Your guide to a successful online business!

If you’ve written a decent blog, there’s no surprise that you may also want to use it across more than one site – perhaps on a sister brand, or even a guest blog post for a third party. Yet, doing so may see you fall foul of duplicate content penalties from Google and Bing, and with those rules not always clear, how do you know what is right and what is wrong? Here’s our six top tips to re-using your content without causes red flags from search bots.

1. Be the best and be the first
Search Engines dislike duplicate content, but they love duplicated content. Well not love, but if it is clear to a searchbot that you wrote and published it first and that the copy text is just that and duly linking back to your website, that should help boost your ranking.

2. Re-use but re-purpose
There’s something to be said for the old adage that nothing is ever original. People have been writing books, magazines, etc long before online content ever came about and even stuff about techie subjects is often a fresh subject but well-worn approach and comments. So coming up with original content doesn’t actually literally mean that. It is perfect acceptable to use old content and re-package it. Re-focus it for a new audience, maybe a new age-range requiring different language. Search bots are clever but they look for language patterns and if you are re-writing a blog in a different style and with different words, they probably won’t spot the similarities.

3. Vary your approach
Statistics are great, they can mean anything you want and the same is true about words, phrases and even official statements. Even if you use the same facts the wide variation of newspapers that still exist in this country shoes that with a different take on them you can write a very different piece, and certainly not one likely to come across and duplicated.

4. Pick a new entry point
If you first wrote a piece about first-time car purchases, have a think how you can give the same piece a slightly different starting line. Obviously you need to change more than just the opening line, but you will be amazed how that opening sentence has a massive influence on how the rest of your blog will flow. For example: Consider a blog on the effects on the car industry as a whole given the choices now available to the first-time car buyer, or perhaps the information sources now available to the first time buyer and how that influences them. Same facts and research probably, completely different blog.

5. Re-examine your research for new gems
As I pointed out, this is nothing new. Freelance journalists have been using these tricks of the trade for years. One exclusive interview will only normally be published in one magazine but some of the unused quotes from the same interview can probably be used in another three or four articles, not just focused on that interviewee, but the subject they talk about, etc.

6. Turn a news piece into a reflective piece
Another journalistic tool. If you wrote a blog last month about the imminent launch of the iPad 3, there’s no harm in re-using much of that for another blog elsewhere but update it. No longer news, now you can add comments of those lucky enough to have been using an iPad3 in the past few weeks. How has it compared to what they expected?

Using and reusing content, is becoming a  must in the busy demands of the online world, but you need to have a strategy about how you achieve it and how it all works together. As ever, don’t just churn out content, make sure it fits somewhere and has a part to play in your longer-term strategy

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