Robert Brodrecht

Quick Thoughts: Don’t Give Away Your Content

Photo By Samantha Marx, Licensed Under CC BY 2.0

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Introduction

As social media and new blogging platforms proliferate, the draw of posting original content on third-party sites makes it easy for clients to neglect their own websites. Giving away your content is a strategic blunder.

History repeats itself. Clients produce original content, even if it’s as simple as introducing an interesting link, and post to a third-party site without posting to their own website. Years ago, Blogger took the lions share. More recently, newsletter platforms, Facebook, Tumblr, and Medium are the culprit. Through promises of increased exposure, an attractive layout, or simply appealing to laziness, these services are extracting value from your website.

That’s not to say that these services are bad or not useful, but they should work for you rather than against you. They should supplement your canonical content, not replace it.

Most CMS platforms come with blogging engines built in. By posting periodic content to your website, you are:

  1. Building your brand voice
  2. Building your authority on a topic
  3. Building your SEO
  4. Maintaining your content for long term accessibility
  5. Providing a canonical resource

Third-party platforms might aid in building your brand voice, but it’s framed in the surroundings of the third-party. You aren’t in control of how the content is presented.

Authority on a topic is easier to establish if the user can focus. Many third party services offer more distractions than reasons to pay attention.

SEO requires your content to be on your website. If you never put your content on your website, you don’t get recognized for the content. The third-party gets recognized instead.

Third-parties sometimes go out of business. If you don’t host your own content, you’re out of luck when the third party goes away. Furthermore, third-parties often aren’t concerned about archiving your content. In some cases, once it falls off the main feed, you may never see it again. So, your content has neither long term viability or a canonical home.

All of these are problems you need to think about when you only post to third-party sites. Before you click post, consider putting your valuable content on your website and sharing links to it instead. It’s a little more work but it’s worth it in the long run.