There are literally millions of web sites on the Internet, and many of them are looking for fresh content every single day. Many web site operators write their own content, but others get their content from services which provide articles. Most of these services are advertiser supported, but others charge a subscription to the web site operators that use the content. These content provider services actually present a good opportunity for authors to showcase their talents as writers, and to promote their books.
For the past few months, I have been experimenting with a service called Ezine Articles. I post some of my blog posts to the site as articles, and these articles include links back to this blog. Each article includes a short bio about me, and the fact that I am writing a book for authors about marketing and promoting books. Not only does this drive more traffic to this blog, but it also helps me build credibility. In turn, these articles have been picked up and used by other web sites and blogs, each providing links back to this blog. If an article is picked up by a large number of web sites and blogs, that provides more exposure for me, this blog, and my upcoming book.
These content provider services cover a wide range of topics, not just book marketing. Of course, these services work best for authors who write non-fiction and can write with authority about their chosen topic, but some authors write and post book reviews of other books, all while linking to their blog or web site which promotes their own book. I'm sure you can see the benefit of "getting your name out there" on the Internet by providing articles featuring your writing skills and promoting your own web site, blog and book.
Other content providers include:
About.com (competitive, you must go through a trial period before they will hire you to be a "guide")
eHow (featuring "how to" articles
Some of these sites even pay you to provide articles for them. Granted, the pay is usually based upon page views, and the pay is small, but since you would be writing to promote yourself the pay is just an added bonus. The pay at About.com can be good, but unlike the other sites you can't just open an account and start writing. They must hire you after a trial period of writing, and a small percentage of writers are hired.
I haven't submitted many articles to Ezine Articles, but my articles have been picked up by several other blogs and web sites, driven traffic to this blog and have routinely been among the most-viewed and most-published articles in the "book marketing" category at Ezine. If I dedicated more time to it, I'm sure the results would be even better.
If you are looking for a way of creating a larger presence for yourself online, article marketing could be a good option for you.