I was honestly wondering when someone would come up with a service like Share-A-Post, because it is one of those “no brainer” ideas that I have thought of doing, but never got around to.
When to a huge amount of disbelief I blocked some of my high ranking paid reviews with robots.txt, and hinted that syndication would be a perfect loophole in Google’s penalties, no one fully understood what I meant – many SEO experts thought I was bonkers.
This is what I meant – widespread syndication with editorial control
The Limits of Traditional Article Marketing
Article marketing is all well and good, but is extremely limited
- You can only use a fixed number of links in a post
- Article directories are quite inflexible over affiliate links even if you have created
- HTML formatting is frowned upon because the articles are often intended for email use
- You can’t use pictures
- Most of the articles end up on very low value sites that have no readers
- Whilst they often use categories, tag support is limited
Jonathan Ledger has come up with what at first glance seems to be the perfect service for submission and syndication of quality blog articles.
- You sign up and add your blog – If you are smart, you will create a new user on your blog with username and password with low level privileges – don’t enter your admin username and password – I trust Jonathan, but even large websites get hacked, why take the risk?
- You make sure your blog is posting full content feeds
- You add an entry to your ping list, so that when you update your blog, your article is automatically added to Share-A-Post
- You use Technorati tags as normal, though only the first 5 will be used – that avoids tag spam
- You can add multiple blogs
RSS Article Syndication
When you are short of content for one of your blogs, you can visit Share A Post, search for an appropriate article, and have it posted either as a draft or published article directly to one of your blogs.
The service uses XML-RPC to connect automatically, just like popular blogging software such as Microsoft Windows Live Writer, but that does require a username and password – hence why I suggested precautions when setting up.
The other advantage is that when you are posting a guest article on your blog, because it is posted as a different user, it can be given different emphasis, maybe a different symbol etc.
Lots of people will be worried about duplicate content due to syndication
Syndication is a good thing, and Google does a fairly good job of determining the original author, and the link that is being given back to your post will help – it even has good anchor text – at least I think a link is given back to the permalink – to be sure, you should probably use an RSS footer plugin, and maybe even create a smart looking author byline for each article that includes a link.
If you want some assurance that syndication is a good thing, one of the most authoritative I can think of is Vanessa Fox, who until recently was working for Google on Webmaster Central at SEO and Webmaster conferences. If the “book” we follow are Google’s webmaster guidelines… guess what? She helped write it!
Recently on her personal blog she wrote a great article on how to rank as the original source for content you syndicate
With Jonathan’s system you are not going to be able to ensure that content gets blocked with Robots.txt, and that has a negative aspect as well, because the links wouldn’t count… you do want links don’t you?
You are also not going to be able to ensure a different version of your article is published, unless you somehow specify in a license that your articles can be modified, such as a Creative Commons License that allows derivative and Commercial use or better.
Hopefully you will always get a link, but just like with article marketing, that can never be guaranteed
You will find situations if you have a new blog with not much authority that Google makes mistakes – that will most often be when a high authority blog picks up your article.
In a situation like that… just be happy, you will get great links, and your content will be exposed to 100s, or 1000s of new readers, and if enough blogs pick the article up, you will get more authority quicker from all the links, and hopefully lots of traffic and new subscribers.
Just like article marketing, you are going to have to use just a little bit more care before you post, as any errors you make might not be fixable if your articles get syndicated.
Hopefully anyone syndicating an article will check back with the original blog to ensure the article is up-to-date, and I suggest they do that anyway, as you want to always ensure you are promoting content from what is a reputable blog that is well established.
It is so obvious… but none really
- Well ok, I know Stompernet has some kind of content syndication network
- I know Jack Humphrey used to syndicate his clients article content on a network, but not blog posts
- There are various services which syndicate spun articles, but not blog posts
- There are services that have their own blogs, where you post snippets of articles
- Portal feeder has something similar for articles, I am not sure what is in Traffic Kahuna
- There are plugins which feed articles from article banks to WordPress blogs
So whilst the idea is simple, you have to have confidence in content syndication and how duplicate content works before you think of doing something like this, which is why someone probably didn’t do it before.
If you are using standard tagging plugins, they will probably output tags in alphabetical order. That isn’t a huge problem for the 5 tags that will be used to catalogue your post, but it is a factor for your backlink, because the anchortext used will be from your first tag.
The easy answer? Add a manual tag somewhere within your article
If you look closely you will see that I have linked through earlier in this post to my “syndication” tag on my blog, and I have manually added rel=”tag” to the link.
Hopefully when this article is posted, the backlink to my blog will be “syndication”. That is fairly powerful stuff.
OK Andy, How Much?
Jonathan says the following:-
BETA TESTERS WANTED
This service is now up and running, and I’m looking for beta testers
to create free accounts and try it out. I need folks with blogs
who want to syndicate their content to super-charge their link
building, and I need folks who need top-notch content to post to
their own blogs.
As a beta tester, your account will always be 100% free. Syndicating
other folks content will always be free anyway, but I’m working on
a business model that MAY charge a monthly fee for being able to
have your content syndicated in this way. Or it may stay free
for everyone, I haven’t decided. :)
At any rate, as a beta tester, you’ll never pay a dime for the
So why not go give it a try right now?
I hope Jonathan keeps it free
If he doesn’t, I am sure there will be competitors who will do it for free, so it is much better keeping it free and advertising supported. If needed, get some VC money to cover operations, but that is unlikely to be needed.
This is beta, I haven’t yet tested everything, I am going to see if I can find a guest post on Share A Post to try out.
Another Reason To Applaud Jonathan
I think anyone else who would have launched this, other than maybe myself, would have included some kind of spammy “viral” link back to the blog article syndication directory, in the footer of every article.
I have just seen my first article syndicated on a blog, and there is no link to Share A Post – that is a cool move.
Please don’t syndicate posts without minor editing to at least remove all the related posts – whilst I love receiving 10+ links every time one of my articles is syndicated, I am not going to approve 10 pingbacks – I will just flag them as spam to avoid the annoyance in the future.
Single pingbacks are fine (I don’t have nofollow on pingback links), or even to each editorial link within an article – you give me a link, you get a link back.
If you sign up to Share A Post, you will find this article in their library – an easy way to share Share A Post with your readers is just syndicating this article.
Special note from Andy: To add some additional incentive to try out Share A Post, if you have written a very high quality paid review recently that would be suitable for my readers, I will gladly syndicate it on my primary domain as well – oh, and I won’t be nofollowing any of the links, as it will be an editorial decision to publish it.