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How Republishing Your Articles On Other Sites Can Be Bad For You

mirror imageLately I’ve been asked several times by other bloggers if they could republish one or more of my posts or the other way around. They weren’t asking to be malicious and for no other reason than they liked what I had written or were hoping I’d re-post something of theirs. It was very flattering, still, I turned them down. Having your articles republished by other bloggers or websites can negatively impact you and it’s important to weigh the benefits against the disadvantages.

Relative Size And Rank

When you have two identical posts on two separate websites, in terms of search engines and SEO, the page with the higher ranking will take precedence. That means eventually the terms and phrases of a given post will be indexed so the higher ranked page may come up before the original in a given Google search. So if you’re offering one of your original (not guest) posts to another, bigger website, you’ll be at a disadvantage. You’ll end up competing with the site for the key terms in your post.

hello worldPotential Exposure

Now, if that other website or program (like Lonely Planet’s BlogSherpa) will greatly increase your exposure and you’re looking for direct traffic then you may gain a potential new reader base in return for what you give up in terms of SEO. It’s something you need to evaluate before joining many of the republishing programs – where do you think more of your traffic will come from in the long term?

Bigger To Smaller – The Power Of Guest Posts

It also doesn’t help your personal brand to have articles re-posted on other websites either. Duplicate content doesn’t benefit the bigger site since now there’s two copies of the same post floating out there; it devalues your travel blog’s brand as well. The smaller site on the other hand is unlikely to see any benefits either as they won’t be able to compete for ranking with the larger site.

  • A better alternative is for either side to consider guest posting.
  • Posting an excerpt and linking back to the original article is a better way to highlight posts from other sites you enjoy or find useful.

A guest post also shows off your writing skills to a new audience while giving some original (and search-able) content for the site you’re guesting on.

Content Is Gold

I don’t want to make it seem everything is about benefiting yourself – but when it comes to your content (your travel blog’s most valuable asset) it’s important to make the most out of your work. You don’t want to write an article on your own website, only to compete with it down the line. Create new content to show off your travel writing skills which will help you find new readers and give another site an SEO boost as well.

[photos by: jp.alvarez (looking in the mirror), CmdrFire (hello world)]

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Gourmantic June 20, 2010, 20:37

    Good advice, Anil. I learnt the hard way a few years ago when I worked on a collaborative series of posts with another blogger. We both posted them on our blogs. Google wouldn’t have a bar of one my posts and attributed it to the other blog, which also lost out on the other posts.

    • Anil P. June 21, 2010, 09:55

      I was in a similar situation and had my posts outranked by a larger site. Now my policy is to just keep my posts on my sites but offer guest posts from time to time.

  • Ant Stone June 21, 2010, 22:48

    Timely advice. I wrote a series of articles for a big travel website with the agreement that I could republish them on my site. Great, I thought, twelve articles in reserve for my website… then I discovered I’d be doing more harm than good, and you just affirmed it.

    I hasten to add the original publisher wasn’t doing it maliciously, and doing the guest posts did me much more good than harm.

    • Anil P. June 22, 2010, 17:23

      I had the same idea once, that I could re-publish some older guest posts. Ah well, the exposure from guest posts is one of the strongest ways to draw in new, regular readers.

  • Ant Stone June 22, 2010, 19:30

    True. I’d second that. Although I was disappointed that a once-essential part of my contract was devalued at a swipe, it did have many more positives than not.

    Plus, the fact that I shouldn’t republish them online doesn’t stop me from publishing them in print.

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