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How to cross post and import your existing blog into DEV and retain SEO, original source and ranking.

There was an article on DEV somewhere that inspired this post, I can't find it though, I'll embed it in as soon as do.

A quick cross-posting lesson — What is it?

Cross-posting is a term for posting something in multiple places at the same time (or having automation that re-posts for you to the same effect).

The term goes way back to the early days of the Internet when newsgroups were popular. When you wrote a message for a newsgroup, it was called a post. You posted your post to the newsgroup that was the most relevant, and if your message had relevance to other newsgroups as well, you could post it to multiple at the same time; this was called cross-posting and it was done to reach a broader audience.

Today, cross-posting often refers to the practice of re-posting articles from a personal blog to different outlets. For example, I might have a personal blog with articles about dev and want to share these articles right here on DEV; I could decide to cross-post articles from my blog to this community. And on that note, let's talk about how it's done...

So, how am I going to achieve this with my current blog?

DEV has built-in tooling that allows you to approach this in a couple of ways!

First, we'll discuss how you import an existing post into DEV using an RSS feed.

Importing your blog articles via RSS and cross-posting them to the community

The basic idea is that if you have an existing RSS feed on your blog, you can then subscribe to that feed from your DEV account, import those posts into your user dashboard as drafts, sort out any formatting issues if needed, and post them to the broader community.

Here's how to get it set up!

First, login and click on your profile picture at the top right. Then hit settings (towards the bottom).

DEV rss import

Once you are in settings, go to 'Extensions'

DEV community extensions

Scroll down a little bit and you'll see 'Publishing to DEV Community from RSS'

this mma life community rss

Drop the URL for the RSS feed from your existing blog into the 'RSS Feed URL' section.

Now, select the 'Mark the RSS source as canonical URL by default' to add this to every imported post, this notifies any search engines that this is the primary version and where the original source is. We'll talk more about why this is important below.

Note: you can also set the 'Replace self-referential links with DEV Community-specific links to replace existing links from your post with DEV specific links. Most people want these links to exit back to their original blog, so feel free to keep this unchecked.

When ready, click Submit Feed Settings and any posts on your personal blog should be imported into your user dashboard as drafts. From here, you can review posts to ensure they imported nicely, correct any formatting changes if needed, and publish them all at once or on whatever schedule you'd like.

Note: you can continue sharing posts on your personal blog and these new posts should import into your user dashboard as drafts whenever published. In other words, if you set up Publishing from RSS, you shouldn't need to manually import new posts each time, but instead they will filter in as drafts automatically. You will need to publish your drafts for these posts to officially go live.

Cross-posting a single article

If you'd rather not import your entire blog or can't because you don't have RSS set up for it, you also have the option to cross-post a single post by copy/pasting it over.

Once you have finished pasting your article into the editor, we recommend heading to the bottom of the post and hitting the little pentagon shape.

this mma life posting

From here, you can paste the original link of the post for your blog in the canonical URL field and away you go!

DEV posting

But hang on, aren't I just giving up my content, SEO, and Google rank every time I cross post?

Nope! DEV have accounted for that by providing authors a way to input a canonical URL for any articles that they are crossposting from another source. This way your SEO is unharmed and, in fact, should be helped.

Despite its cryptic name, a canonical URL is simply a way for you to add information to a post on Dev that indicates where the TRUE (or authoritative) original source of that post is.

Why is this important? Because it tells search pages where the primary content is found and that any cross-post is a legitimate copy.

Setting the canonical URL for your blog post means the original source of your post gets credit from Google whenever the cross-posted version of your post is viewed. In turn, this drives traffic to your blog site (or wherever the original post was posted) and helps build your personal brand.

Keep calm and carry on crossposting

That's it! Dev can help you build your brand wherever you are doing it, come as you are to Dev and let's grow together. 🎉

Top comments (3)

josecastillolema profile image
José Castillo Lema

Thanks for the post!
Is there any possibility to avoid the draft step and directly publish the posts?

njfamirm profile image
S. Amir Mohammad Najafi

Thank's, I'm use this for fetch my post from to my without any time spend!