For most (if not all) bloggers, one of the key metrics on how their blog has grown comes from how many readers it has.

These don’t necessarily have to be subscribers, either, although I’m a fan of subscribers being more a metric than readers for success, since these are folks that are investing their inboxes with you. But I digress…

But as any blogger knows, wanting more readers and getting more readers can be two wildly separate entities. It’s a big blogging world out there, and people can be sparing with their time and where to invest it.

The good news is, there is a way you can attract more readers to your blog, and that’s through content syndication. The bad news, you may have to give up some control. So what are the benefits and how do you get syndicated?

A Quick Introduction to Content Syndication

Before we look at how you can get your blog in front of the eyes of more readers, let’s just take a quick look at what content syndication means. The easiest way to compare it is to local news journalists and major newsrooms.

For most local journalists, your stories are mainly read by the local township. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s a solid enough career. However, now and again you might write a human interest story that gets picked up by the nationals, and your piece is quoted in the New York Times or on CNN.

That kind of exposure can lead to bigger gigs and paychecks, as you’re approached to provide stories (or images) for these bigger outlets, as well as your local publication where it all started. This is the journalism version of content syndication.

Now, take that back to your blog. That’s the local publication, and the bigger newsrooms might be Mashable, or ReadWriteWeb, or Techcrunch, or Technorati – basically, anywhere that might be in your niche but has an audience hundreds of thousands of times bigger than yours.

If you could get your content into their feeds, then the sky is the limit to where you can go as a blogger. So how do you get out there, and what are the best options for you?

The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Content Syndication

The simplest way to have your content syndicated is to do it yourself.

Yes, it’s also the most time-consuming, as you have to do all the legwork and find the sites in your niche that accept blog feeds to be shared. But until you have the good fortune to be noticed by other websites for your blog content, getting yourself out there in syndication land is the only way to go for now.

To help you make this process a little quicker, here are some of the best (and most widely-read) syndication sites and options currently out there, regardless of your blog’s niche:

  • Alltop: Although Alltop gets a lot of stick from many people, it can still act as a great library of blogs and bloggers. With a complete A-Z of topics and syndication as easy as submitting your blog details, it’s a great way to get your blog in front of a new set of readers.
  • Networked Blogs: Primarily a great way to share your blog posts on Facebook, Networked Blogs also has a library of blog topics to submit your blog to. The cool thing about Networked Blogs is if you can get enough of your Facebook friends and colleagues to follow your blog via their Facebook app, you can rise to the top of the topic list and get even more readers.
  • Scribnia: From my friend David Spinks, Scribnia has become a great resource for finding quality new blogs due to their voting system. People can show their approval (or disapproval, so make sure your quality is good!) of your blog with a vote and description and, like Networked Blogs, this helps you rise in the ranks until your content is in front of thousands. Again, submitting your blog is straightforward.

These are just three options you can begin submitting your content to for syndication. There are more (and this is where Google is your friend), but I chose these for the width of topics and audience size.

As a way of potentially growing your readership, syndication offers the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to the number of new readers you could attract. However, it does have some downsides.

I Get a Whole Bunch of New Readers – So What’s the Problem?

While syndication can get you new readers, by its very nature it can also be a limited amount of new readers. If you take a look at the three options I highlighted above, you’ll see that there are hundreds (thousands) of other bloggers syndicated there too.

So, to make sure your blog stands out, you have to know how to best use each network for promotion. A widget on your blog (Alltop, Networked Blogs and Scribnia all offer this) is a start. As is adding the syndicated feed to your email signature, or other online destinations.

Additionally, syndication often means losing control of your content. For instance, instead of people sharing your blog post on Twitter, Facebook, etc, they share the syndicated feed. So, your work is read but readers still aren’t necessarily coming to your site versus the syndicated one.

Just a couple of things to keep in mind before going down the syndication route. There’s no doubt it can work – just make sure you’re ready to do the work to make it work.

Then again, isn’t that how all blogging growth really happens?

This post originally appeared on For Bloggers By Bloggers. For more blogging tips on how to grow your blog, you can subscribe here.

image: Google Libraries

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  1. says

    Hold the presses, Danny!

    Alltop and Scribnia are great places to view blogs but they hardly syndicate your content in the frame of Visa Business Network, Newstex, Content Management Connection, Demand Media, and Social Media Informer.

    There is a reason why my blog posts occasionally get published in big city newspapers, and it’s because of Demand Media and others. I was emailed a few days ago that Demand paid me 4 cents for some royalty. I’m working on using it more. (Demand is behind eHow.com and other online sites, so if you publish content that is such and such, it could be featured on eHow automatically, and that’s true syndication.)

    Scribnia doesn’t give that power, and Alltop is nothing more than a web version of the magazine rack at Barnes & Noble.

    • says

      Hold the presses Ari!

      The reason I chose these platforms in the post is simple – they offer a true, varied amount of categories and acceptance and syndication is wider spread because of that (yes, it is syndication because they’re fed by RSS).

      Social Media Informer, for example, limits the topics you can write about by the title alone (not everyone cares about social media posts), and CMC is generally for tech and internet blogs, so that limits that.

      And if you want to make money blogging, there are far better options for the average blogger than syndication.

    • says

      I found your comment very helpful! I just applied to Demand media, and am interested to hear about more syndication opportunities in the “everything” or “foodie” realm.

      I’ve had great success with Cook Eat Share, getting more traffic from them than Goolgle! So I’m interested to finding more partners who need original quality content and photos!

      Thanks!

      L

      • Cram21 says

        Hi Danny,
        Your such a great man, Because you spent your time facing those traffic just to bring us a satisfaction and awareness when it comes to syndication. Thanks a lot.

  2. says

    Danny,

    Wonderful post. I enjoyed the banter between you and Ari also concerning the subject.

    I went and checked out all three of the tools you had mentioned and love the functionality of Alltop and Networked Blogs but Scribnia is really clunky.

    Like many sites today, Scribnia gives you the option to sign in with Facebook. I chose this option and later on explored their options. Being completely unsatisfied, I went to delete my account but was unable to because it asked for a password even though I didn’t create one. I tried my Facebook password with no luck. Weird. I actually had to email the administrator.

    • says

      Hi there Christopher,

      Sorry to hear that, mate. I’m wondering if they changed the UI, as it used to be pretty straightforward and simple to navigate. Did the admin guys get you sorted out?

      • DavidSpinks says

        Hey Danny,
        Long time no talk brother!  
         
        Thanks for the shout out.  Just to clarify, I’m no longer associated with Scribnia, but maybe I can help Christopher.Christopher, this is probably an oversight that they haven’t built a fix for.  The site hasn’t been changed in a long time.  You might want to try clicking “change password” to actually set a password, then delete the account and see if that password works. 

        • says

           @DavidSpinks Hey there Mr. Spinks!
           
          Thanks a lot for jumping over, mate, even though you’re no longer there – appreciate it, sir.
           
          And yes, for sure, we should catch up sooner rather than later, I need to get up-to-speed on all your good stuff. :)

  3. Aaron Andrews says

    Nice Danny!

    I am looking to launch my blog soon & one thing I have been thinking about is a plan to bring readers to my blog once it’s up. Syndication seems like a good route but I don’t know if I like the whole idea of the losing control of content.

    • says

      Cheers, Aaron, glad you enjoyed.

      It is a double-edged sword – try and attract more readers by letting your content “go”.

      If you don’t want to go that route, you could try communities like these:

      – BlogEngage: http://blogengage.com/

      – ComLuv: http://comluv.com/

      – BlogGlue: http://www.blogglue.com/BlogGlue/

      Each of these communities allow you to share your content and get to know other bloggers into the bargain, which is great for content, comments, community and guest post opportunities.

      Hope these help!

  4. says

    Thanks for the heads up on this! I already subscribe to some feeds via Alltop, but I didn’t think about submitting my own. I just submitted my Talking Small Biz interview series feed to them, and am looking forward to a positive reply.

    Thanks Danny for prompting me to do this!

  5. says

    Well Danny, I’ve already commented at FBBB, the most serious, and free, “course” on better blogging, but I’d like to add that I’m having pretty good results using Outbrain which is the successor of YARP.

    Have a great week!

  6. says

    Alltop sounds like something I could find helpful. Is it not worth posting posts to places like Digg anymore? I’ve not heard a lot about people using sites like Digg in absolutely ages.

    • says

      Hi Dean,

      I think sites like Digg still offer value, but I’ve personally never really used it as I always found it to be more suited to power users.

      Reddit, on the other hand, seems to keep improving, so may be another option?

    • says

      I stopped my syndication to SMT as I was tired of the traffic going there, as opposed to here.

      Ragan I see as a little differently, as at least they gice you a link to your site directly under the piece, as opposed to SMT where (I think) you have to go to the author profile on SMT itself to see any links back to your site.

  7. says

    Well this was very useful and I told Gini when she forwarded this to me, that you must have some kind of eery access to my to-do list which says “look into syndication.”

    So thanks! I can cross that off. Now I have to “do.”

    and lastly, I love that you linked to LMGTFY.

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing Danny! This is a helpful post and great insight into article syndication. It’s amazing to see how much syndication can increase your exposure and good to hear of more syndication sites to use! Is it possible to syndicate on too many sites?

    • says

      Hi Anders,

      I guess it depends. If you syndicate on many sites, you obviously get more (potential) eyeballs on your content. But then are the sites all quality, or are some less valid than others for your content?

      Doing some research beforehand and making sure there’s a fit for you can help decide how many syndicates you join.

  9. says

    Plus don’t forget, some blogs in specific industries syndicate relevant blogs, as long as they’re of high quality and are updated often. These are a great way to attract the right kind of readers, because they’re focused on a specific topic.

    • says

      Great points, Lexi. Sites like Social Media Today and Social Media Informer are great for social media-led content, while the Mom Blogger networks can be great for lifestyle and parenting blogs, and so on.

      Cheers, miss!

  10. says

    Good information Danny,

    To be honest I didn’t have a clear understanding of Content Syndication and no idea that you were losing control of your content.
    I will check your links and make my mind.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  11. says

    thanks danny, the article really helped me as a beginner in blogging. because it is now quite difficult to indexed by search engine and I think the blog syndication makes sense to me try

  12. says

    Hi Danny,

    I haven’t added my posts to any of the services you mention, and the only reason why not, is that I feel that I don’t have any control of my content. But, on the other hand, does it matter that I’m not in control, and I’m actually not in control even if the content is on my blog. Anyone can copy it and use it for whatever, without my knowledge.

    But, what’s the difference between content syndication and articles we post to various directories. Is the difference that the content is really on our blogs, not just a byline with a link back to our blogs? Sorry about this, but I’m fairly new to syndication.

    • says

      @Jens P. Berget Hi Jens,

      To be honest, there’s not a major difference. Both are the “property” of the new publishing site, with credit and link back to you. Although some sites – like SocialMediaToday.com – don’t always show the originating link.

      The biggest difference is that with syndication, it’s usually fed automatically to the syndicating site, while posting articles to other sites for back links is manual.

      Hope that helps!

  13. says

    hi. newbie blogger here. i just search google about blog syndication and found this site on the first page of google. thanks for a comprehensive article. looking forward for more increasing traffic related articles..

  14. Axel says

    Hi Danny,
    Do you know if there is a way to have 2 Feedburner RSS feeds, one for your general readers’ inbox (partial post only, click to come read my blog) and another for syndication sites who request the full post in the feed? How would you go about setting up another feed for syndication of full posts purposes? Just re burn your blog with a different RSS name?
    Jeff

    • says

      @Axel Hi Jeff,
      Not sure if Feedburner would still be a good choice to use, given the recent decisions by Google around RSS and the Feedburner service itself. However, yes, burning two feeds would probably be the easiest option.
      Alternatively, you could move to something like http://feedblitz.com (used on this blog) and you can set up normal feeds as well as a weekly digest, for people that wanted to grab your content that way. That could also be configured to be full or partial feed.
      Hope that helps!

  15. CatherineNikkel says

    Great post – Definitely a bookmarked one. Learning the art of syndication since my free promoting of my blog is running smoothly. I did try to subscribe to your posts – but an error message kept posting? Thanks again :)

  16. CatherineNikkel says

    Great post – Definitely a bookmarked one. Learning the art of syndication since my free promoting of my blog is running smoothly. I did try to subscribe to your posts – but an error message kept posting? Thanks again :)

    • says

      CatherineNikkel Thanks, Catherine, glad you enjoyed. Could you give me more information on the subscriber error, please? Was it to subscribe to the bog via email or RSS, or was it just for the single post via Livefyre?
      Thanks again!

  17. says

    Hey Danny, great post thanks!
    I have also compiled a list of <a href=”http://www.empowernetwork.com/massmarketer/blog/10-ways-to-syndicate-your-blog-using-social-media/”>10 ways to syndicate your blog using social media</a> If this is of interest to anyone…I hope this helps.

  18. says

    Thanks very much for this post. I know that I must do more syndication. So far, I’ve only really submitted my RSS feed to a few directories and done social bookmarking. This has worked well – I’m getting some good rankings but it certainly does like nice having more websites on board!

  19. Thomasgg says

    I’ve been using Onlywire and Syndication Masters, So every blog I post automatically gets shared by hundreds of people for Free

  20. IdealMarcus says

    Interesting post. I have never heard of Scribnia before now, so its good to see new programs that can assist in syndication. The goal is to create strong relationships with manual syndication partners, so here’s to hoping that these resources identify and assist in developing relationships with the right blogger.

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  1. […] of content from your awesome blog is featured on a popular site that is relevant to your niche. Danny Brown provides a great analogy that should help clarify this by comparing a local journalist to a major […]

  2. […] FeedBlitz is the only third party service to match FeedBurner with both RSS feed services (feeds, analytics, metrics and so on) and it has a much richer array of email and social media subscription services for your blog. Making the switch was straight forward and uncomplicated. Nothing was lost and I even picked up some very cool new social features for blog syndication. […]

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