The internet has been abuzz with talk about the upcoming film Star Wars: A Force Awakes and fans across the world can barely contain their excitement. I will be standing in line with the rest of you opening night, but I am pretty sure I can already predict the outcome of the upcoming film.
The Star Wars saga is, at its core, nothing more than the story of good vs. evil. So why all the hype?
The Star Wars plot has been done before, clearly. The story of good vs. evil has been the cornerstone of hundreds of movies throughout the course of cinema history. What makes Star Wars so compelling is that George Lucas, and now J.J. Abrams, have found a way to retell the story and make it more compelling. The protagonists have been turned into Jedis and the bad guys (Siths) carry red lightsabers. Good vs. Evil has been repurposed for a new audience and the classic story has been given new life. All audiences love a good story.
Like the movies, just because you are tired of publishing the same content on your blog doesn’t mean your readers are tired of hearing it. I’m excited to talk about repurposing content and how you can rejuvenate old content and continue to gain value from your most popular topics. I’ve got lots of tips, tricks and lists – so what are you waiting for? Keep reading!
We are all familiar with the saying, “Work smarter, not harder”. Time is a valuable resource, especially when many of us wear a variety of hats. Throughout the week I work on everything from blogging, answering emails, preparing for client meetings to designing websites and various digital media. I don’t have a lot of time for content creation, which is why I recommend repurposing your content to make it work for you.
Take a look through your analytics to find popular posts; chances are you’ll find a popular topic that you can expand upon with fresh new ideas. Or, like the Star Wars example above, you can always find a trending topic and put your spin on it as it relates to your industry.
You don’t always have time to be original, but by repurposing content you can spend less time searching for new ideas and more time improving on a topic or story that already exists.
Repurposing content doesn’t mean finding an old post and publishing it again, repurposing content is an opportunity to improve on a topic you are familiar with by making it relevant to today’s readers. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Instagram and Pinterest have revolutionized how users absorb content online. It’s important to make your content available to as many readers as possible and in all the places they are looking for it.
Having multiple pieces of content on the same topic has a positive impact on SEO and can help generate authority on a specific topic or keyword. It’s great to use repurposed content on your website, but publishing repurposed content around the internet that links back can help generate a series of juicy inbound links, thus helping to make you an authority on the topic.
As an added bonus, repurposing content on a single topic helps send a message to your readers that your topic is important.
To move forward you must look backwards. The best place to find content worthy of repurposing is in your blog archives. Recently I was reading a Buffer post and came across the perfect quote related to repurposing content:
Content repurposing doesn’t just mean that you reuse an old piece of content again and again. True repurposing requires that we alter it to make it fresh and appealing to a new audience. – Garrett Moon of CoSchedule
Image Source: CoSchedule
It’s important to be on the lookout for blogs that have the following:
Evergreen content is timeless and always relevant. These blogs generally get a lot of traffic and contain lists of best practices, tips & tricks, helpful tools and are generally always useful.
Look at the traffic your blog has been receiving and find the blogs or topics that have received the most organic search traffic. Reviewing the organic traffic is a good way to research what topics your readers are searching for; you may be surprised which topics jump to the top.
Look for blog topics that you can improve upon. Maybe something in your industry has changed since the post went live or maybe more information has been published on the subject. Sometimes we shorten blogs to get them out the door when really there was more to say. Blogs like this make great candidates for repurposing content.
Great content promotes more great content. Find a blog from the archives that is worth repurposing and then spin it in a new direction or break it out into new pieces of content, like a series. A great example is taking a blog with a list and breaking the list into individual posts. Each post is related to the same topic (great for SEO remember) and each can be linked to each other to encourage readers to dig deeper. Breaking out a list, for example, gives you the opportunity to expand upon the original points and give more details and examples to back up your points.
This blog, for example, could eventually be broken down and I could write a whole new one about any of the topics mentioned, like evergreen content. Here are a few more examples that could spin off from this post:
The same ideas hold true if you have a group of posts that you want to collect into a single post or overview.
Another way to repurpose your content is to change the format it is presented in. Traditionally we are use to reading blogs like this where all of the content is outlined on the page in a linear fashion. With all of the new phones, tablets and smart watches on the market it is an exciting time for exploring new mediums.
During school I remember teachers requesting presentations – I swear I made a presentation for everything – because they were a great way to break up large amounts of content into digestible segments.
Making a presentation is a great way for readers to engage with your content and help highlight the important talking points. Tools like Google Slides, PowerPoint, Keynote or Canva are great for creating a slideshow that can then be uploaded to sites like SlideShare. SlideShare presentations can easily be shared on various social media sites or embedded onto a website with a few clicks.
Infographics have made a huge impact on how many of us, myself included, break down and inhale information. It’s true that most of us would rather look through pictures than read a lengthy, blocky, text-heavy blog post.
In the simplest terms an infographic is a visual presentation of information broken down into an easy to understand overview.
Infographics so versatile and are ideal for presenting everything from data heavy content to breaking up an article into the main points. Successful infographics help do a better job of communicating talking points to your audience.
Infographics can also be easily shared on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Below is a snapshot on responsive email design from an infographic found on Litmus. (Full post here).
As soon as your post a new blog get to work on sharing it across your social media platforms, email list and website. A post from a year ago might become relevant again based on a news story or a trend within your industry. Republishing old content on social media is a great way to stay active with your followers and publish content that is relevant to their searches.
Look through your old post and find one that is out of date, is there a way you can rewrite the copy to make it more relevant to today’s reader? When modifying old content you may be able to salvage most of the content or your may only keep a few points, regardless it is a great place to start.
Our last post, Use Evergreen Content to Reach New Audiences on Social Media, was on the topic of reposting content and the benefits to do so. To recap reposting content can be beneficial to gaining more traffic and reaching new audiences. Some tips for resharing old content include testing alternate headlines and messages and sharing across multiple time zones. This helps get older content in front of new readers who may be likely to interact with and share your post with their friends.
Image Source: Buffer.com
Email is a great way to put the content you want directly in front of your readers. I check my email a few times an hour and constantly get updates from a variety of content creators. Email campaigns are great for taking blogs related to a single topic and breaking them into bite-sized chunks that can be viewed in a series of emails.
Email campaigns are great for promoting a new or series of content to existing users, but they can also be instrumental in presenting new subscribers with your to 10 “Hall of Fame” blogs. Promoting email series is a great way to drive reader engagement and collect new subscribers.
Writing a book may sound daunting but before you begin shaking your head take a look at your content to see how many posts you have collected on a single topic. Writing an ebook is easier than it sounds. For example, this list could be turn into its own ebook by including a more copy under each example, including photos and expert backed content to support each claim. The backbone is already in place it would only take a little finessing to turn this post into a ebook.
Once you have your ebook you can use it as a content asset to collect additional email subscribers or publish it as an additional revenue source. Many websites like Smashing Magazine, KISSmetrics and Hubspot use ebooks to promote email sign ups and present high-quality information.
Guest-posting is a unique way to expose yourself to a new group of readers and promote yourself as an expert in your field. The goal is to generate interest within the community through your message, writing style and links to ultimately drive readers back to your website. Brad Smith with Codeless Interactive describes guest posting as a “hub and spoke”:
The Hub and Spoke method is where you write one major, in-depth piece on your own blog, and write follow ups, additions, summarizations, or related news on other sites and link back to your own main piece for further reading. (Codeless Interactive)
Brad follows up with the benefits to the hub and spoke method which include:
The “hub and spoke” method is a quick way to repurpose content and generate new posts.
Videos are a very popular way to share content, and sites like Kissmetrics and Moz use them weekly to introduce fresh new content. Moz uses videos to present new blog topics related to SEO in a personal and relatable fashion with Whiteboard Fridays. Kissmetrics uses videos as “How To” tools to explain complex metrics associated with Google Analytics.
Image Source: Whiteboard Friday
It’s important to make your video appear professional. Don’t record your video a noisy area or a room with harsh fluorescent lights. Also, write out a small script and practice before you record your video to work out all the kinks. Keep your video short and make sure to get your point across.
To use our previous example if you have a list break out each point into a short one minute clip. Create a video series on YouTube or Vimeo that encompases all of the videos in the series. Use these videos on social media or add them into your blog post for audience members who prefer to watch your content rather than read it.
Webinars can be an important learning tool for people looking for help on a particular topic. It is nice to listen to someone’s voice and watch a presentation rather than sit down to read a blog post; many times having a person explain the topic is easier to understand than reading it for yourself. Your blog can be a great starting point for a webinar or a series of blogs.
It would be great to find another expert in your field who could join you in hosting the webinar. This would increase the audience size and thus drive new traffic to your website and blog. Having a guest host adds a freshness to the presentation that viewers appreciate. Be sure to let attendees know they can find even more information regarding the topic on your blog.
Don’t let your blogs sit in your archives collecting digital dust. Its time to start looking for new ways to make your old content worth repurposing and interesting to your readers. Repurposing content can be a huge time saver when creating new content. It can be a jumping off point for new ideas and is chock full of SEO benefits. One blog can light the fire for several more so stay vigilant and be on the look out for content worth repurposing.
The time to start repurposing content is now; become the bogging Jedi you’ve always wanted to be.
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