What Are Content Syndication Platforms?
Guest Post by Ali Luke
Want to get the most from that content you’ve spent hours working on?
Then you need a content syndication platform.
Content syndication might sound fancy, but it’s nothing new. Cartoons and comic strips have been syndicated across different newspapers since the early years of the 20th century.
Syndicating your content across different websites means you can get it in front of more potential customers – which may mean more leads, sales, and even new lifelong fans.
You’ll likely get plenty of other advantages, too. Each instance of syndicated content should include a link back to the original on your website … boosting your SEO (search engine optimization) performance.
Plus, having your content appear on other websites can help a lot with name recognition. People will see you everywhere — and that’s a great thing.
To syndicate your content, you just need to choose a content syndication platform. We’re going to run through some of the best and worst, and some of the pros and cons of content syndication platforms.
Best Content Syndication Platforms
Here are six of the best content syndication platforms for you to try — and the first three are totally free.
One of the most popular content syndication platforms is Medium, an online publishing platform where you can post both original and syndicated content. It’s easy to import your content using Medium’s tools, and Medium has a huge audience across lots of different niches.
Tip: Promote and link to your content on Medium from your social media accounts to start getting traffic there. There’s so much great content already on Medium that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.
Quora is a huge questions and answers website, and many website owners use it as a key source of traffic. You probably won’t want to syndicate full articles to Quora, unless your pieces of content are quite short: instead, you might use part of an article and then link back to the full thing.
Tip: Fill out your Quora bio and add a profile photo: people who read and like your answer may well click on your bio rather than following a link to your website straight away.
You can publish full articles on LinkedIn, making this a great free option for syndicating your content. Your articles will show up for your connections and followers in their news feeds — and potentially even in their notifications. This can be a great way to keep up a connection with people who are already in your network.
Tip: Your article can be available publicly too (and through Google searches), depending on your LinkedIn profile settings.
Facebook for Business (Freemium)
Facebook makes it easy to syndicate content on your business pages. It’s free to do so, though if you want to get more people viewing your content, you’ll need to pay to promote it using Facebook ads.
Tip: Facebook is a great place to share images, infographics, short videos, and short-form content. It’s not such a great fit for in-depth articles — though you could certainly post a summary or extract and link to the full piece.
Outbrain is a premium content distribution platform where your content is featured on a range of large websites. Typically, your content will appear in ad format on other sites, with a photo and title, and some of these sites include huge publishing brands like CNN.
Tip: You pay per click on your ad, normally around $0.10 – $1.50 per click, so you’ll want to make sure that the resulting income from new customers more than covers your costs. You’ll also need to set a minimum budget of at least $20/day. Keep careful track of what you’re spending on your Outbrain campaigns.
Similar to Outbrain, Taboola places ads on trusted editorial sites, including some big names like Bloomberg, Business Insider, USA Today, and more. You can syndicate a variety of content in this way, including interactive content like quizzes and calculators, as well as photo galleries, videos, and more.
Tip: As with Outbrain, keep a close eye on your spend and your resulting income. You don’t need to pay any upfront fees with Taboola. The minimum daily budget is lower than with Outbrain, at $10/day, so Taboola may be a better option if you don’t have much to spend on advertising.
Red Flags for the Worst Content Syndication Platforms
Poor-quality content syndication platforms can cause more problems than they solve. They might make your content look like a spammy advert, syndicate your content to wildly inappropriate websites, or harm your SEO.
While there’s no definitive list of content syndication platforms to avoid (as new ones crop up all the time), here are a couple of key red flags that should warn you away:
The Content Syndication Platform is Very New
If the content syndication platform is touting itself as the newest, greatest thing in content syndication, it’s best to steer clear … for now. Let other businesses try it out and see whether the platform thrives or disappears without a trace.
There are so many well-established free and premium content syndication platforms out there that you don’t need to take a chance on something new and untested.
The Content Syndication Platform Doesn’t Protect Your SEO
A reputable content syndication platform should let you use the tag rel=canonical to acknowledge your website as the original source. Alternatively, they should add a noindex meta tag so the content isn’t indexed by Google at all (and so it won’t affect your SEO).
If a content syndication platform won’t provide either of these basic protections, it’s probably best avoided.
Pros of Content Syndication Platforms
We’ve already touched on some of the main benefits of using content syndication platforms — but let’s take a deeper look at why they’re so useful for all businesses with an online presence.
Content Syndication Platforms Free Up Time to Create New or Better Content
Instead of producing brand new content for every social network or for your Quora and Medium accounts, you can syndicate content that you’ve already created.
This frees up time, meaning you can invest that time in creating more articles, videos, infographics, and so on. You could also use your newfound time to update and improve older pieces of content.
Content Syndication Platforms Spread Your Name and Brand
Content syndication helps get your name and/or your company’s name out there into the world. Even if someone doesn’t read beyond your headline, if they’ve noticed that a piece is from your brand, that’s still useful.
With content syndication, you can give the impression of being “everywhere” in your niche — without spending lots of extra time or money on creating content.
Content Syndication Platforms Bring in Lots of New, Qualified Leads
When you syndicate content, you’re normally publishing it somewhere that fits well with your target audience. This means you’ll be bringing in plenty of new, qualified leads — especially if you take the opportunity to include plenty of links back to your website and other resources in your content.
Even if your syndicated content is appearing on a huge website that covers every topic under the sun (like Medium or Quora), it’ll be seen by people who are reading other articles on similar topics — meaning they’re highly likely to be in your target audience too.
Content Syndication Platforms Can Grow Your Customer Base Fast
Are you keen to bring in new customers — fast? If your own blog and social media accounts are growing steadily but slowly, then content syndication can speed up your efforts considerably. By getting your content in front of huge audiences, you’ll be bringing in customers faster than ever.
To maximize your chances of getting new customers, try to create content that naturally leads people to your products or services. Make use of your bio on sites like Quora and Medium to direct people to your key product or service, too.
Content Syndication Platforms Help With Your SEO Efforts
While there are some SEO risks in creating duplicate content online, so long as you use the rel=canonical tag, your syndicated content won’t end up “winning” in Google over the original piece of content on your website.
Your content syndication is a great way to build links back to your website from elsewhere on the web — potentially providing a huge boost to your Google rankings. Make sure you link to relevant pieces of content on your website, such as articles, how-to guides, or case studies. You could also link to tools you’ve created, like calculators.
Cons of Content Syndication Platforms
Are there any drawbacks to content syndication platforms? We’ve already mentioned the potential SEO issues, but there are a couple of other potential problems you should be aware of.
Your Content May Appear in Dubious Company
While content syndication platforms like Outbrain and Taboola should put your content in relevant places on reputable websites, the truth is that any time you syndicate content, you lose some control over the context in which it appears.
Your republished content might appear on a website that you wouldn’t want to be associated with. Alternatively, you might find it appears side-by-side with your biggest competitors’ content. Either way, you may feel uncomfortable or unhappy with where and how your content is appearing online.
Your New Leads Will Know Very Little About You and Your Company
Another drawback to syndicated content is that people reading your piece on a site like Medium or Quora won’t necessarily know anything at all about you and your company. Even if they click through to read more, they may not feel much connection with who you are, and they may not even be sure what you sell.
The best way to solve this issue is to create landing pages that are specifically aimed at people arriving from syndicated content — plus, you can even swap out links in your content where needed. For instance, the page you link to from your syndicated content might include extra details on who you are and what your company does, which regular readers might not need.
Content syndication platforms are a powerful way to get more from your content. Used well, they can help you grow your business faster — without investing much extra time at all.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the content you’re sharing is just right for promoting your brand. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, or if you’d like some extra help, check out our Personal Branding Coaching Package to help you create blog posts and articles that are perfectly geared to your target audience.
Ali Luke has written for Copyblogger, Social Media Today, ProBlogger, Craft Your Content, and a number of other large blogging, writing, and digital marketing sites. She’s the author of Publishing E-Books For Dummies and blogs about making the most of your writing time at Aliventures.com.
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