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How to Find Free Content for your Web Site

I see a lot of webmasters complain in forums and chat rooms that they don’t have enough content on their web sites, but they don’t have the means or the knowledge to find more.
There are actually many ways to obtain more web site content. You could hire someone to write it for you. You could purchase some ready made content about your site topic or you could spend some time and write content yourself. But did you know that there is a way you can get hundreds of pages worth of high quality, fresh content every day without paying a cent? There is. It’s called article syndication.

Article Syndication

Articles relating to thousands of topics are freely available for syndication on web sites. Authors provide them for this purpose to gain a wider audience and achieve more back links. Generally, the only requirement for webmasters is that the author’s by-line, resource box and link are included with the published article. In terms of copyright, you simply need to follow the author’s publishing guidelines when republishing their article. This usually involves an “About the Author” paragraph at the bottom of each article with a sentence and link to the author’s site. These syndication requirements are generally specified in the article itself.

How to do it:

1) Browse the Internet to find articles you can syndicate. I use the article announcement groups at Yahoo Groups, but you can also find them at sources such as Submit Your Articles.

2) View the articles being distributed by the group and review their freshness and quality.

3) Join the email líst or subscribe to the RSS feed of any article groups that seem to be distributing content relevant to your web site.

4) Go through your email or feed reader regularly to browse and select new articles.

5) Cut, paste and publish the articles into your web pages, giving credít to the author as requested in their syndication guidelines.

6) Voila! Fresh, daily content.

Articles for Blogs

If the article content is to be used on a blog, there is an even quicker way to publish it. Depending on what blog software you use, you can simply forward the email containing the article directly to your blog control panel using the publish via email option and then edit the post to correct any formatting issues. The other advantage of this method is that search engines LOVE blogs and tend to index them more often than regular web pages.

I use blog article syndication quite successfully for a couple of my clients. One is in the travel industry and the other has a large wedding portal. I simply subscribe to articles on travel and wedding related topics and publish them to the blogs belonging to each client. My clients supplement these with articles and blog posts written by their own staff or hired writers.

Advantages

There are a number of advantages to using article syndication:

Relevant, Timely Content – You can choose content that is closely geared to your existing content and of interest to your audience. For example, if you sell airline tickets, publish travel articles about exotic destinations. The idea there is that persons reading travel articles might be thinking about traveling themselves and need to be reminded to book their plane tickets.

Cross Promotion – You can choose content that gives you the opportuníty to up sell to your own products or affilíate products. For example, if you sell scented candles online, you could choose to publish articles about increasing the romance in your marriage and then include a link at the end of the article to your candle sales catalog (would you like fries with that?).

SEO Value – Apart from the obvious value of having fresh content regularly available for indexing, there are other SEO advantages to article syndication. Most articles are keyword-rich, meaning that they contain a lot of keywords and phrases that people might use in search queries. Publishing these articles means that your site has a better chance of being found for related search queries. One of my clients noticed their syndicated article pages ranking in the top 10 Google SERPs for target keywords within two days of publishing! You can also embed links within the articles or at the end of articles to related areas of your site using keyword-rich anchor text.

Increased Traffic & Sticky Content – It’s not only search engines that love fresh content. You’ll find that you’ll attract more visitors when you publish relevant articles. Provided you find ways to interact with your new visitors such as allowing them to comment or sign up for your article feed, your site will become stickier and retain those visitors more easily.

Disadvantages

There are really only two disadvantages that I can think of about using article syndication. One is that the same article published on various web sites can sometimes be treated by search engines as duplicate content. So generally, a search engine will try to determine the original source of the article and index/rank that page while ignoring all other versions. If you publish a fresh article quickly enough, you can sometimes be lucky and have your version of the article picked up and treated as the *original*. The other disadvantage is that it can be time-consuming to trawl through the hundreds of new articles announced daily and choose the ones you want. You also have to scan them carefully to ensure accuracy of facts and to ascertain if the author has used correct spelling and grammar usage. But compared to the costs of paying somebody to write articles from scratch, I think this is a very minor inconvenience.

Want to get the jump on your competition and improve your traffíc? Use article syndication to publish fresh, relevant content on your site every day.

About The Author
Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia, who is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running a daily Search Engine Advice Column, Kalena manages Search Engine College – an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and other Search Engine Marketing subjects.