The SONAR Content Distribution Method

If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything. You just have to be noticed, but the art is in getting noticed naturally, without screaming or without tricks.” – Leo Burnett

Synchronization of your content distribution channels – via online media, PR, and SEM (search engine marketing) – will help maximize and monetize your website traffic.

For any online business, a list of potential customers is your most precious possession and your ticket to selling your products. That’s why two of the first things you need to do is build your e-list and create buzz about whatever it is that you’re selling.

Building an e-list from nothing can be challenging, but the proven method I’m about to explain can help drive traffic to your website and increase your “visibility” on the Web… which, in turn, helps you add hundreds, even thousands, of new prospective customers to your list.

The Internet offers dozens of ways to get your name and ideas out to people who will want to be added to your e-list. You can use pay-per-click ads on Google, you can send out press releases about your latest offers, you can form partnerships with e-letter publishers who write on a subject related to your product line, you can conduct targeted media buys for banner or other display ads, you can optimize your site to get it ranked higher in the major search engines… and much more.

For a new online business, some of these methods are just too expensive to be worthwhile. But one of the best ways to get the attention of as many people as possible – at low or no cost – is to combine some of your marketing efforts into a single, synchronized campaign. And the method I’m about to describe is especially effective for launching a new site and helping an unknown site build traffic quickly.

You see, if you have a website or e-zine, you have editorial content. And by simply distributing this content – in a synchronized manner – to various Internet channels, you can increase your Web presence, grow your database of prospective customers, and create additional sales.

For instance, if you have an article in your e-zine that will be focusing on, let’s say, the latest data and forecast on Widgets, you can repurpose it and distribute it at the same time that article is published in your e-zine (and this is critical) via:

  • Content syndication networks and syndication partners
  • Online press releases
  • Excerpts uploaded to social communities
  • Article directories and similar websites that allow content submission
  • Relevant, useful messages posted in related blogs, forums, and bulletin boards

I like to call this technique of leveraging these five combined channels the SONAR Content Distribution Method. Here’s how to do it…

S = Syndicate partners and syndication networks

Many websites encourage article submissions from third parties. One example: a financial site called For additional sites that accept article submissions, search the Web for “content syndication networks” or “article submission websites” (related to your specialty). One content syndication network to consider:

O = Online press releases

Press releases are often used to get the word out about an important event, but did you ever think you could leverage your editorial content with this medium? Well, you can. Articles from your e-zine can be repurposed to have a press release feel. The most important requirement is for the release to be newsworthy, featuring the latest research data, a forecast, a product breakthrough, a contrarian viewpoint – anything that would be of interest to readers and media professionals. There are several low-cost and free sites that will help you get the most bang for your PR buck.

N = Network communities

Social networks and communities have become a popular way to syndicate content, create buzz, and drive traffic to a website. Communities like and allow you to upload headlines or snippets of editorial that might get the attention of your prospective customers.

For instance, Alexis Siemon, ETR’s Search Engine Marketing Specialist, might come up with a compelling headline and/or a short description of an article in or (ETR’s new alternative health website), and post it on one of those communities. The headline would then be hyperlinked back to the original article. The idea is to make the headlines and descriptions as appealing as possible so more people will click on them. The more people click, the more popular the headline becomes… which leads to even more people clicking on it. This creates interest, buzz, and a potential viral effect.

A = Article directories

If you have a daily or weekly e-zine, sites such as and allow you to upload your articles to them practically verbatim. Not only does this help with SEO (search engine optimization), but you never know who will be reading those articles and want to republish/syndicate your content on their own sites.

R = Relevant posts to blogs, forums, and bulletin boards

Social networking, online communities, forums, and bulletin boards that encourage reader participation are some of the fastest-growing marketing media online today. And posting on blogs and forums can be a powerful way to increase your market presence, assist in your SEO efforts, and drive traffic to your website.

According to the April 2007 State of the Blogosphere report, there are over 70 million blogs. That’s a mountain of potential customers just waiting to hear what you have to offer. But before you dig in and post your first comments on a blog or forum, you need to know the rules.

For openers, make sure that your posts are relevant, genuine, and serve some purpose for the forum’s readers. A post that says “Blogger231 was right on the money with his observation” does not fit the bill. Nor does a post that merely states your marketing message (and that type of post can get you kicked off many forums). Instead, you want to post a comment that is pertinent to whatever the forum topic is.

For example, if it’s a financial forum about gold stocks, you may want to post your personal opinion about the future of gold prices. Then, subtly mention a great article you read (an article from your website, of course) that substantiates your point, and include the URL so readers can access the article themselves.

Your post should be cohesive, engaging, and encourage response. It also helps your credibility (and that of your message) if you frequent the forum regularly and are an active member… not a random “hit and run” poster. If you do a “hit and run,” your hidden motive will become as transparent as cellophane. You will likely be labeled a fake, and no one will pay attention to what you’re saying. Worse, your comments could be labeled spam and banned from the forum. So try to visit several times a week to respond to other people’s posts and interact with fellow members.

Before you try the SONAR Content Distribution Method, make sure you understand this critical point: Synchronization is key. You should distribute content to all five of these channels at the same time. By pummeling the Internet from five directions at once, your company’s name and ideas will suddenly be in multiple places and create an online “snowball” effect.

This synchronized technique helped increase traffic ranking and visits to ETR’s new health website,, by 3,160 percent and 81.5 percent, respectively, in only three months. And in four months, we were able to increase traffic to our website by nearly 80 percent, and increase its traffic ranking by nearly 150 percent. Plus, we were able to monetize IDE’s new traffic and get an ROI of 221 percent.

Just think how much new traffic you could drive to your site by applying the SONAR Content Distribution Method to your marketing efforts.

[Ed. Note: Wendy Montes de Oca is ETR’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. She is a core contributor to our new Internet business-building program, which gives you an all-inclusive, A-to-Z blueprint for starting your own powerhouse Internet business – from learning how to pick a product and set up a website to discovering copywriting secrets from the masters, techniques to help you create an e-mail list, the best ways to market your product, and more. Our hotlist has first access to the 250 spots we’ve opened up for this breakthrough program, but keep reading ETR to take immediate action when and if we have any spots left.]