Friday, 26 August 2011

Let's Talk Syndication | How To Syndicate Your Site

I am a firm believer in syndication. Especially if you are new to internet marketing or new to associating with other webmasters and bloggers. So let's start with the basics and then I can give you some syndication tips.

Syndication at it's finest!!
Syndication is all about scratching each others backs. It's the process of webmasters (and bloggers) getting together and boosting each others online status in a niche. Imagine if a group of other webmasters or bloggers, came into your site, make a bunch of comments, shared on the Facebook pages, Tweeted your name... or even gave you some backlinks. That would help, right? Not only would Google appreciate the new found importance of your site but the next legitimate visitor who came to your blog, saw all those flattering comments and how many followers you have...that's going to help them think o you as the expert, someone who really knows their stuff...someone who can be trusted.

So glad you asked! I recently joined an Internet Marketing Forum and to my surprise I couldn't find a thread for new marketers about syndication! This is insane - this is what every new marketer needs...that little kickstart into the online world. So I started one. Free to sign up and you'll find the thread here at WickedFire Marketing Forum (Hey guys if you came from there. Good for you!) You can, of course, set about finding your own companion bloggers or webmasters by hitting different blogs and sites with a brief invite (including terms).

Ideally, you want to find webmasters who you are not in direct competition with but they are relevant to your niche. For example, I have a few blogs in the pregnancy/conception niches and I would be happy to link to a site targeting the "lose weight after pregnancy" niche.

If you do weight loss, look for partners who do muscle toning or building - partners who cater to the upper end on the fitness scale, while you take care of the lower end of it. You want any backlinks to come from (or go to) relevant sites. That's how you're going to get the most benefit from this.

You get out what you put in, IF you organize yourselves properly. It's good idea to be clear on the terms from the outset. There are dozens of different ways to syndicate one another, from leaving comments in one anothers blogs, to making a one way backlink circle, to sharing on Facebook, Twitter, email lists, +1's on Facebook fan pages, anyway you please. If you had a group of ten bloggers who all follow one another and leave a comment a day on each others blogs for a week - that's 70 new comments...that's going to give your genuine prospects a reason to think you're the expert.

Whatever your goal is - more traffic, better page rank, more backlinks - arrangements can be made to to cater to your needs and that of the groups. Need traffic? Get your syndicacy to share you on Facebook or Twitter etc. Need to get more people in your forum? Get your new partners to make some comments and get the ball rolling.

Nobody wants to join a forum that has no members. In this case, having a handful of active members may be exactly what you need to get started. Give your new partners some frequently asked questions from your niche (think keywords and ranking in the engines) and get them to start some threads and then participate in them. Conversations should flow naturally and be welcoming to visitors.

Having a few keywords on hand, will also increase the likelihood of your forum being found in the SERPs when legit people search for these questions.

This will again center around leaving great comments and "following" the blog. Following is the easy part. It's leaving great comments that many people overlook.

Comments need to be keyword rich (having 50 people say "great blog" and "nice work" isn't really going to help. I feel an example coming onnnn....

You just read a post about a little far flung neck of the woods (in this case my home town) in a travel blog, so build on what the author has tried to say,

"I've been to Rockingham before - you're right about the beautiful beaches and the fishing was awesome.  And the first time I ever saw penguins was when we took the ferry over to Penguin Island (great surf break there too, btw). I would love to get back to Western Australia one day."

The underlined text are keywords - so you've just added to the keyword count on the page. You have reinforced the bloggers status when you agreed with his theory of great beaches. And you've added new, enticing thoughts for the next reader - fishing & surf breaks. And you did it all in a few sentences worth of your time.

Websites use many different forms of self promotion, from built in blogs and forums to Facebook fan pages. In which case you would be looking for people to "follow" and leave comments like the example above.

However, if you have a smallish or new site that doesn't use these methods, you're main goal is going to be getting traffic flowing or backlinks. Backlinks work best when they are made to be one way - another site links to you but you aren't linking back. You can get together with some relevant sites and create some link love.

Site A links to Site B, who links to Site C who links to Site A...everyone gets some love. There are considerations though, backlinks have even more influence when they come from authoritative websites. Having a Page Rank #50 website linking to a Page Rank #6 isn't going to have the same power as vice versa.

In fact, I recently came across the stat's of 2 websites by the same owner. One was about 3yrs old, had 6000ish inbound links and page rank #6. The other site was 2yr old, had about half the inbound links and ranked at #2. This would indicate that somewhere in those 3000ish backlinks where some very powerful links from some big name and well ranked sites. The point is, the better the page rank of the site linking to you, the more pulling power the backlink has over your page rank.

What about traffic? Get you new partners to share you. Facebook, Twitter, My Space..YouTube. Wherever and when ever you're site can be shared relevently.

Besides the backlink issue that I've just explained, you don't want your URL to be associated with spam. Having a group who drop your URL in any old forum or blog is not going to help you. Having a relationship website backlink to your travel website is not going to help you. Having people in the group who aren't pulling their weight is a pain in the beehind - drop them - they aren't going to help you.

For this reason, I like to work with small syndicate groups. Over time, you build a trust and friendship. You'll end up mentioning your buddy's URL in a blog comment not because it's your turn to promote them, but simply because the opportunity arose.

Make your intentions and your needs clear from the outset. When you start a group of your own, you might like to elect a dedicated moderator/mediator or create a communal To-Do-List that you can all edit, check things off (with dates/names to keep track of who's pulling their weight) and add new things.

Organization is the key - isn't it always!

Don't leave yourself vulnerable to guilt by association. If something downright dodgy is happening in your group, remove yourself from it. Don't let your own greed for status or backlinks blind you or sway your decisions. Don't get involved in link share schemes. Or "you click my Adsense, I'll click yours" schemes. Or any other schemes. Common sense people. We all got it, you have no excuse for not using it.

Relevance is crucial - no weight loss comments in relationship blogs, for the love of god!

Enjoy the experience of learning from and rubbing shoulders with other Internet Marketers. I often joke about this secret handshake and how until you know that handshake, no internet marketer is going to let you inside the clubhouse - you have to figure it out for yourself. Then and only then will other marketers be willing to talk about what they do, why they do it and how they do it.

By creating or being in a small group and syndicating one another, you are also learning from each other, inspiring each other, teaching one another. It's a great big breath of fresh air - omg...honest advice!

If you are interested in getting together and sharing some love - if you have a blog that needs comments or a site that needs traffic - you are welcome to leave some details here or come and join me in the forum.


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