Become a News Authority: Syndicate, Optmize, Automate & Scale, For Fun and Profit

Being an authority in your niche can boost your sales, and help your brand grow.

If you are an authority on a subject, you gain the trust and confidence of your target audience.  

People will use your products and trust your brand.  Some of your customers will even become brand advocates and recommend you to their own personal networks. People will link to your website and you will get more sales via improved search engine rankings, while others will share your content on social media sites, increasing your organic reach and brand visibility.

One way to become an authority in a specific niche is curate and/or deliver relevant industry news to your target audience

A news aggregator is a website which aggregates web content such as news articles, blog posts and podcasts in one location for easy viewing.

Let’s take a look at one popular aggregator NewsNow.co.uk.

If we look at the SimilarWeb stats for NewsNow maybe we can learn something from the data.

Newsnow - news syndicator / aggregator

We can see from the data:

  • The site gets ~5 Million visits a month! That’s a lot of traffic!
  • 55% of the traffic is direct traffic. People LIKE well curated news from diverse sources.
  • 25% of the traffic is from organic search.  Despite it being 100% duplicate content. Syndicated content can result in free, targeted organic search traffic.
  • 14% of the traffic is from referrals. Referrals means links (which can help with organic search rankings) and targeted traffic

News syndication seems like a winner if well executed.

Other Key Benefits

With the right syndication software setup and some smart social media automation (VIA API’s 3rd party plugins, or your own code) a smart combination of syndication and automation brings with it many many benefits:

  • Automated supply of relevant content – Your syndication software will garnish you with an unlimited fresh supply of quality, relevant news content.
  • APIs like the the Twitter API, and Facebook Graph API  enable you to programmatically perform automatic content broadcasts of relevant and well optimized content to your audience via social media – on autopilot and on a schedule of your own choosing.
  • Scalability– You will always have a critical mass of content to broadcast around the clock, 24/7 , 365 days a year.
  • Ability to dynamically optimize content on the fly (more on this later).

Optimize, Automate and scale.

Set up your own Niche News Syndication page (or website)

steal like an artist

There’s no shortage of free, off-the shelf and integrated syndication options available for webmasters (of course you may choose to code your own).

For WordPress: We like FeedWordpress Syndication Plugin. (Free)
For Drupal: Drupal Has a built in aggregator module

Once you’ve set up syndication software on your website and have configured news sources, you should have on your hands a credible looking news section which could look something like this football news aggregation site:

football news website

Tactical Partnerships – Build links and relationships with niche influencers

Now that your traffic-magnet news-section (or perhaps dedicated niche news site) is ready – it’s time to get some tactical partnerships in place with the aim of getting targeted links from relevant niche websites as well as building valuable connections to niche influencers (they are the ‘tribe owners’ – and we want to earn access to their tribes)

Identifying suitable candidates for outreach

One approach might be to start by finding 100 sites which rank on google for e.g. “[yourniche] news”, or you could just search on Twitter and Facebook for niche websites which create and publish unique niche news stories.

Evaluating candidate websites

Visit each website to evaluate their news-content and to gauge the size of their social audience.

A good candidate website for outreach:

  1. Produces content that is relevant to your audience
  2. Content is shareable
  3. Content is truly news-worthy
  4. Has a large social-media audience too (e.g tens of thousands of Twitter or Facebook Followers)

If a website meets this criteria, proceed to get in touch with the site webmaster (via Twitter / Email / contact form on website) with an an offer they can’t refuse. Free publicity.

Outreach

in your communication with each webmaster, offer to syndicate their news headlines on your fabulous news website for free.

Fortify your generous offer with additional benefits for them:

  • They will grow their audience by reaching a laser targeted audience of lovers online
  • You will promote their content for free via our site AND via your growing social media channels
  • The valuable links they will get from your site to theirs will always be ‘dofollow’, which may help improve your search rankings.

free publicity

Once they agree, add their feed to your syndication system.

FeedWordpress Screenshot - site syndication options
Feedpress Site syndication options.

Once a webmaster’s content is flowing to your news page or website:

  1. Tell the webmaster that their stories are now featured on your site and that you will continue to promote their content on social media too.
  2. ASK the webmaster to ‘share the love’ by linking back to your site from their site (e.g with a ‘we’re featured on [yoursite]’ image-link)
  3. With your request, give them the html code code for a small ‘as featured on’ link/button) so that they can act immediately.

A surprisingly high proportion of webmasters will oblige your request for a link-back. After all – it’s nice to be nice. Everyone wins.

This outreach process is one of the most valuable aspects of exploiting syndication for profit. You will earn awesome, relevant links to your site (you probably couldn’t buy those links even if you tried), and in addition you’ve just forged potentially useful relationships with powerful niche influencers.

*Interestingly this link-back step is actually a prerequisite to getting your content featured on NewsNow.co.uk – one might speculate say it’s a major factor in their success story.

Content Automation & Broadcast

You can optimize your broadcasts in a number of ways so that they look more appealing (thereby getting more clicks + visibility) & so that they get discovered easily (social discovery) via dynamic hashtag insertion optimization.

Use Open Graph tags

Ensure that your syndicated content pages specify suitable open graph tags in the markup (e.g. a title, and image which will be shown when the post is shared on Facebook and Twitter).
Twitter Cards documentation
Facebook Open Graph Documentation.

Dynamic Hashtag Insertion

You can take your broadcast optimization a step further by parsing content titles for specific words and appending appropriate hashtags to the Tweet or Facebook post to assist with content discovery.

For example a social broadcast of a story which contains the football team ‘Manchester City’ might automatically have specific hashtags appended eg. #mcfc or #mancity automatically prior to broadcasting text before it is tweeted or posted to Facebook.

optimised news broadcast

Data / Some Encouragement…

Here’s a 4 week traffic snapshot from a football news aggregator I put together recently:

In just a short span of time since inception, the site delivers significant volumes of targeted traffic. I spent a tiny bit of time on link-building / outreach using the tactics outlined above and as a result the site has gained some great links from niche sites, and organic search traffic is up +50% on last month as a result. Awesome.

Twitter analytics data for the same period:

syndication twitter stats

Optimized broadcasts result in a lot of visibility, We also get a good amount of link-clicks and we increased our follower base too. All pretty much automatically / on auto-pilot, and at zero cost.

Summary

  • Being an authority is good.
  • Becoming a content curator offers lots of opportunities for growth + networking.
  • Automation helps you scale content deliver + get free targeted traffic.
  • Link-building – Outreach is easy when you’re giving exposure away free.
  • Once you’re an authority, everyone wants to be your friend  / give you money for exposure / links / PR.

TL;DR: Syndicate it, Automate it, Optimize it. Scale it, and Win.

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