Strong Blogging: How To Grow With Content Syndication

Strong Blogging: How To Grow With Content Syndication

Do you use your blog for your small business?

If so, you’ve got a lot of competition. Currently, there are over 30 million small businesses, some of which are in direct competition with you. And 57% of marketers say they’ve gained new customers through their company’s blog.

If you’re just starting out with content marketing (our fancy term for business blogging), you may see a long road ahead of you. You may even ask yourself if you, or your team, actually have the time to invest in creating fantastic posts that make people want to read what you have to say.

Or what if you have the time to create amazing blog posts, but you don’t have any readers to read it? The age-old question of “if a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound” applies to your blog. That is, if you write professional copy with amazing photos and great information, but there’s no one to read it, does the blog exist at all?

content syndication

This is where content syndication comes in. It can help you build your blog from the ground up, chock-full of information people are looking for, without spending your valuable time creating it. And if you’re creating content, then this will get your work in front of more people, quickly.

What Is Syndication?

If you grew up during the era before streaming services almost completely replaced television, you may be familiar with the term syndication. This is where television shows sell their rights to a variety of channels to allow their show to play in syndication. Often times, shows that played in syndication were those that had been off the air for a decade or longer.

However, talk shows are often still played in syndication as they are sold to several local channels to play during the day.

Newspapers also use this tactic to help get their content read. For example, your local newspaper may have a column from someone who works across the country. That’s because that person’s column is run in syndication across a variety of newspapers.

In essence, syndicated content is very similar in that your blog content will run across several websites.

content syndication

How Does Content Syndication Work?

Content syndication works similarly to newspaper and television syndication. It works in two ways. First, you can publish articles that other people have written, stating that the content was first published on another site.

Most people, however, use content syndication the other way in order to get more clicks to their site. If you’re a blog for your business, you’ll want to syndicate your content with a variety of larger websites. The links back to your site not only create opportunities for clicks, but the links alone carry a great deal of search engine optimization value for you.

You’ve probably read an article on a website and scrolled to the bottom and seen something along the lines of “This article was originally published by” and then the name of the magazine or blog. The media companies, or the individuals, have entered into a deal to allow their content to run in syndication.

This allows a maximum viewership, which is a mutually beneficial relationship if done correctly.

How Does Content Syndication Help a Small Business Blog?

Content syndication works extremely well for a small business. You can choose to syndicate content with smaller websites and businesses, but it won’t earn you much traffic.

Instead, if you syndicate content with a larger website, preferably one that pulls in hundreds of thousands of views per month, you’ll get more eyes on your blog or business.

You can’t be positive that people will go to your site, but you will have a byline on a larger site, and if you’re advertising your product or service, it immediately gets advertised to a larger audience.

But in order for content syndication to work, you need to do it well. It isn’t enough to syndicate with a website or blog that has a larger audience. Ideally, you’ll need to syndicate with one that is in your niche.

For example, if you’re a business that is centered around teenage and young adult clothing and trends, it wouldn’t serve you well to syndicate with a site targeted to adults age 35-55. While you may get lots of eyeballs on your content, they’re not the right eyeballs.

The right eyeballs would, of course, be a high traffic site for young adults and teens.

How Do I Start Syndicating My Content or Accepting Syndicated Content?

If you’re keen to accept syndicated content, you may wish to let others know your site accepts guest posts or syndication.

But getting your posts to syndicate with high traffic sites can be the most challenging part (unless you know someone who rocks it). Most people do this by writing fabulous copy and then pitching it to the magazine or website.

content syndication

This can be a difficult and tedious task, and you may hear scores of no’s before you finally get one yes. However, hitting the proverbial pavement is one way to score a deal.

What If I Don’t Have Time to Pitch My Content?

If you’re just starting a business, you may be working two jobs at once or working around the clock to stay afloat. Sitting down and pitching your content to sites across the Internet may seem overwhelming and even frustrating. That’s totally fair.

And that’s where Fistbump Media comes in. In addition to the SEO services we already offer to help your site rank high in searches, you can try our team of amazing content writers for your company’s blog, and we have existing relationships for syndicating your content to a bunch of high-authority websites.

We can help you take the busy work out of getting your content syndicated and start getting eyes on your company’s blog today.

 

The Most Epic SEO Guide For Competitive Small Business Owners

The Most Epic SEO Guide For Competitive Small Business Owners

You own a small business and you have a million things on your plate. Read on to learn everything you need to know about SEO in our ultimate SEO kickstart guide.

When Scott Paxton entered a competition to see who could get their new website to the front of Google the fastest, he decided to look at what his competitors were doing.

What he learned can help you take charge of where your business ranks in the top search engine result pages (SERPs).

You want to rank first for your industry on Google…but you don’t have the time or money to spend hours trying out different strategies…how do you get great SERP results without blowing your whole budget?

This guide will walk you through how to use SEO for small business. Stop wondering why you aren’t ranking as high as you want and get a free site audit now!

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Is SEO for Small Business Worth It?

You love your business and nothing excites you more than waking up to help it grow every day.

But your website and all its subdomains aren’t popping up on the first page of Google.

As much as you’ve heard about how small business SEO can help bring in new customers, you just don’t want to bother trudging through educational resources on the subject.

One easy place to start is with a SEO score. You’ll get an easy to read SEO report sent right to your inbox.

This is a great place to start if SEO seems like a daunting subject. It will show you everything you could be doing to rank higher for your keywords.

Let’s take a look at what else can help your rankings.

SEO Then and Now

In the early days of SEO, volume was all that mattered. Google wasn’t as savvy to spam and other black hat tactics as they are now.

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Today, Google prizes quality over quantity. That means having great content that solves your audience’s problems will always put you ahead of your competitors.

Everyone tells you that you need great content. Sure, that’s easy to say, but how do you consistently produce great content that your readers love?

Good question. Every business using digital media in the world wonders that, so you’re not alone.

Start by creating your content strategy. Having a strategy helps eliminate the possibility of creating the wrong kind of content for your customers.

Plan Ahead

A content strategy should answer each of the following questions:

  • What is the content about?
  • How will it be displayed? Which social media outlets, websites, etc.
  • Who will you need to hire to produce the content?
  • Who will make decisions about which content is produced?

Often times marketers fall short of completing the real goal behind SEO. To get more sales. Just ranking higher for certain keywords will undoubtedly bring more traffic to your site, but if you’re attracting the wrong visitors your efforts are in vain.

How well you do at matching your customers to content that solves their problems determines your reputation with Google.

“I Have a Reputation with Google?”

Yes, Google ranks websites by how trustworthy they are. Everything from how long visitors spend on your page to whether they scroll through and read everything are factors in your reputation.

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Small business online reputation management relies on several factors to help pages rank higher than their competitors.

→ Put Mobile First

On January 10th, 2017 Google made an official announcement that the future is now.

For years smartphones were the future of media consumption. Businesses knew eventually they’d need to optimize for mobile, but Google’s update set a firm date.

By now, if your site isn’t easy to bring up on a smartphone, there’s no way you’re going to make it to the top of the SERPs.

So what makes a website suitable for mobile devices? One of Google’s most recent beefs with the mobile user experience (UX) is intrusive interstitials.

→ Bad Pop-Ups

You know those pop-up ads that ask you to subscribe or buy something and don’t let you see the content until you comply?

Or even worse, when you do comply and the pop-up is unresponsive, making the whole site useless.

seo guide

These are what Google considers “intrusive interstitials”. Keep in mind that only ads that hurt the user experience by either crashing the site or creating a paywall are intrusive.

That’s because Google aims to serve the searcher, not the business. Think about when you’re searching for something.

How much time have you wasted clicking on links that looked promising only to be led to a paywall?

It sucks and Google knows it.

Fix Technical Issues

Often times entrepreneurs will focus on how their website looks without testing to make sure all the features and links work.

→ Loading Speed

Research shows that 53% of people will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.  That’s bad news given that the average loading time of a mobile page hovers around 22 seconds.

Complicated graphics or videos can cause your site to lag too much, ultimately losing your potential leads.

→ Broken Links

Make sure every link on your site is functional. Broken links hurt your online reputation and make your whole site look unprofessional.

→ Canonical Link Elements

Canonical link elements tell search engines which page of duplicate content should be shown.  You probably have several duplicates of content pages from your own site and don’t even know it.

That’s because duplication can happen due to something as small as opening a new user session. Often times a single instance URL is issued when each visitor comes to your page.

Forgetting to use canonical link elements can result in the wrong page being pushed up the SERPs.

“Would I Do This If Search Engines Didn’t Exist?”

Is the exact question Google says to ask yourself before modifying your site. It’s tempting to cater to search engines because they bring in so many of your customers.

But it’s important to keep in mind that you share the same goal as Google, to better serve your customers.

So look at Google as more of a partner than a landlord. One way to prove to Google your site is trustworthy while still providing tremendous value to the end user is through backlinks.

Backlinks are when other websites link back to your content.

How to Get Backlinks

Before we talk about how to get backlinks, let’s talk about how not to get them.

This is just as vital because black hat tactics like link schemes can result in penalties that will make your site harder to find than Timbuktu with a blindfold on.

seo guide

→Original Content

Original content reigns supreme within Google and other search engines. Unique opinions and commentary on content from other sources is still considered original.

But content scraped from other sites with nothing of value added to the user experience will earn you a penalty fast.

A great way to get other sites to take notice of your content (and link to it) is to create a resource center.

→ Resource Center

A resource center, like this one, is the perfect way to build backlinks. No one likes being sold to. It’s why we fast forward or skip commercials whenever we can.

But a source for high quality, fresh content that answers your readers’ questions will have them begging for more.

And yes, your resource center should be totally, 100% free. Think of your resource center as a first date with a potential customer.

You want them to see the expertise and skills you have to offer. You don’t try and sell to every visitor right away the same way you wouldn’t propose to every stranger walking into Starbucks after you.

The less sales-oriented your resource page is, the better. This isn’t a buyer’s guide. Don’t try and upsell or link to products. Provide only the information readers are looking for.

It might seem counterintuitive not to focus on sales here, but remember we have a reputation to uphold with Google.

The more time reader’s spend on our pages the higher they’ll rank. A resource page builds your credibility as an expert in your industry.

How Social Media and Content Marketing Work Together

Social media is a double-edged sword when it comes to content marketing.

It democratizes content creation but it can also be more demanding than your typical marketing strategy.

That’s because not only do you speak to your users on social media, but they speak to you.

→ User-Generated Content

Taking advantage of user-generated content like customers using your branded hashtags is an important part of making your social media campaign a success.

Responding to comments and DMs also go along way in ranking your social media pages higher in SERPs.

→ Keep It Share Worthy

Social media is all about sharing. Sharing something that makes you laugh, cry, or angry is what makes social media so addicting.

It’s not like traditional media that talks at you. It’s your best friend sending you something that made them crack up.

It’s your mom sending you something that made her go, “awww!”

Always ask yourself, “would I share this on my personal profile,” before posting something on your business profiles.

Customer Research

Marketers used to go on nothing more than trial and error. Not anymore. We have more data than ever to base our marketing decisions on.

A website audit report is a good place to start. You’ll get a look at what’s working (and what’s not) with keywords your visitors might be using to find you. You can focus on those subjects and remove irrelevant content that may be holding you back.

Facebook’s targeting metrics are arguably the most advanced of any tech company. You can find everything from keywords your customers are searching for to what their favorite band is.

A pet supply store might target the keyword “black cat” on Halloween, which would probably create a short term surge in traffic.

But most people searching for the term “black cat” are not going to be interested in pet food.

Know who your customer is before trying to connect with them.

seo guide

Keyword Research

One of the best ways to do keyword research is with an in-depth keyword analysis. These are great because you get an instant critique of your keyword usage.

If you’re not ranking well, don’t worry! That’s the whole point of the audit. Improving your SEO strategy starts with fixing what’s broken.

If your site is lacking in keywords there is a lot of help. Content creation and backlinks are what will get you to the top of the SERPs. You can outsource a lot of this time-consuming work to a service like this.

You Can Start to See Results in Less Time Than You Think

So what did Scott Paxton learn while racing to rank his website?

Every top search result led to a subdomain of their homepage. Your homepage should act as a directory that hosts all your valuable unique content.

That’s because we want to provide value above all else. Backlinks and keywords create the language we use to communicate with Google.

But content is what speaks to our customers.

No one wants to do business with a faceless corporation. SEO and content marketing set you up to be an industry leader by humanizing your business.

To start ranking higher and attracting more customers, get a free site audit and start optimizing your page immediately! If you still need help with your SEO strategy we can help with everything from designing your website to creating a solid network of backlinks.

Stop ignoring your SEO strategy while your competitors thrive. Read this article now about what happens behind the scenes of a site audit.

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