Noj... I think that the points that you list above as 1, 2, 3, 4 are correct and a good analysis - a website with those assets has an enormous advantage using the "not syndicating your content. strategy".
Also, I agree that article syndication can be a fast and reliable way to get the first links into a new website (Case A). Or, to get any reasonable number of links into a website that does not have an knowledgeable and accomplished writer on its staff (Case B) .
CASE A: The problem that the new website will encounter is that some of the websites that republish the articles will be stronger than the new site and outrank it for important terms in the SERPs where it hopes to compete. Although this creates links it also invites strong competition.
CASE B: The website without an accomplished writer that relies on article syndication soon runs into a duplicate content problem if they are publishing the same articles that they syndicate. If they syndicate unique content, that requires two articles for each keyword that they desire SERPs for (one for their own site and one for syndication). So, I believe that it would be better to spend double the work on one high quality article for your own site than half the work on each of two low-quality articles that will not perform well.
Quality content is the key to success. If you are running a website about widgets then you need to know a lot about them to make the website a success. Your knowledge about that subject should be far above that of the visitors and reasonably above other owners of widget sites if you hope to compete against them.
That knowledge is what you can use to produce the content that will earn first-page-of-google rankings. If you can't earn those then you need a different subject for your website or an awareness that you will not be a serious competitor.
There are only ten positions on the first page of Google. If you can't earn one of them then your opportunity to earn a profit is low.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Most of the articles that I submit to social media don't work well... but a few get nice traction and attract links. I often save articles until something related to them has appeared in the news - then pubic awareness for the topic is high and the chance of success is increased. Also, I often do not submit an article because I think that it will not gain much interest. Then a visitor to my site will submit it and it will take off.
The bottom line is ... success there is hard to predict and thus risky. You can increase your chances of success by producing content that is better than anything else on the web in that niche. Sometimes it will win and sometimes it will be ignored - but if you have a site full of these and a little traffic then you will slowly accumulate links over time.
For examples: just visit slashdot or digg and see what's on the front page.
One more strategy... keep an eye on the news and on Google trends for topics related to your site. These are often emerging public interest areas where you can jump in early with great content and get a foothold before the established sites can respond. Or, you can use the recent "balloon boy" story as example of how to "manufacture news"... but don't get caught!
Last edited by EGOL; Oct 20th, 2009 at 06:43 AM.
* "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain
* "Free advice isn't worth much. Cheap advice is worth even less." EGOL