A couple of years ago on a different blog I wrote an article talking about re-purposing blog posts. That post was more about internal linking by making sure to take old blog posts and add those links to newer posts to help enhance the SEO benefits of new content.
In this instance the concept of re-purposing content is more than talking about blogging. Most people have something that they’ve written previously somewhere on their computers. What they forget is that much of what was already written would make great blog posts or articles to put on their websites. If you’re looking for a lot of content and don’t have the time to write something new, going back through old files could provide you with what you need.
Some of it might need to be updated or edited but that’s no big deal. Writing for people in your office or your clients is a bit different than writing for publicity or advertising purposes. Your other content might be written more directly or contain information that’s probably proprietary in some fashion; no sense taking any chances that you’ll put something out there that wasn’t totally meant for the general public. I often find outlines on Excel spreadsheets that I can turn into blog posts or articles.
Unless you’re a financial advisor, you probably have a lot of files that don’t have time limits on what’s going on. Tax information and investing changes don’t fare well over time. Talking about products or processes can be timeless.
Even if some of your previous content is already online in other places, you can get some benefit out of it by linking to it and then writing about it, talking about what was on your mind when you wrote it, what changes there might be to it now, or anything else you can think of. After all, it was original when you wrote it, and it still represents you in a positive light. I do that all the time since I have multiple blogs; I think it’s interesting using your own stuff for ideas, and the links could get people to visit your other spaces.
Take some time to go through some of your old files for new web content; you might be amazed at what you’ll find. I’ve got articles from the 90’s on my computer that I’ve been able to rewrite and republish online since I wasn’t really online until 2005. Even if they were in old magazines, if they’re not online somewhere I can repurpose them. Not a bad deal, if I say so.
In any case, I was going to try to find 47 ways to tell you how you could repurpose your content. Why? There’s a guy named Brandon Gaille, known as the Blog Millionaire, and he was recommended to me by one of my friends. One of his pieces of advice was to take a topic, put it into a search engine, find out what the highest number are and go higher than that. I found one titled 40 Ways To Repurpose Your Blog Content and decided on the number 47.
The problem? I took a quick look at the article and realized their 40 ways were much different than what I was shooting for, and it was way, WAAAYYYY too much work trying to come up with 47 ways that were all going to be different than what that article shared that I stopped at 24; my mind was tired! 🙂
So, below are 22 ways to repurpose your content. I hear you saying “hey, you promised up 24 ways”. I already gave you two above, and they were #1 and #3 on my original list, so here are 22 more for your blogging enjoyment.
2 Go through old articles on your blog that got little traction
I’ve got over 1,800 articles on this blog. Some of them were pretty good but hardly anyone saw them, or left comments on them. Truthfully, some might have gotten more comments than normal, but after so much time all those blogs are gone, the links are gone, and the emails aren’t good anymore.
It saves a lot of time to rewrite a lot of these articles and republish them. It doesn’t save time the way you think it might. Since so far every article I’ve written has been longer than the original, and that coming even though I’ve eliminated many previous sentences, the time being saved is coming up with a new topic. That’s not all that problematic for me but it still makes things easier.
3 Do a search for content you have on other sites that might not be up anymore
I’ve written a lot more content than the 1,800 articles on this blog. I’ve written somewhere between 5,500 and 6,000 articles on my blogs, other people’s blogs and websites, magazine articles and the like. A couple of years ago I realized that a lot of articles I’ve written were for sites that no longer exist. Most were guest posts; a couple I actually got paid for. If they’re no longer in existence they’re not going to miss them so why shouldn’t I use them.
I did that with this article titled 11 Essentials of Social Networking. I wrote it for someone else, and whenever I write guest posts (which is rare), I go out of my way to try to make it better than anything I’d put on my own blog (I fail at that but I hope they’re as good as my best stuff here). This was one of those posts so I tidied it up a little and reposted it; quick and easy and ethical since I’m the one who wrote it.
4 Expand on the topics you brought up in your articles; blogs only
There’s an article I originally wrote in 2008 titled Stop Blogging – The List which was my response to an article written by Darren Rowse. At that time, I only touched upon 4 items he mentioned, and none of my responses to it were all that long.
In 2008, you could get away with shorter articles because all search engines cared about was new content. That doesn’t work so well these days, so I took my original article, expounded on the original 4, then decided to give my opinion on the remaining 16 points Darren brought up to flesh out the original post. If you’re interested, there’s a link to Darren’s original article on the article I just linked to.
5 Update old information to new where things might have changed
Last month I rewrote an old post titled The Art Of Hype. I’d originally written it in 2014, and it wasn’t a bad post. Yet, in 2018 my references were dated, and it hadn’t garnered a lot of attention when it went live originally. So I went and updated some of the information, tried to refresh and rewrite one major point from back in the day (something none of us could get away with now), and the post is more timely and, so I felt, worthy of a re-release.
6 Edit your articles properly
I don’t want to get too deep into the editing process, but I do feel the need to mention a few things.
One; spelling. Every word processing program in the world and every blog platform tells you if you’ve misspelled a word; pay attention to it and fix your spelling.
Two, grammar. I understand we all say things differently because it’s a big country with multiple dialects. Yet, when it comes to writing, idioms don’t matter but grammar still does. If you’re meaning “should have done” and you’re writing “should of done” and your word processor tells you it might be wrong… at least think about changing it.
Three, paragraphs. Things have changed with the advent of putting articles online. For whatever reason, reading long paragraphs on a computer/tablet/smartphone screen is mind numbing. At best, try to limit yourself to a maximum of 3 or 4 lines in a paragraph; you’re writing blog posts, not a John Galt speech!
7 Update the published date on your previous blog articles
If you’re editing and reposting an old article, you can and should change the date to your new publishing date. Even if you’re going to leave old comments on it, freshen up the date. Although older articles might still be good, many people will ignore them because they think old information isn’t good information. Obviously they’re wrong but I’ve found that my newer articles are shared more than my older articles, so it’s a nice tip to keep in mind.
8 Add images; possibly more images
I didn’t start adding images to most of my posts until some time in 2011, and I didn’t start adding more than one image until a couple of years later. Images help break up the monotony of a lot of reading and adds to the flow of an article. It would work the same in regular books, but printing images there would drastically increase the price of books; no one wants to deal with that. My theory is after your first picture, add another one every 500 words or so.
9 Add graphs/graphics if they’re pertinent
I’ll admit that I don’t use a lot of graphs or graphics; I’ve never used any infographics.
However, I have had a few times where I’ve copied in a few images showing graphs, like I did when I was working on my blogs and website’s mobile speed. It worked out well because I was able to do a comparison post weeks later when I posted similar images and linked both posts so if anyone cared they could check out both sites. People love things like that; even I like them here and there.
10 If it makes sense, delete any previous comments that won’t work anymore, including yours
I kind of mentioned this one before, but I have a few articles I’m adjusting where I go back and remove all comments from them, even if there were a lot of them. The reasoning is the links disappeared from those particular articles and, since I was rewriting the articles, the original comments didn’t seem as pertinent anymore. I also rewrote one article where I left the earlier comments, but that was a test post originally from 2008 to see what might happen… nothing much! The cool thing is that a couple of folks who commented on the original came back and commented on the update; yeah! 😉
11 Update your internal linking to newer articles and some older articles
I like linking to my own content, as it’s the smartest way to keep people on your site if you have relevant content to share. If you’re updating an article but not republishing it, it makes sense to add newer links to it, and vice versa.
12 With each new article, see if you have short quotable content you can share somewhere
I keep a Word document with a lot of motivational quotes in it. At least 75% of those quotes come from me and a lot of my older articles. I’ve found that most people who write a lot have quotable content that they could use in different ways. They could add it to an image or they could just post the quote on Twitter or even on their blogs using one of those Twitter things that lets you set it up where people can click on it and send it to Twitter for you. Since I’ve never clicked on a quotable on anyone else’s blog, I decided not to add it here.
13 Update your blog’s permalink to better match your updated article
I’m terrible at titles because I think like a book writer more than I think of myself as a blog writer. Book writers might have a throwaway line that ends up being the title, and sometimes it has nothing much to do with the book except they liked how it sounded. I tend to do that more than using titles that specifically tell others what the content it. But while I’ve been updating some older articles, I’ve gone in and updated both titles and permalinks (that’s what the links you’re creating for your blog are called) for SEO purposes.
14 Preset your articles to post automatically when your content goes live
I mentioned above that I have a quotes file. I also have a blog posts/video posts file that’s massive. And that’s considering that I’ve only added articles I think are worthy to share more than once, and fit within the parameters of how long I accept comments on them.
Because I use Tweeten I can pre-post as much stuff as I want to and those articles will go out at predetermined times. Every once in a while I’ll go two weeks out, leaving times for any new content I’m planning on creating. It’s a good way to keep your name and brand in front of others when you’re not around, including times when you might be asleep (remember, the world is open 24 hours).
15 Push your articles at least 8 times in the first month
This should be relatively easy to do but I don’t see a lot of people doing it. In my case, I always promote new articles twice the day they go live, then the next 5 days at different times (on Twitter, you can only post the “exact” same thing once in 24 hours, so you’ll have to change either your description or how you use your hashtags to get you there). That’s 7 times, which means I have 3 weeks to decide how many more times I might want to promote a particular post. Probably less than half get promoted up to 10 times in a month; I work hard in determining what I think might be relative to my audience.
16 If you found quotable content, share those quotes in the first week of publishing your new content
I’ll admit that I don’t do this one, but I have a lot of blogging friends that do. I balance that out by sharing my quotes many times over the course of a year, though I’ll also acknowledge that it doesn’t work as well as what my friends do. What it gives you is the ability to link back to your blog post without Twitter knowing you’re publishing an older link again. It works, and I should probably do it more; I’m tired though… lol
17 If your updated content includes other people, make sure to include their Twitter handle
You should be doing this with new content, but if you’re like me you probably have some older content you’re updating but never thought about acknowledging those people originally. What you’ll find is that when people are quoted in an article in a positive way and they see it, they’ll also promote it to their followers. It’s a great way to be gracious for using someone else’s words while also possibly increasing the number of visitors to your space.
18 Turn some of your old blogs into video
If you’re not into doing a lot of rewrites and you have a YouTube channel screaming for content, you can take an older blog post and turn it into a new video if the content is evergreen. You can do the same thing with new content, but don’t read an entire blog post and then link to it; that seems tacky. For instance, I could take a post like this one, mention a few of the points in a video and then link to it so viewers could check out the rest of what I wrote.
19 share some of your blogs and other videos on your videos
I mentioned part of this above, but it makes sense to link to your blog content in your videos when you have the opportunity to do so. You’ll have to add your links to YouTube so they know you own the property (they’ll verify that), then you’re good to go.
You should also link to your older video content the same way. If you mention something and realize you’ve touched upon it elsewhere, it’s smart to link to yourself; yes, internal linking works on YouTube as well as your blog.
20 Find at least 10 articles you’re proud of and post them to LinkedIn
You can find a new audience by sharing some of your content on LinkedIn. I’ll admit that I got frustrated writing new articles and posting them there because I started out with lots of followers but at a certain time LinkedIn stopped sharing my articles as much as they initially were (just like Facebook).
That’s why I suggest older articles, since most of them probably aren’t getting much traffic after a while. The smart thing to do would be to alter them a little bit, work on staying under 500 words, and make sure to link to the original article in your LinkedIn post. Start with just 10 to get started and to see how you think it’s working for you.
By the way, if you don’t want to write new articles, just post what you have on your newsfeed and try things out that way. Be sure to lead with a hashtag so LinkedIn and your connections know what your article is about.
21 Do the same with your videos
I didn’t start adding videos to LinkedIn until 2015, but I’ve been making videos longer than that. To keep a branding presence there, I’ll share older videos in my newsfeed when I want to keep my name in front of people.
22 If you find shorter articles on your computer that you feel aren’t bad, create published articles on LinkedIn
I’m finally circling back to what I initially talked about in this article. Shorter articles might not work so well for Google and search engines, but they seem to work wonders when it comes to posting them on LinkedIn. As long as they’re still relevant, and you’re making sure they’re edited well and make sense, go for it.
That’s all I’ve got. I know, I didn’t mention Facebook. Truthfully, I’m not sure what will work well since they’re always changing their algorithms, but you can always follow the recommendations I made for LinkedIn and do the same there. I write almost no new content on Facebook; it’s not worth the time.
Did I miss anything you’d like to recommend? Let me know.