Article Syndication: Am I doing it wrong?

by stong
23 replies
Hey guys,

I generally don't like self-pitying threads so I'll do my best not to make this into one, but I'd like some advice on an aspect of the article syndication method.

Short Question: I have articles but nobody picks them up at EZA or replies when I actively e-mail them. I'm sure my work isn't terrible so what's up with that? :confused:

Long Question: I've written several articles already that deal with a specific niche. All of them are very informative and are exactly what the customers in the niche want.

I've placed most of them in EZA already, but I can honestly say that nobody has been interested enough to pick them up. In fact, I don't even find stolen content anywhere! I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad one.

I have also done a bit of scouting for relevant websites to distribute my material. Admittedly, I've not contacted the big dogs yet, thinking that the lesser sites will have less stringent requirements, but almost none of them ever reply to my e-mails. It really is quite frustrating.

What I'm going to do now is to keep trawling the Google Sea with some keywords that will get me relevant sites that have an open content policy (I add articles at will), while starting to gather more reputable sources. Eventually, I will begin firing off a nice e-mail to them and hoping they'll get back to me. Because a non-responsive prospect is worse than one that declines.

This is a 'problem-oriented' niche and I'm positive it occurs often enough that people will need this information, so the audience is definitely there. It's been discussed on forums ad nauseum (which is part of the reason why my articles are needed; some of them are misinformed about the topic) and I do have a couple - yes, a couple - of signups on my list. While little better than nothing, it proves that somebody needs that info.

This is where I put the question to you: How do you get your clients? I don't get many viewers at my EZA portfolio and I don't receive replies to my e-mails soliciting a partnership, so it's either I did something wrong somewhere, or there's another element that I haven't read about yet.

If you've read this far, thank you! Do chime in with your opinion if you can.
#article #syndication #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author MikeTucker
    What is your niche?
    How long have you been working on this?
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  • Profile picture of the author stong
    Hey Mike,

    I'd rather not be specific, but it's about a particular health problem for a pet animal.

    It's been 3-4 months since I started the site. I'm still holding down a full-time job, so I don't get as much time as I want to work on it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
      Try to PM Alexa Smith. I don't know if she offers free help or not, but she has mentioned here numerous time that she is having great success with article syndication.
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  • Profile picture of the author stong
    Yeah, I was hoping Alexa would pop in for a bit. :p But I do know that many others here have some knowledge of the process and I'd really like to listen to as many opinions as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    What else have to done to get them picked up?

    You can't expect to just upload them to EZA and then get lots of views.
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author stong
      Oh no, of course not. I've been using Google extensively to source for more content sites that are related to my niche. When I find some that I deem suitable (related, decently-designed and not MFA), I send out e-mails to them stating who I am and what I have, and how my articles are good enough to be a worthy addition to their website.

      I should admit that I don't have a decent sample size to determine if I'm doing anything wrong yet; in other words, I haven't contacted nearly enough to be certain that my methods are flawed, and that I may just require more queries before I get a sizable syndication list.

      I guess what I really want to get out of this is: Is it normal to get no responses from e-mails and only a trickle of syndicated articles from EZA? Is there like a '2% conversion rate' of sorts when it comes to sourcing for articles?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by stong View Post

        Oh no, of course not. I've been using Google extensively to source for more content sites that are related to my niche. When I find some that I deem suitable (related, decently-designed and not MFA), I send out e-mails to them stating who I am and what I have, and how my articles are good enough to be a worthy addition to their website.
        I can't tell you why you aren't getting any traction at EZA without more specific information, but I may have a clue about why you aren't getting replies to your emails...

        First off, are you contacting potential syndication partners who have demonstrated that they use content written by others? For example, I could have a fantastic article on some aspect of IM, but I would never pitch it to Paul Myers for his TalkBiz News because I know he only publishes his own writing (and has done so for several years).

        Second, it could be in your approach. From the bold bit above, I'm guessing that you are coming off as either a promoter or a know-it-all. Humility will serve you well in these initial approaches.

        I've found that something like:

        "Hi, my name is _____________. I just found your excellent site about [pets] and noticed a particularly good article on [something]. I also see that you sometimes use articles from outside authors.

        I've been writing on the subject of [whatever] for some time, and I have some articles that might be a good fit for your audience. Here's a link to view/download a sample so you can see if this is the kind of thing your readers might benefit from..."

        That's very rough, but it does show the tone for your approach. Publishers and webmasters for the kind of venue you want have egos. Sometimes, very big egos. If they didn't, they would not have the audience they have. So if someone they don't know drops an email out of the blue telling them that he has stuff their audience needs, it raises hackles.
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        • Profile picture of the author stong
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          I always wonder, when "nobody replies to emails", who's being emailed. (Not competitors, I hope?)
          I do my very best to avoid those, but I might just have missed some that were a little more obscure in their marketing methods. This needs more work, I think.

          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          Ok ... do you mind some questions, here?

          (i) How long have they been there?

          (ii) Is it a niche in which there's a shortage of ezines?

          (iii) Is it a niche in which most of the available sites belong to competitors?

          (iv) Did they have "salesy" resource-boxes?

          (v) Were they, basically, "written for syndication"?
          i.) About 2-3 months.

          ii.) I've only done a cursory check. So far, what I've found is that they do exist, but a fair number of those that I've encountered are defunct. But I haven't started actively soliciting ezines yet, so there could be some really good ones out there.

          iii.) It's quite unlikely. Having a pet is both a hobby and a way of life for some people, so I would think that people love to talk about them all the time. I have one as well, so I do understand how they think, to some extent.

          iv.) This is quite hard to answer, because sometimes even I have some trouble gauging it. What I can say is that right now I'm experimenting with a resource box that first gets in the last word that wraps up the article itself, followed by a suggestion and a link to another article on a related topic, and finally a link with general information about the niche itself.

          v.) I do try my best to follow everything to a tee, but I must admit that sometimes the subject matter does come across as a tad boring. Must rectify that!

          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          I don't quite follow this ... relevant sites that have an open content policy? (Maybe I don't understand because I don't know what the niche is ...).
          Basically, some sites let other people submit articles willy nilly. Yes, it does lend itself to some serious spamming sometimes, but I fully consider these as near the bottom of the barrel in the great scheme of things.

          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          Sorry not to be able to offer more thoughts ...
          Don't be, you helped! Thank you.

          Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

          You could try submitting articles over at Guest blogging: Looking for guest bloggers or guest post? Join MyBlogGuest! I'm sure you will find people over there who want to post your article. They have to be unique though, not already published on your blog or distributed anywhere else.

          Lee
          That will prove useful. Thank you!

          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          First off, are you contacting potential syndication partners who have demonstrated that they use content written by others? For example, I could have a fantastic article on some aspect of IM, but I would never pitch it to Paul Myers for his TalkBiz News because I know he only publishes his own writing (and has done so for several years).

          Second, it could be in your approach. From the bold bit above, I'm guessing that you are coming off as either a promoter or a know-it-all.
          John, this is something I am thinking seriously about as well. Some of the top sites in my niche don't seem to have any obvious avenue for contributing writers. I have no doubt the really big ones have their own editorial and content teams, but all the same they still provide their editorial staff e-mail in the contacts section. I'm half tempted to try pestering them with it...

          Which leads to the second part of your post. I must admit that I have some problem drafting the perfect e-mail that neither comes off as too pushy or too meek, which has so far resulted in no less than three iterations (and counting).

          The current iteration of my proposal draft is pretty much like the sample you've given, except that I never did note that they accepted contributions. But I hope to improve on it again by switching it around.

          Here's what I have in mind: I comment on their website and talk a bit about mine being a related field, then I attach the best article I have with the e-mail and give them permission to republish as-is.

          Then I wait for their acknowledgment and eventual publishing of said article on website.

          After that, I followup with the standard e-mail I've been using to get them on my syndication list. Basically the first article acts as a gesture of goodwill and trust.

          So, is this a good idea? it seems worth trying, but I thought I'd run it by the veterans here first.
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          • Profile picture of the author Yogini
            Originally Posted by stong View Post

            Here's what I have in mind: I comment on their website and talk a bit about mine being a related field, then I attach the best article I have with the e-mail and give them permission to republish as-is.
            I just want to comment on the idea of attaching an article. A lot of people would never open an attachment due to virus fears so I think you would be better off having a link to a website where you show them the article. Then if they write back you can follow up with sending it to them or discussing things further.

            Debbie
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            • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Yogini View Post

              A lot of people would never open an attachment due to virus fears
              I agree with this.

              I would never approach someone by sending an unexpected email attachment in the first instance.

              Your email may (well) not even get into their in-box.

              Originally Posted by Yogini View Post

              I think you would be better off having a link to a website where you show them the article.
              For myself, I wouldn't do it this way, either. It's only drawing attention to the fact that the article's already online.

              I just copy/paste in an article, at the end of the email, explaining clearly that that's what I'm doing. No attachment and no website needed.
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

                I just copy/paste in an article, at the end of the email, explaining clearly that that's what I'm doing. No attachment and no website needed.
                That's the way I've always done it, too.

                One thing I'm trying is to create two versions of the article. The first version is plain text, while the second has some very basic html formatting. I drop these into a directory on my site which is not linked to from anywhere on the site.

                Then I include the links in my intro email.

                The main reason is that some spam checkers are more sensitive than others, and including an extra 900-1,200 words can up the chances of getting flagged and/or blocked.

                Too early to tell a difference in results, though...
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Sounds like you just haven't put enough weight behind your content yet and are just being disappointed prematurely.

    Try to get your content to where your audience are by leveraging people that already have contact with them (i.e guest articles for popular publications etc.).

    There's a good chance that's someone already has quick and direct access to the people you want to see your content.

    EZA is not a great place to get syndication these days.

    A few years ago when people were cranking out auto-sites that just grabbed EZA content it was different - not now.
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  • Profile picture of the author luckyshah290
    Well .. first of all .. article marketing is not what it was used to be ..

    And most of the old school strategy don't work now .. Just submitting your article to EZA or any other article directory doesnt work now .. because there are hordes of different and better info sites on the web ...

    Submitting your article is just a first step of marketing .. its still not over ..

    I would recommend you to do some Backlinking for the article .. That will at least get your better Rank on the search engine ..

    Best Of Luck mate...
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by stong View Post

    I have articles but nobody picks them up at EZA or replies when I actively e-mail them. I'm sure my work isn't terrible so what's up with that?
    Hard to say, without seeing articles and emails.

    I always wonder, when "nobody replies to emails", who's being emailed. (Not competitors, I hope?)

    "Passive syndication", by depositing articles in EZA and hoping people take them is, of course, outside your control. There's no point in not doing it, and it can certainly be very successful sometimes, but it's typically slow-moving, unreliable and involves some luck, too. It would almost certainly be a big mistake to rely on it as one's sole form of syndication. (I appreciate that you're not doing that).

    Originally Posted by stong View Post

    I can honestly say that nobody has been interested enough to pick them up.
    Ok ... do you mind some questions, here?

    (i) How long have they been there?

    (ii) Is it a niche in which there's a shortage of ezines?

    (iii) Is it a niche in which most of the available sites belong to competitors?

    (iv) Did they have "salesy" resource-boxes?

    (v) Were they, basically, "written for syndication"?

    Originally Posted by stong View Post

    I've not contacted the big dogs yet
    Well, possibly time to try this, too?

    Originally Posted by stong View Post

    What I'm going to do now is to keep trawling the Google Sea with some keywords that will get me relevant sites that have an open content policy (I add articles at will)
    I don't quite follow this ... relevant sites that have an open content policy? (Maybe I don't understand because I don't know what the niche is ...).

    Originally Posted by stong View Post

    I don't get many viewers at my EZA portfolio
    That can be good, rather than bad: you wouldn't want potential customer traffic going to EZA rather than to your own site.

    Originally Posted by stong View Post

    Do chime in with your opinion if you can.
    Sorry not to be able to offer more thoughts ...
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    You could try submitting articles over at Guest blogging: Looking for guest bloggers or guest post? Join MyBlogGuest! I'm sure you will find people over there who want to post your article. They have to be unique though, not already published on your blog or distributed anywhere else.

    Lee
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    Gone Fishing
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  • Profile picture of the author Leslie B
    Alexa,

    You really should put your knowledge in a product and sell it, I'm sure there would be a lot of people willing to pick it up (me being one of them )

    Leslie
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    Taking it one day at a time!
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  • Profile picture of the author sailor4528
    @stong,

    If you are serious about using your articles to market / get clients then use a good submission service (i.e pay for one).

    I have re-pub rates of better than 70% on some articles, and 10% on others, from the submission service's own article directory, not EZA. Look at the stats and see which of your articles are most popular (re-pub/view)%, then write more content to reflect that market preference.

    You've put good work into those articles, why not multiply it? A good submission service will handle spin syntax - spin them manually yourself, ideally better than 50% unique and let them rip. You'll get more coverage and also more backlinks to your site.

    The strategy still works for me, despite 2011 G changes.

    High quality, unique content still wins, and you say you have that.

    Edit - And, as another poster said, that's just the start. Use article extracts for blog posts and social networking; it goes on...
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
    Hey OP, here's something that can get your some replies:

    Send them a 2nd email, much like this one: No Clickbank vendor replied to my email ...

    I've personally used it, and it worked like a charm! In 3 hours I've got a reply!

    Now, as you see, you must adapt it, but the structure is good.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffLee
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author Lucian Lada
        Originally Posted by TiffLee View Post

        Personally, if a vendor does not respond to my syndication request, I will absolutely refuse to do business with them now, or in the future.

        ... in other words, if they cannot take the time and care to respond to a potential investment in their business, can you imagine what kind of treatment their customers get? In my mind, it isn't worth the refund rate.
        While I used to think that way too, I can't afford this luxury anymore because it really narrows down choices. I don't like being treated that way, and in that thread you can see a vendor that has absolutely no idea on how do treat people, but what can I do If the other sales pages are with pop-ups/ discounts/ opt ins/ and other stuff?

        Regarding syndication, the same things applies. What can I do if the person has access to the emails of 25k targeted people? A second email won't hurt (just my ego, of course).
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by TiffLee View Post

        Personally, if a vendor does not respond to my syndication request, I will absolutely refuse to do business with them now, or in the future.

        ... in other words, if they cannot take the time and care to respond to a potential investment in their business, can you imagine what kind of treatment their customers get? In my mind, it isn't worth the refund rate.
        Of course, at this point, you ARE absolutely certain that they a) got the message and b) ignored it, right? :confused:

        Dropping a second, and even third, email does no harm and may do some good.

        If I don't get a response this time around, I'll add them to a list for another try in a few months. Circumstances change, and the odds they'll remember my original messages are pretty slim...
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        • Profile picture of the author TiffLee
          [DELETED]
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by TiffLee View Post

            The customers that I send their way should not have to send multiple e-mails to get a response to their questions and/or needs.

            ... not responding to a potential business associate is an indication that situation is likely to happen, so I avoid it completely.

            Differences in our approaches is all, John.
            If I were certain that my proposals were being ignored, I'd agree with you, simply write them off and keep moving. If the potential partner is worth it, a second email (which takes a couple of minutes) is a small investment to me.

            I also believe there is a difference between responses to bona fide customers and replies to cold contacts about syndicating articles. I imagine some authority sites get almost as many of those as they do requests for free review copies...

            Like you say, though, different strokes for different folks.

            No harm, no foul.
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            • Profile picture of the author myob
              Try subscribing to a few ezines in your niche. They may then be more open to accepting an article from you as a subscriber, providing you can demonstrate a specific slant of the topic favored by the editor/publisher. Consider what the publisher wants, rather than what you believe the potential customers in the niche want. The idea is for you to make that judgement and offer in your call to action within the resource box.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hooker
      When I think of article sites, I think of it as a place that's going to be full of people submitting articles rather than picking them up. Maybe this isn't the case, but I use them primarily for backlinks now. Of course, the effectiveness of even doing this is under question now.
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