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Content Syndication: What It Is & How to Do It Successfully

Gaining 500 subscribers to your blog from a single post being republished…that’s exactly the kind of legs that content syndication can give you to help your content go the distance!

Your blog is likely a pillar of your business’s content marketing strategy. You put in a great deal of time, effort, energy, and research to make your blog a success and a vehicle for return on investment (ROI). As a marketer, you spend time promoting your blog content and crafting your SEO strategy, waiting months to see tangible results. On the other hand, content syndication uses the published content itself to get you in front of a wealth of people much more quickly.

What is Content Syndication?

Content syndication is when high-quality third-party websites republish a piece of content you crafted and initially posted on your company’s site to their site and link back to your original content. Syndicated content doesn’t have to be a blog post or article. The digital world has gone more visual, and people are engaging more with visual content. Videos, photos, infographics, and more can all be great for syndication.

No matter the size of your brand, you can reap major benefits from syndicating your content. Other entities, large and small, love to provide their following with syndicated content from other sources (like yours). This fresh content gives their readers new information, new views, and gives them the benefit of doing it all without having to write another piece of content internally. You, as the original author, benefit from syndicating your content because your brand and you as the author reach a new audience. Both sides win!

How is Content Syndication Different than Guest Posting?

Many people confuse content syndication and guest posting. That’s normal, as the two can overlap in several ways, yet they are also different in many ways.

Content Syndication

The biggest and best difference in the two strategies is that content syndication has a wealth of benefits that simply guest posting can’t offer. Whether you are writing for your brand’s blog and using content syndication, or you are guest blogging, you will put the same amount of energy, effort, and research into each piece of content. After all, your name is on it as the author and you want to create a truly great piece of content. Why would you not want to reap all the additional benefits the content syndication can offer?

There are many, many benefits that you can gain from putting time and energy into your content syndication strategy. Among those benefits, the ones that stand out as most beneficial include:

  • Extends the life of your content
  • Gives each piece of syndicated content maximum exposure
  • Greatly increases traffic to your brand’s website, as typically the publications and websites that syndicate your content will use text similar to: “This content originally appeared in [your brand’s name + Link]
  • Positions you and your brand as industry experts
  • Grows the volume of followers for your brand
  • More than doubles the reach of your content, getting eyes from multiple audiences instead of just your already established audience
  • Provides high-quality backlinks to your website
  • Contributes to search rankings and has SEO benefits

Guest Blog Posting

Guest posting refers to simply creating fresh content to be published on a third-party website. This is a brand new piece of content that you or a team member writes for a specific publication and that publication’s already-established audience. The content you put so much time and effort into will be only on that website. Additionally, all rights to the content you have provided through your guest post belong to the third-party website that posts it. Unless the site you are writing for has a great list of syndication partners, the guest post you write will just sit there.

Content Syndication and SEO

As you likely know, duplicate content is a big no-no. Google doesn’t like duplicate content, causing many marketers to worry that syndicating content will create duplicate content issues.

Fear no more! Google has given the go-ahead for syndicated content, and the search-engine giant has even provided guidelines to do it carefully. As long as you (the original publisher) and the site that publishes the syndicated content make it clear to search engines and readers that it is, in fact, syndicated content, you are good to go.

This can be done quite easily by ensuring the third-party website publishing the content includes a link back to your original article, ideally linking within the content of the syndicated article. This gives you an influx of fresh backlinks from quality sites that can positively impact your SEO performance.

Important Tip: When using a content syndication strategy, make sure you set up and consistently monitor the backlinks coming to that piece of content and your website. Make sure all of the new backlinks are from high-authority websites that will help your SEO performance and not spammy sites. When Google sees a site flagged as spam linking back to your site, it causes them to raise an eyebrow at your website. Most high-quality content syndication platforms only partner with high-authority, high-quality sites, so this issue likely won’t happen, but it’s worth it to monitor all the same.

How to Syndicate Content

There are a variety of ways to syndicate content and garner the positive results listed above. There are both free and paid strategies to syndicate content that will get traction for your blog or article and grow your reach. Because content syndication is wholly scalable, you can put as moderate or as great an effort into this content marketing strategy as you have the time and team for.

1. Grow the reach of your best-performing content on larger websites that already have a high volume of established readers and typically have a higher authority than your website. Many websites will allow you to publish your content s directly. By syndicating your established, successful content to a larger publication you grow the reach of that piece of content. While followers of a pre-established, larger website are already familiar with that site and may not be with yours, this avenue may not gain a lot of traffic to your website. However, they will see that the original content was written by you, increasing your brand awareness.

2. Repurpose your existing content by syndicating it on websites that have audiences similar to yours and would likely be interested in the information you provide. This type of syndication would be beneficial if your goal is to reach a niche audience. Smaller publications like these will typically include more in-content links that will send readers that click back to your blog. This is a prime way that syndicating to a more focused publication generates traffic to your website and can garner new leads.

3. Utilize the art of active pitching to websites that have a similar audience as yours and would likely take an interest in your content if/when it was syndicated on that third-party website.

Key Tip: The biggest content syndication platforms have the power to be the pickiest. They also receive the most requests. If you are using the art of pitching directly, make sure you are using your best content and that it is perfectly polished to meet their specific guidelines. You want to stand out above the rest!

4. Write an excellent guest post for larger a digital publication and then syndicate it via your blog and through sites like Medium, Quora and LinkedIn that allow free publishing. This strategy has two benefits. First, you gain the perception of being an industry thought leader seen by a huge audience that otherwise may not have ever known about your brand. Second, many of these larger publications will let you republish the original piece on your owned properties.

You can find digital publications that accept and/or actively looking for guest bloggers by searching on your industry title and the phrase “write for us.” For example, if you have a blog in the interior design industry, you would Google the phrase “Interior Design + write for us.” This will return pages of search results of niche websites that will accept guest posts. Basically, you are using a search engine to scout out sites where you can digitally pitch.

5. Look for sites that are already consistently using syndicated content and linking back to the original source. For example, when a high-authority site like Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Food Network, MSN, etc. publish an exceptionally popular piece, and Google the title of the article, you’ll see a bunch of other smaller websites that are referencing it and then linking back to the original piece published by the larger publication. You can utilize this strategy to potentially get your content picked up and syndicated.

How to Find the Right Content Syndication Partners for Your Brand

If you’re an author of the writer for a brand seeking to reach a larger audience of readers, the first step you need to take is to select outlets that would be ideal for your content, message, and brand. These outlets are called your publishing partners.

When you are starting from scratch, the simplest way to build your brand through content syndication is to do a simple search on terms in quotes such as “originally published by,” or “published with permission from.” This will show you articles that come from websites that syndicate content regularly. Scan these results to look for websites and digital publications that align with your brand and your industry that would make a good fit as a content syndication partner.

Another great strategy for finding the right syndication partners is to begin by focusing on one giant publisher. For example, if you can get your blog post accepted to be posted on Entrepreneur, you will receive tons of views for your content. Entrepreneur’s website garners close to 14 million visits monthly. Once you get your content on Entrepreneur, your post will likely automatically syndicate to Entrepreneur’s existing partners, such as Fox News, which sees an impressive 341 million visits each month. Your reach for a single piece of content has just been massively extended to potentially reach a pool of millions. You can now leverage this to pitch to more publications.

Keep in mind that the megaphone of your reach for content syndication will scale based on your experience and your own publication’s size. If you are a new brand, plan on starting small and putting in the legwork to work your way up the ladder to get your content syndicated for free by the larger digital publications.

Today’s Most Popular Content Syndication Services, Sites, Platforms and Networks

Free

Medium is a well-known online content platform and popular app that syndicates content and sends personalized recommendations to app users and subscribers based on their personal interests.

Quora is the world’s largest Q&A site where professionals and business owners can reply to a myriad of questions with expert information. You can easily use Quora as a content syndication partner simply by searching on questions and topics that relate to the content you wish to syndicate and linking back to your original content that answers the original question.

LinkedIn’s publishing platform is a great outlet to share your content. As an added benefit, your published content can potentially be shown in applicable search engine results pages.

Pinterest is a visual-centric platform that allows you to reach users searching for unique content in a niche space.

Slideshare use this platform to share a slideshow of information on a specific topic that positions you as a thought leader in your industry.

Reddit gives your content the ability to reach tens of thousands of unique users daily because it provides a myriad of content types.

Tumblr can automatically display your content on its live feed of blogs that is continually updated on the platform’s main dashboard.

Business2Community is similar to Tumblr in the fact that it has a constantly updated feed of articles and blog posts that span across every possible interest, category or industry. It gives users the ability to narrow down the categories based on their specific interests.

Paid

Outbrain can help you syndicate your content to its established network of major online media entities like People, ESPN, and CNN. It has a global reach of 2 billion+ monthly users (since its merger with Taboola – see below).

Taboola recently merged with Outbrain to take on platforms like Amazon and Facebook. Taboola offers localized placement on high-traffic sites and the merger with Outbrain provides the ability to reach over 2 billion monthly users with personalized content.

Zemanta is owned by Outbrain and focuses on native content distribution.

Content.ad promotes the ability to drive traffic to your site and utilize native ads through the platform’s existing partnerships.

RevContent is an ad network used by brand advertisers and marketers that specializes in partnering with publishers generating 50,000+ visits/month, making gaining a partnership a bit harder to obtain, yet more exclusive.

Sharethrough distributes video ads through its established network of social media channels, games, apps.

So, there you have it!

Content syndication is an incredible way to take your content marketing strategy to the next level. Through content syndication you can grow your audience, reach audiences that you wouldn’t have before, grow your website traffic, turn readers into leads, and, hopefully, transition leads into new followers of your brand. Additionally, syndicating content from established, authoritative brands on your own site or blog, you give your current audience fresh content from well-known brands without having to leave your website.

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