Over the past couple of years I have flirted with writing for various online publishing systems. I never really go the hang of Squidoo (or I did and just didn’t like it), but I have writer accounts on several other online publishing websites. Some of those accounts have gotten a lot of attention at one time or another, and some of them have had little done with them except for their original creation.
My latest foray into this realm is publishing articles on HubPages as "Hub Llama." I use HubPages as a way to test out ideas or keywords or as a place to publish articles that I want to write but don’t really have a home for. However, it is not a key part of my freelance writing business plan.
There are basically two types of article content directory websites, or content publishing directories, or whatever you would like to call them. The first kind are those like Bright Hub and Demand Studios which pay writers for their articles. At Bright Hub, you get an up front payment and then a traffic based payment, while at Demand Studios, you get only the up front payment, unless you write articles that are "Revenue Sharing" assignments. In the case of the latter, you do not get an up front payment. There are multiple other differences between the two systems, but that is for another day.
The second type of article directory website is one where the author receives no up-front payment for their articles. Within this category there is further division in the form of sites where the writer may receive some form of revenue sharing, and those where the writer will not receive any monetary compensation at all. HubPages, for example, falls into the former, while eZine Articles falls into the latter. As you can imagine, many professional freelance writers do not look kindly upon some or all of these sites.
For my own purposes, there are times when I do use some or all of the above sites, as well as some others. Sometimes, I get exactly what I expected, and other times I am pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised. However, none of these sites figures prominently in my overall freelance writing business plan.
Ezine Articles Backlinks and Article Publishers
One of the most well known article directory websites is Ezine Articles. As a professional writer using Ezine Articles, I get nothing more than the backlinks from the articles that I publish there. Not only is there no up front payment, but there is no revenue sharing either. In other words, anything written for Ezines is written for free. It is not surprising then that I have just a handful of articles published there, which I will gratuitously link here.
- What Is A Good Credit Score (This is probably the most blatant I’ve ever tried to be link-wise)
- Using the Internet to Build a Freelance Writer Portfolio
- Deducting Property Taxes Saves Money on Income Taxes
- Wash Sale Rules Keeping Short Term Capital Losses Deductible
- Atkins Diet Facts – How the Atkins Works
- Hidden Losses
- Steps to Become a Freelance Writer
- AP Stylebook – Your Guide to AP Style Writing
As you can see, these aren’t flashy topics and they don’t generate much traffic, which is fine, considering I get nothing out of any such traffic anyway.
The value, theoretically, in publishing articles on EzineArticles.com is that the website itself has a certain amount of prestige, or if you prefer "authority", and therefore can provide valuable "link juice" to your websites and webpages. Additional value seemingly lies in the notion that in addition to being somewhere that writers can publish their works for free, it is also somewhere where website owners can find articles to publish on their websites, also for free. Here is where the dilemma begins to unfold.
Whether or not the links are valuable enough to a writer to write articles for free to publish on Ezines is an individual decision. Whether or not those incoming links are powerful enough to warrant the effort of getting them on a site like Ezines as opposed to a site like HubPages, is also open to debate.
As you can see, over the last two years, I’ve managed to publish just 8 articles on Ezine. It isn’t because they get rejected. (My first few articles had to have their signature areas adjusted because I didn’t remember all of the rules, but otherwise, I’ve never been asked to edit or had an article turned down.) In other words, I’ve only bothered to write eight times for Ezines. Couple that with the low-flash topics and my articles have garnered very little attention, which I’ve felt neither good nor bad about.
Recently, however, the article on Deducting Property Taxes got a small amount of attention. Specifically, it was "published" six times according to the Author Reports on Ezines. I quick Google search on a string in quotes revealed some of websites using the article.
As it turns out, one of the sites kept my name and the source of the article, but not with a link (which makes that particular publishing worthless). Not only that, but the bio itself was deleted.
Three of the other sites did include both my name and the bio, including the links I used. This is good news from the linking and search engine ranking results arena.
The other two sites did not show up in my admittedly effortless Google search, so I have no idea if they actually ended up using the article or not.
Ezine Articles Freelance Writers Reputation
While the additional links is certainly welcome, and if I were to put a lot more effort into this, perhaps very valuable, there is another issue. None of the four websites would be what you would consider "high-end." That isn’t surprising considering they use free non-exclusive content to populate the websites with.
Fortunately, while none of these sites would be the kind of place you would point proudly to about being one of the writers, none of them is overly shifty, and certainly none are fraudulent. Still, if someone were to search for my name, one or more of these articles might come up, and I can’t help but wonder if I might be judged by the company I keep, despite how the articles actually got there.
If my articles were to be published with my name and links to my websites displayed in all their glory on some less savory websites, it is very possible that angry victims might come after me when they can’t find any other non-fake contact points on the site. I can envision the angry email from someone who lost their life savings in some sort of scam demanding to know how I can live with myself after associating with such people.
Perhaps that is a bit over-dramatic, but the point is a valid one. For all the talk of personal branding, that you may or may not buy into, the name that you carve out online and in real life is one of the biggest assets an entrepreneur has. Unfortunately, it can also be a big liability for a small business owner who gets caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So, the above articles will be the only ones I publish as Brian E. Nelson at EzineArticles. Future writings, if any, will take place under a pseudonym of some sort. The links, of course, to be of any value will still point back to my own sites or articles or webpages that I am looking to promote in some way, so it would not be difficult to find who wrote them or what freelance writing business he is part of, but at least my real name won’t blare for all the world to see next to an advertisement for Viagra Without a Prescription for Settlements Investors Who Use Forex To Make Millions Online Just By Providing Bank Account Information to Nigerian Princes Who Like Hot Babes Naked With Organic Tooth Whitening and No Money Down Mortgages From Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit and Zero Percent Interest Rates.
What Do You Think? Am I being paranoid? Do You write at EzineArcitles.com or similar sites? Do you use a pseudonym or your real name?