“Article marketing” is a way of promoting your blog by writing articles for popular article directories.
Writing a series of articles for others gives you links to your blog. It also helps you to become known in your niche, so that your blog gains credibility.

While article marketing is not as effective as it once was, it’s still a viable marketing tool. And if you think creatively, you can use article marketing to powerful effect.

Let’s look at four ways you can give article marketing a creative twist to make it more effective for you in 2008.

1. Sell your articles – why give them away?

Think in terms of selling your articles first, before you give them away. Whatever topic your blog covers, there are print magazines covering that topic. They pay for articles.

Find a magazine which might be receptive to a particular article, and send the editor a letter – or email message, if the magazine accepts queries via email. It’s vital to send the letter before you send the article; never send complete articles to a print publication.

2. Be picky about the directories you choose

There are hundreds of article directories online; many contain junk content.

Since you’re known by the company you keep, read the articles published by a directory before you submit yours.

Only submit to quality directories. As the search engines become more discriminating, links from junk directories may harm your blog.

3. Think outside the box: think beyond the article directories

Get creative. Make a list of non-directory sites which will publish your articles. Most Web sites are receptive to offers of free content, so you’re not limited to the directories.

Post your articles on your blog too in a “Press” category, and invite print media to use your articles for free, if they publish a short blurb about you.

4. Re-purpose your blog posts – use them as articles for barter

Many blog posts can be extended into articles. For example, you could collect tips into an article. Use these articles for barter with other sites and blogs. As stated, few site or blog owners refuse free content. Barter your articles for banner or text link ads.

You can can also collect your blog posts into a short ebook which you can offer for free on your site. Offer your ebook to other sites to offer to their visitors too. Remember to include links to your blog in your free promotional ebooks.

So there you have five ways in which you can creatively use article marketing in 2008 and beyond to get traffic to your blog.

Articles are content; they’re valuable. Articles can be a powerful promotional tool, when used wisely.