Should you focus primarily on one place for your content or let your words flow?
This has to be the most common question I have been asked over the past few months. Reposting blog content seems to be a popular conversation right now.
Let’s see if I can answer from my perspective the question of whether to post only for LinkedIn / Medium / Business2Community or even rely on that trusted place called your website.
The reason for reposting blog content
If you have something to say, you have more choices than ever. It doesn’t have to be in a section of your website called a “blog”. There are other sites ready to fly over a carpet full of crisps and raisins.
The crux of this whole argument comes down to one buzzword for this article, to reach.
The reason I have this conversation with others starts with “should I just post on LinkedIn / Medium” is because more people have the opportunity to see your point of view.
All ready to go
You might think that your website traffic is pretty lonely, whereas being visible to thousands of strangers can help build your brand and message. So far, so good. He asks the question, why have a website when you can post in a space that has a ready-made audience? Who needs the once grail of the ‘about us’ page when the rest of us don’t care?
Not only an out-of-the-box audience, but a fantastic interface. From desktop to mobile, it’s transparent on LinkedIn and Medium. It’s all there for you to dive in and the equivalent of someone else laying out beach towels and the drink is ready for you when you sit down on the padded lounge chair.
Why stay on your website when there is a much larger audience ready to consume what you create elsewhere that looks perfect on any device the content is consumed on?
Even Mitch Joel argues for the use of Facebook Notes, he comments in his recent article, “The End Of Blogging,” “What content creators now need to understand is this: what it doesn’t. is not just what your words say, but where they appear. “
It comes down to that word again, to reach.
The moment you score a hat-trick by posting on another platform is when the big guys recognize it. In the case of LinkedIn, it’s Pulse. A post that is picked up and then shared can create a tidal wave of traffic and comments.
From experience (and being recognized by Pulse), people came for the article on LinkedIn Pulse, they didn’t necessarily come for me. This is one of the reasons I am going to sit more comfortably in building a base that you own. The people who come are interested in you, not the social brand.
My response to “should I just focus on LinkedIn / Medium” is NO.
I still believe that you can build a base where the premium content is. Basically I’m trying to raise it from this word called blog.
You are not there for the masses
One thing to realize is that you cannot blog for a mass audience. If you do this, you are wasting your time completely. I define blogging for mass audiences to go for the proven routes, something that doesn’t hurt and fits with the “17 Ways to Get More Customers”.
My belief is that you should focus your efforts on both platforms (owner space and social space). You shouldn’t feel too insular to only have one place left.
Here’s why you should focus on your home base (website) first and on a social platform like tracking and improving distribution.
- Decide to publish your articles only on a social channel, ie. LinkedIn doesn’t help you with your own search engine ranking.
If you are found for something that you created elsewhere, they will get full credit. It is quite logical.
If you post cross-posts, they’re more likely to go viral on LinkedIn or Medium, depending on the reach, but a few viral posts aren’t necessarily a sustainable practice for audience development. The strength of a post from your own site that is seen by others outside of your arena of influence is far greater than the thousands of people who see a link from a “known” social name.
- Duplicate content doesn’t hurt your search ranking.
This is what I do, I treat my original content (which you read here) like the premium article, and within a month or so it will be shared on LinkedIn and Business 2 Community. What I tend to do is re-edit, change the title, a different call to action. A little more effort than a simple copy and paste.
The reason I post a week / month later in other spaces (after the article on my website) is because Google recognizes where the original article appeared first. This duplicate content problem is something that was highlighted by Michael Brenner on the Content Marketing Institute. He says, “The straightforward answer is that licensed or syndicated content doesn’t hurt a brand’s SEO at all. Even Google points out that penalties arise with spam content in an attempt to encourage “misleading and manipulative search engine results”.
Make sure the premium content is visible on your own website first and treat it like the main content. For example, it’s the work that is first shared with your own audience rather than throwing it into the sea of alternative publishers.
- All social media channels are shifting their goals at some point.
If it’s not Facebook that’s killing it, it’s brands’ organic reach in 2014 or the changes LinkedIn made to their group pages in 2015, social media doesn’t care how your business grows. That’s right, social media channels don’t care about your business.
Social networks are there to monetize, it makes perfect sense. If Medium begins to introduce a pay-to-play feature or if LinkedIn only allows its publishing platform to those who take a paid subscription form, it will happen.
Why take a huge risk by becoming too comfortable in a place that is not yours. When you have no influence on the behavior of a social channel, you are at the mercy of someone else.
- Own it and feed it first.
If you can create a cohesive body of work on your own site, you are creating an asset base which is actually a library that documents your level of thinking and personal / professional development.
It should be something where all the content is in one place and be easy to get in and out of and also for others to see.
This is what helps you get noticed and get the attention of others. This is what helps you create an audience in a space that is yours and build a database of subscribers for which you are responsible. It helps you network and build a closer relationship with others.
Why invite people into a plush pillow you rent from AirBnB and don’t know how to run the heat when you know where the cookies are and how to start the wood fire around your own house. When others become familiar with your own surroundings, home is where the heart is.
- By posting only on a space that is not yours, you give up ownership.
While it sounds appealing to go where everyone else is and looks appealing, Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook will always be in a place where you never will be. Every article you create in a place where you have no control is simply ceding your rights to someone else.
That’s why I’m saying the three-step process has to be your own platform first, let it penetrate your own audience, and then distribute it on another channel.
The work you create deserves to be promoted and distributed in any way possible, in order to grow your reach and attract new people to subscribe and be a part of your journey.
Embrace what’s yours and build it, rather than relying on someone else. In the words of The Beatles on The End (from Abbey Road), “and in the end, the love you get equals the love you give”.
Let’s take the tour
Social networks are there to make money, just as much as we are. Now is the time to tidy up your home and make it beautiful, before you start thinking about vacationing elsewhere.
Reposting blog content can work, it’s about prioritizing and understanding that the effort needs to be on your own space first.
This horrible image at the top of the article courtesy of Yuna