by Sarah & Kevin Arrow

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing: Publishing Content on Your Site vs. Other Sites

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We're advancing swiftly through our content marketing challenge! From content strategizing to understanding different formats, we've covered a lot of ground. Now, let's discuss a critical decision every content marketer faces: Publishing Content on Your Site vs. Other Sites.

Content on Your Own Site

Pros

You Own the Audience Relationship

Owning the audience relationship is like having a direct line to your friends and family; it's personal, immediate, and genuine. When you publish content on your own site, you control the conversation and the experience, similar to hosting a dinner party in your own home. You know what your guests like, and you can cater to their preferences. In the business world, this means you can tailor content, offers, and interactions to your audience's unique needs and desires. It's an authentic connection that fosters trust and loyalty. Whether you're a small local shop or a big online retailer, owning the audience relationship helps you build a community that feels heard, valued, and understood. It's not just about selling products or services; it's about creating meaningful connections that keep people coming back.

  • Retail Industry: A fashion brand can directly engage with customers through personalized blog posts and offers.
  • Tech Industry: A SaaS company can provide tutorials and support through their knowledge base.

Content Assets Under Your Control

Having content assets under your control is akin to being the captain of your own ship, steering it in the direction you choose. When you house content on your own site, you have complete authority over how it's presented, updated, and utilised. You can modify it to align with your brand, strategically place call-to-actions, and ensure it resonates with your specific audience without interference from external factors. This control isn't just about aesthetics or branding; it's about quality assurance and integrity. By managing your content assets, you're able to respond swiftly to changes in your industry, feedback from your audience, or shifts in your own strategy. It's an empowerment that fosters creativity and innovation, giving you the freedom to explore, experiment, and excel without constraint.

  • Healthcare Industry: A healthcare provider can publish accurate, consistent information about medical services.
  • Education Industry: An online education platform can offer in-depth courses and materials, tailored to their curriculum.

Can Monetize Through Ads, Products

Being able to monetise through ads and products on your own site is like having a personal market stall where you control the display and the goods on sale. You're not just sharing valuable content; you're creating opportunities to turn that content into profit. Whether it's by strategically placing advertisements that resonate with your audience or seamlessly integrating your products within the content, you have the flexibility to create revenue streams that are aligned with your brand and values.

Unlike third-party platforms, where your monetisation options may be limited or dictated by someone else's rules, your own site is a space where you can experiment with different revenue models. It's like planting a seed in a garden that you own; you can nurture it, watch it grow, and enjoy the fruits of your labour. This isn't just about making money; it's about creating a sustainable business model that can fuel further growth and innovation. It's an essential part of a healthy, thriving content

  • Media Industry: A news website can incorporate ads and subscription models.
  • E-commerce Industry: Online stores can promote products directly through content.

Branding Consistency

Branding consistency is akin to having a familiar face in a crowd; it’s what makes you recognisable and trustworthy. By maintaining branding consistency on your own site, you're providing a coherent experience for your audience that reflects your identity, values, and promise. Think of it as an ongoing conversation with your audience where you're always wearing the same friendly smile and speaking in a tone they’ve grown to know and love. Inconsistent branding, on the other hand, can confuse and alienate those who have come to connect with your brand. Imagine going to your favourite coffee shop only to find the decor, menu, and even the taste of the coffee changing every week. It’s disconcerting. By keeping your branding consistent, you not only build a stronger connection with your audience but also instil a level of confidence and trust that can translate into loyalty. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about creating a reliable presence that resonates with your audience and keeps them coming back for more.

  • Hospitality Industry: Hotels can maintain brand image through customized content.
  • Automotive Industry: Car manufacturers can showcase vehicles with consistent branding.

SEO Value of Links/Keywords

Having the SEO value of links and keywords working in your favour is a bit like having the home-field advantage in football. When you're on your own turf, you know the ins and outs, and you can play the game your way. By focusing on SEO, particularly through relevant links and carefully chosen keywords, you're effectively inviting more fans to your match, allowing them to find you with ease. It's not just about drawing a crowd, though. Proper use of SEO ensures that those who show up are the folks genuinely interested in what you're playing at. They'll cheer, engage, and most importantly, come back for the next game. Messing up your SEO is akin to playing in an empty stadium; you might be giving it your all, but if no one knows where to find you, what's the point? So, pay attention to those links and keywords, and make sure you're putting on a show that your audience can both find and enjoy.

  • SEO Agencies: Can create content that is specifically optimized for desired keywords.

Cons

Limited Discovery Beyond Current Reach

Limited discovery beyond current reach can be compared to having a wonderful shop filled with exquisite products but situated at the end of a hidden alley. Those who know about it will keep coming back, cherishing the exclusive finds, but others might never stumble upon it. While having content on your own site gives you control and consistency, it may also confine your audience to those who are already aware of your existence. It's like having a conversation in a cosy room with friends, but the door is closed to newcomers.

To grow, you need to invite more people in, and that means finding ways to reach beyond those hidden alleyways or closed doors. Collaborating with other sites, engaging on social media, and utilising various distribution channels can help you reach new eyes and ears. Think of it as placing signposts around town, guiding new people to your shop, or opening the doors to your cosy room.

While your current reach may be warm and dedicated, expanding beyond it is essential to growing your audience and exploring new opportunities. It's about striking a balance between nurturing your existing community and welcoming newcomers with open arms.

  • Small Business: May struggle to expand their audience without wider distribution.

Reliant on Visitors Coming to You

Being reliant on visitors coming to you in the content marketing landscape is somewhat akin to a traditional bricks-and-mortar shop waiting for customers to walk through the door. There's a comfort in the familiarity of those who already know you and seek you out, but it can also be a limitation.

Imagine having a quaint little bookshop in a small town. The locals who know about it might come regularly, but if you're only relying on word-of-mouth or passersby, growth will likely be slow. Without advertising or outreach, you're limiting yourself to those who already know your location and offerings.

The same principle applies online. If you're only relying on those who already know your site and are seeking your content, you're missing out on a vast potential audience. It's like hosting a party but only inviting the neighbours; it might be lovely, but it could be so much more with a broader guest list.

By only waiting for visitors to come to you, you're not actively engaging with potential new audiences. In the ever-competitive online space, this can lead to stagnation. The key to growth is often a mix of maintaining your core audience while actively seeking to engage with new ones. This might involve utilising social media, collaborating with other brands, or exploring new content channels.

Remember, there's a whole world out there just waiting to discover what you have to offer. Don't just wait for them to find you; reach out and introduce yourself. It's not about abandoning the loyal customers in your bookshop or the neighbours at your party; it's about extending the invitation a little bit wider. You never know who might walk through the door next!

  • New Bloggers: Must rely on SEO and social media to attract visitors initially.

Syndicating Content

Pros

Expands Distribution and Readership

Expanding distribution and readership is like spreading your wings and taking flight into new territories. Imagine your content as a delightful local delicacy. It's well-loved in your community, but what if you could share it with the world? That's what expanding your distribution and readership allows you to do.

Think of it this way: You have a fantastic story to tell or valuable information to share, and it's sitting in your little corner of the internet. Those who stumble upon it love it, but it's only reaching a small portion of the people who might benefit from or enjoy it. By expanding your distribution channels and actively seeking a broader readership, you're taking your content on the road, introducing it to new audiences, and increasing its impact.

For example, if you run a food blog and only post recipes on your site, you're reaching your loyal followers. But what if you started sharing video cooking tutorials on YouTube, guest-posting on popular food websites, or collaborating with chefs on Instagram? Suddenly, your delicious dishes are on the tables of people all over the world.

Expanding distribution and readership isn't just about numbers; it's about connection and growth. It's about finding new ways to engage with people who might never have found you otherwise. It's about building bridges and forming relationships with readers in diverse locations and communities.

This approach also adds vibrancy and richness to your content as you begin to interact with a more varied audience. Their feedback, insights, and engagement can offer fresh perspectives and ideas, invigorating your content and sparking creativity.

In essence, expanding your distribution and readership is like opening the windows and doors of your home and inviting the world in. It's a celebration of what you have to offer and an opportunity to share it with as many people as possible. It's an adventurous journey into the unknown, filled with the promise of new friendships, learning, and growth. So why not pack your bags and take your content on the road? The world is waiting to taste what you have to offer!

  • Publishing Industry: Authors can reach new readers through guest posts on other sites.
  • B2B Industry: Can showcase thought leadership on industry sites.

Builds Awareness and Backlinks

Building awareness and backlinks is a bit like planting seeds in a garden; with time, care, and the right conditions, they can grow into something truly beautiful that draws people's attention.

  1. Building Awareness:This part is all about getting your name out there. Imagine hosting a grand party but forgetting to send out the invitations. Even if everything else is perfect, no one will show up! Building awareness for your content is akin to sending out those invitations and making sure people know you exist. It's not just about shouting from the rooftops, though. It's about crafting a message that resonates with your target audience and reaching them through the right channels, be it social media, collaborations, guest blogging, or even good old-fashioned word of mouth.

    For example, if you run a small, ethical clothing brand, collaborating with eco-conscious influencers, sharing your sustainability story on relevant platforms, and engaging with like-minded communities can help build awareness. Suddenly, your brand isn't just a name on a tag; it's a part of a meaningful conversation.

  2. Backlinks:Backlinks are links from other websites to your site. Think of them as glowing recommendations or friendly nudges from others in the online community saying, “Hey, check this out, it's worth your time!” These aren't just digital thumbs up; they are powerful tools in your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) toolkit.

    Search engines like Google see these links as votes of confidence in your content. The more quality backlinks you have, the more likely search engines will view your site as authoritative and relevant, boosting your rankings in search results. It's like having a group of well-respected friends vouch for you; their good word carries weight.

    But it's not about collecting links willy-nilly. Quality matters. Earning backlinks from reputable sites in your industry can have a significant impact. For instance, if you are in the health and wellness sector, having backlinks from medical professionals, health magazines, or well-regarded bloggers can make a real difference.

Building awareness and backlinks isn't a one-time event; it's an ongoing process, a dance that requires grace, strategy, and genuine connection. It's about knowing your audience, crafting content that speaks to them, and finding innovative ways to reach them. It's about forming relationships with other creators, being part of a community, and supporting one another.

So go on, plant those seeds, tend to your garden, and watch as it blooms into a hub of activity, drawing people from near and far. Your content has a unique voice, a story to tell, and building awareness and backlinks is how you share it with the world. It's your chance to shine!

  • Marketing Agencies: Can build authority through guest posting on marketing platforms.

Establishes Domain Authority

Establishing domain authority is like becoming a respected elder in a village; people turn to you for guidance because they trust your wisdom, knowledge, and experience. In the digital realm, domain authority is an important aspect that signifies your website's credibility and expertise in your field.

  1. What is Domain Authority?Domain authority is a metric, a bit like a scorecard, that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). It's influenced by several factors including quality content, backlinks, and internal linking structure. A higher domain authority indicates a greater trust and relevance in your industry. Think of it as a reputation that’s been built over time through consistent effort and quality connections.
  2. Why is it Important?
    • Trust & Credibility: Just as people in a village would trust the wise elder, having a high domain authority means that your audience, as well as search engines, trust your content. It's like having a badge of honour, signifying that what you say matters and is worth listening to.
    • Higher Rankings: Like a trusted elder whose words are often quoted, websites with higher domain authority are more likely to be shown by search engines. This increased visibility can lead to more traffic, engagement, and ultimately more business or influence.
    • Competitive Edge: In a crowded marketplace, having strong domain authority can set you apart. It's akin to having a renowned expert on your side in a debate; it adds weight to your arguments and draws people to your cause.
  3. How to Establish Domain Authority?
    • Quality Content: Providing valuable, original content is like sharing timeless wisdom. It's what keeps people coming back for more.
    • Backlink Strategy: Forming relationships with other high-quality sites and earning backlinks is like being endorsed by other respected members of the community.
    • User Experience: Making sure that your website is user-friendly is like welcoming visitors into a warm and inviting home. It makes them want to stay and explore.
    • Consistent Effort: Just like trust and respect are earned over time, building domain authority is a continuous process. It requires patience, integrity, and a consistent commitment to quality.

For example, if you run a gardening blog, you might want to collaborate with well-known gardeners, create in-depth guides on sustainable gardening practices, engage with your audience through comments, and ensure that your website is as beautiful and navigable as a well-tended garden.

Establishing domain authority isn't about quick wins or gaming the system. It's about being genuine, valuable, and consistent. It's about being that wise elder in the village of your industry, the one who speaks thoughtfully, acts with integrity, and is listened to with respect. It's not just a digital metric; it's a symbol of your place in the community and a testament to the quality and relevance of what you have to say.

  • Startups: Can enhance online reputation through syndication on reputable sites.

Cons

Less Control over Content Formatting: Why It's Like Letting Someone Else Dress You

Imagine you're headed to a fancy event, and instead of picking out your outfit, you let a friend decide what you should wear. While they may have good intentions, their choices might not reflect your style or the impression you want to make. You might end up feeling uncomfortable or out of place all evening.

The same can happen in the digital world when you syndicate your content and publish it on third-party platforms. You hand over control of content formatting, and sometimes, it's like letting someone else dress you up in their design, layout, and branding. Here's why this loss of control is so significant:

  1. Inconsistent User Experience: Your readers know your style, the way you layout your text, your font, and even your colour scheme. When content is syndicated, it might be presented in a way that's foreign to your readers, creating an inconsistent experience. It's like seeing your favourite author's words but in a stranger's handwriting.
  2. Diminished Brand Presence: Your content formatting isn't just aesthetics; it's a part of your brand identity. Losing control over how your content is presented might mean losing an opportunity to reinforce your brand. It's like wearing a generic outfit when you usually sport a signature style.
  3. Limited Engagement Tools: Many platforms that host syndicated content have their ways of engaging readers. This may restrict your ability to use interactive elements, embed videos, or other features that your audience enjoys on your site. It's akin to having your dance shoes but not being allowed to dance the way you want.
  4. Potential Conflicts with Platform Guidelines: Sometimes, the third-party platform's content guidelines and formatting rules may conflict with your usual style or the way you like to present information. This could lead to vital information being left out or presented ineffectively. Imagine wearing a cocktail dress to a casual brunch because the dress code was misunderstood.
  5. Challenges in Conveying Key Messages: If your content relies on specific formatting to make points clear, such as infographics, bullet points, or custom images, losing control over formatting may weaken your content's impact. It's like telling a joke but missing the punchline.
  6. Compromised Analytics and Insights: With less control over how your content is presented, tracking how users engage with your content can be more challenging. It's like knowing people are talking about you at a party, but not hearing what they're saying.

Losing control over content formatting when publishing on other sites can have multiple implications. It might be an acceptable trade-off for broader reach and visibility, but it requires careful consideration. It's essential to understand the third-party platform's rules and ensure that they align with your goals and branding. After all, you wouldn't let just anyone pick your outfit for an important event, so why let someone else dictate how your valuable content is presented? It's about finding the right partners and the right fit – in content and in fashion!

  • Creative Agencies: Might have their unique designs altered on third-party platforms.

Difficult to Monetise Impressions: Why It's Like Fishing in Someone Else's Pond

Let's paint a picture: you're an enthusiastic fisherman, and you've always fished in your private pond, reaping the rewards of your hard work. Now, you've been given access to someone else's pond with the promise of more fish. It sounds like a great opportunity, but there's a catch (pardon the pun) – you can't sell these fish. You can catch them, admire them, but monetising them is out of the question.

This analogy rings true when you're syndicating content and publishing on third-party platforms. It can be like fishing in someone else's pond where it's challenging to monetise the impressions you receive. Here's why this aspect is so vital:

  1. Shared Revenue or No Revenue: Many third-party platforms may offer opportunities for revenue sharing, but this often comes at a much lower rate than what you could earn from impressions on your site. Others might not offer any monetisation at all. It's like catching fish and then being told you can only keep a small fraction of them.
  2. Lack of Control Over Ads: On your website, you can control what types of ads are displayed alongside your content. On third-party platforms, you don't have this control, which means the ads displayed might not be as relevant or valuable to your audience. It's like fishing with someone else's bait that the fish aren't biting.
  3. Limited Access to Audience Data: When your content is on another platform, you often don't have the same level of access to your audience's data. This can make it more difficult to target ads effectively and, consequently, to monetise those impressions. It's akin to fishing without knowing what kind of fish are in the pond or what they like to eat.
  4. Potential Damage to User Experience: If monetisation is allowed on a third-party platform, it may not be done in a way that aligns with your audience's expectations. Irrelevant or intrusive ads can harm the user experience, thus decreasing the overall value of those impressions. It's like catching a fish only to realise it's not the kind you want.
  5. Dependency on Third-Party Policies: Third-party platforms can change their policies regarding monetisation at any time. Even if you're earning revenue from your syndicated content today, that could change tomorrow. It's like having permission to fish in someone's pond but being told at any moment that you have to pack up and leave.
  6. Distraction from Core Offerings: If the primary goal of your content is to promote and sell products or services, syndicating content can divert attention away from these core offerings. It's like catching fish in someone else's pond when you should be tending to your own.

In a nutshell, while syndicating content on third-party platforms can expand your reach and readership, it often makes it difficult to monetise those impressions. It requires careful consideration and a thorough understanding of the third-party platform's rules and the potential trade-offs involved. Just like in fishing, you must know what you're getting into, what tools you're using, and what rewards you can realistically expect. If monetisation is a key goal for your content, fishing in your own pond might sometimes be the best choice.

  • Content Creators: Can't easily monetize content published elsewhere.

Readers / Viewers Remain on 3rd-Party Sites: Why It's Like Hosting a Party at a Neighbour's House

Imagine you've planned a fabulous party with all your favourite people. You've put thought into the guest list, the music, the food, and everything in between. But instead of hosting it at your house, you decide to have it at your neighbour's place. It's still a great party, but your guests are enjoying themselves at someone else's house, and you miss the opportunity to show them your lovely home.

This scenario perfectly encapsulates what happens when readers remain on third-party sites after engaging with your content. It might feel like a missed opportunity, and here's why:

  1. Missed Engagement Opportunities: When readers remain on third-party platforms, you miss the chance to engage with them further on your site. You can't guide them to other relevant content, encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter, or promote your products or services. It's like having them at the party but not being able to show them your favourite room or garden.
  2. Limited Control Over User Experience: On your site, you can control the entire user experience, from layout and design to navigation and content recommendations. On third-party sites, you're at the mercy of their design and functionality. It's like trying to make your guests feel at home, but you can't change the lighting, the music, or even the seating arrangement.
  3. Challenges in Building a Relationship: Keeping readers on your site helps in building a relationship with them. It's where they get to know you, your brand, your values, and what makes you unique. When readers remain on third-party sites, building that connection becomes more challenging. It's like meeting someone at a party but not having the chance to invite them over for a more personal conversation.
  4. Data Limitations: When readers are on your site, you can track their behaviour, understand what content they engage with, and use this data to improve and personalise their experience. On third-party platforms, this data is often inaccessible or limited. It's like watching people enjoy the party but not being able to ask them what they liked best.
  5. Potential Dilution of Your Brand: By keeping readers on third-party sites, your brand can become one among many. Your unique voice, style, and message can be overshadowed by the platform's branding or other content. It's like throwing a party where the decorations are all chosen by someone else, and your personal touch is lost.
  6. Dependency on Third-Party Platforms: Relying heavily on third-party sites can make you vulnerable to their changing algorithms, rules, and business strategies. What works today might not work tomorrow. It's like planning all your parties at your neighbour's house and then finding out they're moving away.

While syndicating content on third-party platforms can be a valuable part of a content strategy, the fact that readers remain on these sites can present challenges. You lose some of the intimacy, control, and engagement opportunities that you have when readers are on your site. Like planning a party, it requires careful thought about where you want to host your guests and how you want them to experience the event. If the goal is to build deeper relationships and offer a unique, controlled experience, bringing readers to your own site may be the best way to celebrate

  • E-commerce Sites: May lose direct engagement with potential customers on other platforms.

Best Practices for Publishing Content on Your Site vs. Other Sites

  • Publish pillar content on your site first.
  • Syndicate more evergreen, middle-funnel content.
  • Link back to your site and offerings.
  • Republish reused content on your blog.
  • Monitor engagement and SEO impact.

By blending both site-centric and syndicated content, you can tailor your approach for maximum effectiveness. What's been your experience with Publishing Content on Your Site vs. Other Sites? Let's discuss this in the comments.

About the author, Sarah & Kevin Arrow

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Sarah and Kevin Arrow have been in the thick of the online marketing world since 2006, and they're buzzing to share their know-how right here with you! If you're keen to get noticed, they're the experts you'll want to talk to. Why not schedule a call or send them a quick message? They're all ears and can't wait to hear from you!

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