30 Day article marketing challenge update

You Should Know the Drill by Now -Day 10 Article Marketing Challenge Update.

by Alex on March 28, 2011

In case you missed what this is all about, I challenged Article Marketing and more specifically, Unique Article Wizard (paid service/tool) to a duel.

You can read the full initial 30 Day Article Marketing Challenge here, but in a nutshell what I have done is build a site and with no prior backlinks built, and with nothing but the content and onsite SEO existing I am attempting to rank the site using nothing but Article Marketing through UAW.  For 30 Days I will submit an article each day, and now at day 10 let’s see how things are going…

I’m. Slowly. Going. Insane.

testing my patience with the article marketing challenge. ten days in

That’s probably an obvious byproduct of this ridiculous attempt at writing incessantly about powertools. Writing incessantly about anything that doesn’t interest you in the slightest is, I imagine similar to banging your head against a brick wall repeatedly. Or watching reruns of Friends.

That being said I am only one day behind where I said I would be, and this is only because my body and mind decided it didn’t want to play along, promptly falling asleep on me while watching Man vs. Wild last night. (and I love Bear Grylls!)

So anyway, I started this challenge on the 15th, with my first article being pushed out through the system on the 16th. It is now the 26th as I type this and I have submitted 9 articles to date

It’s Day 10 of 30 so let’s take a look at how we are tracking, what exactly I am doing, how long it’s all taking, and whether or not I expect my frontal lobe to be intact by the end.

Statistically Speaking

How are we Ranking?

  • If you remember when we started – we did not exist in the eyes of any of the Search Engines. 10 days in and 9 articles down, how are things looking?unique article wizard is actually helping me to rank quite well at this point


  • The first thing you can obviously notice is that the site is now ranking quite well in Google for all of the 4 keywords I have chosen to track.
  • The next thing that stands out is the page that is actually doing the ranking, with the Lithium-Ion Battery page claiming most of the top spots, even trumping the homepage for the main keyword ‘Dewalt Cordless Drill Reviews’

The In-Article Link Building Strategy

I guess it’s only relevant if I share where I linked from and to, so here’s a brief synopsis of how it all goes together.

I always include two links in the Author Bio as well as at least one link in the body of the article, preferably near the top in the first few paragraphs. The link in the content will always hold a little more value than the links in the author bio simply because they are surrounded by relevant content and they are higher up the page. So…

I used the same two links in all of my author bio’s, changing only the text to suit the message of that particular article. These links pointed to a combination of

  • www.dewaltcordlessdrillreviews.com
  • www.dewaltcordlessdrillreviews.com/cordlesscombokits/
  • www.dewaltcordlessdrillreviews.com/lithium-ionbattery-accessories/
  • A web2.0 property for another drill related site that I own (why not kill two birds with one stone 😉 )
    If this was not for the challenge then obviously I would build a few Web2.0 properties for the Dewalt site and link to them instead.

Within the Content of the Article I linked exclusively to www.dewaltcordlessdrillreviews.com/lithium-ionbattery-accessories (a lot of my articles so far have focused around the batteries of the drill. All of them at least mention them)

Linkbuilding Lesson to takeaway:

This method of placing the links, combined with the resulting rank (above) further strengthens the fact that: links hold more weight when they are within the content itself.
Remember this when you are utilizing article marketing in your link building strategy.

Now Let’s Look at Traffic:

We’re only really interested in the Organic and referred Traffic because these are the two sources that article marketing generates. In this particular instance however, please ignore the referral traffic completely, as 99% of it is coming from this site. (just so you know Im not cheating 😉 )

Organic traffic update (day 10)resulting from article marketing experiment

Well it looks like I am not getting the traffic that the ranking above might indicate, with a server crushing 29 organic visitors finding my site in the last 10 days. Usually referring sites would include sites that had received your article, but in this case it is A:) Too early for that and B:) nearly all traffic coming from alexwhalley.com (181 out of 188 referrals as a matter of fact)

Just on a side note, none of these visitors have converted into customers, and as such my Amazon sales through this particular site are still at $0

Now let’s look at the Unique Article Wizard side of the equation.

Submissions and Backlinks.

The UAW Process

First of all, it’s a good idea to understand how UAW actually deals with the articles in the first place, and what the user interface requires of the user (me).

When you submit an article to the UAW system it goes about its business and comes back with the article broken up into individual paragraphs. It then presents these paragraphs to you on individual pages, with two more blank boxes underneath. You then write two more versions of each paragraph in the boxes below before you hit the button to take you to the next paragraph, whereby you start the process all over again – repeating until you get to the last paragraph and the article has been recreated three times.

the exact process for submitting an article through unique article wizard

*The More paragraphs and the longer the article, the more versions can be potentially ‘spun’. I usually try to turn a 500 word article into at least 12 paragraphs.

So How Do I Make the Most of this System and save Heaps of Time as well?

I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way that have saved me huge amounts of time when it comes to writing and submitting my articles. Here’s is my process, as well as the approx time it takes me:

  • I write the article out by taking the title and then drafting around 10 – 15 bullets, I write one liners in each case roughly outlining the point. (This takes me about 10 minutes.)
  • I then add the article to the UAW system where it then goes about its business and comes back with each paragraph in its own box. (10 seconds to Ctrl C, Ctrl V)
  • Now instead of simply rewriting the paragraph two more times, I take the original sentence and I add to it, thus creating a rich article in the same breath as I am rewriting it. (This takes me around 30 minutes or so)
  • This is a great trick to save time. Why get into the zone of writing an article only to get back into the zone of writing two new versions of it. Draft your points and then get it all over and done with in one hit!!But here’s the time saving clincher…
  • As you are writing out each paragraph copy and paste random paragraphs from each rewrite to create an entirely new and unique version of the article. (5 extra minutes)
  • Post this article onto you blog or niche site, or even use it on one of your Web 2.0 sites. Whatever.

All up, including the time it takes me to fill in the author Bio boxes, add the relevant links to the article, and choose my keywords and categories for the article directories I am looking at about 1 hour.
So within 60 minutes I have gone from a one line post title (subject) to a completely unique article for my own use as well as a completed submission through the UAW system.

What Does a Completed Submission through the UAW System Look Like?

The whole point of all of this is backlinks right? (It better be or I swear….) and we already know that because of the Panda update the chances of getting as many (backlinks) using article marketing are slim, so where do we stand now that we are ‘Post Panda’?

The first thing I noticed when my articles started being submitted through the system was how fewer there were. Before the updates to Google’s Algorithm, where they basically removed spammy sites and low quality spun content generated blogs from their eyes (so to speak) I was getting my article submitted to anywhere between 700 and 1200 sites. Now it was a different story.

Of the 10 Articles I now have in the UAW system, 2 have completed their run, 5 are in progress and 3 are awaiting approval. Let’s take a closer look at those 2 articles that have completed their run.

Trying to understand what backlinks are where with article marketing

The link bone's connected to the... wait. what?

Where did all the backlinks go?

When an article completes its run you can access a list of all the sites to which it has been sent so that you can A:) Confirm the link submission is good and B:) Ping it so that you stand a better chance of the search engines indexing it. This list used to be hundreds and hundreds of URLs long but so far, the two articles that have completed their run only managed to find a home in 115 locations each. 115?! Where are the rest?

Quality vs. Quantity Perhaps?

This is where it’s starting to go pear shaped for the ol’ Unique Article Wizard team, because although the rankings to date reflect only positive things for the power of the system, the sites that are receiving my posts are not exactly what you would call ‘up there’ if you know what I mean.

The first thing that greets you when you open the page where your backlink URLs are located is a note from the UAW team advising you as to why you are probably seeing a lot less links in your list (ummm yeah just slightly guys?!) and although the note is long and arduous, here is the bit that actually says what you want to hear:

We’ve recently upgraded our article submission system to better target your articles to the right sites so as to increase your actual publication rates.We’ve also taken the opportunity to audit the site list and have removed a number of spam blogs and inactive sites that were receiving articles via email. This will reflect in an apparent decrease in submission numbers.

After reading this and seeing my lowly 115 sites I honestly expected to find a list of relevant URLs looking back at me, but this was not the case.

What I did have was a list of Article Directories and some relevant sites, like builder and tool specific URLs. But there were more sites not specific than there were. I randomly picked 40 links from the list to see what I would find, and although I was happy to report an 80%+ success rate in the submissions, I did find a bit of this

and the occasional

the resulting links from automated tools can look like this more often than not

Hey, at least I got to see some nature.

But overall I was actually quite pleased with the resulting links, with many article directories accepting my articles. I checked the home page PR on these sites and found everything from PR1 through to one PR6 directory. On a negative note,  I did notice that 7 of the sites were mirror images of each other, indicating that they are owned by the same person, and therefore are all on the same IP which only decreases the value each link has.

Again, I cannot refute the impact this system is having to my Rank, so I will continue to write  and submit.

10 Days of Thoughts and Reflections.

I am seeing that despite the dramatic decrease in the amount of sites that my article is submitted to, the technique is still very effective for obtaining keyword rich backlinks. This is proven by the increase in rank for each of my keywords, but I am not sure how long that will last.

I promised that I would only use Article Marketing to optimize this site and I will continue to do so, but I am beginning to wonder if I am not shooting Article Marketing in the foot by doing so.
Because trying to utilise the power of only one link building technique is not going to get you far, and part of the way Google ranks your site is reflective of how much variety you have in your backlinks.

Good linkbuilding involves the use of multiple link types, set up on multiple layers – done so in a consistent and relevant manner, this is common knowledge. So it is fair to assume that by limiting this sites backlinks to one type is only going to get me so far. We’ll see I guess.

See you in a week or so with another update.

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