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5 Unexpected Ways to Repurpose Content

By Colin Ryan

Industry News, Guides & Tips

Unexpected ways to repurpose your best (and worst) blog posts

Don’t Repost – Repurpose

A significant part of blogging involves producing unique posts and articles based on new ideas–but there is another side to the creative process: repurposing your existing content. While this might sound like a cheat, effective repurposing isn’t simply about rearranging or rephrasing what you’ve already done and passing it off as new.

Rather, it’s about reaching out to a new or different audience, examining your ideas in a new medium or in more depth, adjusting your advice based on new information–and, ideally, renewing readers’ interest in the content that came before.

With that in mind, here are five ways you can repurpose your blog posts to create something new and rich that stands on its own.

Make It Longer

Conventional wisdom says you should keep your blog posts short–say, less than a thousand words. In this new age of limited and divided attention, this helps ensure that your content keeps people engaged long enough to consider converting.

Nevertheless, short articles can also be interpreted as insubstantial or disposable. To counteract this, consider beefing up an existing post with original research, statistics, or interviews. This can add serious weight and legitimacy to your ideas, as well as giving you a better chance of being picked up by larger, harder-hitting outlets.

Ask Your Readers

Whether it’s through blog comments or social media interactions, we all hope to see readers respond to our content–it shows our ideas have made an impression, which is the first step to gaining traction and customers.

But feedback can be a means as well as an end. That is, you can involve commenters in your creative process by turning them into case studies. For instance, if a reader responds to your blog post about using technology to find a new home with a story about their own experience, you might consider reaching out and interviewing him or her in more depth about the topic.

Suddenly, you now have an authentic example of your ideas in action. Whether your reader’s story reinforces your argument or challenges it, you now have a specific story that you can use to riff on your previous ideas. Speaking of challenges:

Contradict Yourself

When you’re selling your expertise on a given subject, it’s hard to imagine admitting to your readers that you were wrong about something. The truth is, even experts miss the mark occasionally. Rather than undermining your authority, however, you can use this fact to demonstrate that despite your considerable knowledge, you’re still open to learning and growing as a professional.

Ever make a prediction about the future of your industry? In a new post, try revisiting your ideas to see if they came true. If they didn’t, try to figure out why. Had a change of heart about a certain trend or piece of technology? Write a new post explaining what spurred that change. Don’t be afraid to pin blame on yourself: it’ll make you more human and relatable in the eyes of your readers.

Get Your Guests Talking

On the majority of late night talk shows, the focus is on the interview between the host and whatever guests he’s invited to be on the program. Often, though, it’s the interactions between the guests themselves that are the most memorable. The same can be said for interviews you do for your blog. Has someone made a strong or controversial claim about an industry trend or phenomenon on your blog recently? Ask subsequent guest posters or interviewees whether they agree.

Alternatively, you might consider having your subjects submit questions for future interviewees–you never know what provocative insights you might uncover.

Make Your Static Posts Dynamic

Have a blog post based on a certain dilemma or question? You can have others inject more life into it by turning your static blog post into a dynamic social media conversation. Schedule a specific time for this discussion to take place on Facebook and Twitter, keeping in mind when people will be available. Give your fans, friends, or followers advance notice of the conversation. Then, at the posted time, offer up your question, along with your thoughts on the subject, and invite others to present their own insight.

Where the discussion goes from here is up to you: moderate as much or as little as you want or need. Even if the conversation gets off topic, you’ll have engaged your audience–which, after all, is the most important goal of content marketing.

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