Blogging is a very difficult medium to do effectively. Simply getting your ideas onto a website is not easy. Then you have to make sure you work hard to capture an audience, market well so people see your content, and optimize your blog with SEO so Google clearly sees it and posts it to the top of certain web searches. (This is so important, we dedicated a 1,140 word post to the topic of marketing a blog post as well as a “what next?” after you write your blog article.) One quick way to do this is to have your content featured on other people’s websites.
There are complications with this. It is not your website so the traffic goes to them, not to you. You are at the mercy of any changes after the fact to the webmaster. And Google rewards them in search, not you. But the promise given is “you’ll get exposure.”
Our experience… you don’t… like at all.
Now, I do not think we need to bail on getting your content to other websites, but I believe we need to be smart about how we are distributing our content to other people. Below I construct a guideline I’d encourage Christian bloggers, as newbies or veterans to the craft, to consider adopting. It will also be our own policy as well, once we implemented this very month. In fact, we have written everything below to be put as a Standards of Practice for Permission To Repost Articles that you may want to put on your own website like we have and when someone requests to repost an article, simply share this document with them as a precursor to having a conversation with them.
The Concern of Requesting To Repost Our Articles
We get requests daily to have blogs repost our content on their blog with the promise of having our content gain exposure to a new audience and support of the hosting site.
In the past, we have worked with several big name site that made these promises but became much more of a headache than any financial or SEO benefit could have been (this actually had us pull our policy of allowing others to post our content). In so doing, we’d allow the organization to post it and weeks later see no new traffic, zero inbound links because they were removed from the article, and most times the wrong author bio posted with the article that would take weeks and months to get changed.
We’d been burned over and over. They got the updated website because new content was being posted which meant Google gave them more authority as well as they gave “new” content to their viewers which improved viewer loyalty. We got our name put at the bottom of an article (if it was correctly shared) and no links which mean no new visibility. Very onesided, right?
We really do want to partner with you.
The problem is that we want to partner with other like-minded organizations. We love that sites like Outreach.com wants to collaborate, but we feel the expectations should increase, for us and for you. So much so that we are willing to give you a great deal, but will ask for something in return.
How do we resolve this sticky situation? Define the terms explicitly so all understand their role. So that’s what I’m doing below.
Here is our offer:
- We won’t give you the article you requested. Eric, the owner of ChurchMag paid for that article and it will remain exclusively on ChurchMag. But we WILL take the time to write you a brand new article on that specific topic. Content is King, right? We will give you something tailored to your audience.
- If this content is something you pay us for, you get to do as you please with it. Put it in a magazine, post it on a graphic. If not, it still belongs to the author. If it is not paid for by you, ChurchMag holds the right to pay for the article and use it as seen fit. But you have the first right to the blog medium. If it stays as a blog article on your site, we cannot repost it on our blog. We don’t get to double dip.
- We understand the power of SEO and while Google has a long tail, 95% of all traffic comes on the first 2 days, 99% of traffic in the first week. If the article is eventually taken off the site and was not paid for, the author (or owner) of the content could do as they please, posting it to ChurchMag if needed. At this time, all blogging rights would return to the owner of the content.
- We also know that exposure piece is your big promotion. We are going to set a general expectation that we’d advise to all new and veteran Christian bloggers out there. A high-value outbound link of the authors choosing needs to be put in the first 100 words of the article that is above the <–more–> tag. Three more links are to be given to the author after that. These links include the author box, so if I want to link to ChurchMag, my personal site, and YouTube account, I’ve used them all up.
- All edits on non-purchased content must be approved by the author (or owner) before any changes are made. If purchased, the integrity of the article must still be maintained but the editors are allowed to format and make minor changes as they see fit and repurpose how they wish.
- Writing one article does not mean we will commit to regular writing, but we are always up for talking about collaborations and building community.
Oh, and “ghost writers” request to write for ChurchMag multiple times a day. Unless we have a personal relationship with you, we won’t take your content.
We’d love that, but say hey to us first, introduce yourself, and afterward, if you still want to, share your blog idea. It’s all about community, with individuals and organizations. If you are more wanting to blog about your product, infographic, or person stuff, I’d encourage you to check out the Sponsored Post section on our advertisement page.