Less Effort, More Results: Basics of Content Syndication for 2017
by Al Gomez
January 4, 2017
Content marketing has become an integral aspect of any complete SEO campaign. More than just publishing blogs, there’s been an influx of demand for quality content as more and more people consume them. From news, images, to video, there are plenty of ways to include content in your digital marketing efforts.
ONE strategy that has been catching online marketers’ eyes in recent years is republishing. Also known as content syndication, this technique is also used by large online publications such as Forbes, The Huffington Post, and Business Insider.
This 2017, know the basics of this content marketing technique – and how your SEO campaign can benefit from it.
Why Syndicate Your Content?
A good content marketing campaign typically begins with a website blog. The great thing about it is that traffic goes directly to your site, which means you can easily spot potential leads or even convert them into sales.
However, the downside is that promoting your blog can be challenging and time-consuming. If you have a strict deadline, you would want to acquire high-quality traffic in the shortest time possible.
Here’s where content syndication comes in handy.
Unlike guest posting, syndication allows you to showcase your best works to authoritative websites that already have a loyal following.
In general, you’re giving certain sites permission to republish your content to gain more audiences. This tactic is great for both small and large businesses.
4 Basic Steps To Content Syndication
1) Gather target websites related to your industry.
Begin by first finding online publications that allow republishing. You can usually find this information on their About Us page. If not, you can always email the managing editors about their content syndication policies.
Ensure that these publications have higher authority than yours. This authority will be a good reflection of you as an author, and help your website improve its ranking, too. A few of the sites that allow content syndication include Business Insider, Forbes, Fortune, The Huffington Post, and Slate. Don’t forget to check that they have a column or category that’s relevant to your business and/or expertise.
Next, create a spreadsheet for collected data. Don’t forget to include important information such as contact details, editor name, as well as links to their republishing guidelines.
2) Pitch your content.
Once you have a detailed list of target sites, you can begin writing email pitches to the editors. Use tools like MailChimp to make beautiful templates that immediately grab attention. Focus on the three aspects of an effective pitch:
- a clear subject line,
- brief yet personalized body, and
- a summary of the content you intend to republish.
Make sure your idea is in line with the type of articles they produce. Not sure how to approach big-shot editors? Don’t worry! Many successful columnists and writers will let you borrow tips from their email templates. Use those as a guide until you gain enough confidence to write your own.
See Buffer’s content syndication article for three great email samples as reference.
3) Revise and/or optimize content before submission.
Carefully follow the website’s republishing policies. Most content syndicators don’t require authors to change anything apart from the title, but some will want 20-25 percent of the content revised to avoid issues with duplicate content.
To make republishing easy for the editor, you can create a separate HTML file that’s ready to be uploaded onto their CMS. Don’t forget to verify that links pointing back to your website are all working as intended.
Be sure to include the rel=canonical tag to help search engines identify where the original content came from.
<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://yoururl.com/original”>
Simply replace the link with the URL of your original work. Remember to include your author bio and a link to the ORIGINAL article before submission.
4) Promote syndicated content.
One of the best things about content syndication is that your target site will promote your article on their social media accounts. However, you still want to maximize your effort by posting the republished work on your profiles, too.
Think outside the box when sharing. Aside from Facebook and Twitter, why not try Pinterest (use a feature image from your article), Tumblr, or Reddit (pick an appropriate subreddit before posting)? You can also email your subscribers to let them know you are published elsewhere.
Best Practices Republishing
- DO identify your goals for content syndication. Are you doing this to gain more traffic to your site? To become a credible source of information in your industry? Or you want to gain more audience?
- DO maintain positive relationships with editors who choose to republish your work.
- DO measure the progress of your content syndication campaign. Use tools like Google Analytics or Buzzsumo to evaluate how effective this strategy was for you.
- DON’T use generic templates when sending email pitches to editors! Customize it based on the preferences or personality of the target editor. This should increase the chances of your pitch being accepted.
- DON’T syndicate ALL your content! Carefully pick the ones that would be a good match to your desired publication. Leave some unique articles that are exclusive to your blog.
- DON’T forget to measure results. No matter how successful your syndicated content gets, if you weren’t able to evaluate its outcome in accordance with your objectives, it’s as if it never happened.
Content syndication has helped hundreds of businesses and bloggers increase their website traffic, build a better online reputation, as well as become a regular contributor to authoritative sites.
As long as you’re okay with having another website host YOUR content, this strategy could open up many doors of opportunity.
Republishing your work on authoritative sites has another benefit: it lets other editors know that you are open to having your articles posted elsewhere. Soon enough, you may receive requests from popular online publications about syndication. As early as now, you can prepare your own guidelines for this foreseeable future.
Content syndication is one of the fastest methods for obtaining more by doing less, while still delivering quality. However, keep in mind that not every business needs it. It all depends on your goals.
Will YOU try content syndication in 2017?
Tell us in the comments below OR reach out to us on your favorite social media platform!
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