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: http://www.monetize-online.com 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.