Article marketing is one of the most effective ways to market a product. Affiliate marketing with the use of articles is no exception to this rule. In fact, article marketing allows you to differentiate yourself from other affiliates who sell the same product or service.
Because article marketing is so effective, many affiliate program owners/managers provide their affiliates with articles to submit to the various article directories on a regular basis. The affiliates, of course, replace the links that accompany the articles with their own affiliate links for submission.
Two caveats when using articles supplied by affiliate marketing managers - first, remember that most directories prefer you to have any links in your Author's Resource Box only, not embedded within the article itself.
Secondly, the articles as supplied are going to a number of affiliates unless you're already a big enough name online that the affiliate manager is willing to have separate articles written just for your use. So while few affiliates will actually take the time to use the articles effectively, either the merchant themselves or another affiliate has probably already submitted those articles to the directories, rendering them useless as they are for your affiliate marketing purposes.
It takes much less time to rewrite an article than it does to research and write one from scratch, so don't ignore the articles they offer - but DO take the time to rewrite each one before submitting it, hopefully adding some additional information or another tip as you do. That little addition not only makes your article a little more unique, but it also makes the finished piece more valuable to the readers - and that's exactly what you want when competing for attention at the article directories.
Article marketing accomplishes many different things. First, it can be used to establish yourself as an expert in the field that your topic relates to. Next, it can be used to drive traffic to your website, and third, it can be used to actually promote the affiliate marketing product in question.
However, one must be very careful when using articles to promote a product. The article must not be a sales letter disguised as an article. This won't work. Instead, write the article about the topic at hand, such as a problem that the product will help, or a desire that the product will fulfill, and then recommend the affiliate marketing product at the end of the article.
Another way to promote affiliate products within an article is to make the article a review type article, where you compare three or four different products or services. Of course, you will provide affiliate links for all of the products that you review, but you should be honest about how well each product or service addresses the problem or desire.
If you do not write, and the affiliate program does not provide articles for your use, you should consider hiring a ghost writer. Ghost writers are relatively inexpensive, and can turn out quality articles on a regular basis, which will include your affiliate links.
Finally, you should write or have articles written for you consistently. Ideally, you should have one article per week to submit to the article directories, and these articles should also be sent to related e-zines that accept submissions as well.
Serious affiliate marketing plans always include article marketing, especially since you can start article marketing even before you have a website or blog of your own - in fact many part-time affiliate marketers use ONLY article marketing for their promotions - but for serious affiliate marketers, be sure to use article marketing as just one technique in your professional affiliate marketing plan of attack!