February 21, 2014

"Why do you cross-post your essays?"

Readers ask me this question at least once a week so I figured I would write a short post with my answer.

In the past year, I’ve written over 100 essays scattered across the web on publications like The Next Web, FastCo, Pando, Medium, Svbtle, Quora, LinkedIn, and of course my own blog hosted by tumblr. Unless I’m writing a guest post for a publication, I typically post my essay on my personal domain (ryanhoover.me) and promote the piece on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quibb. The following day, I cross-post the essay on Medium, Svbtle, sometimes Quora, and most recently, LinkedIn’s Influencer program. When I tell people this, they often ask:

But isn’t that disingenuous?

I wholeheartedly disagree. If the content is relevant to the community, why should it matter? Bloggers spend a lot of time writing and it’s in their best interest to maximize distribution. You never know what posts will take off – much of this is outside writers’ control, dependent on timing and luck. By posting on multiple destination, bloggers increase their exposure and opportunity for their writing to spread within those communities.

Does Medium, Svbtle, et al allow cross-posting?

Yes, as they should. They would prefer to be the first to publish original work but consider this: you, the writer, are offering free content with no guarantee or promise of distribution. How can they be mad?

What about SEO? Aren’t you hurting your domain’s search ranking and future inbound traffic by cross-posting?

Perhaps, but really that’s not what I’m optimizing for. Ultimately, the growth of my email list is most important, that is why you see a call-to-action to subscribe at the bottom of nearly all of my articles. Regardless, the type of content I write often isn’t typically something people are searching for.

I’d love to hear from other bloggers in how they distribute their work. Let me know on Twitter (@rrhoover).

More Writing by Ryan