Article marketing has been around almost as long as the Internet has been around – even though it wasn’t meant for actual marketing purposes. Many years ago, back in the 90’s, people actually shared information with each other. This was termed ‘the spirit of the Internet’ way back then, and that spirit still exists today, even though it isn’t as obvious.
The Internet was designed for the free and fast exchange of information. People wrote articles on a variety of topics, for the purpose of sharing information and educating others. At first, there really weren’t any article repositories. In fact, newsletters, also called ezines, came into play long before article banks did.
So, when you wanted to share an article with the Internet community, you posted the article on your website, in a Usenet newsgroup, or in your ezine. Eventually, people started allowing other ezine publishers to use their articles as well – and the author’s resource box was born.
Because articles had such an impact in each niche (niche being another word that wasn’t used at that time), intelligent marketers saw the potential for writing and distributing articles – freely – in order to promote their businesses. They started writing and distributing articles on a regular basis – and article marketing was born – even though it wasn’t necessarily called that then. It was simply called ‘writing and distributing articles.’
Those articles were formatted much the way that articles are formatted today, except html tags were not used. The articles were all text, just as many are today. However, while links in the article are hyperlinked today, they were not hyperlinked back then, in most cases.
In case you don’t know, when a link is hyperlinked, the reader can simply click on the link to visit the webpage. When it is not hyperlinked, the reader must copy and paste the URL into their web browser, or type it in.
Over time, people learned that some measure of copywriting skills were needed for article marketing, for the purpose of writing outstanding, attention getting headlines, and in order to create an effective author’s resource box.
Even though writing and distributing articles was turning out to be an effective and cost effective way to market a business, the articles that were written and distributed were of very high quality. The spirit of the Internet was still very visible and in full swing.
The articles were written more for the purpose of sharing information, and less for the purpose of marketing a business – yet business owners who were doing this were thriving because of it.
At that time, we were not inundated with information. There was no information overload, and nobody would dare write a sales letter and try to disguise it as an article. That’s what solo ads in ezines were for – sales letters. Articles, on the other hand, were helpful to those reading them.
Over the years, newbie marketers came on the scene and saw article marketing as an opportunity – but really did not fully understand or pay attention to the spirit of the Internet – the free exchange of information on a global scale. This is when salesy articles started appearing. Those newbie marketers soon learned that they wouldn’t get anywhere with this type of article marketing. Some gave up; others changed their ways and started doing it right.
It’s hard to say when the first article repository was born. Before that, however, articles were just sent to ezine publishers directly and posted to newsgroups. However, article announcement email lists came into play – where people could more easily get their articles into the hands of ezine publishers and web publishers.
Those announcement lists were very good, for a very long time, but they eventually played out, just as FFA Link sites played out. People were participating only for the purpose of distributing their own articles, but were not actually reading or using other people’s articles. However, those announcement lists did have a nice long run, and many people still use them today just for the small results that they get.
For the most part, however, article marketing is done today just as it was in the beginning, with very few differences. Article marketing is one of the few types of Internet Marketing methods that have remained the same, without losing any of its effectiveness.
Furthermore, article marketing is also one of the few marketing methods that have been able to stand the test of time, regardless of changes that have been made to search engines, the way people buy on the Internet or even laws that have changed – such as the spamming laws. None of the changes that have been made have had any impact, and there is no impact expected in the future as well.