Want more eyes on your articles?
Then you need to be seriously thinking about content syndication.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how content syndication should really be done for SEO.
What is Content Syndication?
Content syndication is a method of republishing blog posts, videos, articles, etc. to other websites.
Basically, it’s a way to get more bang for your blogging buck.
The process works like this: you come up with a killer topic to write about on your site, but instead of calling it a day, you reuse that topic and post it to as many sites as possible across the web.
By putting that idea on multiple domains – especially ones that are already relevant and visited by your target audience – you’re increasing the number of opportunities people have to find and read your work.
Not to mention, you’ll likely gain some quality backlinks and increase your authority if you target the right sites.
Truth be told, there are a few different schools of thought when it comes to content syndication.
Here’s how I like to do it.
First, Write the Biggest Piece For Your Own Website
Syndication stems from your own content marketing.
And contrary to some beliefs, content syndication isn’t simply a copy-and-paste affair. You want the best version to live on your home site.
By best I mean the longest, most unique and in-depth article you have to offer.
Which brings us to one of the more common syndication questions: what kind of content should I syndicate?
Couple things to keep in mind here.
First, it should be longform – anything from 2,000-4,000 words.
Longform content ranks better and generally earns more backlinks. And remember, you want most of the SEO benefits to point back to that original piece.
Next, it should be evergreen content. That’s content that is always relevant.
Do this because seasonal or topical post will likely lose its readership and traffic after a certain amount of time, whereas the evergreen content will continue to be of value to your auience.
And last (but far from least), always pick a subject you want to rank for.
When deciding what content to syndicate, you always want to choose a piece that’s core to the product or services you offer.
So for example, if I was trying to push my expertise in dynamic search ads, I would write a giant, tell-all, super-in-depth article called “The Ultimate Guide to Dynamic Search Ads.”
That would go on my website.
Then, because it’s a solid piece that pushes one of my core services, I’d choose to repurpose that one for syndication.
Writer Shorter Pieces of Your Main Post for Content Syndication
Once you have your Big Piece written, the syndication process begins.
Again, we’re not pushing the exact same piece.
Instead, I like to take that major post and then write an entirely new one that is an 800-word article. That is my syndication copy.
It will cover the same topic and major points, but tweaked into a compressed format. Then, (and only if it makes sense) you can include a link back to the main piece on your site.
The real benefit of doing it this way is that it avoids duplicate content issues and allows the major post on your site to remain the main authority.
Taking that a step further, you can also post that to LinkedIn, Medium and more.
Final Stage In Content Syndication: Syndicate Everywhere
Once you have those shorter pieces written, you want to get them on as many sites as possible.
Seriously: syndicate everywhere, and syndicate often.
That means you should be consistently (at least once a month) taking your best piece of content and repurposing it into those shorter articles for syndication.
You should also consider writing even shorter teaser texts to publish on a few websites. These can be your article intros – about 300 words – placed on sites like LinkedIn and Medium to entice people to click through to the main article.
Remember, the more sites you land on the better.
That said, you want to be careful to choose sites that align with your expertise and target audience.
So if you run a mommy-blog, a spot on Search Engine Journal won’t do much for you. On the other hand, it’s exactly the kind of site I want my content to appear on.
Speaking of Search Engine Journal, I haven’t written a post there in a long time. Taking a mental note here… 🙂
Ideally, you’ll reach the point where you have a few core publications that you consistently syndicate your copy on.
Finding the Right Sites For Content Syndication
Your ultimate goal here is to land on a highly respected, highly authoritative site.
Not only are more people visiting these sites – which means more organic traffic for you – but Google is seeing, and respecting, these sites.
That’s because the big fish sites have powerful domain authority.
Which means they’re more likely to rank higher in the search engines, and the links in the article pointing back to your site will carry more weight in Google’s eyes.
I’ll be honest here, landing those bigger sites takes time and dedication to your content plan.
But the flip side is, a lot of sites with major traffic are open your content. And they come with varying sites.
But to find more specific sites suited to your niche, consider using a tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs.
To use SEMRush, login and type in the name of one of your competitors in the search bar. Select Domain Authority from the search dropdown.
Once the overview is pulled, click the Backlinks tab. This will show you how many – and more importantly, who – has linked to that site the most.
These are sites clearly interested in the subject, and could be good sites to reach out for possible content syndication opportunities.
Alternatively, you can navigate back to the Overview tab and select the Anchors tab. This will pull up the content that’s performed the best.
Scroll through the list, and if you see any articles that relate to the post you’re trying to syndicate, click on the backlinks to see which sites linked to that specific post.
Again, that’s another opportunity for syndication outreach.
Or, take a look at my guide that covers some of the best places to guest blog (plus contact information!)
In it, you’ll see that a surprising amount of sites are open to outside blogs, including KISSmetrics, Business Insider, Social Media Examiner, etc.
A few things to keep in mind as you determine which sites are best for syndication:
- Always match the site audience to your goal – don’t publish on a major site just for the sake it. If your target audience isn’t there, It may bring you more visibility, but not more revenue or business.
- Look for sites with easy share buttons. This may not be a dealbreaker, but you want a site that encourages social sharing. Also, click on the one of share buttons to see if it includes your author name and handle. That way, you’ll know you’re getting full credit for the article.
- Remember, you ideally want to find at least two or three core sites you can continuously post content too. Make a list of sites you find to reach out to, with the most beneficial ones at the top. Spend the most time trying to cultivate a relationship with those target sites.
A Word on Content Syndication Networks
One popular option available to bloggers is to republish articles through content syndication networks.
These networks help you place your content on news and blog sites in their network. Often times, these sites are influential and see pretty heavy traffic.
These are the posts that appear popular domains like Forbes and CNN, usually at the bottom under “Related Posts” or “Similar Articles Across the Web.”
But keep in mind, because these are bigger news sites, they may not align with your current audience or goals.
These services (usually) don’t come free, but they do offer a great way to be placed on big sites, and usually come with analytics included to measure how well your post is doing.
Some of the more popular content syndication networks include:
Crafting Your Outreach Letter for Content Syndication
Once you’ve identified the sites you want to write for, you’ll need to craft an excellent pitch – especially if you’re going for some of the bigger fish.
And, even if a site doesn’t readily state that they accept syndication submissions, it may well still be worth reaching out to them.
Many are still open to the idea, and will publish a syndication if the right one comes along. Which brings us back to your pitch.
Like any outreach email, you want to keep it short and to the point.
Make your emails personal and always reference the site you’re pitching to. Choose a particular post to highlight, or offer a general comment about their content.
Offer a brief overview of the content you’re submitting – just one or two sentences here – and include any other high-profile sites you may have been featured on.
That last part can’t be overstated. Always include some sort of proof, whether it be big name sites like Huffington Post that have features your article, or recent articles that have performed exceptionally well.
Here’s how Buffer crafts their syndication submission emails:
- Brief and to the point
- Offers proof of success
Keep Up Your Content Syndication Efforts
Content syndication isn’t a one-time fling. In order for it to really pay off, you need to push for the long term.
Note how, in the sample above from Buffer, they ask to send once a week for possible syndication. That, my friends, is how you gain a syndication partner.
If you’re a smaller publication, it doesn’t have to be that frequent. As I mentioned above, I like to choose at least one article a month for syndication.
The key here is gaining consistency and a core set of sites to syndicate to.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
- Do a press release and link to your money article.
- Your syndication pieces should also be optimized. If they rank in Google, people will find you.
- Do not get crazy with anchor text or guest blogs, you don’t want a penalty.
Wrapping Up Content Syndication
Content syndication is a great way to get as much exposure as possible.
But remember, you have to put in the work first (via your own blog and guest posting) to really reap the rewards.