“Should I let websites reprint my articles?” Kathy Carlton Willis on Author PR

Note from Laurie:   In a recent author discussion, I expressed frustration about articles scraped  from websites and pasted into other sites without permission. I was concerned for the nonprofit company I edit blogs for, whose goal is firm placement on page one of Google search for specific keywords. (Scraped content can confuse search engines. )

However, as an author you may find your work reprinted by bloggers who are simply delighted to find great material to share with their own followers. They may or may not ask permission, yet imitation can indeed be the highest form of flattery. So knowing that scraping happens, why not use it as a great tool? Allow it to spread your author name a bit more liberally around the internet?

In this guest post, Kathy Carlton Willis, publicist, author and coach at KCW Communications, offers you some great tips on how to encourage other sites to reprint your material. She points out that the more visible you are on the internet, the more likely you are to have clout with media, book reviewers and event planners.

~~~

Article Placement: Intentional Use of Reprints and Guest Blogger Posts Online

by Kathy Carlton Willis:

 The Plan:

  • Write several 400-word articles on your core topics. Be sure to use a creative hook and take a fresh perspective with your pieces, so readers are more likely to share each piece.
  • Offer these articles as free article content for online e-zines, websites, and guest blogger posts.
  • Give directions for use of the reprint to create the best exposure. Supply them with:

 1) article text

2) a jpg of your photo so they don’t borrow one from online that isn’t your favorite pick,

3) an updated bio to ensure they don’t use a stale one they found on an old web page,

 4) a website link to encourage clicks to your site,

5) a legal reprint permission clause mentioning reprint rights are available to others who want to pick up the article.

  • Post the same material on document sharing sites, such as docstoc, Google Docs, etc.
  • Include links to the articles on your social networking sites (Twitter and Facebook). Others will pass along your links on their sites too.
  • You can also make these articles available for church bulletin inserts, newsletter articles, etc. Anywhere editors need content in print or online.
  • One example of this technique is posted here.

I’ve seen great success in expanding scope of reach through sharing article reprints. Be smart by equipping each article with a power-packed bio and a hyperlink to the author’s website. As others use your material, you’ll accumulate pages and pages of extra “credits” on search engines. Make sure your website is still seen on the first page of the search engines, by updating regularly and making sure other sites cross-link to your site.

Article placement allows us to connect with all of our audiences. As writers and speakers, we need to network with:

  • Media
  • Consumers/Audience/Readers
  • Retailers
  • Ministries/Churches/Speaking Venues
  • Reviewers
  • Bloggers
  • Social Media

If a contact from one of the above categories wants to check out your name on a search engine (like Google) to see if you have a good standing, they will like seeing pages and pages of search results. This gives you additional clout. Media will be more likely to book you if they see you have buzz online. Bloggers will want to invite you to be a guest blogger or to review your book. Event planners, consumers and others will contact you.

If you give them permission to use the full article, they are more likely to post the link on their social network sites like Facebook and Twitter. This gives you more possibilities to expand your platform, your tribe, whatever you want to call your scope of reach. If you only give permission for them to use the hook to the article and then link back to your original article, they are less likely to post a link on their social networking sites. We don’t want to make our readers jump through hoops (and extra links) to have to read our work. My motto is: you’ve got to give it away and it will come back to you! You will get more mileage.

For those of us who want to help out our fellow writers, if we are willing to simply post the hooks with “read more” and a link to the original sites, we help authors get more traffic on their sites. It’s a good thing. Another way to pay it forward.

What is your next step to offer free article content as a way to recycle your material and gain more exposure?

Kathy Carlton Willis serves as publicist, author and coach at KCW Communications. She shines, whether she’s shining the light on God’s writers and speakers, or reflecting God’s light during her speaking engagements. See: www.kathycarltonwillis.com

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