Creating killer content – shareable, sticky, viral, groovy stuff – takes time. And effort. Lots of effort. By the time you’ve finished brainstorming your wonderful blog idea, researching it, writing it, proofreading it, finding an image and publishing it, hours can whiz by. Yet the public’s appetite for expertly written content is insatiable. So what’s a content queen to do?
Use the mantra my Depression-era parents taught me: Reuse, Re-purpose, Recycle.
In other words: Mine your gems for a new diamond to share.
Recycle Ideas Into New Forms of Content
Content doesn’t just mean the written word. It can mean info graphics, shareable images for Pinterest and other social media, a slideshow, a video or a podcast. What content do you have that was popular with your readers? Can you recreate the same concept in another media to share it?
The diagram below illustrates how I take a central idea and spin it out into multiple forms of content:
Re-purposing an Idea
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you sit down to write. If you have a great idea and a lot of research on a topic, you can spin it into multiple articles, blog posts or pieces.
I’ve done a lot of research on honey bees and Colony Collapse disease, as well as on native plants for gardens. I’ve been able to write at least a dozen fresh, original articles based on that research by choosing a different slant or viewpoint on the topic each time.
What research do you have that you can re-purpose into a new idea? Perhaps research on choosing the best printer can be used to write articles about printer maintenance, saving money on ink and toner, and using recycled ink cartridges.
You can recycle your original content, but do so cautiously. Make sure that you own all the rights to the content you wish to recycle, and avoid recycling similar phrasing online (it can hurt your search engine optimization efforts). I’ve successfully recycled articles I retained the rights to be combining them into an eBook I share with my clients. I’ve also used blog posts to springboard into longer content pieces, recycling the original post but adding to it for a fresh, long form essay. You can do the same with original content.
Lastly, content curation offers a new way to share information with your readers when you want to add to their experience without creating your own content. Content curation means finding and sharing links to the original source material that enhances your brand or shares useful information with your readers. Don’t upload anyone else’s original content to your website, but instead share a link back to the source of the material. Content curation is popular on social media websites and blogs, but you can use it on a number of different platforms, too. Just be sure to read the entire piece (or watch/listen to the entire media) before sharing it. You must make sure that the entire piece is on topic and on brand, and won’t reflect negatively on your company or on you if you share it.
Jeanne Grunert, president of Seven Oaks Consulting, is an award-winning direct and digital marketer with over 20 years of senior marketing leadership experience. She’s passionate about mentoring marketing managers and providing exceptional content marketing programs and services to Seven Oaks clients. Jeanne holds an M.S. (awarded with distinction) in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University and frequently lectures on content marketing, search engine optimization, and project management techniques.J