Articles are a great way to improve site rankings and increase awareness.  Rankings will increase due to additional content being created for the site, but if you also choose to distribute articles they have the additional benefit of increasing backlinks, which is a major factor for high rankings.

Articles can be used to monitize a blog, if you are the blog owner you may wish to follow these guidelines:

1) Create unique articles with targeted phrases
2) Ensure the articles make sense to the user, do not over optimise for the spiders as it will become unreadable.
3) Write naturally, with good grammar and spell check.
4) Try to create articles with more than 500 words
5) Choose a catchy, unique title. This is very important to attract the user, and is also used as the anchor text within ‘some’ distribution sites, so include you main keywords too.
6) Choose a topic carefully, some topics will generate more interest than others.
7) Insert social bookmarking buttons to enable readers to digg, stumble etc.
8) Link to the articles from other deep pages within the blog.
9) Add the article pages to your XML sitemaps for faster indexing.

When submitting the article to other blogs, or distribution sites consider the following:

1) If allowed, insert one or two in-line links back to your website.
2) Insert links back to your site within the signature section.   
     Also insert the URL as a link, for example: as some scraping sites will leave this in.
3) Make sure the landing page is ‘spot on’ a good landing page will mean better conversion rates.
4) Use RSS feeds to promote the articles.
5) Build a reputation by submitting as many articles as possible.
6) Digg, Stumble etc you articles on other sites.

There are also lots of copywriters being paid by blogger to generate articles for their site, if you are a great writer, full of inspiration you could generate a good income from this alone.

From the article you can insert affiliate links to encourage product purchases, also generate AdSense income based around the articles.

I find the following two sites good for article distribution:

Can you recommend other article websites?
Please feel free to add any more ideas within the comments below.

Online businesses can be very tricky and difficult to make a living. A lot of time and sometimes luck is required to suceed. Most people can find the time, but the luck hardly ever appears!  Well I’ve learnt not to bank on any luck, but instead create avenues where opportunities, not luck arise.

So how do I do this? Well, you’ve heard the saying ‘you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours’?
If you apply this online, overtime you will see the benefits and you won’t require any luck

The web is a resource for sharing information and learning, if you keep this in mind most money making opportunities will evolve on there own.

I’m a great believer of helping and providing advice online, here are some real life examples that have gained me additional income when I least expected it.:

1) I set up a blog for free for a friend of a friend, I didn’t realise but he knew a number of businesses and he now recommends me all the time. So from one free blog which took a few hours of my time, has resolved in lots of contacts and business.

2) Reviews – Writing reviews about products I’m interested in has led to paid reviews and free products. Initially I had only set out writing reviews for general content, but soon became a regular income.

3) Even simple linking to other sites with no requests to link back has led to finance. Marketing agencies crawl backlinks of their competitors to seek out link opportunities for their clients. By linking to a few high profile sites within your industry allows your site to be picked up via the agencies link analysis tools. They then contact you where you can negotiate fees for advertising their clients on your website – easy income ;-)

So tell us, what back scratching have you done online, and has it paid off?