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.
Why?
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.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia@lavender oil March 28, 2011 at 2:54 AM

Hi Alex

Wow you sure have been working hard on this challenge. Looking forward to the end result in 30 days. I’m sure you are too ;-)

Will have to now go check see how Robert is doing with his non-challenge lol

Patricia Perth Australia

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I really am going insane.
Oh btw, the latest submission (also posted on site) might look familiar ;)

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Robert Dempsey March 28, 2011 at 4:40 AM

Very interesting results Alex. I forgot to include the Google Analytics info in my post – next time.

I find it very interesting that while our methods of article writing vary greatly it takes us the same time to produce 3 versions of an article. Great minds perhaps? Minds that need to be greater? Who knows :P

Any chance of seeing some competition data on those keywords? I’m curious how your competition compares to mine. You’re ranking much higher, but I’m catching up fast!

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Great minds maybe, but I’m thinking ‘fools never differ’ is probably more appropriate LOL!

Definitely surprised at my rank results, especially considering the links I’m actually getting!

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Oh sorry – comp:

Read the first post!
I’m pretty sure they were all under 100k competing pages though.

Crapload of monthly searches though :)

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mark March 28, 2011 at 4:55 AM

Hey Alex,

Great update and a very interesting point at the end. It does make sense that the SEs would like to see varied sources for links. But, I think that the strength of your test is that you are taking out all of the other sources.

That is, even if you do not get the keywords to #1 solely via this method, the fact that you have seen the kind of movement that you have is significant.

Really, I suppose you are using other methods; good on-page SEO and a url that includes your keyword. But, those should probably be assumed for niche sites, so I still agree with myself. We hardly ever fight, really.

And, it looks like UAW is doing a pretty good job at what it does. Writing every day, of course, seems to also be making a difference.

Looking forward to day 20. :)

BTW – I have been kind of obsessed with Man vs. Wild for some time now. That show is only second to The Deadliest Catch, in my humble, don’t go outside much, opinion.

Have a good day!

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:45 PM

A ‘don’t go outside much’ opinion is the most valid of all! Especially when were talking Nat Geo & Discovery Channels!!

As usual your comment is both entertaining and insightful and I have nothing more to add, I mean I agree with all your points (which were mainly agreeing with my points…?) :)

Thanks Mark! Or is that StumbleUpon mgmt?

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mark March 29, 2011 at 3:46 AM

Haha. By the way, I am normally against the abuse of animals (animate or not). But, that picture of the Teddy Bear is hilarious.

I kind of felt that way this morning…

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Brankica March 28, 2011 at 5:20 AM

Wow what an update. I do have to say that UAW never attracted me since I submit my niche articles manually and not to too many sites anyway. I did see great results with it so I decided to stick with it.

What I do use to spin articles is Best Spinner cause it really does an awesome job. Instead of swapping paragraphs it actually changes the words and phrases and makes the article pretty unique. I have never had one rejected on EZA, for example.

Anyway, I can’t wait to see how this goes ;)

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Hey Brankica! Now you’ve got me curious!! Love to hear what directories you use :)

As for best spinner, I have that too and I agree it’s awesome!
Thanks for stopping by B

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Richard @ Lifestyle Design Unleashed March 28, 2011 at 5:48 AM

Alex,

Just found your website and was immediately attracted to this article. I am planning a similar experiment myself next month though I will be building links to a variety of different content sources including some of my YouTube videos to see what sort of results I get. Keep up the detailed reporting as it is not only interesting but also very useful in a practical sense. Hope you manage to make it to the end of your challenge!

Warm regards,
Richard

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Haha thanks Richard!
I appreciate you taking the time to engage and comment and I hope you do come back and share your results (and processes etc)
Of course a link back to you would be in order ;)

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Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing March 28, 2011 at 6:36 AM

Having done no article marketing yet, it all looks pretty complicated. I look forward t0 seeing the outcome. :)

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM

If I make it that is LOL!

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Lonnie @ My Income Lab March 28, 2011 at 6:41 AM

Hey Alex – it seems that, although you are probably seeing cordless drills in your sleep, UAW is working out for you. I venture to guess that you picked your keywords well and competition wasn’t that fierce as well if you are getting such good rankings so quickly. I was under the impression that UAW spun your articles for you; is that not the case?

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Hey Lonnie, you are right – I picked my comp well ;)
As for how UAW works rather than spin the content it chops and changes the paragraphs, which is why I recommend you make as many as possible.

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Ian - TheAffiliateJourney March 28, 2011 at 7:17 AM

Hey Alex,

Good to see the update. I don’t think you’re hurting anything using only UAW for the first 30 days however I am with you on the point that UAW alone won’t get you the results you will really want.

With CTR dwindling to almost non existent below the top 3 and a drastic difference even between 1 – 2 – 3 spots I think you’ll be looking for additional linking techniques, especially from more authoritative sites to really give you a final boost from the 1st page to #1.

If you recall when I commented on the original post when you started this I mentioned you had prompted me to test something things out on my own.

I’m running 3 tests right now and thus far here is what I’m seeing.

Site 1

March 18th – 161
March 24th – 67
March 25th – 22
March 27th – 21

Site 2

March 18th – 146
March 24th – 135
March 25th – 16
March 27th – 19

Site 3

March 18th – N/A site didn’t exist yet :)
March 24th – 85
March 25th – 36
March 27th – 20

Site 4 – Didn’t really start test until March 24th

March 27th – 28

These keywords are quite a bit more competitive then the dewalt drill keywords you’re targeting and I’ll be providing a full report once I’m done. What I’m expecting to see is that my results will begin to dwindle after two weeks or so, and I’ll reach a point in the SERPS that these individual services won’t be able to take me past.

Each one of the services I’m testing is different and none are UAW, although all are content syndication networks and paid services or products.

I’m going to get a blog post together to detail my results this week hopefully.

-Ian

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I cannot begin to explain how awesome that is Ian!
Seriously, between the three or four of us doing this, you could not buy the results well get!
I agree that the rank won’t last and that these services can only take us so far… 30 days far?

Again, much respect Ian, I look forward to the stats post!

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Murray Lunn March 28, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Alex,

You’re doing us all a good service buddy. Stick with just this method until the challenge is done because we won’t ever know what’s possible if you do begin doing other link building methods. I think this can be a great case study for the future; just means you may need to go a little more insane before times end haha. From here though, you can always see what a good base for AM could be. Remember, it’s about quantity a lot of times. If, for example, you had a niche which you could write 10 or so articles a DAY than you’d have some major backlinkage. Maybe I’ll have to do that with the PLR site :P

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Based on the results I’m seeing thus far I am inclined to agree that say 10 submissions a day (assuming quality each time) would kill it!

Thanks for the comment mr. PLR :)

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Stephanie - Home with the Kids March 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Some interesting results there. I do some article marketing, and it can take time to see results, but it’s usually worth it overall, and even after the latest Google update I feel that way.

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Alex March 28, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Awesome insight Stephanie. Nice URL btw. I’m always bloody home with the kids! Lol

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Jeffrey Morgan March 28, 2011 at 11:23 PM

The way I see it Alex ……….. no Teddy Bear is safe around you!

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Andreas@Online Advertising March 29, 2011 at 1:04 AM

It takes a lot of time to get rankings, because you first need to build trust with search engines. If you get a lot of links on a site that has just been indexed, it may look unnatural to search engines, thus they are being cautious with your site.

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Steve@Internet Lifestyle March 29, 2011 at 1:30 AM

Alex I like your methods of submitting to UAW. WHen I was using it I went for overkill in not wanting any dup. data. I added in “spinning” each paragraph with The Best Spinner before I posted it up there. Of course this about tripled the time it takes to get an article up.

Of course it also made the thought of doing an UAW article akin to pulling teeth… so much so that I pretty much stopped using it completely.

your method=better

Anyhow, I like what you have been doing and the results are telling, at least rank wise. It is a shame that the actual traffic being driven is a little slow, but that takes time. If you build it they will come and all that, right

I look forward to your next updates for this. (and hopfully some follow on ones after the challenge finishes, since some of these things take a while to really….settle

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Daniel Roach March 29, 2011 at 3:37 AM

I’m digging this challenge, but I think you’re right about needing to expand you’re link strategy. If for no other reason that freaking sanity, man. I used a similar technique with the Article Marketing Automation spinner a few years ago and that drove me nuts! Writing like that is like the world’s slowest, most mind-numbing death :-)

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Randy@InternetMarketingRemarks March 29, 2011 at 6:27 AM

Alex – Thanks for the report. As you indicate and others have commented upon in the above thread, it is hard to isolate the impact of any one tactic using a single site for a test. The conventional wisdom that link diversity is important is probably true. So while it is an interesting experiment, the results my not be particularly meaningful. It is a hair pulling aspect of SEO that be isolating one tactic, you partially invalidate the results, but by using mulitiple tactics, research into the impact of any single tactic become challenging to analyze.

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Alex March 29, 2011 at 7:24 AM

Randy, Mate you could not have put that any better!

It is a hair pulling aspect of SEO that be isolating one tactic, you partially invalidate the results, but by using mulitiple tactics, research into the impact of any single tactic become challenging to analyze.

Seriously, that’s perfect!!
AAAARGH

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Alex March 29, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Now I am happy you are doing this, because I don’t like banging my head on some hard brick wall.

Also, I think this is a positive move from UAW because at least they eliminated those filler websites that didn’t really count in the search engines.

As side notes, written in a txt file while read the article (my usual method when reading a longish article).

What, watching reruns of Friends is not fun? Damn it and I wasted soo much time…

Omg, I love Bear Grylls too. I have a cute bear and I love meat made on the grill, which means I love Bear Grylls!

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Edwin March 29, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Wow awesome! Even though it might be a slow, and tedious process, it looks like UAW actually works! Good luck on your drill site, have you seen any sales yet?

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Cyberdv8 March 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM

some very valid points, i think you have proved that by isolating yourself one article marketing tactic you’re results aren’t quite as brilliant as perhaps they could be, though i think it’s a very good experiment and does show what you can achieve by this one method alone….As for insanity it’s a very short trip by taxi.

P.S watch out for teddys they may just take their revenge

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Joe March 29, 2011 at 5:13 PM

so… you consider that article marketing is still effective, after google’s updates? and by the way… do you consider pinging useful? I have to admit I didn’t see any results with it… i created some forum profiles with dofollow links in signature and pinged all of them.. only 5 out of 100 are indexed… so I guess pinging is almost useless:)

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Brendon March 29, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Alex,

See this thing through. I thought UAW was killing my site(s), but they were simply dancing. I am starting to see results of my UAW efforts and really hope the results show through for you too.

It should prove that article marketing, where high value is concerned, will always have a place in the back linking strategies of those who are smart enough to know how to use it!

Brendon

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Sheila Atwood March 29, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Alex,

I am in the ranks of those who are watching this test closely since I have not used an article spinner. I do appreciate the work it takes to do all of this testing.

I would think that just 30 days of only article marketing should not hurt your SEO. Hopefully you can keep the rest of you in tact long enough to add other links once this challenge is over.

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Haydn@staged.com March 29, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Hi Alex,

Firstly I love your blog…very attractive header and quality content. It looks like you take tremendous pride in it.

I have to admit I am watching this test very closely too because I have just been introduced to the world of article marketing and spinning content to create backlinks for SEO purposes and seeing a ‘live fire’ example like this will either encourage me to move forward or perhaps reconsider.

Thank you,
Haydn

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Brandon@Pizaazz.com March 30, 2011 at 12:14 AM

I have seen the program mentioned all the time, but have not used it. I am more of a “do it yourself” kinda guy and that has worked for me. Nice to see an automated tool helping you out in this way though.

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Alex March 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Guess we’ll soon see if it’s actually helping ;)

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Aloys Jacobs March 30, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Hi Alex, I’m closely watching your evolution. Those are actually pretty good numbers after only 10 days of SEO. I guess competition isn’t great, but it’s still a good result. You’d see a lot faster results if you used layered linking. Perhaps allow yourself more freedom on another challenge? :)

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Alex March 31, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I agree with you, and I know I am shooting myself in the foot by not trying more than one method, but hey – so far so good LOL
Maybe after the 30 days are up I can test another method solely for those 30 days… hmmm not a bad idea.

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Mark March 31, 2011 at 6:35 AM

Great post! I’m waiting for next updates on this challenge :) Keep up the good work!

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Peggy Baron March 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Hey Alex,

Thanks for doing this for us all to see! I like how you’ve analyzed all your data.

Questions – Are you writing all these articles yourself? And do they all have to be reviews?

Peggy

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Alex March 31, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Hey Peggy, my pleasure (I think? LOL) because yes I am writing the articles (and slowly going insane), and NO none of them are reviews.
If I write reviews then I am sending out articles that are competing for the same keywords as my main site pages. This is the last thing I want to do.

Article Marketing is about longtail traffic, so the less specific to the topic the better. (thats my experience with it)

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Peggy Baron March 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Good!

Well then send me a short list of keywords and I’ll write one article for you. I hate to see you in so much pain and all. ;)

Peggy

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Peggy Baron March 31, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Lol! I do happen to know a bit about the subject since I built out our basement complete with built-ins for the big screen tv, kitchen area and bathroom with my 19.2v cordless drill. Ok, I didn’t do the plumbing or electrical…

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Cheap Blogreviews March 31, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Hi Alex,

Your evolution in terms of SEO is growing rapidly. The result that you’ve showing us after 10 days are pretty good. I guess competition isn’t great, but it’s still a good result. You’d see a lot faster results if you used layered linking.

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Alex March 31, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I totally agree, in fact usually I would be sending these types of links to various layers, but as I mentioned I am sticking to one method for the first month at least.
Thanks for your input

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