You may have heard from many sources that you should aim to “own” your own content.
Okay, maybe I was guilty of that as well. I have said a few times that you should use WordPress.org over WordPress.com
But there is another perspective we should consider – there are times when you can also consider using 3rd party platforms for creating and publishing your content.
LinkedIn and Medium both spring to mind. Any content you write on those platforms is not technically “yours”.
But wait, hear me out!
There are other benefits to using external platforms and below I explain when that is the case.
1. Reach More Audience and Extend Your Reach
If there is one thing that they (public platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium) have that your site most likely won’t have, is that 3rd party content platforms have the potential to reach a wider audience than your site.
Most small business owners can relate to the difficulty of reaching to a wider audience.
Even if you are lucky enough (or worked hard enough) to have a large community of followers and are able to reach a large number of people at the same time, this advice is still relevant to you. You can reach a group of people that were otherwise difficult for you to communicate with via other mediums such as your own site.
2. Opportunity to Enhance Your Profile Elsewhere
LinkedIn and Medium both allow you to create a profile where you can build your own unique audience.
And these audiences are not necessarily the same type of audience as those on your site.
Granted, you should have a target market and persona in mind that you wish to communicate with. But that particular audience may act differently to you when engaging with your site compared to external sites.
Perhaps they are more likely to engage with your profile elsewhere. And this is where you can experiment using other platforms aside from your own site.
3. Be Everywhere at Once
It’s one thing mastering your own site’s content, but one trait that many successful individuals possess is the ability to be everywhere at once.
One minute, that person has launched a new blog post, the next minute he’s posting tweets, taking snaps, posting a video on YouTube and then going abroad to present a talk at a conference.
It’s a skill that we all admire and envy, but it can only be done if you are everywhere at once. And that means creating content on other platforms.
4. Easier with More Control than Guest Posting
Guest posting has its place and should always be a part of your content strategy. They can add immense value to your branding.
But it does come with a challenge, and I’m not just talking about finding the best places to post and the actual creation of good content.
Many reputable sites which allow guest posting will tell you that they have permission to edit your post to make sure it is suitable for your target audience.
Most of the time the edits make sense but unfortunately at other times they do not. This is where you have to do the hard work and find the best places to guest post.
Using Medium and LinkedIn will mean that you have full control over what you want to write, how you write it and you won’t have to worry about whether it suits a particular editor or not.
5. Allows You to Republish or Repurpose Your Existing Content
This is one point that makes many people feel quite awkward.
Many people have copied and pasted content written from Medium onto LinkedIn, and vice versa, before completing the post with a link to the other site, i.e., where the article has originally appeared.
This way, you don’t have to worry about getting a slap on the wrist from Google over duplicate content. It’s not your site that will be in “trouble” in a form of ranking loss.
Another tactic is to publish the content on your site, wait a week or so for Google to index that page, then “repost” it elsewhere.
After posting it on other sites, many have people would have linked to the original post on your site (kind of like a canonical tag), to notify the users (and Google) that the original post/source is on your site first.
With this method, some have copied and pasted word-for-word, while others have tweaked the content. I recommend the latter in most cases and if possible.
At the end of the day, you want to give the best value to your audience by providing the best quality content whenever they come across you and your brand.
Repurposing a piece of content is one thing, having the same content everywhere is another.
6. Leverage Your Authority and Branding
Combining everything that I have mentioned above can only mean good things for your authority and branding.
Why would you not want that for your business?
The result of being everywhere at once and creating the type of content that your audience are craving can do wonders for your credibility.
The hard part is doing it consistently while maintaining the quality.
There is no right or wrong way of doing this.
This is where you experiment and juggle with external platforms to produce the best results for your business.
Personally, I am an advocate of owning your content (“yes, you’ve mentioned it several times already”), but would definitely encourage using other sites to complement your content strategy and provide you with more leverage.
So this is where I need to start listening to my advice and start using it more.
So far, I have “experimented” using the same content on both Medium and LinkedIn.
My next step is to increase the quantity of unique content across my site and the external sites.
Here goes nothing.
Do you agree with any of my points?
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