Facebook launched two new tools in 2015 that serve similar functions: Instant Articles and revamped Notes, both of which aim to do one thing – keep content inside facebook to prevent click “outs”.

Meaning, Facebook wants companies, and now individuals, to post their writing within Facebook itself, meaning users will spend even more time consuming content “in the feed”. This makes total sense for the organization as they rely on Ad dollars to survive, the less you click away from facebook, the more their ads become worth. Plus, the more content that lives inside facebook, the more control they have over how you find it. Facebook, unlike many other companies, has wisely understood there’s no point trying to beat google in building a better index of the web, so instead they’re circumventing it.

This walled garden strategy extends beyond facebook, with Medium being one of the other strongest examples beyond the litany of “online magazines” like Huffington Post and Elephant Journal that want to claim your SEO juice for their profit.

Medium’s premise is that exposure is more important than authorship, meaning that amazing blog post or article you’ve written may get more eyeballs on it initially by posting it on a platform that is not your own. However, from the moment the article is published onwards, all “internet juice”, meaning links to your content, are now flowing into the bucket of a corporation you have no control over. The hope is always that if someone reads your content they’ll “flow back” to your website and but with the relentless onslaught of the new in “feeds”, I just don’t believe this is the case.

That’s not to say it’s not occasionally a good idea to cross post content to another site or write an article for another company or platform, you will likely get some new readers! However, make sure it’s the exception, and not the norm. Write 5 articles that live on your own site for every 1 you post elsewhere. Invest in your link juice!

Now, corporate ad dollars aside, I get even more mystified when I see people doing this voluntarily – a trend I’ve noticed on Facebook and even Instagram lately to take what would be nice short form blogs and post them directly into the feed.

When I see this I think, WHAT A WASTE!, that content now in no way shape or form becomes a long term asset further connecting people back to YOU. The lifespan of content on social media is SHORT, the lifespan of material on your website is perpetual. I’ve seen businesses be built from clients who have written one or two articles that pierce the “viral” vein, gain some traction in a niche, and become the primary traffic generators for their entire website’s for years.

So, what’s the best thing to do then when you have a piece of valuable content you’d like to share? POST IT ON A FEED YOU CONTROL 100%. Meaning, make sure to start your OWN website, be it a WordPress site, hand built site, squarespace site, or whatever, that lives at a domain name YOU own. Then, SHARE that link to all the social networks you want, even write a short article for Medium commenting ON that article and linking back to it. Now suddenly every time someone shares that content, or comments on it, all that lovely link juice is flowing back to YOU and YOUR business, not facebook’s. Make sure to reap the benefits of the content you create by putting your writing and work on a home that you own.

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