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When People Want To Republish Your Stuff

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:28 PM

Someone wants to republish your content. That is a very high compliment and you should be pleased. However, the content that they ask to republish is unique and cost a lot of time and money to produce. Let's say that the content is an article and you paid an expert $1000 to write it for your website. That makes you the owner and you can do with it as you please. The article is a valuable addition to your website because:
  • it entertains your visitors
  • it attracts traffic from search engines
  • it earns income from ad views
  • it attracts links
If you allow that content to appear on another website its value to you will decline. You would compete with the second site for search engine traffic and if a visitor saw the article on the other site they would not read it on your site - both of those would cost you income because the pageviews on your site would not yield ad impressions or clicks. And, if a copy of the article is on another site then the their copy will attract some of the links that would have gone to you, the owner of the content. Some of these same losses would occur if the content is published in any form, on or off of the web.

How would you handle these types of requests?

A ) someone wants to republish on their website

B ) someone wants to republish it in an email newsletter

C ) someone wants to republish in a printed newsletter

D ) someone wants to republish in a book that will be sold

The people who ask this permission hope to use your content for free. Some of them are sharks and know that they are going to make easy income off of your investment. Others have no idea that their request will deprive you of income - they think you are a selfish rat for denying them.

There can be positive sides to these republications. It can introduce your content to many people and they might visit your website to see what else you have. At the same time it could call "open season" on your content and lots of people, with and without permission, will start grabbing and republishing - because someone else did it.

I have a short fuse decision to make on this... any thoughts or experience that you can share will be appreciated.

Thanks! :thumbs:

Edited by Respree, 12 March 2008 - 04:40 PM.

#2 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:34 PM

In general (and obviously there may be exceptions), I'll gladly accept reprinting of an article in translation where the publisher supplies the translation. However, just about any other situation I'll say no --- I'll happily prepare a new article on the same subject, but not simply allow the previous article to be reprinted.

It does depend on the scope of the publication, of course, as well. Generally speaking, though, if I'm not already familiar with the publication, I probably wouldn't be inclined to accept it.

#3 BillSlawski


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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:45 PM

I agree with Joe's thoughts on this topic.

A translation, yes. For other uses, a new article on the same subject would be the approach that I would want to take.

#4 Ron Carnell

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:52 PM

I have no pat answers beyond the obvious question I always ask: Do I stand to gain as much or more than I stand to lose? Generally, I think the answer to that question is usually Yes, but each scenario has to be examined on its own merit. Usually yes, sometimes no.

When I do grant permission, I try to make it very clear that the permission is not without limits. Specifically, I always tell them I reserve the right to revoke my permission with 30 day notice to that effect. I want to them to understand that it's in their interest, not just mine, to send me a few good visitors now and then. We should both be looking for a win/win relationship; those looking to pull a fast one will quickly find it's a short one, too.

FWIW, when writing the promotional blurb to accompany the piece, I've found that including a link to "related articles" on MY site pulls substantially more clicks than a simple site link.

#5 Respree


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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:06 PM

And, if a copy of the article is on another site then the their (republished) copy will attract some of the links that would have gone to you, the owner of the content. Some of these same losses would occur if the content is published in any form, on or off of the web.

* bold my emphasis, my inserted parenthetical.

If it were me, I'd insist of a short author bio and link to my site. Another thing you can add to the 'benefits' pile is that its highly probable that you may even get back some of that 'stolen' traffic, provided you selectively grant permission only to higher profile, high traffic sites. Visitors may have gone to the other site, simply because they visit it often or through their own SEO efforts which have nothing to do with your article. But once on the site, they stumble across your article because it was related to something they actually came to the site for. They read your article, liked what they read and were hungry for more by the author. You may even get more of these types of clicks, that what you lost to them in the SERPS. Who knows?

I can see that scenario happening very easily, as well, provided it's a high quality, informative and well-written article (i.e. try to avoid using words like "stuff" in your titles. :) ).

Edited by Respree, 12 March 2008 - 06:12 PM.

#6 iamlost


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Posted 12 March 2008 - 07:48 PM

In my experience there are two 'bad' concerns:
* other site(s) may not properly control bots and your content gets reprinted by scrapers everywhere.
* other sites do not actually value your content but instead the revenue to be derived. These are the folks who expect things for 'nothing' or a simple link back.

1. Fair use (not an international standard) requires attribution as a minimum, a linkback would be nice.
Anything else falls under copyright agreement between you and them:
2. Extensive use or an abridged edition should require (as far as I am concerned) an author bio and linkback to original for a set time.
3. A total reprint should be require the above plus some payment(s).

It is amusing that so many folks who would gladly pay monthly for anchor text and a backlink scream in anguish at being asked to pay for equally (or greater) valuable content.

I now totally refuse total reprint requests simply because I then spend my time swatting scraper sites. A good part of my content value is that it is unique. Fortunately (!?) 99% of requests immediately squawk off upon being told about monthly reprint billings.

I will happily provide an abridged edition for bio and linkback. I do one or two a week for solid linkbacks and reasonable traffic generation. Another one or two are written by the requesting sites. These are pure gravy. That most are quickly scraped and replicated has minimal impact on my original articles.

It really comes down to a cost analysis.

#7 A.N.Onym


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Posted 12 March 2008 - 11:24 PM

As usual, it depends on what you get and what you lose.

If the republishing site is higher in the SERPs, than yours, then you'll lose the search traffic and any of the natural incoming links that come from the search traffic. In this case, I'd refuse, unless I am desperate for links (not your case, I'd guess).

Technically, the best way is, indeed, to write a new article on any topic that the requesting side wants. An author bio with a couple of links (to the blog, a product and a service) should work.

However, when the article won't be visible to the search engines (some newsletters don't publish content online, and the print newsletters), I guess I'd allow them to republish it by giving proper, generous attribution (providing the author name, author bio and mentioning what the author does and sells). In this case, you lose nothing, but can gain quite a bit of visitors/customers.




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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:29 AM

Thank you for these generous replies. :thumbs:

Joe and Bill... I've denied translations in the past but might reconsider that next time. I am not able to do a rewrite this time because the time involved would be much greater than the exposure merits, but in the case of a request from a very well known source that is a great idea.

Ron... That tip about linking to related pieces is great. I bet that does pull more visitors. Also being clear that the permission is not a license to use anything. They need to say exactly what they want to use, where they want to use it and I need to give specific approval to each and every one.

Garrick... lol... "STUFF", yes, you are absolutely right!

Yuri... great point about the newsletter. That is actually part of the request in this situation.

iamlost... Your posts often bring up items that are completely off of my radar. What do you do to control bots? I'd like to consider that for this site. Thank you!

Thanks to all for your great replies. This is why I post here - the great responses to ideas and questions.

One of my employees brought up a point that I can add here. Many of our articles contain images that we have purchased a license to use. If we allow use of the article we would have to replace those images which can be very expensive and have time limits.




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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:47 AM

Here's what we did....

We denied permission to publish the articles citing copyright and image licenses as the reason. However, we offered to write a title, a few sentences of summary and the URL for whatever articles they would like.

This is not a total denial. They still get a little free content and depending upon how they post the URL we could get a link.

Thanks for all of your advice! We were inspired by how many of you would offer an article rewrite. Although we can't go that far because of limited time, the short summary might be viewed as something useful by those who made the request.

We appreciate your help!

#10 A.N.Onym


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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:07 AM

Hrmm. My initial reaction was that a summary isn't that good of a deal. On second thought, however, they get a summary written for free and that's something not to discard easily.

Did you consider writing a smaller, shorter article on the topic or you don't have a writer at hand?

Do let us know how it goes.

#11 EGOL



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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:43 AM

I decline requests to republish articles like this often because the request comes from someone wanting to mooch content for their own gain - very easy to say "no". This request had me rethinking what I do because I like the organization and would like to support them in some way. Unfortunately I don't have time to rewrite and they wanted to use a number of articles.

The few sentence summaries are easy. We will recycle new article announcements from our blog. This is a way of saying "no" but also saying "yes" to something smaller.

#12 A.N.Onym


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Posted 13 March 2008 - 11:13 PM

Ah, ok.

#13 Angela Charles

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 10:32 AM

Hmm. Really interesting debate. I was just asked earlier this week for permission to reprint an article in a newsletter out of U.K. I viewed it as an opportunity to promote our brand. Maybe I'm not valuing our content highly enough, but it seems that a $1,000 reprint fee (which might cause the requesting company to go away) yields far less long-term value to our company than the potential for new prospects who would read our article and use the link to click-through to our site.

#14 bwelford


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Posted 02 April 2008 - 12:01 PM

I guess, Angela Charles, it all depends how prestigious the newsletter is. Its stature may well enhance the implied authority of your own brand.

#15 EGOL



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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:24 AM

A quick update...

I continue to get these content republication requests. I am replying to them with a very simple message....


Dear Mr. Cxxxxx,

Thank you for your interest in our article about widgets. This article is property of EgolsSite.com. You can easily share the article with your visitors by linking to it from your website.

Here is the link code for your convenience....
<a href="http://www.egolssite...ticle.html">All About Widget Article</a>



This reply usually gets a "thank you" from the person who made the request and usually results in a link.

I like this reply because I am not saying "NO" to the person requesting (some of them are people I know and are really nice folks - however, many of them are simply mooching content). Instead, I am giving them an optional way to share the article.

A couple have written back saying... "... but we would really like to have the article on our site..."

That plea sets me up to say... "My expenses to create the article were $X. I will allow you to publish it for $X provided that the article has an 'About the Author' paragraph in the sidebar which includes a link to the homepage of my website and a link to the original article on my site." So far there have been no takers for this option - and that is fine with me.

I like to be a nice guy, I don't like to tell people "no"... this has been a quick and mentally easy way for me to respond to republication requests.

I have not gotten any requests from sites that have an enormous profile as described above by Barry and Angela. If that happens they will get the article for free because of the potential exposure for my own site.

#16 bwelford


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Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:45 PM

I think your approach is excellent, Egol. It made me think of one small addition to your standard reply. Perhaps if you added a one paragraph abstract of your article with the link, then if it is used, this may funnel more traffic to your website.

#17 bobbb


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Posted 05 September 2008 - 02:48 PM

So far there have been no takers for this option

How come I am not surprised? :)

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