Blogging sounds easy. Bang out a few hundred words of brilliance, post it to your site and the readers will come — and they will buy.
The truth is blogging is hard work.
You have to come up with content that’s interesting. It has to be well-written, because who wants to read something that’s a nonsensical, error-filled mess? Never mind that it has to adhere to all of the latest SEO best practices. And when you accomplish all of that, you need to get it in front of the people who are going to take action based on your brilliance.
If you’re like most bloggers, by the time you craft a compelling, share-worthy blog, you’re exhausted and short on time. Sure, you came up with a brilliant piece, but you need more than one. Besides, who has the hours (or brain power) to create brilliant content every day, and then effectively promote it? You could build your content marketing machine by yourself, but wouldn’t it be better to work smarter, not harder?
You can do that by incorporating content syndication into your content strategy.
What Is Content Syndication?
Social media expert and award-winning marketer Danny Brown compares the process of syndicating your content to the career path of a small-town journalist who writes human interest stories that periodically pique the interest of large-market publications like The New York Times. What happens to a small-town story that The New York Times decides to feature? It blows up with national attention and affords the writer with more opportunities for “bigger gigs and paychecks.”
The same thing can happen to you and your blog when you syndicate it to the right places. Syndication puts your name and ideas in front of more people, which builds your reputation — as well as more sales.
According to Search Engine Journal, content syndication provides several major benefits to your content marketing strategy: increased traffic, new brand exposure, better search rankings, establishing yourself as an industry authority, and quality backlinks to your site and its digital assets. In fact, many marketers don’t realize that these opportunities are ripe for the picking, because they don’t know how to find them and be noticed by online giants like The Huffington Post and Mashable.
Define a Strategy by Setting Goals
The key to defining a content syndication strategy is setting goals and determining what results you are looking for. Do you want to increase traffic to your own blog? Improve your personal brand? Gain recognition as an industry leader? Improve sales for your product?
Establishing goals before you begin a content syndication plan allows you to not only choose the right syndication platforms, but also drives the actual content creation efforts. As you write your posts, you’ll be able to ask yourself “Will this drive traffic to my site?” or “How will this affect my reputation in the industry?” Defining your goals, therefore, not only defines your strategy in terms of where you syndicate, but it also defines your strategy in terms of what you syndicate.
Choose Your Methods of Syndication
Once you have set your goals, established a strategy and created engaging content, you might be asking yourself “Now what?” How do you actually start syndicating your content?
There are three different mainstream methods of syndication, and they each appeal to different audiences. Regardless of which of these methods you utilize, the key is to choose quality sites on which to syndicate your content.
Bartered blog syndication. Also known as free blog syndication, these free sites can increase your exposure and drive more traffic to your brand and your blog. Popular examples include WikiHow, SlideShare and Hubpages. Free blog syndication sites allow you to submit your content for free.
Ad-supported syndication. Feeling a bit competitive? If your posts perform well on ad-supported syndication, you cash in on a small piece of the ad profits while also driving more traffic. The better your content performs, the more exposure you get.
Licensed blog syndication. Based on “high-value” users, this method gives you an opportunity to earn substantial revenue via royalties whenever your content is accessed. A common example is Newstex.
Which syndication platform is right for you depends on not only your goals, but also your reputation as a blogger and the quality of your content. It can be challenging for new bloggers to land a spot with a licensed blog syndicator, for example, as the approval process tends to be more competitive; after all, these syndicators are paying royalties on content, and their subscribers expect only the most high-quality, useful blogs.
It’s also important to pay close attention to blog syndicator audiences. A platform might offer access to millions of potential readers, but if they aren’t your audience, it doesn’t matter. Choose carefully and strategically. Having a few engaged readers is always better than having everyone ignore you.
Where Do I Promote My Content?
Once you’ve submitted high-quality content to syndication networks, your work isn’t done. You still need to promote your work and drive people to read it.
The good news is that you are most likely already using the most effective promotion tools. To better promote your content, you need to approach these tools strategically and never lose sight of your audience and your goals. As you’re developing content, keep in mind that you’ll be using the following means to promote it:
Social media. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are ideal for promoting blogs and encouraging engagement. However, remember that each social network attracts a different audience and has a unique usage pattern. Approach each network differently when sharing your content to better align with your strategy and target audience.
Social bookmarking. Social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon and Reddit rely on their readers voting in favor (or not) of the content they discover. Once a reader “stumbles upon” your post, they’re directed to your website. Social bookmarking sites are a great, interactive way to drive traffic to your blog and hook new readers.
Guest blogging. Guest blogging can boost your readership numbers, massively boost syndication and establish you quickly as an industry leader online. Great places to start submitting blog posts include Social Media Today, The Energy Collective and SmartData Collective. Again, these sites publish only the highest-quality, most relevant content.
Syndication networks. It’s worth repeating that syndication networks are one of the best methods of increasing traffic. Networks such as SimpleReach, LinkWithin and Alltop are trusted options favored by top blogging authorities.
Creating your content with these promotional tools in mind allows you to more easily and effectively use them when the post is published. You won’t waste time trying to figure out how you’re going to tell the world about your brilliance — you’ll already have it covered.
Remember, It All Starts With Content
Incorporating content syndication into your blogging strategy is one of the smartest ways to increase traffic and boost your readership. However, those gains can be short-lived if you don’t have great content. Crafting compelling, informative and conversational content that appeals to your audience is necessary if you hope to engage new readers and keep them coming back for more. Syndication is hard work, but the result is that you do less work for much larger gains in terms of new leads and influence within your industry.
Need Help With Your Content Strategy?
Great content motivates action. Every piece of content should encourage users to engage with your brand. Digital Current understands the online habits and emotional buying triggers of your brand’s target audience. Let us show you how to develop and promote great content that amplifies your marketing strategy.