An article directory is a website with collections of articles written about different subjects. Sometimes article directories are referred to as content farms, which are websites created to produce mass content and establish expert status for websites or blogs.
I did not know about the existence of these directories, until I started looking for cheap ways to promote my own website. At the time, I was all about photography and found that if I wrote a decent article about photography and posted to one of these directories, I could get FREE publicity. Now the whole key to these directories is that they are FREE both to the writer and the user of those articles.
So, you ask, why would I want to write articles for free? Here in lies the beauty of the whole world of article directories. At the bottom of each article, you can put a link (sometimes two) to locations that will most benefit you. I had one article that was shared over the web 3,200 times. Every time some one read one of my articles and got to the bottom of the page they would read the "About the Author" section which had a Link to my web page.
I will show you an example of what that looked like, but remember that website no longer exists.
About the Author:
Award winning writer / photographer Tedric Garrison has 30 years experience in photography. As a Graphic Art Major, he has a unique perspective on what it takes, to make a great photo. His photo eBook “Your Creative Edge” proves creativity can be taught. Today, he shares his wealth of knowledge with the world through his website. (Visit betterphototips.com today.)
In this case, I was able to link to my site AND put in a plug for the eBook I had written. I was not on Amazon at the time, but found this type of free publicity well worth the time it took to write the articles. At one time, betterphototips.com ranked in the top ten for photo tips or photography tips. There were some other tricks I learned about web design too, but MOST of my traffic came from someone who had read one of the 92 articles I had written about photography.
If I were to apply this same technique today, I would probably link both my website and my Amazon author page. The more people see your name in print, the more likely they are to think of you as an expert in your field. So even though you are not paid directly, there are benefits to this type of work. Once you have been published on the web, (paid or not) you are PUBLISHED. Since these directories build their reputation based on the quality of the articles they except, to be excepted multiple times does say something about the quality of your work.
Besides the publicity, having access to multiple writers at your fingertips, gives your site or blog the appearance of being more well rounded. I knew nothing in the areas of; Underwater photography or Arial
photography, but my website had articles about those areas too. Obviously, not all writers LIKE to write articles, but if you do this might be your foot in the door for PAID articles later on. If you don't (or simply never seem to have the time), using an article directory might be of benefit in helping you keep your website or blog current and up to date.