Syndicating Developer Content
One of the most common questions clients ask us about the developer-focused content we write is where they should publish and syndicate each piece of content.
Should the content be published on their blog first? Or published somewhere with more organic reach like Medium or Dev.to? Will publishing on third-party platforms hurt SEO rankings?
These are good questions, so in this piece, I’d like to shed some light on the best practices. I’ll give you a bit more context on why you should consider syndicating your technical content on third-party sites and how to do it so that you get the most long-term value out of each piece. Finally, I’ll share a list of highly trafficked websites that take guest submissions or syndication of developer content.
Why Syndicate Your Content?
Syndication - or the publication of your content on a third-party website - is a common practice in publishing, but I’ve found that many developer advocates and marketing professionals we work with don’t even think about doing it with technical content.
Some don’t realize it’s a viable option. Others don’t know what sites would be appropriate for this type of content. Some are afraid of negative repercussions in search engines.
If done correctly though, syndicating your developer content on the right sites can be a fantastic way to help get more eyes on it. In addition to promoting the piece, syndication allows you to build a reputation in existing communities of developers and can even improve your presence in search engines.
We do it for many of our pieces of content at Draft.dev and we recommend it to all our clients if they have the bandwidth to do it.
How to Syndicate Your Technical Content
The basic steps are straightforward, but like most things, there are some “gotchas” to watch for. In short, you should:
- Publish the piece on your own domain or blog first
- Wait 2-10 days (the more frequently Google crawls your site, the shorter you need to wait)
- Submit it to third party sites with a canonical URL pointing to the original piece
- Promote the new piece of content in addition to the original
If the platform you’re using doesn’t support canonical links, you can include a link to the original at the top of the syndicated article. While this isn’t as good as using a canonical link, it might lower the chance that Google ranks the syndicated piece higher than your original. That said, it’s not perfect, so if SEO is a major concern, you might want to skip syndication on platforms without a canonical URL option.
Where to Syndicate Developer Content
Finally, if you’re adopting a content syndication strategy, there are several great sites that allow you to re-publish technical content.
While Medium’s paywall policy is annoying for readers, it is still a great way to drive a larger audience to your content. The developer writing community on Medium is active around all topics and types of writing from tutorials to thought leadership.
Exclusively focused on technical content, Dev.to is a great community and syndication platform for developer content. You’ll find an audience for almost any developer-focused and developer-adjacent topic here.
While very similar to Dev.to, Hashnode is a bit more focused on the individual developer blogger. I don’t tend to get as much traffic from Hashnode as Dev.to and Medium, but it’s free and easy to publish there.
Cross Post App
This little web application will allow you to automatically syndicate blog posts (with a canonical link) to Medium, Dev.to, and Hashnode. Obviously, you can still create or edit the posts on each platform manually if you need to, but I find this saves me a ton of time.
Focused on DevOps and backend content, DZone is a great place to post or syndicate technical content. Their editors will review each piece, but they tend to be pretty fast. My pieces here tend to average 4,000+ pageviews each within a month of publication.
Hacker Noon is another great developer community that allows original and syndicated content. Their review process takes a week or two, but it’s probably a good thing because they tend to keep the quality high.
The New Stack
In addition to syndicating blog posts from your site, you might also want to publish some original content elsewhere. The New Stack is a great place to publish your content as either an occasional contributor or long-term sponsor.
Free Code Camp
Writing for Free Code Camp requires a bit more work, but they’ve got a great distribution network and domain rating. If one or more of your engineers can get in there as writers, it could be a great place to publish some content.
Writing great technical content is an important first step, but distribution is just as important. If you’re not putting your content out onto every channel possible, you’re wasting a lot of effort on content that people just aren’t seeing.
If you’ve got other places where you syndicate developer content, I’d love to add them to this list. Shoot me an email: [email protected].
Build a Blog that Software Developers Will Read
The Technical Content Manager’s Playbook is a collection of resources you can use to manage a high-quality, technical blog:
- A template for creating content briefs
- An Airtable publishing calendar
- A technical blogging style guide