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How to Find Untapped Audiences Offline – By Letting Others Republish Your Content

One of the increasingly common emails that I’m getting from my Digital Photography School blog is along the lines of:

‘can I republish and article from your blog in my periodical/newsletter/magazine?’

It is an interesting question and one that I’ve had a change of heart on over the past few years.

Previously I was much more protective of my content and would rarely allow it to be republished (with or without permission) in any form unless there was some very tangible benefit from doing so (ie either payment or a very large readership of the other publication).

However over the last year I’ve begun to see the benefits of allowing my content to be republished – particularly in offline publications.

My reasoning in this thinking is simply that it opens up new audiences and potential reader relationships that you might previously have not had.

One of the challenges that many bloggers face is that after a year or two of running that they often hit a ceiling in terms of readership. Every other blog in their niche knows about them and has already linked up and as a result most active blog readers in the niche have already made a decision about whether they’ll follow you or not.

The main way that you can then grow traffic is to break into untapped and un-reached audiences. There are a number of ways to do this that include:

  • build your SEO ranking and find new readers searching for information on search engines
  • break into a related niche by expanding the topics that you write about and appealing to other blogs on related topics
  • finding new offline sources of traffic

It is this last point that allowing the republishing content can help you with.

Let me offer just one example (of many from the last months):
Recently I was emailed by the editor of an offline publication run by a business asking if he could republish one of my recent articles from DPS (adding randomness to your photos).

The request came in while I was traveling and I didn’t really take much note of who it was from so agreed without giving it much thought.

Today an email came through from the publisher with a PDF proof of how they were using the article and telling me that they would be sending it out to their mailing list this week. The proof was very professional and the company’s logo was one I recognized. I won’t name it here but it’s a fairly big name in the photography industry.

I emailed them back to ask for more information on how it will be used and found that it’s being sent to 6 million people across the US and will probably get picked up to be used for a similar publication in Europe. Each copy will have a my blog’s name and URL in the byline.

Am I glad I’ve changed my mind on allowing others to republish my content?

You bet I am!

In fact I’m considering adding a page and linking to it prominently inviting offline publications to use the content as long as they provide a link back to my blog as it’s source.

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. gecko says:

    not many people enjoy these kind of luxury, only famous blogger like Darren. i like the idea of inviting offline publication linking…

  2. That is flipping awesome! Congrats Darren!! :)

  3. Rene Kriest says:

    Congratulation for changing your mind. :)

    However if the offline promotion happens to be become a common thing I would charge a little. ;)

    Regards,

    René

  4. Nicholas says:

    I think you’re going in the right direction Darren.

    Bloggers do have that tendency to not let others republish their content.

    But as marketers know, it’s more about getting readership, and if you can do that by having others distribute and market your content, then it’s always a positive for both parties, mostly you. You gain more authority, and you gain more readers. (not that you need more authority)

  5. Lori says:

    I have to say it’s nice to find a blog that is as informative as yours, but that keeps a person’s interest too. You provide quality information that is well worth the reading. I subscribed to your feed right away and am already looking forward to see what you write about next. Well done!

  6. Trevor says:

    I can only dream of such exposure in off line publications. So far I’ve had only two requests – one was from a local club’s newsletter where I know I’ve picked up at least one new reader. The request came after I was a guest speaker at one of their meetings.

    The other request came from the small state of Sikkim in India. I have no idea if this has resulted in any readers. In both cases I asked for a link to my blog site. Darren’s example shows that you never know what can result from such requests.

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    gecko – actually the invitation didn’t come as a result of me or my profile at all – just because the person who asked me found me on google.

    wendy – thanks

    Rene – I think charging can work too – although my aim with it is to drive traffic and build profile so if charging means that the content doesn’t get in front of a new reader then I don’t mind doing it for free.

    Nicholas – yeah I think you’re right.

    Lori – thanks for your kind words.

    Trevor – I should have added that most of the requests that I get for republishing comes from:

    1. other websites – which I generally say no to
    2. smaller newsletters (offline) which I generally say yes to

    For me I’m still a little hung up on the online republishing of my content because of duplicate content issues – however if another site really wants to use my stuff I encourage them to either use an excerpt and link back or if it’s a bigger website that I want to build a relationship with I’ll write an article specifically for them.

  8. Peter Cooper says:

    Y’know.. Tim Carter (AskTheBuilder.com) was doing this eight or nine years ago already (this is not to say anything bad, but merely to show how things always seem to come round and round :)). He started the AskTheBuilder site up ages ago, way before the blog era, and then got into having columns syndicated in lots of newspapers across the country, and then even onto a radio show (as I recall). It’s great how “old” ideas can come round and improve our lives in the present if we’re ready to take them on.

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    yeah Peter – it’s not a new practice at all. I guess we as bloggers can sometimes put our heads in the sand and just think we’ve got all the answers within the blogosphere and forget that there are some pretty amazing opportunities out side of it as well :-)

  10. Letting people republish your content can often lead in directions you never anticipated. For example, a post I wrote months ago that turned out to be a breakout hit has been translated into 8 languages- and every day I still get a couple of hits from some Brazilian or Turkish web sites or blogs.

  11. Everyone loves a flame war! Haha. I guess that people will simply do anything to get more traffic to their site and make more money.

  12. Randy Bryan says:

    This is a great idea. I have been helping my 70 something year old dad get his blog, jonbryan.com, off the ground. One of the BEST traffic getter has been getting his blog articles published in the local papers. Thanks for the great ideas Darren.

  13. As a marketing consultant, I’ve seen numerous times where a web site’s search engine rankings have increased due to increased one-way links created by article submissions/republishing. Most of my clients though don’t have the luxury of being approached directly like you have for reprint permission….being that I usually work with start-up businesses and new webmasters. So instead, I usually recommend that they submit articles themselves to spread the word and those invaluable links.

  14. I think offline love would definitely do some online ventures a lot of good.

  15. Doug says:

    Yeah, i always allow indivduals to republish my content. I use to be protective with it when i first started out, but now i let anyone do it if they put a link back to my website and do edit itt or use it for a non profit format. However, i have gotten those occasions when indivduals would copy my content without putting a link back to my website, and that didn’t go too well. For those who want to check their content to make sure that its not being duplicated, scan your writing through copyscape monthly, you may be surprised on what you find at times.

    Doug

  16. Ravi says:

    I just saw your article in The Costco Connection’s latest newsletter! I didnt realize it at first, but then I saw the same tractor photo as the article on DPS you mentioned in this post and so I actually read the article and realized it was the one you mentioned here.

    Small world…

  17. Mike says:

    This is really great news for you. That is a big way of getting more readers.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Want an example of a good time to let a publication sydicate your content offline?  Problogger has one Here [...]

  2. [...] How to Find Untapped Audiences Offline – By Letting Others Republish Your Content Interesting way to benefit by allowing your blog articles to be published offline (tags: Problogger) [...]

  3. [...] It is a mistake to feel that you are “only writing for a Blog” If you view your blog like a magazine it will help maintain a certain standard. Also, as a blogger you can open many future potential avenues of work. For example, in a recent post at ProBlogger, Darren shared how a blog post had been used in a magazine. See: Finding offline work [...]