We just finished the programming for three major upgrades to the system:
1. We put related articles below each article on our website, to encourage publishers to find more articles to publish.
2. We built an Article Search Engine, for the express purpose of finding articles within thePhantomWriters.com website. This is just one more channel for people to find articles they want to publish, and it will let you drill down into the articles in a way that we have never before been able to do on this site.
3. We built an add-on for Article Dashboard directory owners to receive articles from us. We have had third-party programmers approach us on this front before, but none were willing to enable us to have control over category placement inside of the article directories. We have finally built our own solution that gives us the placement control we wanted for Article Dashboard websites. We are in the process of getting the word out to Article Dashboard directory owners now, so this channel will need time to grow.
As another consideration, on Feb. 16th, 2010, we completed negotiation with another party for the development of a new content distribution channel, due to come online before Summer 2010, which will expand our reach considerably more. This new channel will give us access to hundreds of additional websites, for which there will only be two companies supplying content to the network – of which we will be one of them.
During 2009, we took the decision to expand our reach beyond the standard service that we have offered since 2001. While our original article distribution channel is stronger than ever, we wanted more reach.
Instead of charging more for each individual distribution channel, we decided to simply merge each new channel into our existing systems.
In 2008, we had agreed to work with two different third-party providers to get additional reach for the articles we distribute.
One of the two proved to have a negative effect on our clients, and we attempted to seek a solution with their tech team to fix the problem. That process failed, so we discontinued giving articles to that company.
The second company had given us access to more than 70 blogs, where we could send articles, based on the category of the article. Their software left a lot to be desired, and the bloggers who were participating have since began to fall off. Originally, there were more than 70 bloggers taking content from us through this service, but now there are fewer than one dozen bloggers taking content from us, through this channel.
In March of 2009, we launched our own WordPress blog Plugin to help bloggers get articles from our service. That WordPress Plugin can be found here. It took 3 months to get our first 25 participating blogs. By October of 2009, we had 75 participating blogs. In February of 2010, we have 275 participating blogs. Our plugin allows bloggers to CHOOSE which articles they want to receive from us, based on Keyword and/or Category, and to put those articles into their defined categories, rather than our defined categories. Our WordPress Plugin gives bloggers the ability to receive only the kinds of content they want from us, without having to catch and delete a bunch of articles they do not want.
We now have the Article Dashboard article add-on, and we expect it to have a growth curve similar to the WordPress Plugin, but we also know that most Article Dashboard sites will go offline within two years of launch. Attrition for Article Dashboard sites is pretty high.
The additional content channel that we anticipate coming online by the summer of 2010 is very different than anything we have done in the past, and different from anything we have seen in the past. We have very high expectations for that distribution channel.
We intend to keep stacking new distribution channels on top of our original service and to continue seeking growth for all of our distribution channels.
We are also working behind the scenes to build a new reporting system, that you will be able to use to find “exactly” where your articles have been published, after distribution. While the search engines are useful for this task, no search engine will give you a precise view of where your article has been published. Our system will not be precise either, but it will be better than relying on Google and Yahoo to find where your articles have been published.
We hope to make an announcement on this tracking system, by the summer of 2010.
Bill Platt, owner of thePhantomWriters.com
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