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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why so many articles?

When I was still starting out as an online freelance writer, I kept wondering why I was tasked by clients to churn out so many articles every week. Of course, I wasn't complaining. After all, their need complemented mine. For as long as clients needed articles, I would keep on earning.

Still, although my stomach was more than satisfied, my curiosity wasn't.

Hundreds of articles, dozens of varied topics, and twenty-something hires later, the answer became clear: 99% of the articles I wrote were used to bring traffic into my clients’ sites. That leads us to the next obvious question. How can so many articles bring in traffic?

Not all articles are designed to bring in traffic. But if you built a site to earn - by selling something,  by enticing visitors to click on ads, or by getting hired, then your site’s content has to possess the right qualities that would drive traffic in. Otherwise, your site would resemble a store in the middle of nowhere.

This is not nowhere. This is the World Wide Web. And this is where millions of potential customers can land on your site in just a span of one month. Yes, millions. One of my clients has twice that number in page views a month, so it is very possible. … but only if you do things correctly.

Why am I still writing for clients and not applying what I know? Because, my dear, I cannot afford to be penniless for a few months just so I could generate a million visitors in one month. Besides, even a million visitors in a mall would not necessarily translate to a million buyers.

However, (all things being equal) the greater the number of visitors, the greater the probability of making more sales, right? Keep this in mind, because this is the force that drives practically all monetized sites (meaning, sites that earn) nowadays.

So again, how can so many articles drive in a torrential flow of traffic?

Think of it this way. After you publish a page on your site, time will come when Google’s search bot (a.k.a. Googlebot) will find it. When it does, your page’s content will get indexed. Indexing is the process that makes web pages easier to find, just like the pages in a book. How do you find a particular word or phrase in a book, say an encyclopedia?

You look it up in the index, that’s how. On the web, you type it into the Google search box.

If your encyclopedia has only one page, say a page that contains this article, then only a few words will get indexed. As a result, the encyclopedia will only be useful to a few readers, i.e., the ones who will be looking specifically for words found in the index.

For your encyclopedia to cater to a large number of readers, you would need lots of pages that can be indexed. The more pages (and words indexed), the larger the audience your encyclopedia can serve.

At this point, it should be clear why clients who own websites require so many articles. If they have many articles, they will in turn have many words indexed for.

So, for instance, not only will you find your way into this site when looking for "why so many articles", you can also land here by way of "how to get an odesk job" or "airtime rates smart broadband".

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