Creating Satellite Sites To Drive Traffic To Your Blog

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NASA International Space Station

Image by ‘NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’

You may be wondering what ‘satellite sites’ are? Well, in short, they are websites that in many ways ‘orbit’ your main site just like a satellite. They are usually free places where you put additional information that drives traffic to your main site, giving you backlinks in the process.

Social Media networks like Facebook and Google+ can be considered as satellite sites, however there are lots more than you realise. They really have one job, which is to promote your content and website to more people and point them in the direction of your main blog.

So, why do we use them? Well, because they are free! Let’s say you had the opportunity to have several free billboards around town to advertising your business, would you use them? Of course you would!

WordPress.com, Blogger.com, YouTube.com, Hubpages.com, Squidoo.com, Tumblr.com, Facebook.com & Twitter.com are just some of the different types of satellite sites used by many marketers. There are many more places online that you can use to share your content.

What To Put On These Satellite Sites?

Well, let’s begin by talking about what NOT to put on these satellite sites. You don’t place duplicate content on a site! This includes content from other blogs and of course your own blog. Duplicate content only ends up harming your SEO ranking, and since the main aim of satellite sites is to drive traffic to your main blog, it would be counter productive to copy your own content.

You can however turn your old blog posts in to things like; free reports, eBooks, PDFs, slide-show presentations, etc. and use them on your satellite sites.

One example that you could use would be to uploaded them to a file sharing site in order for;

A) People in that network to find your reports/presentations and hopefully be motivated to visit your site. These sites can have large amounts of visitors.

B) Share your content and increase the viral nature of it.

C) Have your content appear in the search engines because of the strength of the site it is on.

A recent report that I made from old blog posts was viewed and Tweeted over 300 times after I shared it on SlideShare.net. It cost me nothing and had 300 Tweets that I wouldn’t have had, had I not uploaded it.

In many ways, you want to see your satellite sites to act as a web. You’re building a network around your main blog where you place interesting content on your satellite sites to catch people and then funnel them to your main blog. To build this network, you use a variety of places that are free, places where you can upload videos, places where you write posts, places where you share reports or places where you can share every format in the same place.

As an example, when I publish a new post on our blog, I copy a paragraph or two from the post (which I then re-write) and create a summary, which I then paste into our Tumblr satellite site with links back to the main post. If anyone reads the summary and decides to read more, they have to click through to the main site where all of our best stuff can be found. It cost me nothing but time, and as for time, it only takes several minutes. I do similar things on a Blogger and a WordPress hosted version of our site.

Make It Easier For Yourself

There can be some cost to this if you choose to ramp it up and pay for people to do some of the work. Opening up a Pixelpipe.com or Ping.fm account will give you an incredible system for sharing posts, photos and videos across a network of social networks, photo and video sites, blogs and storage sites. Pixelpipe.com and Ping.fm are media distribution services that are free to use.

Sites to use to drive traffic

To use Pixelpipe you will need to open up accounts and set up profiles for the sites that you want to share content to. It is best to create accounts with a profile and ‘bio’ information, make them look like you are a person and not some faceless marketer, which in all honesty is the best way to be and reduces the risk of Pixelpipe closing you down. Then when they are set up, using your mobile phone or computer, you use Pixelpipe to distribute you content to this network of sites.

This can seem like a lot of hard work setting up all these sites and profiles, but if you are happy to spend a few dollars there are people on Fiverr.com who will set up all the accounts you require and connect them to Pixelpipe for you. When finished they will send you a document with the login details.

Fiverr

As there are satellite sites that are not in the Pixelpipe system, you could outsource the distribution to these places and pay someone to share your pictures/videos and posts to those sites as well as uploading them to Pixelpipe.

Pixelpipe can send pictures to photo sharing sites like Flickr and Photobucket. Now, your business may not use a lot of photos, but people do search for pictures, and pictures in these sites can and do appear in Google’s search results. So, it would be a good idea to have a few photo albums filled with related images that have been modified to show your website address?

Maybe you could create some funny viral pictures or inspirational quotes with your web address at the bottom, that points back to your site. Using free art software like Paint or Paint.net (for PC, there are Mac equivalents) it is very easy to add your website URL to an image.

content for satellite sites

Again this could be something that you outsource, you will be amazed at what you can get done at sites like Fiverr.com, Gigbucks.com, Fourerr.com, Tenerr.com.

Pixelpipe

The idea for this is similar to the old method of article marketing, you create content on a network of sites, that also can go viral, all the time it gets you free traffic, and free backlinks. Paying someone to do the work might not be in your budget, but there are two ways to look at it.

Having one well written quality article could cost up to $30 from certain freelance sites. That one article can really only be used on one blog or article directory, otherwise Google will penalise you for duplicate content. To have the article re-written to be re-used across your satellite sites would cost you more.

How does the cost of that one article compare to spending $30 having images and videos shared to multiple sites? You could simply change the titles and file names, maybe make a video slightly longer or shorter and Google will not know that several images and several videos were the same.

The other thing to consider is, by not spending a few dollars to have your work posted around the web, could in the long run cost you more. It could lose you future potential income.

Imagine that you have a new blog and you paid $50 dollars to have promotional images, videos and reports posted around the web on your satellite sites. These pictures drive traffic to your site, giving you a healthy monthly visitor number. You could then sell advertising space at a rate higher than the price you paid to have the work done.

It might not send you thousands per day straight away, but your content and images dotted throughout the web on your free satellite sites is like filling a town full of free advertising posters. Over time, the more sites you have pointing to your site via images, videos, eBooks, etc. the more traffic you will drive to your main blog! Does that sound like something you might be interested in?

About Andi Leeman

Andi is part of Tim Lowe’s R&D team and writes for Tim's Minions, a fun based educational site covering all aspects of Internet Marketing & Social Media. You can learn more by following him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

  • Andi Leeman

    Excellent thank you Matt, the article looks really good live. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to write for you again.
    Regards
    Andi

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Andi! Thanks for submitting such an excellent article. I’m sure many people will learn a lot from reading this.

  • http://www.mobileapptycoon.com/ Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Hey Andi,

    Great post! This goes along great with Pat Flynn’s (from Smart Passive Income) strategy of “being everywhere.” One thing that I shy away from is using any content from my blog (even rewritten or spun) on another site like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. While these sites are important, I usually hire a writer to write short posts (even though they may not be as great of quality) to link back to my blog. However, I do make full use of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to spread yourself too thin and join every site on the web and try to promote your site – I prefer to stick with maybe 10 maximum and really focus on providing major value.

    I really like the tip on taking an image and adding text and the URL to your site – great potential to be shared! However, do make sure that you have permission from the photographer or the photo is in public domain before you use it and edit it.

    Thomas

    • Andi Leeman

      Hi Thomas, yes a very good point about the images. I should have mentioned that. I agree about spreading yourself out a bit thin which is why if you can get someone else to do some of the donkey work then that helps greatly. Being everywhere helps build a brand as long as the style and graphics stay congruent to the main site. Thank you for the great comments.

      Regards

      Andi

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  • mareiawillson

    I enjoy the end on getting a photo as well as introducing textual content plus the LINK on your web page : great likely to become propagated! Nonetheless, complete make certain you have agreement from the shooter or maybe the particular image is in open public domain prior to use it as well as alter that.