Article Post Robot - When Marketing Ingenuity Meets Automation
Article Marketing, the practice of submitting articles to article directories and ezine mail lists to gain link exposure, is going through an explosive phase in popularity right now. Contributing to this trend is the emergence of automated article submission software that allows authors to send their articles to hundreds of article publishers at the push of a button.
The promise for small businesses and home-based entrepreneurs looking to increase marketing channels should be immediately obvious. If you use article marketing to get your message out you already know that the bottleneck is not in the writing of your well thought out and compelling articles. No, it is in the submission process. The repetitive and dizzying experience of filling in article submission forms is perhaps the biggest turn off for aspiring article marketers.
This might be why the prospect of no longer having to submit articles manually causes something like fireworks in the brain stem. Oh happy days are cometh to the article marketer!
Or am I just getting caught up in the hype?
Recently I obtained one of these automated article submission programs and put it to the test. Read on to find out the pros and cons of using Article Post Robot, one of the more widely advertised article submission programs on the market.
The first benefit you gain from trying out Article Post Robot is a risk-free 7-day trial period. I was able to download the full-featured software and start my trial with a key supplied upon request from the developer, David Tang.
The next step, after familiarizing myself with the program, was to register on the various article submission sites to acquire login credentials and, for those sites run by Article Dashboard (a popular application designed to run an article directory), a pen name. This proved to be somewhat tedious, but I wanted to register with as many sites as possible. Article Post Robot offers nearly 300 potential sites to target, of which I found about 200 to be general enough to suit my needs (for example, unless it happens to be right up your alley, you too will likely not need to register with that directory devoted to Dog Articles!).
I discovered soon enough that a number of article directories listed in Article Post Robot were no longer in existence, or revealed their transitory nature with an ACCOUNT SUSPENDED notice. Clearly there are good and bad neighborhoods in article directory land, but it is not easy to tell which is which unless the site itself happens to be out of commission. So, first lesson, take the value of your article submissions with a grain of salt. What looks like a valuable publication venue might be gone tomorrow. To his credit, the developer of Article Post Robot, asked me for the list of non-functioning sites when I alerted him to the problem.
Now, as a software developer myself, I happen to be fairly critical of other software applications. So, right off the bat I can tell you that had I developed Article Post Robot myself, it would have come out a little different. Despite this, I think that David has done a very good job putting together Article Post Robot. It is easy to use, though maybe a little rough around the edges--which is not surprising for software less than a year in release.
One of my main gripes with Article Post Robot involves the currently poorly written user manual. It would help a great deal if David paid a professional to rewrite it. I suspect that for the Article Post Robot development team, English is a second language that has not yet been fully mastered, and it shows in the manual. That said, with a bit of trial and error, it is not hard to figure out how to use Article Post Robot.
Like most other people considering automated article submission software, I purchased Article Post Robot because I want to submit articles to a large number of article directories, and the only practical way to do this is to use an automated robot. Unfortunately, what I find in practice, is that Article Post Robot fails one critical task in the automated submission process. It very often does *not* select a sufficiently suitable article category when it loads the article submission form, and this rules out--for me, anyway--completely automated submissions (i.e. hit one button, walk away, and come back when the article has been submitted to every article site in the list). Instead I monitor the process manually, which I will explain in more detail in a moment.
Getting back to the category selection process, which I believe plays a big role in determining whether or not an article will be accepted by a given article publisher, Article Post Robot allows me to select up to 5 possible categories from 5 drop down menus. Article Post Robot will then attempt to match one of these selections with the categories it finds on the target publisher site. You can even type in a keyword for the category and supposedly Article Post Robot will attempt to match it.
However, I found that typing in "Affiliate Marketing" never resulted in a category match, even though a good number of publisher sites do have an Affiliate Marketing category. On the other hand, the term "Affiliate" did sometimes result in a match. But not often enough to be reliable. Therefore I consider Article Post Robot category-matching a feature that needs a lot more work (though, of course, this issue may be resolved by the time you read this article).
Because of my lack of confidence in this element of the software, I choose to allow Article Post Robot to submit to sites in the "manual submission" mode. What this means is that Article Post Robot will load the relevant submission forms on the article sites for me, and it is then up to me to look them over, tweak anything that is not quite right (like the category to associate with the article), then submit the form myself. After this I simply hit the "next site" button and move on.
All told, the manual submission route is still a lot quicker than going about article submissions without any form of article submission software, and in itself is worth the price of the software. However, when David Tang gets the category selection feature ironed out, I can easily imagine letting Article Post Robot do all the submissions by itself. I am sure the owners of article sites will appreciate this extra accuracy in the process as much as I will.
In addition to the article directory submissions, Article Post Robot can submit to about 40 sufficiently generic email lists, and for this I do in fact allow the software to do all the submissions (which amounts to merely sending out the article in email format to each of the publishers).
In summary, I like Article Post Robot. I look forward to seeing some improvements in the areas I have touched upon in this review, and I expect I will be using the software for some time to come. Really, if you are at all serious about article marketing, you will find that looking into an automated submission solution, such as that offered by Article Post Robot, is well worth your time.
About the Author: Stephen Carter is the developer of Red Queen, powerful product review software for webmasters and affiliates. He uses Article Post Robot to help promote his business with article submissions.