Yesterday we talked to someone who just started a new project and who has to think about how to best raise attention for his new project. There is no question that they are going for content publishing.
But in answer to my remark “You don’t have a blog yet!” he raised the question what would be better for their content: Publish their content on their own (new) site or go for the already existing audience of established outlets – or even publish on LinkedIn.
The answer to this is not as easy as it may seem. And it really depends on what you want to achieve: Are you looking for quick publicity for a short term project, or do you really want to build something that lasts and grows?
Your own blog might not have the huge audience in the beginning – but if done right, you can find it and access it. We know this, as we only started this blog 6 month ago and it is already growing into something great (and basically started doing this on a serious level since christmas).
Your own blog gives you the opportunity to publish anything you like on your own site. It’s a hub for all your content. It does not necessarily and always have to be a sophisticated article, it can be an announcement for an event, a short review of a past experience or even a very promotional piece about what you are really doing (you shouldn’t do it that too often though). On your own blog you have the freedom to do what you want, although you should keep in mind what your target audience wants simply make your audience grow and keep them coming back.
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Whatever you publish, everything you publish adds to your own brand and reputation simply by being published on your own blog. Your blog is as much a portfolio for yourself or your organisation as it is a publishing opportunity. Just imagine someone searching on Google for your company and finding your content segmented through various outlets like LinkedIn, Medium and elsewhere without a central place to find it.
And while I don’t believe SEO should be the main focus of any marketing strategy, the SEO effect of your own blog should not be underestimated.
Content publishing in other outlets with existing audience
Here you usually can only post what your host accepts. The advantage of using established outlets is that they give you an existing audience. You can get attention to your own purposes via the content, the bio and links therein. In addition these links can help your SEO.
On the other hand it is harder to really brand in outlets that do not belong to you. Readers do not pay so much attention to the bios as. You rather brand the outlet than your own website and project as these are always at least one click further away from the content.
Content publishing directly in social media
Some people use the option to directly publish in social networks. Robert Scoble does it in Facebook – many people do it on LinkedIn. If you already have a large following in social media it might be worth the effort. But you should always keep in mind: An audience needs to be built whether it is on social media or your website. I have seen articles by influencers published on LinkedIn who get a huge audience and I have seen articles on LinkedIn get 5 views.
Social Media audiences do not come for free.
So, what should you do?
Usually I would recommend to start with a combination of your own blog and posting to an established audience in other outlets. Brand your own website with your own content and start to build your own content. To “push” attention and grab the attention of existing audiences, I would add some guest posting to the mix.
To get an additional audience you can (re-)publish to LinkedIn and other sites like Social Media Today, …
For short term projects where you do not aim to build an audience which you can grow and reuse over a longer period of time, it might be an option to just go for guest posting and not using your own blog. Although – if you cannot support your short term project by having built your assets (for instance a blog) beforehand, maybe you are not the right person to run this short term project in the first place.
For everyone else who is rather looking to build a community and lasting success an own blog should be included in your efforts.
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