9 Effective Ways to Do Content Syndication for Your Website
The internet is an enormous, loud playground. For this reason, online business owners must employ various strategies in order to get noticed in the increasingly crowded landscape.
While there are many ways to expand your site’s reach, from guest posting to building social media buzz, one method often overlooked is content syndication, or republishing articles on third-party sites.
This strategy is attractive for online business owners not just because of its potential to reach new sets of eyes, but also its scalability. In other words, syndicating content doesn’t require a whole lot of extra work in order to, well, work.
However, content syndication is not without its shortcomings. Some avoid it out of fear of outranking their own site in Google searches, getting dinged for duplicate content, or not being able to collect subscriber emails.
But there are various ways that you can syndicate your website’s content effectively to maximize your gains while minimizing shortcomings. Here we will walk through nine ways to do content syndication right.
1. Determine if Syndication Is the Right Option
Is the name of the game building your subscriber list or expanding brand awareness?
These questions are among those that you should answer before venturing into content syndication. Generally speaking, content syndication works best for those who want to expand awareness of their site and brand authority more than list building. This is because, more often than not, republished content doesn’t provide the opportunity to gather emails since it is on someone else’s website.
Sure, you can link back to your site (and should), but the chances of people clicking through and signing up are diminished when not found on your original site.
So, first determine what your goals are in syndicating your content so that you can make sure you are spending your time wisely.
2. Establish Yourself as a Solid Blogger Before Syndication
If you recently launched your website or are just getting started blogging, it may be a good idea to work on building up your body of work before trying to syndicate your content elsewhere. While it is certainly possible to republish your work on other sites as a relatively new blogger, it helps to have some street cred built up by way of some blog posts or articles already living on your website so that people can see your style and begin to trust your authority.
There is no magic number of blog posts to hit before you attempt to syndicate, but the idea is that if people follow links back to your site, there should be more content there for them to see than whatever post led them there in the first place.
As a new blogger, spend some time getting content up on your site first––maybe a couple months-worth of consistent, weekly posts––and even do some guest posting to build relationships with others in your niche and prove your writing prowess. This effort will help you gain traction and make it more likely for your posts to get accepted when you begin syndicating.
3. Locate the Best Syndication Spots
Not all websites are created equal. This goes especially for sites that you are interested in syndicating your content on. You want to find sites with readerships similar to your target audience with positive brand recognition.
There are several different ways to go about finding sites on which to syndicate content.
One way is to become part of a content syndication network such as Outbrain or Zemanta. These are similar to ad networks, but focus more heavily on promoting blog content. Some are paid, and some are free. Look around and compare your options to see which would be the most advantageous to you before selecting one.
Joining a network is just one option, though. You can also opt to do some digging and independently locate places to pitch your pieces. One way to do this is to search your key SEO term and “write for us.” This search will spit out websites that cover topics in your niche, but also accept articles from outside writers.
A final way is to keep your eyes open as you read content on the web. Anytime you see at the bottom of an article: “This post originally appeared on …,” that’s a great indication that the site you are reading accepts syndicated content.
From there, it’s just a matter of following the instructions on the Write for Us page to start the pitching process.
4. SEO-Proof Your Content
As you prepare your content to be published elsewhere, you should keep in mind the SEO factor. In other words, prep your content so that the Google search algorithm works in your favor.
An easy way to do this is with the “rel=canonical” tag. This is an element you can include in your posts that tells Google that the content on your website is equivalent to that on another, but that the original one should rank higher.
Using this tag in your republished posts can help ensure that you don’t lose ranking or get dinged for duplicate content.
5. Use the “NoIndex” Option to Avoid Outranking Yourself
Similar to the above point, you want to do your due diligence to make sure that your syndicated content is not hurting the ranking of your original content.
In additional to the “rel=canonical” tag, you can also include a “noindex” tag. This essentially means that Google’s search engine bots will not index the syndicated post, so it will not show up in search engine results.
This way, you can retain your organic search results on your website while still benefiting from the exposure of publishing your article elsewhere.
6. Publish on Sites That Syndicate Their Content
Have you ever read an article on a big-name site, only to see it repackaged and published on a sister publication?
As you might have imagined, independent bloggers and business owners are not the only ones getting in on the content syndication game. Many big-name sites republish their content on partner or subsidiary sites.
By syndicating your content on sites that syndicate their content, you set yourself up for a healthy domino effect of content syndication, as your work could get picked up and spread further without you needing to lift a finger.
7. Consider Writing a Recap Instead
Maybe you still don’t love the idea of having a bunch of repeat posts with the same exact content floating around the internet with your name at the top.
Rather than attempting to republish the same post, you could consider writing a recap or summary post, or even refreshing a post with a different spin on it.
By doing this, you avoid the problem of duplicate content while maintaining the same overall idea, and not doing so much extra work (like writing a completely new guest post).
Dig around in the archives of your blog. Do you have old posts that could get tuned up? Or a consistently read article that could be shortened, summarized, and reposted?
Start with what you have, and reshape it for the site you’re pitching to.
8. Host Others’ Syndicated Content on Your Site
Thus far, we’ve talked about one direction of content syndication. But as in life, most things are a two-way street.
Consider building up your relationships with other site owners and bloggers by allowing them to syndicate their content on your website. This strategy is a great way to build up brand recognition by connecting with others who are writing on similar topics, and drawing in readers from parallel audiences.
Not to mention, you also create goodwill with your fellow site owners and online entrepreneurs, which will make it easier for you to ask for a favor when it’s your turn to request a spot for a syndicated post.
9. Syndicate Yourself
One final way to enhance your syndicated content portfolio is to DIY––syndicate yourself.
Expand the number of places where potential readers can find you by republishing your blog posts on sites like Medium or even LinkedIn. Doing this will give you the chance to share your content more widely.
Plus, by using the tags we mentioned above, you can still ensure your original content comes out on top in search results while gaining the benefits of increased readership and linkbacks.
Do Content Syndication Right
For every website owner, there is a persistent need to increase, expand, and reach readership beyond the existing site visitors. Of the many options at your disposal, content syndication––when done correctly–-can be a boon for online entrepreneurs.
Start the process by determining your goals and building a strong foundation of content on your main website. From there, look into content syndication networks, or find specific sites with similar readerships or niches to pitch your posts to.
Set yourself up well in the SEO department by using the “rel=canonical” and “noindex” tags to ensure that your original content stands out, and leverage big-name sites’ content syndication strategies to your advantage to create a ripple effect. If republishing the same content doesn’t tickle your fancy, consider summarizing or refreshing your existing content so as to get the same benefits with just a little extra work.
Finally, get creative with your efforts by hosting others’ syndicated content on your website to build up your network of influence, and syndicating yourself by republishing on sites like Medium and LinkedIn.
With some strategic planning and a little legwork, you can use content syndication to help your voice stand out and be heard.
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