5 Reasons Your Content Should Live on Your Website
Content Marketing is everywhere. Everyone is doing it - and for good reasons. But, I see a lot of people making a huge mistake. Many people are writing articles and creating great content, but they are publishing it on social media instead of their own website (or they duplicate the content in different places, which should stop too, but I'll say more about that in a minute). Publishing all your content on social media instead of your own website, is a huge mistake. Let me tell you why:
Have you read Facebook's Terms of Service? No? Me either. Have you read LinkedIn's? Yeah, me either. No one has time to read all that legal jargon and most of us wouldn't really understand it anyway. (You can take a shortcut at Terms of Service Didn't Read.) To sum it up, when you post a photo to Facebook or publish your latest article on LinkedIn, you're giving away a lot of rights, and in some cases, you give up complete ownership. If they don't take ownership of your content now, they can change their Terms of Service later and you can't do anything about it. The only way to maintain ownership of your creative content, is to publish it yourself, on your own website.
2. Future Sustainability
Let's be honest. We should be creating content for the good of the world, but most content is created to market a product/service, or increase traffic to generate more ad revenue. Regardless of the monetization side of your content, if your plan is too heavily based on one website, and that website is not your own, your future is at risk.
The past few years, we've seen a lot of new media companies pop up and they have one simple plan: Create "clickbait" content and get it to spread through Facebook. For a while, this has worked for many companies, until Facebook changed their algorithm to reduce the organic (aka free) visibility of content in our news feeds.
Let's not forget that Facebook and other social media sites are companies too. When they aren't making money (or their stockholders think they aren't making ENOUGH money), they make changes. What is the first thing they change? Anything that is free, like allowing brands to get free exposure.
Never hang your hat on one, or even a few, social media sites. Your future depends on it.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Before the term "content marketing" was ever uttered, there was SEO. Search engines have always been a huge source of traffic for any website, and that will continue. How do you increase organic (aka free) traffic to your site? You increase the amount of content (preferably good content).
Content Marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, and depending on how you look at it, they're the same thing. However, if you publish your content on LinkedIn, or anywhere other than your site, you don't get the traffic, the social media site does. Drive traffic to your site, not social media sites.
4. Analytics & Tracking
Yes, Facebook and many other social media sites give you some details on how many likes, views, and clicks your post has received. But, what if you want to know more details, like the geographic area, or other demographics. Once again, you're at the limitation of that platform and what they want to share with you. If your content lives on your website, and you have a tracking system like Google Analytics, you can get more detail on your audience that you may ever need.
If you're writing just to distribute knowledge, that's great! If you want your readers to take a specific action after reading your content, that is always easier if the content lives on your blog or website. Want them to sign up for your service, buy your product, or make a donation? Sure, you can always just add a link in that post, but if you want to embed the form right in the article, you can only do that on your own website.
How to Properly Publish Your Content
Oh, you put your content on your blog and then duplicated it on all the social media websites you could find? Stop doing that. Google and other search engines penalize you for having content that is an exact copy of content on another website. (And for readers, it can be annoying.) Instead, write an intro to your article, publish that on social media and end with a Read More link to your website. When readers click through to your site, you increase traffic, help your SEO and, in the long term, build your brand.
If you don't have your own website or need help with your existing website, get in touch.
Tags:content marketing content strategy digital marketing blogging