So you want to start a blog, right? My resources show there are 450 million English speaking blogs today. WordPress says they now have 74 million blogs and Tumblr claims they now show 39 million blogs. Not all of these are active blogs but it does beg the question of how is your blog going to stand out?

Syndication is probably one of the most under-utilized tactics when it comes to promoting your own blog and content.What is syndication? It’s simply taking your content and re-publishing on other sites. It is the best way to get your content in front of many people without any paid promotions component.

There are vendors like Outbrain that will automate this process for you but for individuals and small companies the process can be accomplished in house.

1. Establish goals – The goal is to obviously get your content noticed — go further than this and establish what types of sites you will be targeting, how your content fits into their site and your criteria on ranking/measuring each site.

 2. Target top sites – Find 5 to 10 high-traffic, high-authority sites in your area and industry. Make a list and rank each by authority, traffic, content and ability to syndicate. Here are a few items to think about:

  • What sites do you read daily for news and information about your industry or area of expertise?
  • What sites are your clients using to find your products and services?
  • What sites offer guest blogging or blogger profiles and user-generated content in your industry?

The goal is to serve up your content organically in a way that seems less promotional. You want new customers to find you, see you as a thought-leader and get curious enough to visit your website or pick up the phone and call you. I cannot emphasize this enough: stick to your industry or to sites closely related to your industry.Finding the right sites is the most important part of this process. For larger brands it can take a few weeks to map this and for smaller companies slightly less time. Next week I’ll cover best practices on establishing relationships and contacting publishers.