Blogging and Article Writing - Viral Marketing or Duplicate Content?

by Claudia Pate - Date: 2007-02-19 - Word Count: 835 Share This!

Article writing is quickly becoming the marketing method of choice for today's online business owners. Many have committed to writing an article a day, some three or four a week. Almost everyone who is engaged in article writing for marketing purposes knows the viral effect article writing has on their traffic and sales, and they like it.

In forums and around water coolers, the question is asked, "What about duplicate content? How can I use my content on my blog or website and submit it to article directories without being penalized for duplicate content?" Fortunately, posting the same article to your blog or personal website and submitting it to article directories may not be a problem at all, but if you are concerned about duplicate content, there are some precautions you can take without derailing your article marketing efforts.

(Note: for the remainder of the article, I will use "blog" to refer to either your blog or your personal website. You should choose to post to or update one or the other with the same content but not both. For brevity, blog will be used as the example.)

Assuming you want to use the same article on your blog (or personal website) as in article directories, the most sensible suggestion, which came from a few reliable sources, is to post to your own blog first, ping the directories (if you posted to your blog), wait 24 hours, then submit your article to as many directories as you can. By pinging and waiting 24 hours, the search engines will have a handle on where the content originated and your name will already be associated with it.

Another reliable recommendation, and one that is fairly easy to implement, is to include the url of the original post in the resource box or "about the author" information of the submitted article. If your article includes a link back to the original post, duplicate content will not be an issue because, in essence, the original content is being referenced.

After working through a few stages of concern over duplicate content, from the "do whatever you want stage" (mainly because I didn't know any better) to the "blog, ping, wait, publish" stage, I hit upon an idea that makes sense to me. Not only does it eliminate the potential problem of duplicate content by blogging or adding to my website and publishing the same article, but it provides increased exposure for both my blog and my submitted article. For, you see, the main problem I see with duplicate content has more to do with readers than with the search engines.

To state it more clearly, forget about the search engines for a minute and think about what you hope to gain from your blog and your published article. You want readers who are interested enough in what you have to say to click through and find either more information or products to purchase on your website. If readers find the exact same thing in your blog as in your article every time they follow a link, pretty soon they are going to look either at your articles or your blog, but not both. And since ideally you want readers both places, you are serving your readers best by not duplicating your own content on your blog and in your articles.

To that end, I have started using my blog as the springboard to article writing. Generally, my blog posts are longer and in slightly different language than my articles. I can use examples and site website addresses in my blog that I can't include in published articles, or I can give instructions on how to do something that would take three or four articles that might not all be picked up by a publisher, but they can all be found on my blog. I can get my thoughts together in my blog then refine the posts for inclusion in an article directory. In essence, "the rest of the story," the part that had to be edited out to meet article submission requirements, can be found by clicking on a link in the resource box.

Most importantly, when a reader chooses to follow links to my resources, either my blog or my website, they will find something new and fresh, not the same thing they just read, which would likely lead them to click away rather than click through.

The obvious downside to this is that it does take a little more time. If time is of the essence, at the very least follow the "post, ping, wait, submit" method. However, it is my opinion that you will gain a more loyal readership with just a little more work by following the "blog, rewrite, submit" method and giving your readers valuable information in both your blog and your article. If people are truly coming to the web for information, as the owners of the search engines are telling us, you should be the one the readers return to for new and fresh information, not the same information repeated over again.

Related Tags: blogging, article writing, article marketing, viral marketing, duplicate content, increase traffic

Claudia Pate is the owner of The Anniversary Shop, traditional and modern anniversary gifts, and Common Sense Ebiz, guide to online business opportunities. Learn more about article writing to increase traffic.

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