Getting traffic to your blog is a lot of work.
In fact, more work than you ever imagined.
Sure, you can send your post out to your followers and subscribers. They’ll love it and share it, bringing in a little more traffic.
The problem is they represent just a tiny fraction of your potential audience, i.e. all those other people who’d also love your post, if only they knew about it.
As bloggers, we assume getting more traffic means creating more content, doing more promotion and spending more time working.
Those things work, but there’s another way, too.
And you don’t need to write one word of extra content to make it work. It involves republishing your existing content.
Take Larry Kim for example. He often republishes posts on other sites, like this post on Medium.
And this one on The Huffington Post.
How is it that people like Larry Kim and James Clear can republish their content on other sites and have a lot of success with it?
James Clear also republishes his content quite often. His process is simple. He publishes a post on his site every Monday, and then a week later, he reaches out to other blogs and pitches them the post for republishing.
Here is the advantage republishing your content has over guest posting. It is scalable. Republishing lets you leverage the content multiple times.
So is it just that simple? Can we also replicate the success that Larry Kim and James Clear experience by republishing or syndicating our content?
Kevan Lee from Buffer wrote that they obtained 949 conversions in republishing efforts from 4 sites and so benefited from the the exposure. However, the republishing was preceded by a huge amount of guest posting by Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich.
Once you are in a position to republish your content, the strategy does seem to pay off. Rand Fishkin shares in this Whiteboard Friday video why republishing works.
So, does this mean that the principle applies to all sites and businesses?
Joe Chernov former VP at HubSpot says –
“Letting others republish your content is tempting, though not necessarily for the right reasons,” he says. “It’s tempting because it appeals to your ego, and when ego is involved, it becomes easy to reverse engineer reasons to do it. Generally speaking, syndication will cost you traffic – and not just any traffic, but high-value organic search traffic.”
An exception may apply if, for example, you have little brand awareness. In such instances, you may want to accept a republishing offer from a large publisher despite the drawbacks.
Because you could gain traction-worthy exposure despite the loss in traffic.
Worried about the impact of negative SEO affecting your rankings?
You could lessen the effects by asking to include a rel=canonical tag, and link back to your original post.
Google, however, warns that this may not work in cases where a site with enough domain authority will outrank the original publisher. You could also ask the publisher to include the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of your content.
Unless you have a compelling reason, you may not want to republish your content. If you do, you want to ensure that you have the metrics in place to see if you are on track.
If you are worried about posting exact duplicate content, here are a few tips to minimize or avoid potential penalties.
- Wait a week, so Google has a chance to index the original page first, then use the rel=canonical tag.
- Position your article from an opposite perspective. For example, if you have an article on “The best ways to promote your blog,” then you could write an article for Medium or LinkedIn on “The worst ways to promote your blog.”
- Just publish the first paragraph (on certain platforms such as LinkedIn) with a link to “read more”.
- Re-word the entire article.
- Create unique content.
Given republishing has the potential to work, where can you republish your content? How do you gain more of an audience and drive traffic?
There is the option to guest post or syndicate your content. However, that does take time and require approvals.
What if you could leverage existing platforms with large audiences that required no approvals?
Interested? Then read on to see how you can make use of 3 popular platforms.
Medium is a cool place to republish and distribute your content while also discovering other people’s content. Here are a few reasons for Medium’s popularity:
- According to SimilarWeb, it received an estimated 72.2 million visitors in September 2016.
- It allows the audience to focus on one thing – the content you create.
- When you join Medium with Twitter or Facebook, all your followers who also use Medium automatically become followers of your Medium account. Those that join Medium later will automatically follow you as well when they sign up to Medium.
- Medium users get an email notification with the latest posts by the people and publications they follow.
- If Medium users with large followings recommend your story, it will be shown to their followers on the Medium homepage, as well as via email (depending on the settings).
- Popular Medium stories could be featured as a Top Story for the entire Medium community or as a Medium staff pick sent via email.
According to the Medium Staff, it doesn’t matter when you post. What really matters is producing good content and in turn building a following. When this is done consistently, traffic will follow.
So, what can you do to build your audience on Medium? Here are a few hacks:
- Repost your content on Medium
- Link back to your website or blog
- Create a publication for your brand – Publications are collections of content produced by your team or based on a particular theme.
- Use visual content – Most of the content on Medium is text with an average read time of 7 mins. Visuals could make read time shorter and engage more of your readers, like the comics from I Love Charts
- Track traffic with UTM parameters
- Interact with other content related to your niche and add more tags to help you discover more content
- Tweak your headlines – You already know how important it is to have a great headline for your posts. It is no different on Medium. Look at some popular posts on Medium (like the ones below). You’ll notice that they are generally around 40 characters.
- Convert your Medium traffic into email subscribers – you can’t embed a sign-up form on Medium, but you can direct readers to a sign up landing page using a simple call to action in your post. Make your call to action stand out and be visible.
Ever since LinkedIn opened access to its content publishing platform, the opportunity to increase your exposure as a thought leader is very real. The platform offers the opportunity to develop a following among its large community.
Not only do the posts you publish show up in your home page news feed, these posts are also shown to users beyond your network.
The articles show just below your head shot whenever someone visits your profile.
They also show in article searches on LinkedIn, increasing the possibility that your audience will grow over time.
Why use LinkedIn Publisher?
- Tap into LinkedIn’s massive audience
- Articles are published instantly as compared to guest blogging
- Short articles that are generally under 1000 words do well on LinkedIn
How can you use LinkedIn Publisher to build your audience?
- Create conversation with calls to action – Make sure you include a call to action in each of your LinkedIn Publisher posts. Michael Hyatt does this at the end of his posts as you can see below.
- Support your positioning – If you are already creating valuable content for your audience, then you can repurpose it for LinkedIn Publisher. However, you can also test new and original content ideas on this platform.
- Reach out – You can’t just publish on LinkedIn and hope that people will find it. You will need to promote your content on other social networks as well. It helps to think about which thought leaders in your industry would be a good fit for topics you are writing about and consider incorporating their perspectives, tips or view points in your articles. That way they are likely to share it with their own networks.
Facebook Notes and Facebook Instant Articles
Facebook Notes is like a version of Medium that allows for blogging on Facebook. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your posts will show up better in a News Feed.
Facebook lets users with a profile import one RSS feed from a blog into their Facebook wall using the notes app. These blog posts will appear on the News Feed as well on profile walls. To increase your reach, you will need to:
- Have content that is highly valuable to your audience.
- Have a group of raving fans that will add your blog’s RSS feed to their Note app on their profile.
Facebook also allows you to create notes for your Facebook page, which you can access via your page settings.
Kristi Hines shares more on the set-up process in this post.
You could use Facebook notes for:
- Creating original posts or to republish your existing posts
- Creating a post summary
- Providing instructions, how-to’s or FAQ’s
- Embedding Facebook Notes on your blog
- Reaching out to influencers
- Creating a note about your products or services
- Pinning notes to the top of your page
- Summary posts – like weekly blog posts, posts on Facebook Notes, posts on social media channels
- Collaboration – By tagging profiles, pages, groups. It also allows you to build relationships, partnerships and to broaden your exposure.
Brian Peters of Buffer, in a recent podcast, shared his experiences with Facebook Notes vs. Facebook Instant Articles. He found that posts republished on Facebook Notes drove less traffic and got fewer views than the usual Facebook Instant Articles that Buffer posts.
Facebook Instant articles, as we have covered previously, are Facebook’s attempt to create a better user experience for most of its users who are on mobile devices. The result is a well optimized, faster, immersive and interactive experience.
It also allows you to analyze article traffic, measure engagement, track user behavior, serve ads and monitor interactions such as time spent, scroll depth, etc.
Take James Altucher for example. He shares his blog posts and podcasts on Facebook and is seeing quite a bit of traffic as well.
To determine whether Facebook Notes should be used in your content strategy, you will need to experiment and track how your content performs.
Regardless of how your experiments turn out, you will get better traction on Facebook by using the following tips:
- Ensure your articles can be converted into Facebook Instant Articles
- Ensure you are actively growing your audience on Facebook organically. Facebook, in their earnings call, disclosed that they would run out of available real estate to show ads. Which means that ads will become more expensive and not less of a viable option.
Over to you
Chances are your content deserves more traffic than it is getting.
That’s why republishing your content on other platforms like Medium, Facebook or LinkedIn is a smart option for time poor bloggers and businesses.
Getting started is quite easy, and building your audience requires time and a little effort to interact with other users and their content. If you have a decent social media following, then you already have a head start.
So, try republishing your content and see if it works for you. The platforms we mentioned above already have large and engaged audiences. It’s likely that if some of them knew about your content, they would totally love it.
So, help them find it.
Also download the free step by step guide for SEO friendly content syndication opportunities. It includes a comprehensive list of places to syndicate your content.