So you’ve got a blog for your personal or business site, but keep seeing posts from your competitors on LinkedIn, Medium, the Huffington Post and so forth. Maybe you’re wondering whether you should follow suit. Brands and writers alike often ask me for my opinion on this, and while I don’t have any hard and fast rules, I can think of five factors that may help guide your decision.
What are your goals?
You may not meet these goals overnight, but should at least see progress towards them. Clearly defining what you hope to accomplish ahead of time can help you realize whether running duplicate posts is getting you towards that goal or not. Whether you’re trying to publicize a book tour, hoping to improve brand recognition, or directing readers towards downloading a white paper, your entire strategy should be based on a specific set of metrics that you’ll regularly analyze to see if you’re on track. Knowing what your goals are can also help you bounce the idea off of others to see what kind of results they got using the same strategy.
Are duplicate posts allowed?
There are a few sites, like Svbtle, that expect you to keep posts entirely on their network. Whether they enforce this is another question. In any case, if you are giving away content for free as opposed to simply reprinting content from your own blog somewhere else, meeting your goals becomes even more important.
Will your content hit more eyeballs? And which ones?
Despite Huffington Post’s overall popularity, most people who post on the site will get very limited views and even fewer sustained traffic. LinkedIn posts may get eyeballs from people who are viewing your profile, which can be beneficial if you are writing about your industry, but aren’t exactly an audience-building strategy. Other blogs rely on curators and a little bit of luck. For example, Medium posts can sometimes get picked up by collections, and some Svbtle posts are pushed out further. You can theoretically build up followers on these sites comprised of people who may not be reading your personal blog, but this isn’t guaranteed.
Where are you directing people?
Are you planning on sending people to your blog site, or to the same duplicate post on someone else’s platform? If you’re doing the latter, you may want to reconsider unless, of course, you’re absolutely positive that the site has more cachet than your own, or you’re running an experiment. What you want to be doing is drawing people on Medium et. al. back to your personal blog and mailing list, rather than sacrificing your own content marketing in order to help build someone else’s network.
How much extra work is it for you?
I recently put up a blog post (yesterday’s, actually) on LinkedIn as an experiment. It took me about five minutes to upload the graphic, cut and paste the text and hit publish. If I was publishing the exact same content on four other sites, or if the CMS was really challenging, it may no longer be worth it depending on the outcome.
The SEO question
It’s possible that duplicate content on multiple sites might have a negative impact on your integrated marketing efforts, so if a big percentage of your business comes from search, you’ll want to watch that very closely.
The X Factor
Are you posting content on a platform you love, or are you just throwing spaghetti on a wall to see what sticks? Do you truly enjoy the process, or is keeping up with multiple sites too much of a hassle? Your overall experience is always a good gauge.