The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience

The Complete Guide To Building Your Blog Audience

Written by Neil Patel & Aaron Agius

Chapter Eight

Content Syndication Networks

Content syndication networks have come on strong in recent years.

These networks are similar to ad networks like Google and Yahoo Bing, but they focus specifically on promoting other content like blog posts, articles and other similar types of content.

You’ve probably seen these content ads on popular sites like CNN, Forbes, etc. The ads will usually be at the bottom of the articles next to the “Related Posts” sections. There will usually be a similar list of posts with something like “Similar Articles Around The Web”.

Sometimes they’ll have images and other times it will just be text.

There are a variety of different ways content syndication networks will show content. Some will show the URL or source of the information. Others will hide it. Some of the content can get a little spammy with R-rated images or headlines with get rich quick promises.

But legitimate blogs are having success with content syndication networks and that’s why we’re going to cover how you can use these networks to successfully market your blog.

First, we’re going to look at the options for content syndication networks and then we’ll go over the steps for creating campaigns.

Let’s get into it.

Outbrain

Outbrain has been getting a lot of press in the content syndication or content discovery industry. They’re one of the leaders and seem to be providing a great cost per click or cost per visitor for users.

Some examples put the cost per click at around $0.25 to $0.50. That’s a pretty good cost per click if you compare it to some of the other paid options listed in this guide.

Zemanta

Zemanta is similar to Outbrain. Your posts are syndicated across a network that includes hundreds of thousands of publishers including popular news sites and blogs.

Zemanta, like the others in this list, does much of the heavy lifting for you. After adding your titles and URLs, Zemanta works to put the content in front of the right people. You have control over the image and title you choose to use and Zemanta provides analytics so you can see what works best in their network.

The goal with this provider and the others is not to pass link juice as was common with some SEO tactics. This is all about referring domains that will refer traffic to your blog. The links won’t count toward SEO, but they will send traffic.

And that traffic will be interested in reading your best blog content. It has potential to be much more effective than a regular ad because blog posts can earn trust and get new visitors to opt-in to email.

SimpleReach

SimpleReach is a content engine that dives through a blog’s content and promotes the ones most likely to succeed in social media channels. The Slide is the tool that sits on the same page as blog posts promoting internal posts to read and share. And some publishers now allow the slide or the leader board to sit on their sites promoting posts from other sites.

And that’s the biggest opportunity for blog publishers. SimpleReach crawls through the most popular posts on the most popular social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and more and figures out the type of posts that are the most popular and most likely to be shared.

The opportunity and costs aren’t as straightforward as the other ones on the list, but it offers a unique approach to content syndication.

ARC

ARC is kind of a way to send content across various channels similar to a newswire or press release service. The content you produce is sent out across sites, social media, blogs and other sites. It’s truly more of a syndicate where your content is shared and published on other sites with links back to the original source (no-follow links). Remember, this is not about SEO. It’s about generating interest in your brand through content distribution and traffic back to your blog.

ARC is part of PR Newswire so you know that it’s much like a press release service. It gives your blog posts a higher chance of being seen throughout the Internet much like articles from a news source like US Today and its affiliates.

But don’t think you can write your posts like press releases. They’ll get glanced over. You still need to create the type of content that will generate real interest from your target audience.

Taboola

Taboola is a content syndication platform more like Outbrain and Zemanta. It has a variety of publishers large and small including Politico. They deliver content including blog posts, videos and other branded content to the stable of publishers, pushing audiences back to the source of the content from “Around the web” as it often says next to the articles.

The engine chooses where your articles will best fit and learns over time where you’ll get the best engagement and what content will perform the best. Taboola seems to be securing more success with video marketing content, which could be more important in the coming years as more web users demand video content as well as text-based content.

nrelate

nrelate is a related posts widget used on some major websites including Cnet, ZDnet, Tech Republic, CBS News and others.

The widget started as a WordPress plugin, but evolved based on demand for content syndication by content producers.

Something that’s different about nrelate is that they focus on the quality of links in the related posts widget. There are a lot of content syndication widgets that promote celebrity gossip even if the post is about something completely else.

LinkWithin

LinkWithin is a widget for showing related posts complete with a thumbnail image. As we know by now, the image is an important part of content syndication.

Content suggestions are based on tags, titles, body content and more.

Right now, LinkWithin is for use on blogs that want to promote their past content on their own blog, but the site indicates that they will open up revenue-sharing features in the future.

Odds are the service will be something similar to the other services listed here.

Yarpp

Yarpp (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) puts a widget at the bottom of your blog to suggest other posts readers might be interested in.

Right now the widget is only for internal use on your blog, but may open up in the future to provide a service similar to the other services listed in this section.

Igit

Igit is a related posts plugin for WordPress. With this plugin you can manually choose posts that you want to promote on other posts on your blog. This is a unique feature found with a few other plugins and services listed.

Again, this one is only for use on your own blog for now.

Nster

Nster has built a large network of publishers. You can have your content promoted throughout the network on various sites. Choose the ones most relevant to your blog post. You’ll be able to track where you’re having the most success and will be able to continue to promote for your post for as long as you want.

ZergNet

ZergNet can call companies like AOL and MTV clients. You can promote your blog post on ZergNet where it will be promoted on relevant sites. People reading articles, watching video and looking at other content will see your blog post promoted. They’ll visit your site giving you traffic and an opportunity to earn new subscribers.

Creating Campaigns

For each of these networks you create basically the same type of campaign. You select the content you want to promote and let the syndicate start working on getting it in front of the right audience.

Step 1 Select The Posts To Promote

Titles again are incredibly important for content syndicating. Your posts need to stand out against related posts on the site where your posts are promoted and you’re competing against the other posts that are promoted with your posts.

Choose titles based on how successful your posts have been. Pick your top ten all time top trafficked posts. Another option would be to share the posts that have gotten the most social shares or most traffic from social media. This indicates that people liked those particular titles.

Step 2 Analyze The Results

Choose about 10 posts to test. If you can, do more. You’ll only pay for the clicks that come through and you can limit your budget so you won’t overspend.

See what titles get the most response. Tweak current titles to fit the formulas that are doing well and over time see what posts get the most clicks. From there you can expand the program to include the titles that have the best chance of succeeding.

Step 3 Create Content Based On Content Syndication Network Results

Over time, you’ll get feedback on the type of posts that your target audience wants to read.

You can use the results from content syndication networks to lead you into the type of content you should be creating. You’ll know that there is an audience for this content so you can be comfortable knowing you’ll get traffic from your campaigns. And you’ll most likely get traffic from the other channels discussed in this guide too.

Putting It All Together

Content syndication is not new, but it’s much more organized today.

Services like Outbrain and Zemanta make it easy to syndicate your content across a huge network of publishers. Some share content in sections on articles that are highlighted as Related Posts or More From Around The Web.

The services will help you deliver content to targeted audiences. You’ll get analytics around the posts and titles that do the best to drive traffic back to your blog. Use those analytics to put the best content in the networks and you can even use it to create the type of posts your target audience demands.

You can also build on your own content sharing network and have members not only share content across social media but include Related Posts sections on their blogs.

It’s a method that’s been used by bloggers for years as a way to help each other grow and succeed.

Next up is a chapter on another form of content syndication that includes submitting your own content to syndication channels that are organic in nature. You’ll need to learn the nuances of each community.

We’ll share the knowledge you need to have a good chance of having articles that hit home with each community.

Are you ready?