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Submit blog to multiple places? What's your experience?

I blog about reading and writing memoirs, posting a polished essays on my blog every week. My goal for the blog is to develop my voice and material, to gather an online collection of aspiring and accomplished memoir writers, and to build the all powerful "platform."

I am achieving these goals to varying degrees, and have received terrific feedback about how much people appreciate my writing. After about 18 months, though, I am fairly flat at about 50 views a day. Now I'd like to extend my reach to more people, and wonder if I ought to simply copy my blog to a bunch of social sites, like this one, MySpace, Goodreads, or some of the others. However, I resist this path and would like to hear your advice and experiences.

On the positive side, I imagine I might be able to attract more traffic. On the negative side, I worry about watering down the central value of my blog, and sort of "cheapening" myself. I'm ready to admit that my reluctance might be a Freshman Mistake. I want lots of visitors, but don't want to put my writing on lots of sites... Okay, so it's not entirely rational, but it's not entirely irrational either. Is it? For one thing, Google loves me right now. I suspect I would lose a lot of Google placement if I do shotgunning. I'd love to get feedback from other people who use this "shotgun blog" method - is it worth it? Have you lost google ranking? What sites are best? I appreciate your input.

Jerry Waxler, M.S.
Memory Writers Network

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Hi, Jerry,

You said, "However, I resist this path and would like to hear your advice and experiences." That is telling me that you already know the answer to your question. Always follow your gut instincts. They are right on.

Now I will give you the same advice that was given to me. If you are going to use the same post for more than one blog, you need to change the title somewhat and change some of the subject matter. The reason for this is that the search engines penalize you for repeat content.

I am having the same problem as you because I have 4 blogs and I want to put fresh material on them everyday. I can't. So I end up not putting on any at all. If it were me I think that I would start one more blog. Just one with a link or feed to the other one or vice versa depending on which one you want promoted the most. I have 2 on wordpress and 2 on blogspot/blogger. I try to have 3 of them point to one on wordpress which I consider my main one.

Put your blog addy in your signature in your emails, in your postings, in your brochures and business cards. Treat it the same as you would treat promoting your book, because in a way that is what you are doing.

I hope I have helped some.

Let us know what happens.
Hey Jerry--

To add to this, I would also say you already know the answer. First of all, as Susie mentions, the search engines find repeat content quite quickly and do penalize it.

Above that, you run the risk of making random posts that have people wondering if you are actually interacting with them, or just spamming them...

If you must "spread the word" as it were, check out my profile over at The Writers Network. If you look at the bottom of my left hand column, you'll see a header for RSS. This is pulling titles directly from my blog. You can customize the settings on your RSS links even more (more content, intro, just titles, etc.), so then people can see your blog posts at a glance, but so you aren't reposting the same stuff over and over.

Hope that helps.

I think you've been given good advice. Don't just republish your posts everywhere in an effort to get traffic - that won't work. What you need to do is build many, many backlinks (incoming links) to your blog so that it rises up in the search engines. There are tons of ways to do that. Also, you need to get your RSS syndicated. Funnel it through feedburner, then submit your feedburner RSS url to various directories, social networks, etc.

Growing a blog is hard, but not impossible. If you want, I can give you more, very specific directions on how to do it (I believe you have my email somewhere). There are lots of tricks, and I'd be happy to give you some pointers.

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