Posting original articles to online article directories is a popular way to attract visitors to your website and build one way links back to your site. Building one way links back to your website elevates your ranking and your website's position in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
There are two main approaches you can take when initially posting to article directories and then there is a third method that helps you expand your article linking to more topically relevant and possibly higher authority sites.
One approach is to post the same article or a ‘"spun” version to many, even hundreds of directories (spinning an article means to make an article re-write parts of it self automatically using a special text format). I feel this may be ok for some smaller affiliate-targeted type sites like the ones offering a few products. (An example of these types of sites would be a site that sells one model of a camera or only certain types of shoes as an affiliate.)
Fewer links of higher quality will get better results than having many low quality links, like you would see where the article directory gets little traffic and has a low Page Rank rating. Those who have tested this say they get better search results by putting only 4-5 copies of an article in only the best article directories like ezinearticles and Article Dashboard. For more information on directories, see Top 21: The Best Article Directory List: href="http://www.fridaytrafficreport.com/top-21-the-best-article-directory-list/
A third method for link building is to expand the leverage of putting your articles in the top directories. The goal is to get your articles placed on relevant sites that are trusted by Google. By finding sites that have republished your articles from the directory you can contact those websites and offer them more original articles. Many websites are in constant need of new original content. The operative word is original.
It is reasonable for you to expect them to publish your article along with with your "Author Box" (bio), similar to the way things are done at a directory site; but ask them if they will let you place anchor text in the body of the article as well. An in context "editorial link" has a little more link juice.
To find these sites you can create a Google alert for the title of your articles then check for when it is re-published. You can also visit Copyscape.com, paste in a paragraph or two and see where your articles have been re-published. Copyscape is a web based tool that you can use to find sites that have re-published articles in your niche. When you paste in a sentence or two, Copyscape will find sites showing that exact text. You can also use these tools to find sites republishing the type of articles you write by checking in the same way similar articles from the top directories. Of course, they will not be familiar with your work so be prepared to show examples.
The links you gain are going to be high quality anchor text links, however it is important to make sure the site is of good quality. Often a visit to the site reveals quickly if it is a quality site. You can check their PR, traffic and backlinks fairly quickly with a Firefox plugin called Foxy SEO or any of the other SEO plugins if you like.
Once you find those good quality sites, you can see if you can contact them. The right approach is to try to build a partner relationship. They want good articles and information and you want links and readers who will visit your site when they like what you wrote. One quality, original article on a popular, relevant site will profit you more than hundreds and possibly thousands of low quality links on low traffic sites.