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Content Blogs versus Syndicate Blogs?

Scrivs takes a look at whether its best to write an original content blog or a syndicated (linking to others articles) blog. It is a good question that is well worth thinking through for each of your blogs.

My advice is similar to Paul’s – for me it comes down to a number of factors which will vary from blog to blog. These factors include:

  • Time – it takes more time to write original content than to syndicate others content. I’m not saying syndication is ‘easy’ – it does take time to find quality articles to link to – but I find once you’re in a rhythm you can do it reasonably quickly.
  • Inbound Links – if you want to get a lot of people linking to your blog you might want to consider some original content. You might get a few links by doing syndication but they’ll usually be scattered ‘hat tip’ type links of people acknowledging you as a source of their own syndication rather than a link that will bring you traffic.
  • Quantity – if you’re wanting to get a lot of content up quickly then syndication is probably your best option as its easier to post larger numbers of posts if you’re not having to come up with all the ideas yourself and then write them up.
  • Community – as Scrivs writes in his post – content sites tend to build more community than syndication sites. This is the case in most of my blogs – however there are always exceptions. For example the Michael Jackson Trial Blog gets a lot more comments than most of my other blogs – yet the content is largely syndicated.
  • Writing and Creative Skills – are you able to write well? Some of us are better at writing than others and may be more suited to a content blog. Whilst writing skills are still important with syndication sites however when you’re translating original thought into content the they especially come into play.

So which is best?

I guess it depends how you define ‘best’ but on a personal level I am drawn more to original content blogs. However as an entrepreneur blogger I know that it is not feasible for me to write any more than a handful of such blogs – the energy, creativity and drive to keep more than two or three of them going is too much for most people. ProBlogger is probably the blog that I run that has the most original content on (although I mix it up with some link posts also) – and it takes more time than any of my other blogs to run. However I get a lot more personal satisfaction here than in most of my other blogs.

So the majority of my blogs would fall into the syndication category. I aim to mix some original content through most of them from time to time to add a little spice – but the majority of my 25 posts per day schedule is of a syndication nature with a link, quote and comment.

I have had some criticism for this approach from a minority – but most of my regular readers on the different topics that I cover value the blogs as places where they get a filtered, targeted, organised and relevant selection of the latest news on a particular area. These blogs may not be quite as profitable on a ‘per post’ basis – however due to their larger volume of posting actually end up being more profitable.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Malach says:

    One of the things I’m looking at with one of the blogs I’m considering starting up, is a target ratio of content vs syndicated, and some way of recording (for myself) which posts count as which.

    The thing is, however, that something that starts as ‘just’ a link post can evolve into content fairly quickly if you have something to say on the subject. Where do you draw the line?

    At the extreme end, you can present links from a variety of sources on the same subject, trying to present a balanced view while adding your own commentary. That’s somehow more than plain syndication, and getting into content generation – perhaps it’s more like editorial aggregation?

  2. The deconstruction philosopher Jacques Derrida was known for quoting large sections of another philosopher’s text, then adding brief commentary to it. But Derrida’s commentary, even when very short, is usually astonishing.

    So I say, if your post is a quote of and comment on another blogger’s post, you better have something profound to add to it.

    You better disagree intelligently, or point out something easily missed, or clarify, or expand, or correct, or somehow bring something worthwhile to the topic.

    Otherwise, you are “re-blogging” in the worst sense of the word.

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