Check out this week’s writing prompt on my website!
If you think that posting to your blog is the end of your written piece, think again. You can extend a story’s shelf life and expand your audience by repurposing your content.
Repurposing is the process of adapting or re-using something in a different way and for a different reason. For example, in construction, you might repurpose wood from a torn down warehouse to create a front entrance door for your newly built home. Or for a crafts project, you might repurpose wrapping paper by putting it into a frame for artwork you can hang on the wall. You get the idea.
You can do the same with your writing. Each time you write something for your blog, you’re adding to your inventory of written pieces that you can tap into later to create an entirely new product. Repurposing content can help you in several ways:
* It can extend the shelf life of a written piece. What might be available to your audience for six months can have a shelf life of several years or longer.
* It can help you reach new audiences who may not be familiar with your writing. While one audience may prefer seeing your work on your blog, others may find you through a podcast outlet, social media, or on another site where you have a guest post.
* It showcases your writing in different formats, whether it’s visual, aural or in print.
So what types of formats work best for writers? That depends on what your writing goals are and the audience you want to reach. Not everyone wants to do a podcast or host a webinar. But it is something to think about as you expand your writing business.
Here are a few ways to repurpose your content:
- Revise and repost to your own blog. Some content gets outdated quickly. If an original post from three years ago has outdated information, consider updating it to include new data and repost to your site. It might be helpful to alert readers that the post was originally published previously but has been updated.
- Rewrite the content as a guest post. This can be tricky since most other sites want original content from their guest posters. So be sure to rewrite the whole thing. You can still include key points from previous posts, but rewriting something that you created can extend its life beyond your own readership.
- Publish a compilation. If many of your posts carry a similar theme, such as technology or e-mail marketing, compile the best ones for an e-book. Then you can repackage it and sell the collection on your website or on sites like Amazon.
- Produce an e-book. This is similar to number 3 above, but in this case, the essays don’t stand alone. You’re actually taking several of your posts and rewriting the material, then reorganizing it in a way that it reads like a non-fiction book.
- Create an infographic. Readers like having data at their fingertips, usually in a quick, easy-to-read format. If several posts have a similar theme and related data, you can compile the information into a colorful infographic.
- Share on social media as soundbites. Sites like Twitter and Instagram are great for posting snippets of information. You can take key points from your posts and repeat them on various social media sites, one key point or sound bite at a time.
- Share information via a podcast. Podcasts are more popular than ever, and the technology has gotten so advanced that it’s easy to create one. Whether you post the podcast to your website or make it downloadable through Google Play or Apple, you can easily expand your audience reach with content that was created elsewhere.
- Host a webinar. If you feel comfortable speaking in front of a camera, hosting a webinar might be right for you. Again, you’ll be able to pull content from various posts and presenting it in a live format, which can help you reach different audiences.
- Create a slide presentation. This goes hand in hand with any online classes or webinars you host. A Power Point presentation can present content in small chunks to a new audience.
- Develop an online class. Similar to a webinar, an online class puts you and your specialized content in front of new, fresh audiences. Include a slide presentation and a handout, and you become a triple threat.
- Produce a workbook or handout. Whether in combination with a workshop or online class or presented as a standalone product, a workbook is a practical way to present your content.
- Create a white paper. According to Investopedia, a white paper is an informational document distributed by an organization, government agency or non-profit group to present a solution, product or service to influence readers’ decisions. Usually not more than six or eight pages in length, white papers are another way to present your content, especially if your goal is to have the public see you as n expert in your field.
- Distribute a monthly e-newsletter. As part of your newsletter, include an abbreviated version of the original post, so readers get a sample of your blog content.
- Create a visual library or portfolio. Last week, I provided tips on creating an online portfolio to showcase your writing. As visual representations of your work, a portfolio can succinctly showcase your best pieces. Add an appealing photo or image to go along with a short excerpt from your best pieces and display them on a separate page on your website.
As you can see, you can take your original content in different directions. Of course, there may be other ideas not listed here that better suit your purposes, or you may come up with a few of your own. You’re only limited by your imagination. But you can see how repurposing original content can extend the life of your writing beyond your own website.