This also gives your content the chance to be shared via sites like Facebook or Tumblr. Plus, your content will appear in Google searches.
Website– Keep your website up-to-date and content rich. Engage your audience and become a go-to source for information. Eventually, you can become the top-of-mind source of info in your field.
So while it seems that article directories are falling out of the scene, there are still pros and cons for each side. What must be remembered is that you must assess the needs of your organization to know what is right for you.