Hi everyone! I just got notified about a launch for the Syndication Rockstar WordPress plugin. The date I’m writing this is actually January 26th but it launches January 31st according to the launch details – but I’ve found evidence it was already out there for some people. I swear it gets confusing about when something is officially NEW.
I know that I’m going to be bombarded with questions about it so I’m going to go ahead and clue you in on it and schedule this for launch day because I know when the marketers email out, you’re going to email me asking if it’s worth it, etc.
Syndication is when your content gets spread across a series of networks online, generally linking back to you. News entities do this all the time. Kind of like the Associated Press – they write an article and news site pick it up and credit the AP.
Well Syndication Rockstar is a paid plugin that you download to your blog that helps spread your content – in a spun manner – to other networks, building backlinks for you.
Sean Donahue did a tutorial video that walks you through it. What you do is create a blog post and on the sidebar of the post before you publish, you’ll select “Syndicate post,” (so it doesn’t automatically do it for every post – only the ones you want it to). Then you can select Auto Post so that it does it for you – and then “Spin each syndicated post” is another option.
In the video tutorial, Sean first just chooses to syndicate it only. Then when you hit publish, it brings you to the spin and syndicate area. You can enable automatic spinning and enable paragraph spinning. It looks like it makes him split up his paragraphs again (like after publishing, it puts it all in one big paragraph).
The system supports two different spinners – The Best Spinner and Spinner Chief. I’ve never used either – I always used Magic Article Rewriter when I tested out spinning.
You choose your anchor text (and you can have more than one). You give it an anchor URL. It’ll be autofilled with your post URL. At the bottom, you can check or uncheck all of the accounts where they go syndicate (post) the content to. They’re sites like Blogger, Live Journal, WordPress, Tumblr, OnlyWire, TypePad, Multiply, etc. When you first set up your accounts, it has a test button so you can make sure everything’s working right.
Before you hit the Submit Post option, you want to go to the Syntax tab so that it will spin the content first. If you don’t do that, it will send your original article out there!
When you see the results that the spin tool did, make sure you remove any extra spaces between paragraphs. Also, he didn’t do this in the tutorial video thoroughly, but I’m a BIG believer that IF you spin content, you never ever rely on the common sense of the spinner tool – you go through and ensure that every option it gives will make sense. This is representing you online, you know – never allow anything to publish crap pointing to you.
You can go to the Preview tab to read it and see if it makes sense. I like that feature! Now if you’re not happy, that middle tab will have turned from Syntax to Respin, so you can respin it and then re-preview it to see if it makes more sense before you submit it.
Here’s a feature I also like – they stamp your original article with Google Authorship. So if you hadn’t had that set up, and this is where your picture shows up beside your blog entry in Google (drawing more eyes), then this is a perk. Sean says they do this because it shows original ownership to you and tells Google that everything else is a syndicated version.
There’s a submission history area where you can see where all you’ve had things published.
He answers the question about whether or not syndicated content is a problem. I’ve been over this a zillion times – there is no Google penalty for duplicate content, out of their own mouths – but regardless, this is spun anyway. Press releases, news sites – all authorities.
Now the tool says it has web 2.0 syndication (which is what he shows us as the example), Email syndication (which confused the heck out of me because it wasn’t explained), and XMLRPC Syndication (another thing not explained).
Sean says it even works with autoblogs. Ugh. I hate the idea of a total hands off blogging approach. Maybe it’s because I love the community that a blog provides and you can’t be present if everything’s automated.
Am I going to buy and use this tool? Probably not. Not because it doesn’t serve a purpose. But I feel that for ME, it will be a time hog – because I’m the type of person who would have to basically write a completely new article to be happy anyway, so I’d be going through the syntax with a fine toothed comb. And I just don’t feel the NEED to go building backlinks. I don’t know why – I feel like content being good on a blog attracts people.
But if I had a stagnant blog and my content was good and I wasn’t seeing the love from search engines, then I might try a tool out like this. I think it has its place among the IM tool arsenal if used right. Sean does say that Syndication Rockstar is “as powerful or as simple as you want.”
I think that’s key right there. IF you’re going to invest in this, don’t take the simple, hands off approach. Take care of your brand with kid gloves. If you buy it and use it, make it a powerful tool that helps build your brand. Many tools are this way – can be used in a spammy sense or a powerful sense. It’s all up to the person using it.
They claim it will boost traffic and boost rankings. I think that all depends on how ethically you use it. He says it will be an SEO “game changer.” I know that the spammy marketers are going to email out their “frothing at the mouth” emails making you think that if you don’t have this, you might as well pack it up and move along. I can hear it now (and you should see the swipe emails we were given)! But calm down and think about it from a common sense perspective.
It’s not a do or die situation. It’s a tool. If you feel it can benefit you, get it and use it thoroughly. Test it out. Track whether or not it improves traffic. Deep breath! If you feel you’d buy it and never use it because you’re lazy, like me, then don’t plunk down the bucks. Because for sure then it would never be a game changer, right? Ignore the hype and think clearly and make a good business decision.
You’ll be hearing a lot about this. They’re masters at launches and anything “rockstar” instantly makes it a cool kids club that everyone wants to be part of. That doesn’t mean it’s spammy. It can be used for good – and spam. Use it the right way