You put a lot of time, resources, and energy into creating great blog content for your site. Why wouldn’t you want to get the most out of that content that you can? Thankfully, there is a way to get even more results from your work and stretch your content so that it attracts more readers, traffic, and SEO value. It’s through blog syndication.
What is Content Syndication?
Blog syndication is the process of publishing a piece of content on your site and then republishing the same content on one or more other websites that are relevant to your audience.
For example, you could publish a blog post on your site, and then a week or two later, another website could publish the same post on their site. The second post would be the same as the original (while sometimes featuring a different headline), attributed to you, and include a link back to your site.
Benefits of a content syndication strategy:
- It builds your brand authority as you can appear in more industry publications.
- It gets your top of funnel content in front of new audiences.
- It repurposes your content so that you get more out of the work you’ve already done.
- It provides long-term SEO results by building links back to your website (when done correctly).
- It drives traffic back to your site as audiences click to view the source or original article.
To get these benefits, you need to set up a content syndication process that follows best practices for linking, targeting the right sites, and getting the most out of your repurposed content. If you don’t follow these best practices, blog syndication could bring more problems than benefits to your content strategy
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Before we get into how to set up a plan that delivers these results and avoids errors, let’s look at some misconceptions about blog syndication and the differences between this strategy, guest posting, and syndication networks.
Blog Syndication vs. Guest Posting
A content syndication strategy may sound similar to guest blogging outreach. In both strategies, you create content and find other sites that will publish it on their site. But these two strategies are not the same.
- With guest posting, a blog post only appears on one guest blogging site. It does not appear on your website at all. Also, a guest post is usually original content.
- With content syndication, a blog post appears on your site. It also appears on one or more other sites. Unlike guest posting, syndicated content is an original piece that has been republished.
Blog syndication uses republished content that appears on one or more sites. Guest posting is usually original content that is published on one other site.
Blog Syndication vs. Syndication Networks
Another blurry line in content syndication relates to paid content syndication. While the two strategies sound the same, there are some major differences.
- Syndicating content involves creating relationships with individual websites and working with them to publish your content on their site. In this strategy, the website publishes your content in its entirety, usually at no cost to you.
- Working with syndication networks involves partnering with a company that advertises your content (usually by showing your article’s headline, a blurb, and featured image) on other third-party websites. The advertised content leads back to a blog post on your site, and you typically pay based on how many clicks your ad receives. The top syndicated content providers include Outbrain, SimpleReach, and Taboola, and you can usually find these ads at the bottom of popular blogs and websites.
Blog Syndication Best Practices
Now that you know what blog syndication is, what it’s not, and how it can support your content and marketing plan, let’s look at what it takes to properly execute this strategy.
It’s essential to follow these best practices so that you reap the benefits of content syndication while avoiding the negatives that can come from a poorly constructed strategy.
Syndicate your content on sites that have more online authority than you. One of the primary goals of blog syndication is to get your content in front of new audiences. You want to seed your content on sites that have the potential to reach more people than the content on your site can. So target sites that have a big audience and high Alexa Rank as they will have a large reach. (Also, getting high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites also comes with the added benefit of improved SEO for your site.)
Only syndicate your content on sites that reach your target audience. Reaching a lot of people is important, but not as important as reaching the right people. Only syndicate your content on websites that reach your ideal target market.
Publish the original post on your site first. To get the most benefit out of blog syndication, publish the content on your site first so that your site is recognized as the original publisher. This is important for supporting strong SEO signals and building backlinks.
Ask syndication sites to link back to the original post on your site. A part of the reason why you should publish content on your site first is that you want to link back to the original post in the syndicated piece of content. This leads audiences back to your site and sends positive SEO signals to search engines. As a best practice, link back to the original content on your site, not your main URL or another page. This is one of the top off-page SEO techniques for boosting your visibility in search.
Ask syndication sites to use a rel=canonical tag. To get SEO benefits from blog syndication (and avoid search engine penalties), follow duplicate content best practices. When content is published on your site first, ask the site that is republishing the content to include a canonical URL (rel=canonical tag) that points back to the original content on your site. This process tells search engines that you know the content is duplicated and that your post is the original. It prevents search penalties (that can be applied to sites that “steal” content), and it can boost your site’s SEO.
If they don’t use a rel=canonical tag, ask them to use a Noindex tag. If the publishing site doesn’t want to add a rel=canonical tag, the next best thing is to ask them to use a Noindex tag. Noindex is a type of meta tag SEO that tells search engines not to index a page. When this tag is used, it doesn’t give as much SEO benefit to your site, but it does help avoid duplicate content issues.
Pro Tip: Use a duplicate content checker to make sure your site doesn’t have any copied content problems.
Start relationships by guest posting. Rather than reaching right out to websites and asking if they’d like to syndicate your blog posts, take time to build the relationship. Start by submitting an original guest post that is written for their audience. This approach is a good way to start the relationship by showing the level of content you create and how your content can appeal to the site’s current audience.
Find the Best Blog Syndication Sites for Your Content
Use these tips to find the best blog syndication sites to use in your content strategy.
Find sites that share your audience. To find sites that share your audience or the audience you want to attract, use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter the URL of up to 10 sites that have your target audience and produce a report of many other similar websites. Use this map as a starting point for finding sites to target in your content syndication strategy.
Search for sites that accept syndicated content. Your outreach will be more successful if you reach out to sites that have accepted syndicated content in the past. Look at sites before you contact them to find out if they have previously published syndicated content. Try searching for [“originally appeared on” + website URL] to see if they have posts that are syndicated.
Find sites that already link to your competitors. Other sites that will be likely to syndicate your content and link back to you are sites that have already done the same for your competitors. To find sites that link to your competitors, use Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker. Enter up to 10 of your competitors to see a list of URLs and sites that link to each.
Pitch content that benefits the target site. To make your blog syndication offer impossible for publishers to refuse, pitch topics that fill content gaps on their site. A content gap is a topic or idea that the publisher’s competitors have covered but the target publisher has not. To find these gaps, use Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix. Enter the target site along with a few of their competitors, select to view the organic “Keyword Gaps” for the target site, and run the tool.
The report will show keywords that are driving traffic to competitors but not the target site, giving you a list of topics that you can pitch to the publisher. Develop ideas based on these keywords and explain to the publisher why they are good posts for their site to improve your chances of approval.
Get Tools to Support Your Blog Syndication Strategy
Blog syndication is a smart way to get more out of the work you’ve already done
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. By publishing content on your site and then republishing it again on other high-quality sites that share your audience, you can get in front of new audiences and gain additional SEO benefits all while leveraging assets you already have.
Use the tips in this post to launch your blog syndication plan and start getting extra exposure for your content today. To grow your strategy even faster, sign up for a free trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to gain access to all of the research tools mentioned in this post.