mark-twain-repeat

I’ve written enough now that I sometimes worry that I’ve forgotten what I’ve already written and may be repeating myself. But does it matter? Am I in danger of a duplicate content penalty from Google? I suppose it depends whether I repeat myself verbatim. Doing so would be an impressive feat if it has been long enough for me to forget I’ve already written about a certain topic.

My opinion is that repeating oneself does no harm to content marketing efforts, and may do some good. Here’s why:

1. If you’re repeating yourself, the topic is evidently important to you. If so, why write about it only once? By all means as Stephanie Flaxman says, you can write about a single thing several times, from multiple angles. Explore the topic thoroughly. Embrace the repetition.

2. Remember, we live in a search-centric and social-sharing centric world (did I use the hyphens correctly there? I don’t know, and I don’t much care, although I am curious, but not curious enough to take the time to figure it out) when it comes to content. Whatever you write is going to show up in a search engine or be shared on a social network. Either way, most of the people who see it will never see the other content that is a near match.

3. If someone does happen to read something you read that is a close match to something you’ve written in the past, so what? What are they going to do? Demand a refund? Call you out on it? Chances are nobody cares enough about your content to take the time to dwell on such things. If anything, they might be interested to compare the differences from one piece to another. Worst case scenario–they’ll stop following your content. And if they’re willing to unfollow over such a thing, do you care?

Of course you wouldn’t want to repeat yourself every week. But I’m talking about perhaps once or twice a year, except in those cases where you are truly exploring a single topic from different angles, which isn’t truly repeating yourself at all.

How have you repeated yourself on purpose?