Feed the Content Monster, or 20 Clever Ways to Repurpose Your Content
In today’s digital landscape, creating and publishing great content is a big part of effective marketing. But for many business owners and marketers, there’s a problem: content creation takes forever. Even if you have the rare skill of actually wanting to write all day long, not everybody has the time to produce new content from scratch on a weekly basis.
Fortunately, even if you’re strapped for time, you don’t have to stop publishing new stuff. Instead, try repurposing your existing content in creative or useful ways. If you’ve already done all the work of creating blog posts, presentations, or graphics, you can probably turn them into other types of high-quality content that will keep your publishing queue full and your audience happy. This guide will walk you through the process of getting all the mileage you can out of your content.
Why Repurpose Content? 3 Major Benefits
Repurposing your content saves you effort, but that’s not the only reason you should do it. Here are a few other benefits of re-using your best pieces.
1. Recycling content can help you build your reputation. Which would you trust more – a business with just a blog, or a business with a blog, an active YouTube channel, and a lineup of well-maintained social media accounts? Most people would choose the second business. Having an active, wide-reaching presence on the Internet establishes your authority and your expertise in your field.
2. Repurposing content helps you connect with your audience. Some people just don’t like reading blog posts. Those same people, though, might enjoy listening to your blog posts in podcast form on their commute. You can tweak your content to appeal to leads at different stages of the sales funnel, or you can upgrade and re-post content for people who may not have seen it the first time around. Repurposing content can be as helpful for your audience as it is for you.
3. Repurposing content lets you publish regularly. How often you publish new content matters almost as much as the quality of that content. More than nine out of ten top business bloggers publish once a week, or even more frequently. Recycling your best content in new ways helps you avoid the all-too-common trap of abandoning your blog and other content channels for months at a time when you get busy with other things.
How to Choose the Right Content to Repurpose
Not every piece of content you create is a good candidate for repurposing. Some pieces have a ton of life and potential in them, while others work better as one-offs. In general, there are three types of content you should focus on first: evergreen content, content that didn’t get the attention it deserved, and then popular content.
Evergreen content is usually your best bet for repurposing. This type of content isn’t time-bound or tied to a particular event – it can stand on its own for months or even years. Evergreen content has some kind of ongoing value for your audience. Examples of evergreen content include:
- How-to articles and guides
- Original research
- Case studies
- Collections of statistics
- In-depth informative content
Evegreen content is a type of content that isn’t time-bound or tied to a particular event. It can stand on its own for months or even years.
Evergreen content tends to be fairly adaptable as well as timeless. That means it’s not too hard to repurpose an evergreen article into something fresh. You can take a slightly different angle on the topic, add new details, or expand on some aspects of the existing piece so your audience feels like they’re reading something new.
Outdated evergreen content is also especially easy to repurpose. If the principles behind a piece of content are still relevant and useful, but the content itself references outdated technology or events (think MySpace or one of Google’s early algorithm changes), swap out the details that are no longer accurate and re-publish the piece.
If some of your content didn’t get the attention it deserved, it’s another good candidate for repurposing. For instance, let’s say you held a webinar, and a relatively small segment of your total audience attended. You can make that webinar keep working for you (and your audience) by sharing the content with the rest of the world in the form of a blog post or video.
Still can’t decide what to repurpose? Start with one of your most popular pieces of content. You already know your audience finds that content valuable or useful in some way, so riffing off it or presenting the information in a different way could lead to a similarly successful new piece.
20 Clever Ways to Repurpose Your Content
Do you have some forgotten blog posts or other text-based content lying around? It turns out that there’s a lot you can do with words on a page. Here are some ideas for recycling your written content.
1. Turn blog posts into podcasts.
One of the simplest ways to repurpose your content is to convert it from text to audio. Try giving some of your blog posts a second life in the form of podcasts. All you need is a device to record your voice.
Start by reworking your blog post into a script. You probably won’t need to change a lot of things – just make sure the piece flows well and a listener will be able to follow it easily. If you tend to write in a formal tone, adapt the language in your script to be a little more casual.
Record yourself reading your script aloud, or hire someone on Upwork or Fiverr to record it. Upload the finished podcast to SoundCloud, BlogTalkRadio, or another hosting site. Don’t forget to promote your podcast on social media!
2. Turn blog posts into white papers.
White papers make great marketing materials, and you can build them out of old blog posts. This is an especially good way to repurpose posts that go into detail about how you solved a problem.
Depending on how in-depth your blog post is, you may need to tweak its structure or add some more details to convert it to a good white paper. Write a summary for the beginning, and make sure the middle is fleshed out with plenty of data to support your points. Once your white paper is done, you can use it as a lead magnet on your site.
You can also choose the best performing posts on your blog and create a roundup white paper out of it. For instance, with Beacon you can create a white paper or an ebook from any blog post. These guys even claim to have a WordPress plugin that automatically creates ebooks out of your WP posts.
To try how things work, I took one of our best performing posts Video Marketing Ideas: What to Post at Every Step of the Funnel and uploaded it to Beacon.
This is what I got:
In case you want to download the ebook, it is available absolutely for free at this link.
Another great tool that allows you to turn a blog post into a white paper in a matter of minutes is PrintFriendly. It even has a Chrome extension that allows you to create a PDF out of any blog post that you read.
Bonus tip: If you really want to improve your blog posts’ performance, try using evergreen lead magnets instead of regular ones. Read this article on Sleeknote to learn more about what an evergreen lead magnet is and how you can create one for your blog.
3. Make an infographic with content from a blog post.
Do you have any blog posts that are full of shareable statistics and graphs? Pull out those visual-friendly tidbits and make them do double duty as an infographic.
You can make infographics on your own with online tools like Canva, Visme, or Animatron Studio for graphics for a video. Another option is to hire a professional designer to do it for you on a site such as Fiverr or UpWork. Keep in mind that whatever route you take, you may want to stick with that designer so your visual content is consistent.
4. Update old blog posts with new information.
Skim over your blog archives and look for posts that could benefit from some updates or additions. If you’ve been blogging for a while, some of your posts probably contain old, outdated information by now. Expanding old posts with new material is another way to add value without writing a whole new post. To avoid any confusion after you make your changes, add a note to the top of the post letting readers know it’s been revised.
Brian Dean, the founder of a great SEO blog Backlinko, frequently uses this tactic to drive yet more traffic to his bloc. In his niche, staying up-to-date with trends is everything. And with over 6K shares for every post, apparently he knows what he’s doing.
5. Make a video based on a blog post.
Sometimes video is a better medium for explaining things than text is. If some of your blog posts explain complex topics, consider turning them into videos for the visual learners in your audience.
It’s hard to go wrong with any type of video, as long as it’s well made. If you’re new to videos, though, consider creating a videographic, a whiteboard-style video, or an animated video. These videos are easy to make, and you won’t have to get in front of a camera yourself. A tool like Wave.video can help you get started easily (and the basic version is free).
6. Hold a webinar based on your blog content.
Want to attract more leads and interact with your existing audience in real time? Holding a webinar is a good way to do that. And if you have a back catalogue of blog posts, it’s easy to come up with webinar content – just turn blog content into presentation slides. Mix things up by combining information from a couple of posts that are related to each other, and add a little brand-new content as well.
7. Publish your writing on LinkedIn and Medium.
Why keep your best writing confined to your blog when it could reach thousands more readers on big sites like LinkedIn and Medium? The more places people can discover your content, the better.
There’s a catch, though. If Google thinks you’re posting your content in multiple places to game the SEO system, they could penalize you, so it’s important to republish your work the right way. Here’s how you can avoid incurring SEO penalties:
- Be selective about which pieces you publish on sites other than your own blog. Broadcast the ones with the most mass appeal as widely as you can, and keep the more niche pieces on your own site.
- Publish only an excerpt of each post. Add a link to your own blog for people who want to read the whole thing.
- Avoid posting the same content word-for-word. Make some changes to the text before publishing on Medium or LinkedIn.
- Wait at least a couple of weeks before reposting any content, so that Google has time to index the original version on your site.
8. Answer questions on the web.
On discussion boards like Quora and Reddit, your blog posts can double as answers to people’s questions. Keep an eye out for questions and conversations that are relevant to blog posts you’ve written, and publish excerpts of your work that address the topic at hand. Only do this if your content is actually applicable, though.
Whenever we have a new blog post published, we would go and search Quora for any related questions. We would then submit a helpful answer and add a link to our new blog post, if that’s relevant and brings more value.
This tip works in reverse, too. If you’ve written any original, well-thought-out answers to people’s questions on discussion boards, see if you can expand those pieces into full blog posts.
9. Combine multiple blog posts into an ebook.
Have you written a lot of blog posts on related topics? Put some of those posts together, and you might find that you’ve got most of the material for an ebook.
Don’t run to Amazon to self-publish your book quite yet, though. Take the time to make your ebook truly high-quality. Sequence your posts in a way that makes sense, and edit them to improve the book’s flow if you need to. Add some fresh, exclusive content, so that your current readers have an incentive to download the book. Add illustrations, photos, or original research. If you don’t know how to format an ebook, hire someone to do it for you.
Services like Beacon are great for creating ebooks, even if you don’t have a designer.
10. Make an audio version of your ebook.
Ebooks, like blog posts, are simple to convert to audio. You’ll have to invest more of your time into recording the book (or spend more to hire a voice professional), but otherwise, the process is mostly the same. Audio content is popular because it lets people multi-task, so if your average reader tends to be busy, it’s smart to provide an audio alternative to your text-based content.
Just like with podcasts, head over to sites like SoundCloud or BlogTalkRadio to host your audio ebook.
11. Fill out your email newsletter with content from your blog.
If you send out a weekly or monthly email newsletter, add some excerpts or highlights from your latest blog posts. Include links so people can read the full posts if they’re interested. You might see your blog traffic and your email open rate go up with this tactic.
Moz is a great example of repurposing content in such a manner. Whenever they have a great new post to share, they would post all of it in an email. So much for shorter emails!
Visual content packs a punch. Images make your content more memorable, and social media posts with images get far more engagement than those without. Make the most of your valuable visual content with these tips.
12. Put your presentations on SlideShare.
Have you given a presentation or hosted a webinar lately? Don’t just let your slides languish in a dark corner of your hard drive – they can keep working for you. Go over your deck and make sure all the information they contain is evergreen. Then upload the deck to SlideShare, where anyone can find and view it.
13. Use your slides as a starting point for infographics or video graphics.
If you’ve got a knack for creating graphics and designing slides, try taking it one step further. Turn those old slides into infographics or video graphics. Even small infographics can be useful for sharing on social media or adding to blog posts.
14. Use your graphics on social media.
Finding or designing images takes time and creativity, so you might as well get several uses out of each one. Don’t retire your infographics, charts, and other pictures after using them just once in a blog post or slide. Recycle them when you promote content on social media to get more clicks and shares.
Social media gives you a huge variety of ways to re-use your content. My best practices include creating new boards on Pinterest, slicing up infographics and making Gif/Videos from that. Marketers should remember that quality pictures live almost forever on social and Google images. That’s why social media distribution is the powerful argument for making your visuals eye-catchy and informative and reuse them in the future!
15. Use visual content on Pinterest and/or Instagram.
To really extend the life of your images, put them on [Pinterest]. Most social media posts fade away within a few days or even a few hours, but pins can last for months. Infographics, image-based how-to guides, and photos that represent your brand are all good choices for Pinterest. Instagram is another visual social media platform where you can repost your images, although Instagram posts don’t last as long as pins.
Infographics do especially well on Pinterest
These tips work for repurposing almost any kind of content.
16. Create an online course based on your old content.
If you’ve ever created a series of how-to articles, videos, or webinars, consider repackaging them into a course. As with eBooks, you’ll probably want to sprinkle in some new content so that longtime readers will want to sign up. Even a short, free course can help you get more email subscriptions.
Platforms like Udemy allow you to host your courses for free. Other options include Stepik and Teachable. You can even host your course on YouTube! Just create a separate playlist for that and grow your audience.
Wave.video course on social media videos on YouTube
17. Play with scale.
Bundle numerous smaller pieces of content together into one big, ultimate how-to guide, or break a big piece of content apart into bite-sized bits of content. Another approach: if you have some basic content geared towards beginners, zero in on details and expand them to create new, more advanced content.
For instance, take a look at this post by Brian Dean. It’s more than a blog post; it’s actually a whole collection of posts related to the same topic.
18. Use your data.
If you’ve done any kind of original research or testing, don’t discard the data when you’re finished. Turn it into an infographic, a case study, or another type of content that highlights your findings. Gathering and making sense of original data is a fantastic way to provide real, unique value.
19. Turn your customer emails into pieces of content.
If you find yourself fielding the same customer emails all the time, turn them into permanent content for your site. Create an FAQ page, or turn individual questions that require more complex answers into their own blog posts. Make sure this content is easy for customers to find!
20. Create new content with repurposing in mind.
When you start working on a brand-new piece of content, think about how you’ll be able to re-use it in the future. Not everything you make has to be recycled, of course. But if you create content with the intention of repurposing some of it eventually, that job will be easier when the time comes.
You probably have more content than you think. With a little creativity, you can turn a single article, blog post, or video into several different pieces of content to use across the web. Repurposing your content isn’t effortless, since you may have to make some edits or add fresh content to what’s already there, but it’s a lot easier than starting from scratch.
What’s your favorite way to repurpose your content? Tell us in the comments below!