ThatJeffSmith

Blogging Tip: Syndicate, But Make it Work for You Too!

Disclosure: I manage a blog syndication site, OraDBPedia. Part of my job involves looking for compelling bloggers in the Oracle database space and convincing them to let us syndicate their content.

Syndicate: (Communication Arts / Journalism & Publishing) (tr) to sell (articles, photographs, etc.) to several newspapers for simultaneous publication — from FreeDictionary.com

The general idea for a blogger is to get their content to as many different sets of eyes as possible. The more people that read your content, the more people you have available to take action on YOUR site – be that subscribe to your RSS feed, contact you for goods and services, or even offer you a job. If you give your content away for free but don’t get anything back in return, then you may want to consider your relationship.

I’ve also been blogging since 2007. Two years ago, Brent Ozar convinced me to start my own blog on my own website. I didn’t quit writing for ToadWorld, but I did tell the webmaster that he could just ‘copy’ my Toad content. I didn’t really pay attention to my personal web traffic from ToadWorld, and as a result I didn’t see too much. After following some good advice from 2Blokes Marketing, I’ve seen a dramatic change in my traffic.

Visitors to the syndicating site now see this tagline for every single one of my posts

It's OK to share, but be sure to demand credit!

Instead of sending them to the actual post, it directs them to my homepage. They already read the post that was syndicated, so they get exposed to my latest content. From there they can browse to what interests them most.

Here’s some data from Google Analytics for the past 2 months since we ‘fixed the glitch’
It's Ok to Syndicate, But Get as Good as You Give!

ToadWorld is TIED with Twitter and is beating Google and Facebook! If I look at the preceding 2 month period, ToadWorld is still high, but only brought in one third the traffic.

Bonus: Better Qualified Leads Equals Better Visits

The visits coming from ToadWorld are from people who already know where I am coming from. They just want more, so they come to MY site. They spend MORE time on my site, they read more posts, and they have a much lower bounce rate. So the largest amount of visitors to my site (I’m only looking at Referring traffic vs Direct) are doing more on my site. I’m not selling anything on my site, but if I were, I’d bet this would result in more money for me too.

If you are going to syndicate your blog, make sure you get as much out of the deal as the other party!