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Content reproduction challenges

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday May 10, 2007 )

Increasing numbers of content creators showcasing their wares on social networks and distribution platforms are finding that fame on YouTube or similar doesn’t necessarily equate to cash in their pockets.

Added to monetization issues, many authors are finding that their work is being identified with the distribution/sharing platform, rather than their own sites or brands. It’s viral marketing gone awry.

While some platform providers such as YouTube do offer revenue share to their most popular content creators, it’s nowhere near as much it could be if the users viewing the content were viewing it on the creators’ site.

It’s somewhat of a double-edged sword. YouTube, MySpace etc. attract mega-traffic and are a great way to get noticed, but after that, you really need to be maximizing revenue from those viewers and get them familiar with you – and your site.

Back in 2000, I started posting articles on the long-defunct ThemeStream. The idea was that writers would get paid X amount per X views by ThemeStream. The payment never materialized, but it certainly did push people to my site and I then expanded into letting others reproduce *some* of my articles. This was certainly an important part of my initial success with Taming the

Some advice if you’re considering posting your content elsewhere or allowing reproduction as a promotion strategy:

a) Don’t offer all your best content for reproduction. You’ll wind up with sites basically like a clone of your own or being identified as a part of another site or service.

b) If it’s articles etc. you are offering for reproduction and your site is not well established in the search engines, don’t allow others to reproduce your content until it’s at least a month old. That way search engines can identify the original creation source much more easily.

c) Ensure that there is strong branding on the content you offer so that people can find their way back to you.

d) Be very clear in your reproduction guidelines as to what, when, where and how your content can be shared or reproduced.

e) While MySpace, YouTube and similar are great vehicles, be careful how much time you put into building your profiles and catalogs on those services. You are not in total control and if for whatever reason your profile gets wiped out or suspended and you’ve built your business on the back of those services, you’ll be in deep financial trouble. You should set up profiles and distribution on these sorts of sites in a way to push people to *your* own site.

f) Try offering teaser content, enough to get people interested and then visiting your site.

For a more in depth look at some of the problems video creators are experiencing being so closely associated with content sharing platforms, read this article on Business Week.


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