Today I read another of the many critical articles that condemn those of us whose website content is not 100% unique to us. Most seem to think we should be banned from search engine listings forever. Every time I see one of those scathing rants, I scratch my head, completely bewildered by the logic.
Publishers don’t write everything they publish. In fact, most publishers don’t write anything they publish. They publish other people’s work. Shall we ban all books that were not self-published?
Newspapers have in-house writers and also publish syndicated content. Most of the content is a duplicate of what every other newspaper is publishing. If every newspaper had to generate unique news stories, we’d surely get a very limited selection of news. And, without syndication and duplication, how would we get the comics — and the New York Times crossword puzzles to drive us crazy?
More often than anything else, web publishers are attacked for publishing articles from article syndication sites like ezinearticles.com and ideamarketers.com. Yet the whole idea of such sites is to make it possible for bloggers and other writers to get publicity and backlinks to build traffic to their own sites. It is a tried-and-true method of getting known and followed. Especially when first starting a site or blog.
Like me, a great number of webmasters who write their own material, and have garnered a reasonable amount of traffic, find that other writers send material to us for publication. It helps both sides. The publisher gets more content for his/her readers and the writer gets better known. And other publishers like me realize that rather than wait for writers to send us content, we can find relevant material on syndication sites.
We do it because we want to provide our readers with as much good, relevant content as possible. More than we have time to write ourselves. Content that gives more than our own limited perspectives. Content that adds value to our readers lives.
I can’t speak for what other honest publishers like me have in mind when they publish other writers. But I can tell you what I’m trying to do.
First, I believe that there is a great deal that I know about developing high performance and productivity. I can write about it myself and do so. But I have the knowledge and expertise to also recognize good information that other people have written. Things that I might write if I had the time. Things that I might have written differently, but not as effectively. Things that interest and delight me that I’m happy to share.
I get an extra boost for my site by sharing them directly rather that by simply publishing a link. I deserve the boost. It’s hard work to constantly search through the bad articles out there and find some solid stuff that helps my reader. I spent a lot of years acquiring the expertise to recognize other people’s work that would help my readers. (Remember the Ph.D. after my name? I doesn’t stand for fuddy-duddy.)
When I read articles that I think about publishing for others, I don’t just read the article. I go to the website. I see what the author is offering. There are articles too numerous to count that I will never publish because the authors have websites that are all about selling, selling, selling low-value or obnoxious products. I’m very selective about whom I publish. I want the articles and the authors I publish to reflect well on me.
Furthermore, when I started accepting articles from other authors, I was happy to have the opportunity to help others who were newer to the scene than I. I’ve never stopped making that a consideration. Not only do I publish others, I also take the time to boost their websites when I can.
In addition to the added value on my site of having a psychologist preview articles for you, you find a summary of the article on the front page of my site, along with a label telling you its category. I have a list, with the summaries, for an entire month after I publish the article. So, you can pick and chose from more than a mere title.
You also will find that I’ll often write a blog post elaborating on the content of the article from my own perspective, or expanding a section of the article into a different article of my own. So, more unique content from me at the same time I’m publishing another author’s content. (BTW — all my blog posts are my own writing.)
I’m not alone. Plenty of webmasters who use other people’s content do it in similar ways and for similar reasons. We are honestly serving our readers what we believe is the best content we can produce or find.
We’re tired of being tarred with the same brush that limns the content scrapers, publishers of worthless “spun” articles and spammers.
(Temporary end of rant. Reserve option to continue at later time.)