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How to survive a writing website closure: Sorting articles to republish

Suppose you are a web writer, and one of your primary publishers suddenly shuts down, reverting article rights to you. Just for fun, let’s say that means you’re faced with the task of organizing your library of 1,000 or 2,000 articles.

Oh boy.

Well, I’m doing exactly that. With the recent closure of the Yahoo Contributor Network (and Yahoo Voices), I am picking my way through close to 2,500 articles. Add to that the upcoming end of Helium Inc., and the total grows to approximately 4,000 titles.

Now what?

I’m keeping it simple.

Because I always compose articles in Word documents, I have saved files of all of the articles I have ever published. These are already sorted into file folders by publisher.

Yahoo has already taken down most of my library and returned the publication rights to me.

So I’m tackling those pieces first. Inside my Yahoo folder on my computer, I created new sub-folders to match the topics covered by my own blogs and my columns on other publishing sites.

For example:  I made files for careers, creative writing, crafts, faith, foods, pets, recreation, travel, writing tips, and more.

Then I simply dragged each Yahoo article into the folder where it best belonged. OK, I had a few leftovers, which I’m likely to pitch to other publications.

And I made one more file, titling it ITEMS REPUBLISHED ELSEWHERE.

As I go through each old Yahoo article to edit and publish it in an appropriate spot, I save that document in the new publisher or blog file. And I save the original/unedited version in the file named above.

This process will take a while. Eventually, however, I hope to republish all of the pieces that are still current or evergreen.

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