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9 Rules Of Syndication

This post was most recently updated on February 23rd, 2014


I am a social media butterfly.  I love doing what I do.  One of my most important daily activities is syndicating other people.

As a blogger for a few years, I find that there are certain ethics when it comes to Syndication.  You want your blog to be active.  You can–and should– set up all your on-page SEO’s and off-page back-linking.  But the heart and should of blogging is Syndication.

When someone comes to your blog and comments, there must be acknowledgment and reciprocity.

1. Reply to each and every comment.  This acknowledges your readers’ efforts and interest.

2. Now go to your readers’ blogs, if they have links to them.

3. Read their latest post and get to know them a bit, and learn from what they’ve written.

4. Reply to their post, as they did to yours.  If they have “comment lug”, simply click on it to back-link to  your latest post.

5. Go to their Facebook and “friend” them, but don’t forget the ethics here.  Don’t simply push the “friend” button, but explain why you want to add them as a friend with a sincere, personal message.

6. Tweet or Retweet their blog post.

7. Whatever social sites they have linked to their blog, syndicate via those social share buttons.

8. Google+ them, BUT write to your followers why you are doing this. i.e. “I found this interesting blog post on _____ and thought you may find this interesting.”  Make your Google+ interesting so others will read it.

9. PINTEREST is all the rage.  You can take your syndicating a step further and find that person on Pinterest.  Once there, you can  “follow” them, or like, comment or “repin” one of their pins.

Sound like too much work?

Not if you make this a part of your daily method of operation.  Notice, I said “daily”.  It’s far better for both you and those you follow if you were to syndicate, say 3 blogs a day, Monday through Friday… rather than syndicate 15 bogs on Monday.  That’s because search engines see a consistency to your online presence.  That consistency will improve your online status with Google and the other search engines.  In turn, it will vastly improve the quality of your syndication for those you syndicate, than if you just blast out a bunch here and there, now and then.

Once you set time for this, you will find that your own blog will start to rock and roll.  People will flow in via Twitter, Facebook and other social and social bookmarking sites.  Most will reciprocate because they appreciate what you have done for them.

Does this really work?

Yes, all my followers come from social media platforms.  I never spent a penny on advertising, and I have a ton of followers.  When you go-give, it comes back ten fold.

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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54 Responses to 9 Rules Of Syndication

  1. Yorinda April 27, 2012 at 5:29 am #

    Hi Donna,

    great tips, thank you!

    Your suggestion to do a bit everyday makes sense and is much easier to handle than a big lot on one day.

    I never knew that search engines respond to consistence in regards to online presence/syndication.

    Thank you so much for this awesome post.

  2. Stevie Smith April 22, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    It sounds to be an effortless way to syndicate… And you are in the go of explaining it well to us. I hope many bloggers will read this because it’s one way of extending a community of bloggers worldwide.. Thank you for sharing! And I will 🙂
    Stevie Smith recently posted..Are You Satisfied With Where Your Website Currently Ranks?My Profile

  3. Brian D. Hawkins April 19, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I get way behind Donna, in fact I stay that way, but this is the doorway to the blogging community. I love the idea of bringing readers that comment into other areas and eventually the community as a whole grows very strong. Many blogging buddies of mine are also connected in a dozen or more social networks and I consider real friends.
    Brian D. Hawkins recently posted..Market Your Blog Within The Blogging CommunityMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      Isn’t it great Brian that we can make so many real friends by our go giving process?
      Our community grows strong and some stick into it and some fizzle out. What ever the reason, I still have strong connections to people I’ve met 2 years ago that had to leave the business for one reason or another. Then they come back yearning for more…

      We still remain friends and play catch-up and all is well!

      Thanks for your comment
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Leverage Your Blog ContentMy Profile

  4. Jack April 15, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Great comprehensive rules Donna! I’ve also observed syndication and content curation has become such an integral component of social media marketing now. I’m still a beginner in this sphere but I’m glad I’m following blogs like yours which are helping me add to my knowledge every day 🙂
    Jack recently posted..Aspirin For DogsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks Jack! Syndication is the key to organic growth for your blog. I have received many people in my “fold” because of a comment I may have written that resonated with them.

      When you syndicate someone, they appreciate it and will come into your fold (most of the time), If they don’t just go on to the next person.

      Good luck with your social media marketing,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Leverage Your Blog ContentMy Profile

  5. Akos Fintor April 12, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Very useful tips.
    It may seem overwhelming but when you brake it down into small baby steps (visiting 3 blogs a day) it sounds doable. Small action steps will add up….. I think that’s what compound effect is all about.


    • Donna Merrill April 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

      Absolutely Akos! Chuncking our time in our DMO is the key to get everything done. When it gets overwhelming, it is either time to make a new plan or hire help.
      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of TribesMy Profile

  6. Julie April 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Your points are really useful, the biggest part of the work begins really when the SEO stuff has set up and the content is ok. Social media marketing is truly one of the hardest ways to make an easy living, but it really works.
    Julie recently posted..Dental Implants For A Permanent Tooth AlternativeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 14, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Yes it is Julie, but it has to be part of our platform. In today’s market Social Media is a MUST!
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of TribesMy Profile

  7. William Earl Amis Jr III
    April 11, 2012 at 7:00 am #


    You have concord a huge hold up with most people on being organized and managing their own site. Yet, still share the love from the people who really leave usable content and hold conversations.

    Well done Donna, your one of our great coaches and I am proud to say so. Looking forward in you next article which I am sure will be useful.

    • Donna Merrill April 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

      Hi William, Thanks so much
      I wrote this as a special reminder to all the new people coming into the flock so to say. Many get confused, so I thought I would shoot out this post.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  8. tbaoo April 8, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    great stuff donna, i’m an example of what can happen. i’m here from a comment you kindly left at tbaoo and as i’m dipping my toes into tsa, i’ve placed a number of member blogs into my twitterfeed and commenting more than i’ve ever done before. guess what ? i’m getting more comments – great stuff i say 🙂
    tbaoo recently posted..a newer me than the old meMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      You will have success here at TSA.
      Also meet many friends and who knows? Maybe a Joint Venture or two.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  9. Dr. Bob Clarke April 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Donna you are a rockstar! This is such a great plan!

    I know you follow it, too because it shows in your success.
    I will do my best to follow it.

    Like you said, it has to be part of your DMO.
    Dr. Bob Clarke recently posted..The Fallacy of “Free”My Profile

  10. Oliver Tausend April 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    this is terrific advice. And no, it’s not too much work. If you love what you do, you will get a certain routine and become more and more effective at it – and still be authentic and personal. Some kind of syndication zen 😉

    I am on Pinterest and I certainly will have to dive a bit deeper into it. Nothing you can do half-heartedly, for sure.

    Thanks for sharing your insights and Happy Easter !


    • Donna Merrill April 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Thank you Oliver and a Happy Easter to you too!
      I do love what I do. And if any blogger is out there, they have to love it and reciprocate to their followers. Taking it a few steps above and beyond by pushing a few buttons takes only minutes, but those few minutes can make a world of difference in our relationships.

      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  11. Sylviane Nuccio April 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you so much for those reminders. I wish everyone was doing this.

    The other day over a conversation with Adrienne, I was complaining how some people which blog I visit on a regular basis, never do the same for me.

    I think that over time it can become disheartening. But, anyway, I like to think that my valuable content will attract the RIGHT kind of people in the end. I had myself neglected blog socializing and in a way I am still at the beginning of all this.

    Thanks so much for that, Donna and have a great day!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Stop Sabotaging Yourself Using 3 Steps That Work Like A CharmMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi Sylvaine, I know how you feel. It can be a bit frustrating, but staying on your path and commenting the way you do with so much value, will bring you new friends that want to follow YOU! It is true what you said that your valuable content will attract the RIGHT kind of people in the end.
      Thank you for stopping by
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  12. Willena Flewelling
    April 5, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    This one’s a keeper, Donna! My blog has suffered lately because of other stuff going on, and I haven’t been maintaining contact with my commenters. And social media? What’s that??? Time to get back on the rails and stay there, no matter what else is going on!

    Willena Flewelling

    • Donna Merrill April 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      Hi Willena,
      Social Media is an important part of your platform, especially today. If you notice the trends of marketing lately, you will see the big boys aka big companies trying to jump in on it.

      Your commenters are very important for you to keep in touch with. After all, they are your followers. So am I!
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  13. marquita herald
    April 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Great tips Donna! I reply to almost all comments, and I confess I really look forward to reading them. The other day a reader left a message sharing how much I’ve inspired him to make changes in his own life – that’s why we do this! On the other hand,when someone leaves a one-liner that’s obviously for the link, I won’t waste my time.
    marquita herald recently posted..Are You Sabotaging Your Personal Growth with Emotional Baggage?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 3:17 am #

      Marty, You are the Queen of Commenters my friend! You are always there giving us value not only with your blog, but with your comments and syndication. You are the poster gal for this blog!
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  14. Joyce Edwards April 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Hey Donna,
    This as a phenomenal post! I haven’t been that consistent on syndications but with your guide lines I am going to make it a daily practice. Thanks for your excellent guidance.

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 3:15 am #

      Hey Joyce, thanks for your kind words! Making it a daily practice makes it so much easier than keeping it for the last day and staying up all night syndication.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  15. Martin Casper April 4, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Donna, not only are you spot on, but you brought to bear what we should all emulate. Sometimes I get caught up in the speed of life and do not get my syndicating completed on a daily basis and it stacks up. We all need to be more consistent. I have a motto…”consistency and persistency”. That is a winning formula, coupled with being a “Go-Giver”.

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 3:12 am #

      Hi Martin,
      Yes, it can pile up and overwhelm us. But..doing a little each day keeps us on our toes with social media and also makes nice-nice with Google. Klout is another endeavor I just jumped into. People kept asking me “what’s your Klout score?” What the heck is that? So I jumped in a week ago and it is looking good and also helps me track who is reading my social networks.
      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  16. Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca April 4, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    This is brilliant, Donna, and you’ve outlined some excellent tips.

    This seems very recommended for beginning blogs, but would you give the same advice to Brian Clark? CopyBlogger has 150,000+ subscribers and hundreds of comments on daily posts.

    There’s only so many moments in a day, doesn’t seem scalable. Even my commenting tips, although they help people, is not something that could apply for everyone across the board, it’d get to be too much.

    Industry leaders always have more followers than they can personally, individually acknowledge, but rockstars and celebs like Kim Kardashian find ways to acknowledge them personally and meaningfully as a group 🙂

    Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca recently posted..Unleash Your KnowingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 2:56 am #

      Jason, when it comes to thousands of followers flowing into my blog, I would have to hire someone that is an excellent writer to do it for me. Until then, my fingers fly through the board. I do enjoy reading blogs because it gets me closer to people and also I get to gel with some and make good friends, Joint Venture, etc!
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  17. Carol Lynn April 4, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Boy, I wish everyone followed this advice! I also wish I could clone myself into enough people to be able to visit/comment on/share every blog that looks interesting! It’s definitely a daily thing but that’s how you get to know people and build those social circles everyone is always talking about!

    I find that if I subscribe via RSS, I can follow people better. I have my 1-2 hour time-slot every night when I read all the stuff in my feed and bookmark the ones I need to go back to and comment on. Right now I’m stuck doing this on my phone but I’m waiting patiently for my new ipad 🙂

    There’s a cool app I use called Instapaper which is basically a bookmarking app, but it is super easy to bookmark and group stuff, plus it strips out all the formatting and junk on the page so all you have is the text of the article. That makes it really easy to read on a phone and not get distracted.

    Ok, that’s my 22 cents… Donna, this is a list I have to print and tack on the wall next to my desk because no matter what good intentions I have, sometimes the day goes by and I don’t do the things I wanted to. This is a handy checklist to make sure I’m on track! Thanks for being so clear and thorough!
    Carol Lynn recently posted..Mobile Matters: The Stunning Statistics That Should Convince You To Make Your Website Mobile Friendly (With Tips For How To Do It)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 2:54 am #

      Hi Carol Lynn, I know exactly what you mean. I was spending more time syndicating than developing my product and learning new curves in the market.
      Now I developed my DMO and Do syndication just a certain amount of time per day. This is starting to work well with all the things that need my attention. I used to feel overwhelmed, but now I take things in stride and it is working for me.
      Thanks for your awesome comment,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  18. Lani - Aloha April 4, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Aloha Donna, nice post and I agree reciprocity is a good way to interact with people. I hear at times, some folks say they are too busy to respond to comments or entries, but yet they took the time to write a post and place it everywhere. Also, I do like the fact that you mentioned to spread out posting your blog information thru the week, so the search engines picks up your entries separately.

    I am glad I came by and thanks for sharing! Lani 🙂
    Lani – Aloha recently posted..Creating A New Image For Your Facebook Timeline PageMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 2:47 am #

      Hey Lani, Yes, don’t do all your comments in one day. Spread it out and Google will love you, so will Klout. You are a great commentor and also a great syndicator. Just go for it each day in a certain amount of time and people appreciate it.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  19. Tony Peacock April 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Hi Donna, Thats some good advice. Being a newbie in blogging and social media stuff I am trying to get my head around it all. Its a bit overwhelming sometimes when there is so much to do. I will do my best to be a good and practising syndicator. I like the idea of giving. Its granting that person the good you seem in them before you have even got anything back. Best, Tony

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 2:45 am #

      It is a go-giving economy my friend. The more we give, the more people will see that you have good content on your blog. You WILL get return visitors if you are writing “answers to peoples questions” also giving good comments.
      When you hit up a blog, go for all the syndication buttons. It only takes a few minutes. That person will most likely to reciprocate and thee you go….you are on your way to the social media world.

      Just give it a certain amount of time a week and by the end of the week, watch your blog grow.

      The only thing I could give advice to you is NEVER sell …don’t push, people won’t comment on that stuff. -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  20. Christi Johnson April 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Donna….a few years ago when I was trying to figure out how people got traffic to their blogs, I was so confused. I would be social sometimes, and sometimes not so much. I never understood the connection between socializing and activity on my site.

    Now I do. I just wish it had not taken me so long to get a clue. Thanks for sharing this with people who may not understand all of the connections between being social and getting that initial surge of traffic. Great work, lady!

  21. Damayanthi April 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you for all your tips. This is a real wake-up call for me to be consistent in syndicating content. I know the importance but hey… never thought to make it a part of my Daily method of operation.

    Damayanthi recently posted..How to win friends and influence people [My Notes] Part 2My Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 2:41 am #

      If you do make it pat of your DMO, you will find that you can take part of social media that will boost up your Google and Klout ratings. It just takes a little bit each day and you will find at the end of the week, you will have so much traffic to your blog. It with in turn, give you social proof and also brand you.
      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  22. Shelley Alexander April 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Donna, I really appreciate this excellent information on the rules of syndication. I have been blogging for about 6 months and I have really learned how important syndication of other blogger’s content is. I enjoy sharing other bloggers content with my audience because they bring a unique point of view that provides enriching content that I may not have considered or covered on my blog. I have learned alot of valuable information from other blogs that have helped me in my business. I also enjoy the friendships that have been created from this syndication and the support that other bloggers have provided to my blog. Thanks for the post!
    Shelley Alexander recently posted..Yogurt Carob Apple Almond ParfaitMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 2:37 am #

      Hey Shelley, You are doing so good for such a short time blogging. You “get it” I also enjoy reading other blogs because of the learning curve. It always keeps me posted in the new trends. The information is always valuable to me. I too enjoy the friendships and Joint Ventures I have made along the way.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  23. Ken Pickard April 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm #


    You had me at syndication. You know I love this stuff and it absolutely works!

    I love seeing how people can leverage each others social circles for mutual benefit and everyone wins. When the law of reciprocity kicks it look out!

    I have always appreciate you for picking up this cause and really showing others how its done!

    Ken Pickard
    The Network Dad
    Ken Pickard recently posted..Pinterest Traffic – Blog Roll StyleMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 5, 2012 at 2:36 am #

      Thanks Ken, You know me…a little OCD about my syndication technique. But, on the upside, I get so many people coming into my “fold” just by my syndication method.
      Also, I find on many tribes that people don’t get it unless you hold their hand. Ergo, this post was inspired by those who need that extra boost!
      Thanks for visiting, it is much appreciated,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  24. Ashley Porter April 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Great tips Donna…I have wondered about the time it takes to do all this but you make a good point about the 3 blogs/day over a week versus 10 in one day.

    It’s always a good idea to share and connect with others this way. What a good way to spread the knowledge that others provide in addition to your own.

    Take care,
    Ashley Porter recently posted..How To Attract MoneyMy Profile

  25. Adrienne
    April 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    It absolutely does work Donna, way to go.

    You are SO right and it really doesn’t take that much time. I mean seriously, think of the wonderful relationships you can build along the way. To me that’s really the added bonus here.

    I do believe you have something going my friend. I do hope that everyone takes your advice and follows this outline consistently. They will be so pleasantly surprised to see their results. Oh yeah…

    Great tips Donna….simple, easy to follow and well worth the time.

    Have a blessed week! Off for more commenting. 🙂

    Adrienne recently posted..2012 Is The Year Of No ExcusesMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      Adrienne, There are only a few seasoned people that have learned from a tribe like you, the proper way to syndicate. When I visit a great blog and see that there are short comments or just a matter of pressing a retweet button, it is awful to see.

      There is no sharing and building relationships and that is to me, the best part of it all.

      It is so easy to do when you set a certain time for it and stick to the ways to do it.

      Thanks for your comment,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  26. Nicky April 3, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Super tips Donna and I agree completelely – the law of reciprocity in action is just part of our human nature and I love it.

    It’s a shame that more people don’t understand how powerful this can be as a traffic building exercise which then leads to leads and sign ups – Many people think that it is too time consuming to do this, but when combined with the power of facebook, I have found this to be a very effective way of generating more traffic and leads. I use http://e.ggtimer.com to help me allocate no more than an hour for facebook and blog commenting and it really helps to keep you focused when you know the little clock timer is ticking away.

    Great post Donna, and of course I will be sharing 😉
    Nicky recently posted..Setting Up a Blog is Easy When You Know HowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      Hi Nicki, Using a timer is a great idea. We can get all caught up in syndication. I know, it happens to me so many times. But as I get into the structure, I can lessen my time.

      Also, It takes a while to read a post and give a good comment. But it is so easy to syndicate with all the share buttons on someone’s post – so why not?

      A while ago I wrote about comments and the benefits of leaving good ones, like you do my friend.

      Thanks Nicki,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

  27. Nora Amala April 3, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Thank you very much for your useful information. I learned much reading your article. You go much further than I thought of. Thanks.
    Nora Amala recently posted..Pregnancy and Childbirth: Embracing TransformationMy Profile

  28. Sonia April 3, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    This is perfect and what every blogger should be doing. It’s an excellent opportunity to build your community and meet new bloggers. I have been apart of a group where we get to do just what you described and my traffic has doubled in over the last 6 months because of it.

    Not only that, I have meet and learned allot from some experienced bloggers that have taught me a tremendous amount of information I wouldn’t have been able to learn on my own.

    Maybe in time, but trying do this alone is daunting and its one reason why allot of bloggers give up. Having that added support is powerful and collaborating together is priceless. I can’t stop thanking the bloggers I have learned from enough in how much I appreciate what they have done for me. Great post Donna!
    Sonia recently posted..The Holy Grail Of Praise-Worthy Comments [Part 2]My Profile

    • Donna Merrill April 3, 2012 at 5:13 am #

      You Bet Sonia! I learn so much from bloggers too. The total aspect of syndication brings so much to us when we do it well. I have been in several tribes for a while where we syndicate each other.
      It is a commitment. But it is one I enjoy. I learn and can make friends and great opportunities by totally syndicating them.
      Thanks for visiting,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..9 Rules Of SyndicationMy Profile

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