Promoting your blog post takes time. No doubt about it.
Some strategies like blogger outreach and link building can take weeks to do, but are very effective.
Other strategies like sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are much easier. However, in most cases, you’re not actually sharing your content to a new audience.
In the post, I want to talk about Content Syndication. A strategy for promoting your blog post to a new audience that doesn’t take days or weeks to complete.
And you’ll see results right away.
What is Content Syndication?
Have you ever watched your favorite tv show on a network that wasn’t the one it originally aired on? (For you chord cutters, this is a very cable television practice.)
Of course you have. I mean, even though there hasn’t been an original episode of Friends made in 15 years, the show still comes on a bajillion times per day on various networks.
That’s because the show is syndicated. This means other networks are allowed to show the content to their audience.
It’s a win-win. The show gets a wider viewership and the network gets more content.
For marketers, content syndication is the same thing.
Content syndication is a strategy that allows you to publish your blog posts on third party sites. This exposes your content to new readers AND it gives other sites amazing content for free.
Now that you know what content syndication is, it’s time to show you a real life case study for how it can help you grow your audience.
How Content Syndication Helped me Get my First 1,000 Readers
A few years ago, I had just launched a new blog. No traffic, no email addresses, no backlinks. No nothing.
If you’ve ever launched a blog of your own, I’m sure you know there is absolutely no truth to the axiom, “If you build it, they will come.”
Back on April 6th, I published my first blog post called “How to Reach Over 1 Million People Through Guest Blogging.”
This is the original post published on my blog.
And for more than three months, the post just sat there.
It wasn’t generating traffic. It wasn’t collecting email addresses. It wasn’t being read.
In order to promote the post, I decided to republish the post on the popular marketing blog, SteamFeed (Unfortunately, Steamfeed is now defunct).
As soon as I syndicated that one post to that one blog, I immediately started seeing a small (but steady) flow of traffic to my site.
And I even started collecting email addresses.
And the whole thing took just 20 minutes.
Look, syndicating one post on one popular blog isn’t the silver bullet to content marketing riches. But hey, I was able to get a few hundred readers just from syndicating the post. Like everything, consistency over time can lead to big results.
James Clear, of JamesClear.com, built his blog from 500 email subscribers to an email list of 100,000 people and 250,000 unique visitors per month by syndicating his content. All in less than 2 years.
So let’s get into the nitty gritty of how to syndicate your content on another blog.
How To Syndicate Your Content On A Popular Blog
Unlike other promotion strategies, by the time you’re ready to syndicate your content, 95% of the heavy lifting is complete.
The hardest part of the process is writing a great blog post.
So let’s start there.
Step 1: Publish a great post.
What makes content great?
The truth is, great content is like a great work of art. It’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
And the bar for great content is being raised every single day. What was considered “great” last week is average today.
So instead of showing you how to write great content, the best I can do is give you 3 guidelines that have helped me write great posts.
1. Detailed How-To Post
Leave no stone unturned.
When you write a "how-to" post, you want to be as descriptive as possible. Make sure that you include every little detail about how to achieve a task. At the end of the post, the reader should be able to replicate every single step without fail.
For example, I would consider this a detailed “how-to” post.
2. Personal Experience
People can always relate to a personal experience. We all struggle. We’ve all been down on our luck in some way shape or form.
What makes for a really great blog post is when we open up about these struggles. We share a bit of our vulnerability. We open up and let people identify with us.
Because at some point in time, we’ve all been down on our luck, or we are all going through some struggle right now.
3. Case Studies
Which headline sounds more interesting?
"How to get more traffic?"
"Case Study: How a brand new blog got 5,300 unique visitors and 230 email addresses in one week."
I don’t know about you, but I’ll pass on the first headline and devour the second one.
The “get more traffic” post has been done. A lot. It’s boring.
But the nature of the case study headline is that it promises to give very specific tips, tricks, and strategies that I’m going to want to copy.
Step 2: Create bonus material.
The bonus content is designed to be complementary to your blog post in order to entice people to give you their email address.
For example, in my guest blogging post, I created 3 pieces of content to put into a bonus.
First, I turned my blog into a checklist. I hired a designer on Fiverr to make it look a little nicer.
Since I’ve been guest posting for a while, I had a list of 101 blogs that accept guest posts.
And finally, I gave away the copy for my highest converting byline and landing page and called it a “Traffic and Conversion Swipe file.”
While it may sound like a lot of work to create all of this content, repurposing things that you have on your digital bookshelf will speed up the process.
Step 3: Create a lead magnet for your post.
One of my goals as a content marketer is to build an email list. However, not all of the traffic will go to a landing page. Quite a bit will go to your original post.
Let’s make sure that we capture as many email addresses as possible. Here’s what I did:
1. Exclusive Blog Bonus
Right before the first subheadline, I created an “exclusive blog bonus”. This is the bonus material that you created in step 2.
Exclusive blog bonuses provide relevant content right in your blog posts in exchange for email addresses.
In order to get access to the bonus material, the reader has to click on the link and enter their email address.
This is what’s known as a content upgrade. As far as I can tell, Brian Dean is the pioneer of this strategy.
I will repurpose this material multiple times during the content syndication process.
2. Customized Email Capture Form In The Footer
A lot of blogs have email capture forms in their footers. But most bloggers don’t customize the form.
This is a huge mistake.
If someone spends 15 minutes reading your blog post, chances are they are interested in the topic and want to find out more.
I used the WordPress plugin Thrive Leads to easily create a customized email capture form that complements the blog post a visitor just read.
After reading a post on guest blogging, I figured it’d be natural to want a list of blogs accepting guest posts.
Gather leads and promote your blog with exclusive blog bonuses.
3. Targeted Opt-In
I’m not going to lie, I hate light boxes.
But they work.
So, I made a compromise.
First, I created a targeted opt-in. Once again, unlike the generic opt-ins that you see on most blogs, this one relates directly to my post on guest blogging.
And second, I set the box to only appear on the exit intent. This means that the popup will only appear when the person is about to hit the back button. I probably sacrifice a few conversions, but it keeps the reader experience clean.
Step 4: Find a blog to syndicate the content to.
In the business space, there are quite a few blogs that are looking for content syndication opportunities.
- Business2Community: A popular multi-author business blog.
- Social Media Today: A popular multi-author social media blog similar to Social Media Examiner.
- Business Insider: A popular business publication. Having a relationship with an editor will help your chances greatly.
- BizSugar: Popular posts featured on Bizsugar will get published on Small Business Trends
- AllBusiness: A popular multi-author small business website.
- Huffington Post: One of the largest blogging platforms in the world.
Kristi Hines has put together a few more sites that routinely syndicate content.
If none of these blogs work for you, then you can always use Google.
First, you can use the search query: “This blog was originally published on”. This is because Google requires all syndicated posts to contain this message (or something similar).
Second, you can use the search query: “Sites accepting syndicated content”. Other bloggers have curated sites for you. This will help you broaden your reach.
Step 5: Pitch the editor.
As in most instances, having a relationship with the editor of the popular blog will enhance your chances of getting the post accepted.
For example, I had written several guest posts on SteamFeed before being able to syndicate content to the site.
However, cold outreach can still work. It just takes some persistance.
If it is a large blog such as Business Insider or The Huffington Post, the blog will have several editors. By doing a Google search, you should be able to find the name and email address of the editor that fits your niche.
Here is the email script I’d use to syndicate my post:
Subject: Syndicate This Post About Guest Blogging
Hi (name of blog editor),
I wrote the following post which details a step-by-step guide to getting a guest post accepted on a popular blog. I leave absolutely no stone unturned and I think that SteamFeed.com readers will love it.
Here’s the link: (include the URL)
If you enjoy it, I’d love to see it republished on your blog.
Tip: Research the editor of the blog or who you are pitching to. One of the biggest turn-offs for editors is seeing that the person asking you for a favor didn't even take the time to look up your name.
Step 6: Rewrite your conclusion.
The only change that I made from the original post to the syndicated post is the conclusion. I built in a call to action so that people will get even more information on guest blogging.
I borrowed this strategy from Bryan Harris in order to help me increase the amount of email subscribers that I received.
Here it is:
Now let’s break it down:
The first thing you want to do is wrap up the post (pink box). This is a way to tie everything together. As you can see, a sentence or two can get the job done.
Next, you want to introduce the “Exclusive Blog Bonus” that you created for the original post. If you look at the green box, you’ll see I used three bullets to let people know exactly what they were going to get.
Finally, you need a call to action. I used LeadBoxes from LeadPages to create a content upgrade so that people can download the bonus directly from the SteamFeed blog. They don’t have to go to a landing page!
Step 7: Create a landing page.
Now that you’ve gotten your content syndicated on the blog of your choice, it’s time to create a high converting landing page.
Here are 2 key components to a landing page that will convert traffic into leads:
1. A Relevant Offer
Instead of sending them to a generic landing page, I would create an offer like “5 Ways Facebook Dark Posts Can Get You Cheap Traffic” or something like that.
An offer like this is irresistible to a reader who just spent a considerable amount of time reading about Facebook ads.
2. Personalize It
A personalized landing page can help you see a huge boost in conversions on your landing page. And it’s incredibly easy to do.
For instance, let’s say I’ve just finished a post on Social Media Examiner. As soon as someone came from that post to my landing page, the first thing they would see is “Welcome Social Media Examiner Readers.”
Neil Patel, of Quick Sprout fame, says that he sees a bump in conversion by 10% by personalizing the landing page. Not too shabby for a few seconds of work.
Step 8: Write your byline.
I always write my byline last.
That way, I can easily match my call to action to the offer that I created for the guest post.
A byline should answer 3 questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Where can I learn more about you?
For instance, my byline was:
Greg Digneo is the founder of Birchfield, a software company that helps content marketers build their email list through referrals. We are in beta. Click here for early access.
Bonus: SEO implications
I would remiss if I left out the search engine implications of “duplicate content” in a post that is largely about duplicate content.
When I was doing some research for content syndication, I found a few things that will mitigate SEO issues.
First, you should wait at least two weeks to syndicate your content. This will give the various search engines enough time to index the original post on your site.
Second, at the bottom of your post, add the sentence “This article was originally published on…” Each blog will have its own syntax. But you need to tell search engines that the article is duplicated content and show them where it is.
Finally, if you have access to the WordPress editor, you can add your URL to the “Canonical URL” section in the Yoast SEO plugin. This will ensure that the syndicated post is linked back to the original.
One More Thing…
When I first published my blog post “How to Reach over 1 Million People Through Guest Blogging”, I didn’t have an audience.
No one was tweeting it. No one was sharing it. No one was talking about it.
But when I syndicated my post on a popular blog, magic happened. People read it, 267 people shared it , and I got exposure to my blog.
This is what it looked like on Steamfeed!
That’s the power of content syndication.
Over to you…
When you’re first starting out, blogging is a fight for inches. Every reader counts. And for new blogs, consistently getting 100 or 200 readers per post is something that can get the ball rolling.
Content syndication can be a key to helping you get some early traction for your blog.