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.