I promised long ago (on another blog) that I'd some day do a review of article submitter programs. But I had so many and I was acid testing them at the time. Plus I got into other fascinating research about optimizing web pages and then the wonderful world of Web 2.0 and video.
Today, however, I went back into that strange world of article marketing.
Right off, there are many, many programs out there. And they all do more or less what you pay for. Some are much better than others. I'll tell you what I've ran into and what I've tested.
Now the articles I had submitted were to some very interesting article directories. These directories tended to shrink after awhile from a few hundred down to around 80 and then - after an upgrade - back beyond three hundred. And that's just for one submitter I used the most. (The reason they shrunk was that there was a natural shake-up in directories. Many had flawed scripts and wouldn't accept my articles or didn't pay for enough bandwidth. Another problem was that many had never secured their site, so some unscrupulous hacker got into them and not only changed their directory around, but also set them up to spread his little trojan around - you see, this submitter, like most of them, is IE based and so is inherently insecure. Only my anti-virus and firewall saved me, but I still had to manually run some clean up programs. But that program's administrators were on top of it and gave me a good explanation.)
And so the first program I'll recommend: www.submitsuite.com's "Article Submitter".
Now I think that is is based on the code of another program, also called "Article Submitter", which is a freebie and also gives away the source code. (Some day, I'll make this available through an opt-in list, but right now, I can't take the time...) Anyone can tailor-make this program with their own graphics and links and what not. I've even seen another free version of it that has rotating banners...
And that last one was the second program I'd recommend.
Here's why for both of these:
They are built on Article Dashboard's free script and so are able to simply enter your articles almost automatically - at least SubmitSuite's. Once you have registered at all the article directories (you have to do this for each one, though their program help speed the process quite a bit), then unless that directory takes you off their list or quits performing, it will generally just take your article and submit it right through. This is because of the scripts they have to handle the submission to Article Dashboard's script.
The second program, the freeware Article Submitter (found for free download in many places), does it on a semi-automatic basis - supposedly you only have to select the category you want to submit it to. The best point of this one is that you can add new directories. (If you don't like the hundred plus it came with, you can delete them - but never get them back without manually adding them.) No other directory submitter program I've used does that. They all have some sort of central clearing-house or approval process.
And that's why I use that second, clunky program.
None of the programs I have can access the most popular and probably the most effective article directories - ezinearticles.com - so I have to add it.
That's the theory and practice of my submissions - all articles to a few, and the best few to hundreds. Those few are the top-rated, top 10 article directories. Those hundreds are all those that I can use with a mostly-automatic submitter.
Mostly-automatic - lets look at that: with SubmitSuite's article submitter, you have to keep it open on its own screen to see when it when it hangs. Then you simply write down the address of that hung article directory site. Then go to the next site. Oh - and watch out for the pop-ups and web rings. These can also stop the program.
Another glitch - it does keep track of the articles you submit, but no data besides the title. So you have to keep track of these in a text editor. You can live with that as long as your hard-drive is fairly organized - and backed-up. I presume this program does this to keep its speed. Too bad it doesn't keep a simple address on your hard-drive. But I can wait for the update.
One other caveat - use a spam-magnet email address. These article directories are also being used to accumulate email addresses. I use gmail, myself, since while they want you to accept their (spam) emails as part of your agreement, you can set up a filter for each email which simply trashes them before you have to see them. Otherwise, your email gets deluged with junk.
Now, I've tried other article submitter programs and even high-priced ones. Don't go this route. And that doesn't mean you can't - but I've done enough research for my end of it and have some working tools.
(There's another "Article Submitter" clone - a "Pro" version, which has over 1,000 article directories, but is very, very backward on use. My little free one is still faster, despite its drawbacks.)
How to use that little free one: Keep your text editor open. While the program logs you in, you're going to have to select your category, as I've said. While you're there, correct it's other little nasty, that is gives you a very small bio to use. (If I wanted to load in my old Visual Basic, I could probably fix that...) Just cut and paste in your new, improved variety of bio.
Now this other problem it has is that it will only put in one article at a time. You actually have to delete the other one to get your new one to be used.
As for other free programs - you get what you pay for. But by the same token, I don't think you have to pay hundreds to get a program that simply works. I'm happy with SubmitSuite's product and their customer service. Others are more based on their marketing pitch, which includes inflated prices.
About those article directories:
1. The best fit no mold. They are so uniquely tailored that no program can automatically access them. And factually, those directories probably don't want them to (spam).
2. The best have features like wysiwig editors for the articles. And I could simply live in Ezinearticles, because it is more like a blog interface than an article directory. These guys to a helluva lot to keep improving their services.
3. Low-end intro article directories "might" be useful in terms of getting you some pagerank - but it is going to take a lot of these to do any good. I don't see that your spending a great deal of time with PR0 sites will get you anywhere. These sites will grow in stature as they improve the service they provide. Then they will become valuable.
4. However, that said, using a semi-automatic submitter like above, can help both of you. And so the theory of using a simple submitter to keep your access to the top sites available, while you pick the best articles out of those many to submit to the vast amount of others that play nice with those programs.
Best of luck with all these articles of yours...