Content syndication (sharing stuff with permission) can be a great way for small businesses to get more website traffic.
If you're blogging regularly, using SEO, sharing content socially, sending out newsletters, marketing, and doing everything right without success, then I've got a magic tip that will turn things around.
The largest, and most successful blogs in the world all do one thing very well. They,
Talking about other people works. It really does.
Stop talking about yourself
Have you looked at your twitter feed recently? How much of the content that you share is intended to benefit you or your business directly? Conversely, aren't you sick and tired of people tweeting about their own products and services? I know I am.
The trick is to take a step back and look at who's doing what. Then find ways you can help them by talking about them, linking to their content, reviewing their books, products and services.
I'm not saying we should all be altruistic and support each other because it's really nice. It's more simple than that:
Talk about other people
There are a number of benefits to talking about other people. Almost all of them are related to reaching out to influencers and building a strong network of marketers and networkers for your blog/company:
- Come across as genuine because you don't have a direct vested interest in the subject matter
- Increase your chances of having content shared and going viral
- Put yourself on other people's radar
- Build trust
- Accumulate good will
- Give other people a chance to interact with your content because it is directly relevant to them
- Become a desirable person to do business with because other people want you to talk about them
- Learn more about what's going on in your industry with genuine connections
There are plenty more benefits to talking about other people, but you get the idea. Remember to,
Having a few strong influencers in your corner can make a huge competitive difference across all spheres of business.
Making your content relevant and valuable to other people gives you aligned goals and means they're far more likely to take notice of you. This gives you a network of "good will", which in turn helps you build a powerful marketing oriented network and social following very quickly.
Proof that helping others leads to success
I thought I would go out and find a bunch of people who have had some success in the blogging, marketing and social spheres. I sampled their most recent posts to find out how often they talked about something other than their own products and services.
Here are the results:
- Pete Cashmore (Mashable) 2 800 000 followers - All tweets about news on Mashable. None personal.
- Guy Kawasaki 840 000 followers - All tweets about interesting things on Alltop. None personal.
- Jeff Bullas 95 000 followers - Tweets mainly to blog. Most posts refer to others.
- Anita Campbell (Smallbiztrends) 80 000 followers - Tweets mainly to business blog. None personal.
- Lilach Bullock 60 000 followers - Tweets mainly to blog. Most posts refer to others.
As you can see, the amount of tweets that our successful bloggers and marketers use for directly promoting their own products and services is really low. Even when they are sending traffic back to their own blogs, the posts themselves tend to talk about other business, people and news.
However, there's a twist to the tale because they are being smart. Many of the tweets linked back to their own blog or web properties. In other words, it's ok to drive traffic to your blog or business website, provided that the content is not all about you.
That's what the top people have done, and it's what you need to do too.
Techniques for promoting other bloggers and businesses
How you go about modifying the structure of your content to become more socially engaging, depends on you. It costs very little to link to another blog, but how often do you do that in your posts? It should be at least once or twice, probably more.
That link back can be turned into a direct tweet to the beneficiary "Hey X, check out my blog post that shows off how cool you are.". You're far more likely to get retweeted and back-linked like this.
Here are my suggestions, please add your own in the comments below:
- Retweets - People appreciate their tweets being retweeted. If you read something that was interesting, funny or useful get into the habit of retweeting it.
- Backlinks - Whenever you mention other bloggers, businesses or services, include a backlink in the post. Then tweet or email the beneficiary to let them know about it.
- Discuss, review and promote books - This is a powerful way to get the attention of serious bloggers and marketers. They genuinely appreciate it when people talk about their books.
- Quotes - If someone said something interesting, copy and paste it into your own posts as a quote. Make sure you provide attribution and a link. Then drop the beneficiary a tweet or email to let them know.
- News - Share news that is important to other people. For example, if another blogger got an award, mention it in a post with a link. Drop them a tweet or email to let them know about it.
- Interviews & reviews - Take the time to learn a bit about other people and share that information with your readers. It's likely that the beneficiary will mention the post and help to drive more traffic.
In fact, I would recommend that you always dedicate a few paragraphs to a business or blogger who has relevance to your post topic. Preferably several people so that you increase the chances of gaining additional exposure from their mentions.
The more you reference others in your content, the more others will see you as a desirable platform for sharing their own news and information. In return they will promote your blog, et voila; you are starting to succeed!
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The problem is that the better the content, the more likely it is that others will duplicate, copy, or spin those articles and publish them on their own sites (without permission or attribution).
Most of the time this is not an issue because low quality, article spinning sites generally tend not to rank well in Google search results.
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It also doesn't matter what topic you decide to write about, provided it is a relevant to your niche and something you are passionate about and interested in.
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Learn how to start a blog using WordPress by following this super easy step-by-step guide that covers both hosted and self-hosted blogs.
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Video blogging also provides plenty of "different" marketing opportunities that written content can't - because it is a rich medium for communication.
Bloggers who rely on written content only may find their rankings in search engines suffering as Google continues to include more and more video results (especially from YouTube) in its organic search results.
Get unlimited blog topic and blog post ideas any time you like. Social media post ideas? No problem.
A lot of popular blogging techniques have died out as Google's search algorithms (and the rise of social media) have changed the content landscape of the Internet.
For startups and small businesses utilizing blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, keeping tabs on industry best practices can be a bit like trying to herd cats.
As a result, unfortunately, many people find themselves swimming upstream as their content fails to capture high rankings in search results, generates little to no buzz, and generally offers little to no return on investment (ROI).