I’m willing to bet that before today, you’d never heard of web content syndication. On television, the word borders on overuse as more shows are canceled to make way for brand new ones. Real fans, however, can name at least three shows they regularly watch in syndication.
But when it comes to knowing the value of – and process behind – syndicating your most popular web content, you’re lost.
I didn’t know jack about any of this a few months ago, but have managed to become an “expert” by working, studying and researching my butt off. Where others saw nothing, I saw an opportunity,
So what exactly is syndication, anyway?
Maybe a better question is:
“What factors should I look for to help me determine what content is suitable for syndication?”
Questions like these are why I developed my very own rubric for grading a post’s value to its site.
Intrigued, aren’t you? Keep reading – it gets better!
Syndication: What Is It and What Will It Do for Me?
Syndication (defined by a dictionary) is the practice of publishing a blog post or article to more than one site at the same time.
In Cyberspace, some websites exist exclusively to distribute already syndicated web content across the globe. Today’s blog post could have already reached someone thousands of miles away. Content syndication is one of a few ideas that makes such a feat possible.
Only Certain Content Will Work for Content Syndication
Syndicate only your best, published work. Not all content is created equal, therefore not worth going through the extra work.
Have a good selection process.
Check your site’s current traffic, shares and comments. Readers are likely to comment on engaging material.
Therefore, you should select posts with high engagement! Then review the syndication site’s list of acceptable submissions and make sure your final selections fit the submission criteria.
Syndicate posts where any of the following applies:
- Posts with the highest number of views
- Posts with the highest number of shares
- Posts that your friends unsolicitedly comment on
- Anything you wrote immediately following a breakup 😉
Pay attention to the genres they’re accepting submissions for.
I.e. Don’t attempt to pass off a post about freelance writing as one about going horseback riding. And there’s a reason the web doesn’t want yet another post about a newly empty-nested mom coping with life post-high school graduation in June!
Disqualified submissions are filtered out.
My Rubric/Formula for Picking a Winner
I hadn’t planned on sharing this with anyone.
In fact, I think I’ll only share a small part of my rubric with you today. It’s worked for me with every.single.one of my own syndication submissions and those that I’ve submitted on behalf of my VA clients. Give it a try!
I grade all posts I come across from 0 to 10 using a proprietary rubric I developed. (Honestly, it’s only because I’m always working, so it had to be super easy.)
Remember that this is only an extremely small part of the rubric.
Begin by using the criteria mentioned above to ensure your candidates fit the specs:
- Is the post within an approved genre/type/format?
- Is it a popular post with good views and shares?
- Have you read over the submission titles to yourself?
Does your post’s title sound too amazing or terrific, like someone put a lot of thought into giving these posts the most clever name possible?
If so, the post is lacking SEO optimization. No one could find it with a map!
Grade: 1 – based on the given info.
Reason: SEO, although not everything, it’s A LOT! If the author doesn’t regard their work as his or her meal ticket (as evidenced by a lack of editing), invest no further effort into the piece.
My Rubric for Selecting Syndication Candidates: A Complex Code I Created to Deal with the New Facebook-Sharing Movement
For a syndication submission to achieve optimal results upon distribution, select only posts containing primo content.
Using my rubric, I gave each post nominated for syndication a score between 0 (as in I’d rather sit alone in a corner, poking at my own bruises than read that!) and 10 (this post could be a feature-length, motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hardy. Let’s make it happen!)
In case you’re curious, I’ve seen one 10. Only one. Since developing my rubric, I’ve seen one, and only one, straight-up, bonafide 10 in the time since I developed my rubric. Haven’t seen another since.
Most of the world’s web content scores between 4 and 5. These posts garner enough attention and pick up a brief following without needing much help. Hours later, the next 4 or 5 fad comes rushing in to take its place on the royal tuffet. And the prior fad of the day is forgotten about.
It’s not that there isn’t an audience for 3’s and 5’s. There totally is and bringing the two together is easy. It won’t require syndication or other advanced techniques.
Choose Clients and Candidates Wisely
An entire syndication can take up an entire day from start to finish.
It’s exhausting work. When it’s all for naught, you can’t help but feel disappointed.
Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. Either the content is terrible or there are too many published mistakes on the website. In these cases, syndication services are not in the client’s best, overall interests. They’d only waste his time, money and wouldn’t yield any better results.
Gauge a post’s quality by reading it out loud. Sit down. Let your eyes form words your mind can see and hear. I’ll wait here quietly while you do that.
Once you’ve read the potential submission, ask questions.
- What did you think about immediately after reading the article?
If you thought about anything other than what played out in the article you just read aloud, the post deserves a 3! It’s not what I or anyone else would consider a good syndication candidate.
Choosing posts for syndication is the hardest part of the process. It will come with time. You may pick a few that get rejected. We’ve all done it. Knowing what to look for will save your time, energy, and it’ll make your better at your job!
The 5 Legit Ways to Pimp Your Blog Posts Out to Score Even More Traffic
The “content recommendation market,” (aka world of syndication sites) offers us two options.
A. We pay for syndication. (Guyvorce used to do this and then we’d watch as tens of thousands of new visitors flooded the site and never leave the landing pages.)
B. We use free syndication sites and methods. (See below!)
(There’s an alternative “C scenario” where we start our own syndication site. It’s something I’ll consider seriously.)
For now, please enjoy these five clever ways to pimp out your content.
1. My List of Free Syndication Sites
This simple list of free syndication sites will you get started. I use them often and have learned to get what I need easily.
Their submissions process is straight-forward and similar across the board. Before sending in your stuff, make sure you read through their websites.
The communities surrounding these sites are as different as the sites themselves.
Start by identifying your clear, unadulterated niche.
Do you have it?
Write it down. It’s the field you’ll spend most of your time working in.
Ezine Articles – I’ve syndicated content on Ezine for Horkey HandBook and Guyvorce. In fact, here’s a screenshot I took from an email they sent this morning.
They have strict standards for submissions! Quite literally, their rules have rules controlling them. For example, they have a maximum number of times you can post a URL anywhere on the Internet before they will no longer allow it.
Article City – I’ve syndicated content for Guyvorce there. I didn’t see the numbers I’d hoped for. Article City is made up of several, smaller communities. But, unfortunately, not members are active in Gina’s niches.
I shelved them for now. But will circle back at a later date.
iSnare Articles – I’ve also used it for Guyvorce. They are the EASIEST of all of them to work with! They’ve published content for both Guyvorce and Horkey HandBook.
Article Alley – I just started working with them. They currently have a few of Gina’s blog posts, but they operate on a slow posting schedule. I’m hoping it doesn’t continue to take forever.
Search Warp – At first, their website’s cartoony appearance was…interesting. Now, I’m over it.
2. A List of Free Discussion Sites to Share Content
Use these three free discussion sites to syndicate your own posts across the globe. Because, who doesn’t love free?
I do. I conduct 80-90% of my online business with free sites and apps!
3. Login to Your Huffington Post – Writer’s Account
You can share your articles published on other sites onto your HuffPo provided:
- You have permission to do so, and
- You acknowledge the article’s original publisher and publication by linking up to their sites.
If you don’t yet have a HuffPo Writer’s Account, getting one is super easy. It’s almost too easy. You might not believe it for yourself.
Draft a cold pitch and include:
- Your completed article
- Your bio and headshot
- Your resume
Then, send it to Arianna@HuffingtonPost.com. She’s publicly stated that she handles all her own email and sometimes it can take a long time to everyone caught up.
4. Paid Syndication Sites
5. Start Your Own Business
- By offering syndication services, you’ll generate revenue without risking your own site’s content. To successfully do this, you’ll have to be open and willing to learn new information. In your free time, search for new newsfeed or relevant, credible posts about traffic optimization. Read it for fun!
And if ever you just don’t want to do anything extra, remember that out there somewhere is someone out for your job, position and rubric. Someone else will fight for what you’re willing to lose.
- Edit rejected syndication or other ones too.
- Bring rejected posts up to par for a fee. Edit them according to the syndication site’s guidelines.
There’s nothing like building your own hustle. 🙂
In December 2015, I decided to find comfort in anything and everything that bothered the crap out of me. I call it, Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable.
Few things make me as antsy as discussing my rubric or my proprietary methods for optimizing traffic. I developed my system. But now that I’m doing great, it’s starting to bother me, so it may be time to pass it on.
Could I Write A Course Dedicated to the ENTIRE Traffic-Building Process (Including My Coveted Rubric)?
Yes, I could.
I’m finally going to put my process for scoring record-breaking, web-traffic results for my VA Clients! A lot of it stayed behind on the cutting room floor.
I’m thinking about writing a course to outline what I do, and teach it to others. Heck, I developed it, I could teach it if I wanted.
For my VA clients exclusively, I use web content syndication and other tools to build on their current traffic counts and help them reach their goals.
What are your most reliable, go-to techniques for increasing the flow of traffic to your website?
Cruz Santana is a cancer-fighting, millennial momma, professional writer, and marketing consultant with a background in science and medicine. She offers syndication services as part of her own, proven, multi-faceted approach to increasing the flow of web traffic to her VA client’s websites. A proud mother of seven, Cruz loves to write abut lessons she’s learned in single parenting in hopes of helping single fathers learn to be better dads post-divorce than they were while married. When not inventing new traffic optimization strategies for Guyvorce or Horkey HandBook, she loves watching old movies with her group of amazing, tiny humans. Hitchcock’s films are her favorites! Connect with her at her online home, The Freelance Dance.