your content, why not repurpose it


As most bloggers or writers know, it isn’t easy to come up with something new all the time. Thinking of interesting and engaging articles or posts can be time-consuming, especially when nothing of interest has happened in the news or your personal life. Even worse, producing lackluster content can drive away readers rather than encouraging new individuals to read your work. Many bloggers and other writers have begun to explore the option of repurposing work. And why not? It’s a popular concept in popular culture – movies are remade, books are rewritten and news stories run over and over again with a few minor adjustments here and there. By repurposing your content, you can extend the shelf life of your posts and articles in order to maximize your reader base.

The Basics of Repurposing

When you feel your site could benefit by reusing old content, such as articles or posts about important events or topics you feel strongly about, take a look through your archives or old files. In particular, seek out topics that have grown or developed since the last time you wrote about them, such as a new marketing technique or recent financial trends. Think about your personal values and look for connections in old posts you can develop into a variation on your original concept. For example, if you feel very strongly about a particular financial strategy, find a similar thought in an older post and bring it back to the forefront with a more current twist.

Repurposing With Social Media

If you don’t feel comfortable with any of your old posts or articles, take a look at your tweets or Facebook posts. If you’re the kind of person who likes posting witty one liners or tweets about the events in your life, reading back over your old comments and thoughts might help you come up with some ideas for a new adaptation. If you have the time to read back a few months or years, you may find a connection between mundane day-to-day activities and philosophical musings.

Repurposing With New Media Formats

If you are still frustrated with the lack of new ideas to use or the insufficiency of past content, consider repurposing writing into another format, or another format of content into writing. For example, if you did an interview with someone meaningful, consider transposing it into an article or interview transcript for individuals who would rather not listen to an audio file. If you are unhappy with the level of creativity in your blog, consider mixing videos in with your writing. Rather than simply creating a post about a topic you find interesting, try recording a video of your thoughts. Many blog owners find video clips to be more engaging to many people than the written word alone.

When thinking of something new to write about, repurposing old content can be incredibly effective. Old ideas, themes or topics can be recycled into great new articles or posts for a blog or other venue. By taking a look at past comments, tweets or Facebook posts, you can easily create something fun and fresh with an old idea or two.

randy bowden – t | f | g+



2 thoughts on “your content, why not repurpose it

  1. Good points Randy.

    I’ve worked with a number of ‘paper-based’ writers who wrote for the magazine, periodical, newspaper outlets, where ‘repurposing’ was NOT looked upon with favor.

    Sure, editors repurposed ‘themes’ all-the-time’; on average, every five years, the same ‘themes’ would reappear in any given outlet. Many writers would then get another crack at selling a ‘modified version’ of an earlier article; especially successful articles. But, that article had better be done well and sport new photos/images – or the writer would likely suffer rejection and worse: being abled a ‘repurposer’.

    The only thing worse, would be either an out-right plagerizer or a ‘double-dipper’ (selling the same article(s) to competing outlets!).

    So, convincing my ‘old writing world’ clients to write with repurposing and archive reissuing – IN MIND and ON PURPOSE – well, it took a lot of effort and recieved only partial success. Much to their own loss.

    Today’s venue of the digital world is vastly different in many ways. Understanding that today’s delivery system is the inverse of yesterday is important to understanding the value of repurposing.

    Paper-based outlets were ‘narrow zones of delivery for multiple offerings’. Thus when people read a certain publication, they would remember (to a point) the WHO and WHERE of a story; if not the WHAT entirely. But today, there are so many outlets and so many different WHOs and WHATs, that it would take a computer to remember all of it. People and markets don’t really care if they see the same thing – within reason! – in various places.

    This factor is the platform making it vastly more unlikely that anyone would trip over a duplicate article found on another platform. Or, even care if they did.

    So I encourage and train communicators on How to develop their articles for repuposing and then HOW, WHERE, WHEN and to WHOM to repurpose their media.

    It works and works quite well… today!


    • Much of the “Old School” tactics and thinking, like it or not, have certainly changed. Holding-on are the die-hard grammar rules and certainly plagiarizing although rampant in the digital space is still very much tabu. The content churn of today is much greater and the need for a constant flow is vastly important to gain the rapid moving eye of the reader. If you can take and article that you have authored and give a snippet via short video clip delivers you much more value. That ability was not available just a few short years ago to us. So if we are all publishers or have the ability to be we need to learn all the platforms to place out assets. Thanks for the comments Les, always insightful and clever…rcb

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