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Every new blogger or even experienced content marketers struggle to get good quality traffic and a loyal audience to their blog posts.
Yet, it’s not enough. In the world of blogging, sometimes it feels like nothing is ever enough.
Just like a growing business cannot run-on auto pilot especially in it’s infancy, neither can a brand new blog.
The first one or two years of your blogging journey can really define how fast and sustainably you can grow, how well you are able to convert that audience into raving subscribers or followers and how well you are able to monetize your platform.
One such blogging or rather content marketing hack that I want to share with you today is the power of free content syndication. But first,
What is Content Syndication?
Definition: In simple terms, content syndication is when you take your existing content and re-publish it on various platforms so as to widen your audience and therefore get maximum eyeballs on your articles.
No blogger or marketer ever said- ‘I just want 10 people to read this article’. And if you fall in the category that does say this, may I suggest a career change?
Needless to say, we WANT more traffic, more validation and more eyes on our content. That IS and SHOULD be every blogger or content marketer’s goal. The art of doing this while using various platforms with audiences bigger than yours is described as content syndication.
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Why should you practice Content Syndication?
I can bet hundreds, if not thousands. The fault is not in the type of posts as they are by far super helpful for generating good traffic and income, but there are simply limitations to how many people will ever see your content.
This is especially true when all you do is share your content with your X (limited) number of followers and waiting for an article to go viral which may well never happen.
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This is exactly why you need to be syndicating your content-
- Get validation and loyal traffic from readers– You need to be present on AS MANY places as your targeted audience is present on. And this goes beyond major social media networks. This also, of course depends on the niche of your blog and a news type blog may well grow only from lets say Twitter as a marketing channel. Others, not so much.
- Get validation from search engines- It’s not a bad practice for SEO, contrary to popular belief.
- Scale your reach faster than you can through guest posts– While guest posts are a phenomenal way to expand your reach and get relevant backlinks, as a new blogger it may be hard to land such gigs or even carve out the time to write a few extra posts per month.
- Earn money when you can– Some of the platforms I discuss in the next sections actually pay you to write or republish good content. Who doesn’t want that?
- Become a thought leader– Even Mark Manson tweets a few times per day and Neil Patel regularly answers questions on Quora. The more your targeted reach is, the faster you will become a well-known authority in your niche. This is where targeted forums can help you A LOT.
This is exactly where content syndication comes into play.
Which brings me to my next point-
What are some free content syndication sites?
While there are tons of platforms available to republish content, I would only like to point out my top 5 that I’ve had most success with and how to use them.
Hands down, my favourite content syndication platform. Quora is a forum type question and answer platform with pretty much any and every question under the sun.
What is incredibly interesting is that I get more referral traffic from Quora (with less than 100 followers) after answering about 20 questions per month than I do from Instagram with about 30 posts per month and over 1750 followers.
I’ve written a detailed post on what is Quora and how to use it here.
The reason I recommend Quora as a content syndication platform is because it covers pretty much every niche I can think of.
I like to think of being on Quora as helping people, and also helping my blog get relevant views and traffic from links that I may use on my answers. It can get annoying people ‘request answers’ from you on the same topic over and over again, but you are always allowed to ‘pass’ such requests and answer questions you actually find challenging or fulfilling.
As on any other platform, re-publishing or even linking your content may get you blacklisted if you don’t really add any value to an answer. Make sure that you do answer questions that you actually have answers to and don’t just put a link as a one line answer.
This will only annoy people on the forum and you may be banned forever.
With that said, it’s still an incredibly powerful platform, one where I go not only to find new answers but also to answer questions and hopefully win a few people over along the way!
I don’t even remember exactly when I decided to use Medium. I used it to find off-beat, no-bullshit well written articles targeted for a young open minded audience. In short, I was more a passive reader than an active contributor.
However, it wasn’t until a month ago I realized just how powerful this platform really was.
I hopped on to the Medium partner program where you are allowed to monetize your content and if you received appreciation via likes, shares or claps you get paid by the premium members. It’s a way of crowd funding the value of your content. I’ve made over $30 in a month of using Medium and I’m sure the road is uphill if I continue to produce good content.
I’ve republished or syndicated from my blog about 10 articles that are open for monetization. One of my articles does exceedingly well and now brings in regular views to my blog. You can see the stats of my recent adventure on Medium, they may not be much but they are also not zero. As a blogger or content marketer, more views is never bad news!
Medium also allows you to see your stats depending on which story you published. For example, I published the one below about two months ago, and then later decided to change it a bit and start monetizing it.
I probably have more views on this article via Medium than I have on my blog in the last two months, just by the fact that it went viral for a while and kept getting re-shared on twitter and so on!
Moral of the story is-
- Get a Medium account and connect it to your social media channels.
- Pick up some of your best content or most useful or even most scandalous posts, and then use content syndication to re-post them.
- Sign up for the Medium Partner Program and start earning from paid members!
(READ ALSO: 5 Social Media Tips For Exponential Blog Growth)
Formerly StumbleUpon, Mix is what a text based version of Pinterest looks like. It’s way less visual as compared to Pinterest, but it works similar to a social bookmarking platform for interesting articles or topics you’d like to follow.
I make it a point to re-share all my articles on Mix with separate specific tags so that people with similar interests can find it.
Compared to Quora or Medium, Mix doesn’t provide me with a steady stream of referral traffic but it does make my articles way more visible than they would be.
You can’t wait for the world to ‘stumble upon’ your blog especially in the first years and reaching out to more people via Mix gives me the occasional bump in traffic plus more visibility.
For this purpose, Mix is a simple, intuitive and fun to use to platform that you should definitely add to your content syndication strategy!
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It has all the features of Quora but with minimal censoring of content. On Quora, it is super easy to get flagged or restricted from answering questions for reasons such as writing an answer that is less than the required length.
On Reddit, content is the only thing that rules, along with the community. I also find it much easier to search for answers and community topics on Reddit than on Quora.
If you’re looking to reach more people, you definitely need to work the communities (known as subreddits) in Reddit. Depending on your content niche, this may even be more beneficial than Quora.
I have to say I’m lazy to learn the ins and outs of Reddit, but this is in my focus list for this month, keeping Quora on back hold for a change.
Here’s a detailed post for beginners on how to properly user Reddit.
Last, but certainly not the least, LinkedIn owned slide sharing or presentation focused platform Slide Share might be an excellent tool to drive new people to your content.
If you blog about topics such as business, startups, technology, finance, marketing or rather any topic other than lifestyle, I can assure you that you will find an audience here that’s looking for it.
A super easy way of syndication your content on Slide Share is simply by :
- Creating PDF’s out of your posts using Print Friendly.
- Uploading them on your slide share account (that you can login using LinkedIn) into the relevant category.
I find this technique is really helpful for me personally, when I share PDF’s of existing blog posts as slides on Slide share on topics such as blogging and marketing. Depending on your niche, some trial and errors will lead you on the right track to what content works best here.
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PRO TIP- Why content syndication platforms are a POWERFUL TOOL
Other than the obvious reasons such as becoming a thought leader and getting referral traffic to your blog posts, you forget one small but significant benefit-
‘RELEVANT HIGH QUALITY BACK LINKS’
As a new blogger or marketer this activity is ridiculously hard. No one wants to spend countless hours guest posting on other blogs and sending cold emails to people who probably will never read your email to begin with. Not to mention you are already struggling to publish your own content in the first place.
What do you do? You get your content out there to the most relevant social and digital platforms that give you this signal for free. The more your posts are viewed, liked, shared and appreciated the better your back link juice!
Granted, these won’t be do-follow links, but in the long run these are super beneficial and will help you inevitable in winning the search engine rankings war, which is exhausting but necessary.
Before you go and start syndicating your content like a pro, make sure to read some content marketing hacks I used to 10X my traffic in one month, my detailed Quora strategy guide and my Pinterest strategy guide for beginners.
Have an existing blog in need of powerful growth? Check out these services I use and love:
- Tailwind: Pinterest and Instagram scheduling tool.
- Teachable: Create courses online and add to your blogging income.
- ThemeIsle: Premium WordPress themes.
- Grammarly: Automated in-browser Proofreading.
- OptinMonster: Convert and monetize your website traffic.
- LinkTrackr: Affiliate Link Tracking.
- PickMonkey: Photo-editing, Logos and Social Media Graphics.
Read Also: Instagram Marketing Case Study With Kicksta