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5 Steps You Must Take to Get Your Content as Recommended Reading on Premium Publisher Sites

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March 19,2014

By Sarah Ware, Markerly

You can probably recall the last time you were on a site and saw articles recommended for you to read. Most major publishers recommended content - from CNN to Huffington Post to Perez Hilton.

This content can be yours! What many people don’t realize is that these recommended readings are sometimes advertisements. With display ads dwindling in price and demand, publishers have quickly and quietly embraced a new way of generating revenue that complements their readers' experience.


Content discovery networks, otherwise known in the industry as discovery networks, is the term that is used to describe the platform where you buy advertising space on premium publishers to place your article as recommended reading. Discovery networks are a win/win/win for a few reasons. Most importantly it’s a form of native advertising that adds value to readers and attracts interested readers to your articles/websites.

With brands increasingly creating more and more content discovery networks have provided ways for you to attract more readership and awareness to get more value out of your content-creation efforts.

Here are 5 steps you must take to use discovery networks and get your content distributed as recommended reading.

1) Decide what you want to advertise as recommended reading.

Is it a blog post, an article written about your business, or a press release? Any URL that contains quality content can be submitted to be advertised through discovery networks.

2) Pick a discovery network.

There are many that exist, and they all have different exclusive relationships with publishers. Different discovery networks have different relationships with different publishers. We have worked with every discovery network and have found that results with target market and quality of clicks really depend vertical to vertical. Some of our favorites are Zemanta, nRelate, Disqus and Outbrain.

3) A/B different photos and titles for the recommended reading.

Just like any type of advertising you’ll want to A/B some different photos and titles for the recommended reading. Come up with a few different ones to test to see how the performance varies.

4) Start your bidding!

Discovery networks work on a bidding system. You enter in how much you are willing to spend for each click and when an opening comes up on a publisher site for that price you’ll be placed there. The process is immediate so basically the discovery network platform bids all day on your behalf. If you wanted to bid 5 cents per click at $10,000 it will take you a long time to fulfill at that price. If you wanted to bid 75 cents per click at $10,000 total spend your clicks will be fulfilled quickly.

5) Analyze your traffic sources.

Once the bidding begins you’ll receive a report on where the clicks are coming from including the publisher names. This will help you decide which photos/titles to keep to optimize your campaign to it’s fullest potential.


6) Use a full-service platform.

If you don’t want to go through the process of managing bidding and optimization you can use a full service platform. Markerly’s content amplification allows you to enter in the amount you’d like to spend and the rest is auto-optimized and fully managed for you. This also allows for your content to be distributed across all premium publisher since the bidding takes place across all of the discovery networks and not just one.

Discovery networks are the best way to drive more traffic to your content. With content at the top of every brands mind, driving traffic to the content should be the next question. Happy readings!


Sarah Ware is the co-founder and chief executive of Markerly, an influencer marketing platform that advertises branded content to over 300 million people a month. Sarah is also a guest contributor to Forbes. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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Google+ profile of Sarah Ware, Markerly

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