Article Syndication To Benefit and Grow Your Business

Article syndication, when approached correctly, is in my opinion, a brilliant promotion tool. Unfortunately, a great many internet marketers just don’t “get” how to implement article syndication correctly and effectively. The primary purpose is simple: write articles and make them available for republishing on sites relevant to your own niche. This provides opportunities to grow your presence, increase your credibility, and widen your marketing reach with new, highly targeted traffic to your website. People reading your content, are exposed to your brand, and perceive you as an expert in your particular niche. If you are especially lucky, one or more of your articles may even go “viral”.

article syndicationThe mistake most people persist in making, is perceiving article syndication as a means of obtaining backlinks, or “link-juice”. They write content and blast it out a to proliferation of article directories. Agreed, this will result in backlinks, but all you will achieve from article directories in SEO terms are non-context-relevant, PR-0 backlinks. Actually, it will require somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 article directory backlinks to provide the link-juice equivalent to one single backlink from a relevant authority-site.

Similarly, you should not engage in article publication as a direct means of obtaining traffic. Your highly targeted traffic will be created following syndication to other, popular, niche relevant websites and blogs. Look at it this way, when your potential customer searches on one of the keywords targeted in your article, which version of that article do you really need them to find? The version in an article directory (lost traffic)? or the version published on your own website?

Another major mistake occurs when marketers spend a lot of time researching and writing articles, but publish them to article directories, without first publishing them on their own websites or blogs. This is folly, unless of course they feel an inherent need to donate their work to the directories. The purpose for which article directories were created was to provide depositories which internet publishers could visit and obtain quality content for their blogs, newsletters, etc. They are not, and never have been, sources of targeted traffic.

Look at this way, suppose the version of your article, hosted in a directory, is read by 1,000 people and 20% of them click through to your website. That’s 200 visitors, agreed, but how about the other 1,800 readers? They are lost; gone forever.

Since Google’s February Panda update, it is now especially easy to outrank article directories with solid, authoritative content on your own website. Publish your work there first, wait until it has been indexed by Google, then move forward to offer it for syndication in front of highly targeted traffic, in a few of the best article directories. Don’t waste your time submitting to hundreds of directories, you won’t get any more passive syndication. From my own experience, the top web publishers go to just Ezine Articles, ArticleBase and GoArticles (in that order), when seeking content. After more than twenty years writing for the internet, I’ve yet to discover any of my articles syndicated from any directory other than those three, and Ezine Articles accounts for more than 95%. It’s way the best established, highest quality article directory, and it’s where web publishers invariably shop first for their content.

So, the actual syndication process aside, what can you do to increase the likelihood of your articles being picked up and published by webmasters?

  1.  Always write articles of at least 1,000—1,200 words. Webmasters seeking content for their sites, blogs, newsletters, etc., love longer articles, simply because they fill more space. So, give them what they are looking for! For a long time, I followed others’ advice to create short pieces of content, but it wasn’t until I began experimenting with much longer pieces that I saw them being picked up for republishing consistently.
  2.  Create catchy titles. You need your titles to grab the attention of webmasters seeking content, and encourage them to publish your article, as well as the readers on his site. This will do wonders for getting mentioned on social sites, as well as enticing people to click your links.
  3.  Write a great first paragraph which carries on from the title and “hooks” the reader. Your opening paragraph needs to convince the reader that the entire article is worthy of his attention.
  4.  Don’t just regurgitate the same ‘ole same ‘ole. Be funny, be controversial, let your writing entertain. Remember, you are writing an article you hope to get significant mileage from, so make it newsworthy and shareworthy. Research before you write and verify any claims or statements.
  5.  Never, never use your articles to sell or promote. Doing this will kill your syndication prospects stone dead, because no webmaster wants to republish your sales material. Syndicated articles should be informative rather than self-serving; your writing should educate, illuminate, explain and entertain, but never sell.
  6.  Rethink your Resource Box (Author Bio). Here again, the usually accepted, sales oriented Resource Box just doesn’t work. Instead, turn the final paragraph of your article into your resource box, with a couple of targeted key phrases linking back to your own website or blog. Blend the paragraph seamlessly into the flow and style of the article as a whole.

article syndication strategiesAlso, make full use of your Author Page in Ezine Articles (and any other article directory you submit to). Use it to list and link to all your available articles and outline your expertize in the niche. Remember to do this for every pen-name you set up.

Once your content is published on article directories, follow up continually and efficiently. Discover exactly where your articles are being republished by taking a random text string from an article, placing it in quotes, (an exact match) and performing a Google search. You can also set up a Google Alert for that same string and receive an email from Google whenever it is discovered.

Begin keeping a database of web publishers who have used your content and offer to send them new articles before you add them to directories, (but after you have published it on your own sites). They will usually jump at the chance.

To differentiate between articles you may have submitted to different directories, just alter the punctuation in each; maybe substitute a semi-colon for a comma. Keep a record of these changes, and you will instantly discover which directory was used.

A final point: in addition to submitting your material to article directories, be pro-active; expand your scope by seeking out likely places where it can be republished. Build a list of relevant search strings, for example:

  • [niche keyword phrase] +”write for us”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”submit”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”author guidelines”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”writer guidelines”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”article submission”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”submit content”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”submit an article”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”author submission”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”article submission guidelines”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”online magazine”
  • [niche keyword phrase] +”online newsletter”

If you find you are discovering too many “content buying sites”, and those which only accept previously unpublished content, you could try adding +”powered by WordPress” (in quotes) to your queries. This will restrict the search to sites built with WP and still displaying the blog footer WP declaration.

You can also try adding +”Article Source:” to your search strings. This will return articles copied or pasted from Ezine Articles. As was explained above, you know these sites use syndicated material.

Take a look at the content already published on the sites these searches uncover, and if you feel it matches your style, contact the webmaster with a sample of your writing.

For my latest article on content syndication >>Click Here<<

Content Cash System

Anne Pottinger





  1. Thanks for an excellent article that explains the intricacies of article syndication perfectly. I really enjoyed it.

    I write for a living, but I have been taking more and more notice of article syndication recently, and I fully intend to move over to this model as soon as I reasonably can.

    Article syndication has all the good things I like, and very few of the not so good things I don’t like. I am looking forward to the day when I can devote all my time to syndicating articles in order to drive targeted traffic to my sites.

    Thanks again for a great article!


  2. Hi Anne,

    A very useful post indeed.

    Why do i get the feeling that you are Alexa Smith. Not that it matters as your posts under any name are most useful to all of us.


  3. Sorry Mahadevan, I’m NOT Alexa Smith. If you go to the Warrior Forum, you will find countless threads where both of us have commented. I’m flattered that you liken me to her however, but I’m considerably longer in the tooth than Alexa; she’s only been IMing for (I believe) 3 or 4 years and already learned how to hone her skills to perfection. It’s taken me a while longer. 🙂

  4. Hi Anne,

    Thanks for the article.

    2 questions:

    1. Won’t publishing my article on my site first create a lot of duplicate content issues? I’ve been told this is very bad.

    2. Why would the WP footer thing help me find websites with a big readership which agree to accept non-unique content?

  5. Hi John
    Wrong, duplicate content refers to the same, or very similar content published multiple times across one domain and its associated sub-domains. This earlier post explains the issue in great detail:

    All experienced article syndicators publish their own work on their own websites/blogs first, so that they receive the full credit for it. Why would you want another site to get the credit for your work?

    I wasn’t suggesting that searching on ‘Powered by WordPress’ would necessarily find blogs with big readerships, it’s simply a means of pinpointing WordPress blogs in your niche.

    Also, I assume you’ve heard of the IM authority Paul Myers? He has a great free marketing newsletter called TalkBiz and he’s recently written a new ebook on article syndicating the right way, called The Content Cash System. I recommend them both. I consider myself to be a very experienced article syndicator, but I’ve learned a lot from this ebook.

    I hope this helps – Anne

  6. Hi Anne,

    Thanks for the very informative article…I especially appreciate your advice on the resource box, as well as the strings of code we can type into Google in order to simplify the process of finding syndication partners.

    Much appreciated!

  7. Can you give an example of what would a good content for the resource box? I am really confusing… sorry, but I am not a professional writer.
    Thank you,

  8. Hi Henry
    Well, to give you an example would be practically impossible because if you read Point #6 above, I stated “turn the final paragraph of your article into your resource box”.

    What I meant was, write and publish your article on your own blog/website and craft the final paragraph of that article to include a couple of the keywords/keyphrases you are targeting. Just write to flow the paragraph completely naturally – nothing stilted or “bio-boxy.”

    Then, when you move on to syndicate that article, edit the final paragraph to hyperlink those two keywords/keyphrases back to your website.

    This method turns your final paragraph into you bio-box without it ever appearing to do so. It’s just an integral part of the whole article.

    A lot of people follow this concept; equally as many don’t; it’s a matter of choice. All I will say is, it works beautifully for me. 🙂


  9. Article Syndication is something that is not used efficiently by many IMs. As a result, people end up working harder with not very efficient results. I think reading your article couple of times and trying to understand the power of syndication should help many newbies. Thanks 🙂

  10. Hi Anne, thanks this was a great article, I am just starting on this road and trying to get my head around it, just one question, above you have answered Henry and said “Then, when you move on to syndicate that article, edit the final paragraph to hyperlink those two keywords/keyphrases back to your website.” (I like this very easy to do). Now I have read that this is not good post Penguin and you should just put a url in. what are your thoughts on this, does this method still work for you today as well as it did before Penguin?
    Thanks Cheryl

  11. Thank you for this concise explanation! I feel like you didn’t leave anything out, which I very much appreciated. This has helped several things “click” for me, and it will help me serve my writing clients (many of whom use my work for marketing purposes) as well.

  12. Hi Cheryl
    Glad you lied the article. To answer your question, I haven’t changed this strategy at all post-penguin, but you must keep in mind that “true” article marketing doesn’t give a fig about Google and it’s foibles. I’m just not interested in SEO. My strategies are geared 100% towards writing great content that will catch the eye of webmasters, other publishers, etc., in the hope that they will pick up and republish my work. Hence, my resource boxes are intended to work on their websites, or in their newsletters.

    The only time I change this strategy is if I’m sending content to a ‘print only’ publisher, where obviously, the full URL will be necessary for their readers to find me.

    Hope this helps

  13. Anne,

    This post is very helpful, and I agree that Paul Meyer’s book is top-notch! Do you think this form of article marketing/syndication would work well inside the IM niche?

  14. I’m sure it would. IM is a hot niche and there are hundreds of IM blogs/websites looking for quality content.

  15. Anne great stuff – I have been looking for ways to build my syndication list and your article helps a lot.

    I was hoping maybe in a future post, or here you could expand on how you send publishers the content after it is indexed. Are you sending them each a message or do you use a service like aweber or mail chimp or do you mass email. If you have a massive list of publishers this could takes days to send each one a personal message.

  16. Hi Joey – When publishers first get added to my list, I send the first two or three articles to them via completely personal emails, then I add them to an Aweber list. I’ve set Aweber up so that each email is somewhat personalized and this seems to work well. I used to attach a copy of the article to each document, then I read Paul Myer’s amazing book: “The Content Cash System“, and now I follow his methods to the letter. It’s made everything so much more professional.

  17. Thanks for the article. Really helpful!
    I have been writing 700 – 800 words articles for my blog so far and I just read that you suggest 1000 – 1200.
    Most of my articles though are divided in part 1, part 2 and part 3 since I didn’t think it was a good idea to have super long posts on my website.
    I was wondering if I can join these parts and submit the full length to a directory even though on my website the same post would be divided in 3 parts.


  18. Hi Joe – thanks for the question.
    Yes, there would be no problem with this. It will be especially beneficial with webmasters, etc., who are looking for good material to syndicate to their own sites, newsletters, etc., because they are always looking for longer material.

  19. Hi, your article is helping me alot. a simple question, as article syndication has nothing to do do with seo does this mean i can use the article syndication method in huge health markets etc. or its better to stay in in a smaller niche ?

  20. Hi Chaim Interesting question. I would say that it would depend entirely on how good your articles are. You are going to be competing with some really hard hitting professionals so you would need to adopt some writing method that would make you stand out from them. Personally, I would go for smaller niches and work hard to represent myself as an expert to be listened to.


  21. Great stuff Anne – thank you! Question … I have several author profiles as I write under several pen names. How do you handle the author photo for your pen names? Stock photo sites prohibit using their photos to represent yourself. What do you suggest? Thanks!

  22. Hi Stephanie
    Well, maybe I’m living dangerously, but the way I interpret that, is exactly as you’ve phrased it “to represent yourself.” I use stock photos in the bios of my completely fictitious pen name personas, who, after all, are not me 🙂

  23. I have someone teaching me the pros and cons of article syndication. She’s a top person in this and her words mirror exactly what you say. Matter of fact, she forward me this link to read these articles. Almost 3 years later this article is still super relevant. Thank you for the great info!

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