Research shows that 75% of blog posts online get as little as ten shares on social media and zero backlinks from established websites. Lack of visibility is a killer in the world of content marketing and it can destroy your website if you don’t take care.
Thankfully, we have a solution to this problem – content syndication.
What is content syndication?
Content syndication is a technique in content marketing where writers approach other bloggers and website admins and request them to publish a well-performing post they (the writer) wrote in the past. The objective is to get your blog/website out into the world and get it noticed by a larger audience.
If your content is truly valuable and is worthy of a re-publish, your syndicate partner (the blog/website you’ve approached for syndication) will share your content on their website.
The image below shows how content syndication works and how it benefits marketers.
Creating syndication-worthy content
Content syndication is exceptionally powerful. Influencer Neil Patel gives us an example of writer James Clear who gained 600 subscribers from an article that he syndicated out to Lifehacker.
If he can do it, so can you. All you need to do is follow the 3 Golden Rules of content syndication:
- Write the right content
- Invest in the right people
- Share it in the right format
To help you understand how to follow these rules, we’ve made a list of 10 tips that you absolutely need to follow, to become successful with your content syndication campaign.
Rule #1: Write the right content
1) Modify the content to suit the audience
Some people prefer reading blog posts by experienced writers, while others want to just watch a video by an amateur videographer. Then there are those who don’t consume content on any other platform than social media.
Each audience has its own specific content preference, and when you think about syndicating your content, you need to make allowances for the differences in taste that the new audience may have over your own. Add/modify/delete parts of the content you’ve already written to suit the tastes of your syndicate partner’s audiences.
2) Keep your content goal-specific
Some writers and marketers want to increase their website’s visibility, while others want to draw more conversions. Others are just trying to increase their social capital. Identify what your goal is and create content accordingly.
For example, if your goal is to affect more contacts and conversions, then using all the SEO tricks you’re aware of will help improve your website ranking, page views and contact. Similarly, writing short pieces of content for partners to post on social media and linking back to your website will increase your social capital and visibility with ease.
3) Choose/create content that’s data-backed and valid
The most important rule in content creation is using data to validate your content. Syndicated content thrives on the grounds that your content is valuable, actionable and accurate. When you give partners content that they can’t fault with, you can rest assured that they will scramble to get their hands on your work.
Remember to cite only renowned agencies, like Reuters, to link articles that have been written in the last 6 months.
Rule #2: Invest in the right people
4) Make the right partner choice
The most important rule of content syndication is choosing the right syndicate partner. Let’s say you’re a novice writer who’s been writing for just 5-6 months. You have tons of great ideas, but limited visibility. Content syndication will work for you only if you choose a partner who’s been in the game for years; not someone who has the same experience as you do.
Additionally, it helps to choose a partner who belongs to the same niche and who has an audience, the likes of which you want for your own website/blog.
5) Involve guest bloggers
Content marketers like Larry Kim recommend that writers and marketers start slowly by guest blogging or being columnists for other websites, before getting into syndication. Why? Your content will only get picked up if there’s evidence that it’s good and is liked by others.
Here, reverse guest blogging will help you hit two birds with one stone. You’ll create new content for another website and increase a backlink value to your blog; at the same time, your guest blogger will share your website to their readers (since they have worked on a post for you), giving you exposure to a much bigger audience.
6) Rely on yourself
These days, you have many self-service syndication platforms that allow writers to sign up, create/curate content and publish it online. In these cases, you won’t need to rely on a favour by an influencer or a guest blogger to share your post. You can take matters into your own hands and reach millions of readers on your own merit.
TIE Kinetix is a great example, where you can easily contact the admin, showcase your work, request login details and get blogging.
Rule #3: Share it in the right format
7) Set up an RSS feed
RSS – Real Simple Syndication – has it right there in its name, indicating why you need to set up a feed to syndicate your content.
RSS feeds help you consolidate valuable, data-backed content from reliable sources and publish it with your own. RSS feeds play the dual roles of increasing the value of your own blog/website and making your content more share-worthy and discoverable by users.
With an RSS feed, your content increases in value by mere association, increasing your chances of growing your readership.
8) Put social media to good use, yours and others’
Social media is a great place to syndicate your content. For one, you could always drop a link to your blog or website on another page’s post. For another, you could respond to your own audience’s comments and reply with backlinks to your content or content by an influencer website/guest blog that contains a post by you.
The important thing to remember is to change your tactic with each platform. For example, the above tricks will work if you’re on Facebook. But if you’re on LinkedIn, sharing your content on Slideshare will work wonders.
9) Always Repurpose
Syndicated content will give you benefits if it adds value to the new target audience who’s about to read it. So, instead of just asking your syndication partner to re-publish your old content, jazz it up a bit to meet the needs of the prospective readers.
This repurposing can be in the form of additional niche-specific insights or in the form of a scaled up/down version of the content. You could even strengthen the link profile of your content by linking websites/blogs that your prospective readers regularly read.
10) SEO-optimise for increased ROI
The one major problem with content syndication is content duplication. When search engines like Google find multiple versions of your content online, they may show users a source which may not be your own (that is, the original) and may be a website belonging to your syndicate partner. This will definitely not re-direct traffic to your site.
This is why it’s important for your syndicate partner to use the ‘rel=canonical’ tag to indicate to Google that there is an older, original version of the article. Now prospective readers will also have a redirect link, taking them back to your website. This will, in turn, increase ROI in the long run.
The above image shows how you know that content is syndicated. The orange box is a syndication message that the content has been published elsewhere. The lines follow this or a similar pattern: “A version of this article appeared on ABCD Magazine on DD/MM/YYYY during the MM issue on Page ## with the headline XXXXXXXXX. Original publication name.”
Top 5 places to syndicate your content
Here are the 5 best places to syndicate your content:
The world’s most renowned news aggregator and discussion site is at the top of the list of agencies to syndicate content to. Reddit offers content syndication services for a variety of markets and allows organisations of all types to publish their content on the platform.
USA-headquartered news agency Huffington Post offers content syndication services across the globe. Writers and marketers can partner with the agency to share content about business, technology, politics and entertainment, amongst others.
No content syndication list is complete without the emperor of professional content, LinkedIn’s Slideshare. From PPTs to infographics to videos, there is nothing you can’t share on Slideshare. This is the perfect place to reach B2B buyers.
Quora has over 100 million monthly users and growing. This makes their readership quite strong. You can use Quora to share links to blog posts, videos and websites. You can even answer questions and become an SME in a particular topic and market your website through your knowledge.
A discovery engine, StumbleUpon allows users to add links to their websites and blogs on their search engine, which can then be searched for by users. The engine collates website recommendations in the field of art, science, technology and a host of other disciplines and publishes the content for users to like, share and use.