My wife and I are avid recyclers.
We don’t like to see anything go to waste. If something can be recycled or repurposed, we try our best to do just that. We save up all of our aluminum cans, crush them and haul them off to a local recycler. Paper items such as newspaper, used printer paper and yes, junk mail get shredded and sent off.
It just makes sense to recycle waste and often you can get good money for your efforts.
Your articles aren't trash, but . . .
They can still be recycled.
Once an article has been written and posted you may find that the fun is just beginning. There are several things you can do with "used" blog posts. And it's possible to make additional money from them as well.
Some of these tips are easier to do than others; and some work better with a collection of posts. But all of them can be used to breathe new life into old work.
By the way, there's a difference between revamping and repurposing an article. Revamping usually involves updating with current information. Repurposing involves retooling it for a different purpose or market, or changing its format completely. For a good article on revamping versus repurposing, check out this HubSpot article.
1. Repost your article on another blog
Sometimes it's possible to repost your article on a different blog site.
Be sure to check with the original posting website though. If you are paid for your articles, make sure you don't violate any copyright ownership agreements.
If you are reposting, it's a good idea to go over the article and see if you can modify it to reach a different audience. For example, if you change the emphasis then you can give it a new message.
New messages bring new and different responses. Just make sure the content is still viable and relevant.
2. If it's a long post, split it up
The supposed industry standard for a blog post is 250-650 words. I guess I'm not standard. At 650 words, I'm just getting warmed up!
If you have an epically long post, consider turning it into separate posts, either short posts for a series or standard posts for each subtopic. For example, if you wrote a post on the general topic of lead generation techniques, write several more posts on each of the techniques you presented.
3. Compile several posts into a report or eBook
Here's a good one. Take multiple posts and turn them into an eBook or even a special report.
For example, my wife's site promotes her sewing business and we use informational blog posts for SEO. It won't be hard to turn the posts into "The Best of Mary's Sew & So!" in the near future as the number of posts increases.
In Mary's case, the download will be for sale. Why? Many people who visit her blog will never be direct customers. They don't live near us and her business is quite localized. But why not tap into the potential for profit from out-of-area folks as well?
4. Convert it into another format
This is where you can really get your creative juices flowing. So many ways . . . so little time! Here are a few ideas:
- People like list posts. Take your most popular one and turn each list item into a full topic.
- People like list posts (still). Take several posts that are related and turn them into list posts or summaries.
- Turn it into a visual post: slide show, movie or infographic.
- Let your readers hear it by producing a podcast from the post.
5. Create cornerstone content
If you haven't heard of cornerstone content, here's the deal. Your business or website may contain several areas of knowledge. For example, if you're a content marketer then you probably have articles on headlines, on formatting, on call-to-actions or on other aspects of CM.
Create a landing page that has a list of the major topics with a link to each topic's page. Then fill the topic page with links to relevant posts. Include links in your sidebar to promote the topic landing page as well.
This could lead to a membership area or even paid instructional courses.
6. Punch it up and turn it into a lead generator
I alluded to this earlier, but a good blog post can be rewritten to morph it into a lead generation tool. It could become an email, landing page or download such as a special report.
7. Use it for a clip or work sample
This should be a given if you're a freelancer like me, or even if you're an agency writer. Use your best posts as examples of your work. You can either link to the original article or create a download of it.
One caveat on linking to the original: if it's not on your website, check it periodically to make sure the site and/or article is still available. You don't want people clicking on a link and getting a file-not-found error.
I do a combination of these two, along with linking to whole sites where I've written or rewritten the content and copy. When linking, it's always a good idea to get permission first. Most sites allow it because it's good for their SEO.
8. Use your posts to learn
I don't see this one very much, but your articles can provide valuable insight into your progress as a writer. Put each one in a binder or folder.
Use your posts to teach yourself. Not on the subject matter, but on your skills as a writer. I know several writers that just send their articles out into the world and never give them a second thought.
But if you track how well (or how badly) your article was received, you can learn from all of them.
- Had a popular one: what did you do right and can you duplicate it?
- Had a mediocre reception: how can you improve its ratings?
- Had a bad one: what went wrong and what do you need to fix?
The big dilemma repurposing solves
I've come up against this problem on several occasions and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. You sit there brainstorming for a new blog article. You've written down some ideas. But . . .
As you look at the list you realize to your dismay that you've already written a lot about those topics. Could it really be that you've come to the end of your content article rope and have no recourse but to let go?
Not a chance. Look over those ideas again — the ones you've already done – and see if you can repurpose your existing content for a different format, new audience or different result.
Reuse, recycle, repurpose — not just for paper and plastic anymore!
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