Warning: This website could waste hours of your time…

It doesn’t happen often but sometimes you see something that you like so much for just feel compelled to share it.

I was sat on my sofa watching TV (Dara O’Brien’s Science Club – probably only known to UK audiences) and they mentioned this website:


Instructions for use are self explanatory really: Just use your left and right keyboard buttons to go smaller or larger and also click on the various objects for more information.

I guess you could say this REALLY puts things into perspective!

Q: Er…Rob, How exactly is this connected with online marketing?

Well yes, um… good question!

The honest truth is I love it so much I couldn’t help but share it with you.

And that’s the exact marketing lesson to be learned here.

If you create something that is relevant, useful, interesting or just basically highly valued then people will want to share it with their audiences.

The posh term for this is Content Syndication or in more plain English, “Creating content and getting it put in front of other people’s audiences”

So what’s happened here is:

1) Someone built a website about the scale of the universe
2) A top rated BBC prime time science show that goes out to millions of viewers featured it
3) Some of the viewers go to the site (like me)
4) Some of the site visitors like it (also like me!) and share it with their audiences

This is viral marketing in action – I wonder what would have happened if they had put a Facebook Like button on the page?

Q: How can you use Content Syndication to get traffic?

Of course, you don’t need to put in the kind of time that it would take to create something as great as this.

To use Content Syndication as a free traffic method you just need to create a small piece of high quality content for you niche. Stuff like:

  • An article
  • A video
  • An audio interview with an expert
  • A little software app (A good idea plus a couple of hundred dollars spent on a oDesk/Elance developer can product amazing results)
  • Ever other people’s content that you haven’t created (Er… maybe like the website in this post?!)

Then get this content out there so it is seen by other people’s audiences in your niche. For example, myself and my clients have generated a lot of traffic from all of the following:

  • Ask large Facebook groups to share it with their followers (surprisingly effective this one)
  • Get it published on high traffic blogs (a.k.a Guest Posting)
  • Suggest to other marketers that they can use it as a bonus/upsell for their products
  • Explain the information yourself by being interviewed on a podcast/interview show
  • Help A Reporter Out (HARO) by offering to contribute a quote or content to an article/column
  • Get it featured in a membership site
  • Speak about it or hand it out (with permission!) at a live event or local meetup.com

Of course, the trick is you always have a link back to your site (blog or squeeze page) when doing this – that’s how you get the traffic.

Even though I love joint ventures, affiliates, paid traffic, product library websites, I still use Content Syndication as a traffic method because:

a) It just works
b) It’s “free” (well at least it only costs you time rather than money)
c) It’s evergreen (It’s been around for decades, well before the internet and will never stop working in the future)

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And hey, if you liked this and feel like generating a little viral marketing yourself please do feel free to Tweet/Like this 😉 Drop a comment below… Cheers, Rob 

30 Responses to Warning: This website could waste hours of your time…

  1. Graham Bray August 23, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    An absolutely awesome video – I meant to watch the programme last night, but got too immersed in decorating. Good link to marketing – I’m continually producing online science videos, but trying to find reliable markets is such a mare!

    • Rob August 23, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks for the feedback Graham. I saw a stand in a shopping area the other day selling extra tuition courses to parents for their kids. It’s a big market there. I’m sure you can find the right online angle! Cheers, Rob

  2. Anthony Lindan August 23, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Hi Rob,
    Thanks for sharing this. Very cool. My brain hurts!

    • Rob August 23, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      I know what you mean Anthony! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  3. Melvyn August 23, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Brilliant website! I could spend a lot of free!!! time on this…But the analogy with Traffic is very good and worth following (as is most of your advice)
    best wishes

    • Rob August 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Great stuff Melvyn, thanks for your feedback 🙂 Cheers, Rob

  4. Colin B August 23, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    He is a crummy comedian and so full of his own importance that he has ruined the last 2 astronomy programmes continually interrupting real experts. Why the BBC use him for such programmes, goodness knows. Just their obsession with the pits of the comedy world, ( Brand Ross Boyle etc)
    I turned off his first of this current science series when he didn’t have the nerve to take part in an experiment by one of his contributors.


    You have used the programme to give a brilliant insight into viral marketing and I thank you for suffering on our behalf to bring the techniques of doing so to us in such a clear way as always


    • Rob August 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Glad you used the “HOWEVER” there, I was getting worried! Always good to hear your view Colin. Cheers, Rob

  5. Chris August 23, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Hi Rob,
    Damn you, – in the nicest possible way of course!
    Totally no-productive but extremely fascinating.
    Thank you for sharing and for the ‘lesson’.

    • Rob August 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Haha – I know what you mean. Had to tear myself away from it too. Will be back on it later though I’m sure 🙂 Cheers, Rob

  6. Mike Hardy August 23, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    You certainly find them Rob!! Absolutely fascinating piece of graphics. I’d love being a ‘quantum foam’ as nobody would see you!
    Being new to IM, the term Content Syndication is something I have heard but not yet examined. There is so much to learn in this business.
    Another day.
    Thanks Rob for sharing this with us as it all food for thought.

    • Rob August 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Hi Mike, There is a lot to learn but basically it boils down to having something of value to sell. Then getting people to view the webpage where it is for sale. All the tips and tricks are great but important never to lose sight of that. Glad you enjoyed the share! Kind regards, Rob.

  7. Bill August 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Excellent post and thank you for sharing the website (I will show it to my kids, too).

    • Rob August 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Ah excellent Bill – very educational for them I’m sure 🙂 Cheers, Rob

  8. igor Griffiths August 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Well hello Rob

    Have not seen the latest episode yet, been on night shift this week but you make a valid point about marketing.

    As marketers we are naturally inquisitive and thus content to share can be anything that triggers our curiosity and not always tightly related to marketing.

    From such random irrelevant pieces of information great ideas are born


    • Rob December 24, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      Absolutely Igor!

      Thanks for your comment and always great to see you here on the blog 🙂



  9. Daryl August 24, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Thanks for the great post Rob, it takes awesomeness to the next level just like SpyBar:-)

    • Rob August 24, 2013 at 6:56 am #

      You are very kind Daryl – thanks for commenting and glad you enjoyed this one! cheers, Rob 🙂

  10. Sha August 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Amazing!! I love this! 🙂

    • Rob August 25, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Great stuff Sha – glad you like it too 🙂 Kind regards, Rob

  11. Samuel Heins August 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Thanks Rob for this great lesson on viral web traffic and Content Syndication. This sounds very effective in getting quality and targeted traffic. I love free traffic strategies.

    • Rob August 25, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      My pleasure Samuel and great to see you here on the blog. Like I said I couldn’t help but share it with you and glad you found the traffic strategies useful as well! Cheers, Rob

  12. Kevin August 25, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I see what you mean Rob.

    This is the sort of web-site that, like a media “black hole”, could suck me in and keep me there for hours….best avoided when busy…..



    • Rob August 26, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      My feelings exactly Kevin! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂 Cheers, Rob

  13. Kati August 26, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Hi Rob, thanks this is a fantastic piece if marketing. In fact, I am on holiday in France at the mo and the plan is to just be, not do any work, for a week… but will check through the freebies anyway as am quite tempted to get the product!

    Do you have it (haven’t read through all comments so may have missed if you said you bought it)?

    Cheers from the sunny Atlantic coast


    • Rob August 27, 2013 at 6:53 am #

      Hi Kati, There’s nothing to buy here – just a free site that’s pretty interesting! Enjoy your time away and take a closer look when you have a chance 🙂 Cheers, Rob

  14. daz December 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    i will be joining your membership site in january looks good all fact no fluff cheers next years my year hope we can meet up one day

    • Rob December 24, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      Hi Daz,

      That’s great to hear and good to see you here on the blog too – thank you for your comment 🙂

      Cheers, Rob.

  15. Halfnium December 24, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    Sorry, no further interest in science, mathematics, logic, virtue or piety here on the Left Side of the Pond. It’s all Kardashian, all the time, 24/7.

    Damn, but I miss the Enlightenment. Those were the good old days!

    • Rob December 24, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Haha – A sign of things to come here on the right side of the pond then I presume?

      Thanks for your comment Halfnium 🙂

      Cheers, Rob.

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