Repurposing content involves leveraging your existing content for multiple purposes. This means that from a single root piece of content, you can grow a Content Tree™ with multiple branches, each attracting different benefits for your business.
It’s a cost and time efficient way to spread the word about your business across different media and reach different groups of people who would otherwise be unaware of your presence.
And the best bit is, the content you create and disseminate will stick around for a long time and continue to build value for your business long after the content was created.
So how do you go about it, and where do you start? This post introduces you to vWriter.com’s Content Tree Methodology™ and aims to give you some ideas to start incorporating the practice of repurposing content into your own business …
Your Root: Start With A Blog Post
I always recommend people build up the value of their own website first, before starting to share content elsewhere online. Your own site is the very bedrock of your business, and needs to be the solid foundation on which the rest of your business is built. To do otherwise would be to build up the value of other people’s sites to the detriment of your own.
So the root of your Content Tree™ should be an item of content on your own site. This should preferably be a blog post, simply because blogs offer a simple and easy way to publish content, and you get a number of additional advantages from a blog platform like WordPress.
Just as one example relating to repurposing, you immediately get the same content repurposed in a couple of additional ways – immediate branches for your Content Tree™ – with no additional effort whatsoever:
- Branch 1 – An RSS Feed: this enables potential syndication of your content to many other sites online, and allows readers to subscribe and/or find you and your content via RSS aggregators and readers. For WordPress blogs, the RSS feed is by default always at /feed (for example, our own feed is at http://blog.vwriter.com/feed). To increase exposure of your content, submit your blog and its RSS feed to blog and RSS directories.
[Update: See ‘How to Increase Traffic To Your Blog’ Part 1 and Part 2]
- Branch 2 – Printed Copy: A print option on your blog (presuming you have installed a suitable plugin), allowing someone to print out the post and read offline, which a proportion of those visiting your blog will want to do – spot the print option at the top of this post! This immediately puts your content into a very different medium, and printed copy can have much greater longevity for your reader – they may keep it on their desk or otherwise have it floating around their office for quite some time to come.
[Update: See ‘How To Add a Print-Friendly Button To Your Blog (And Extend Your Reach, Authority and Influence!)‘]
So you already have the root of your Content Tree™, and a couple of branches through which your audience can find and/or absorb your content … let’s look at some more branches you can grow and increase the visibility of your business …
Branch 3 – Social Media
There are three main approaches here:
- Other people sharing your content through their own social media channels
- Sharing your content through your own social media channels
- Repurposing your content in other ways for social media
Let’s look briefly at each in turn.
3.1 Other People Sharing Your Content Through Their Own Social Media Channels
Add a social media plugin to your blog (like the one below on this post) to allow and encourage your own visitors and readers of your content to share it with their own followers and fans on social media.
Don’t worry if nothing happens immediately (for a new blog for example, it’s unlikely) – as you build up an increasingly strong blog with a solid body of content, you will start to find an increasing amount of your content is shared.
And there’s no time limit – a post you create now could be shared months or even years from now.
3.2 Sharing Your Content Through Your Own Social Media Channels
For each post – or other content – you create, share it through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels you may be involved with.
3.3 Repurposing Your Content In Other Ways On Social Media
This is where you’re not simply sharing a link to the post, but actually creating new content from your root content, for use on the social media channels with which you’re involved.
A single blog post for example can provide the basis of multiple tweets – if you’re ever unsure what to tweet to your followers, your own previous blog posts should be your first port of call.
Similarly, create new posts and messages on Facebook from existing posts on your blog – for example a post on Facebook is likely to be a lot shorter than a full blog post, so a single blog post can be the source of multiple communications on Facebook, simply by rewriting the original content so that it’s appropriate for the new platform.
And updates for LinkedIn will going to work along similar lines …
Branch 4 – Guest Posting
Other blogs are looking for content from other bloggers to build up the value and authority of their own sites.
The common approach is that of ‘guest posting’, where you provide a good quality post for a blog that belongs to someone else, and in return get links back to your site (e.g. your own blog) either from the post itself and/or via a bio section at the end of the post that provides some info about the author of the post (click here for info about a WordPress plugin you can use to help automate this process).
The important point is that the post you provide must always be unique to them (they generally won’t want to publish a guest post that’s already published in multiple other places online). But to achieve this you can simply repurpose an existing post (or an amalgamation of several) on your blog by completely rewriting it (or better, finding a writer to do it for you) – perhaps taking a different angle or slant – and providing them with the new copy.
Don’t forget to return to Branch 3 above, add any guest posts to your social media channels, and get further value from your guest posting activities – yes, you’ll be sending traffic to someone else’s site, but building your own authority and credibility with your own audience at the same time.
Branch 5 – Videos
Most blog posts you create should be easily transformed into a video that can then be shared on sites like YouTube. This is pure repurposing in action – taking content in written form, and repurposing it as video to reach a new audience.
Did you know for example that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine? For that reason alone, you should have your content there, reaching audiences who otherwise may not come across you.
The easiest way may be to simply create a presentation using software like PowerPoint (personally I use Google Drive’s Presentation functionality … I tend to use cloud-based software as much as possible), with a different slide for the different points in your original blog post, and then just record the screen as you go through the presentation and provide a commentary (you could even just read out the blog post if that’s easier.
Alternatively you can create a talking head video (where you’re talking about something to the camera), or perhaps even an animation using something like GoAnimate.
Don’t forget to use any such videos in your social media channels, plus you can add your videos to your blog (or as an addition to the original blog post if you want) – see how all these branches intertwine with each other and add increasing value as you go along?
Branch 6 – Presentations
That means that if you’ve created your video above using a presentation, you can immediately and easily add another branch to your Content Tree™ by sharing that presentation to other sites online, and help publicize your business yet further.
For example, Slideshare tends to be well-ranked on Google, and I’ve lost count of the number of sites I’ve clicked through to after coming across a presentation the site created and shared.
Again, once uploaded to Slideshare, spread the word through your social media channels, and maximize the value to your business.
Branch 7 – Newsletters/Ezines
Once you’ve created a blog post – your root content – use it as content you can then send to your email list, help keep in touch with your subscribers (eg. a feature article) and build your relationship with them.
And if you send an offline newsletter, you can repurpose your content there too.
(See the related post, How to Improve Your Email Marketing By Leveraging Content).
Branch 8 – Article Directories
Article directories are some of the most highly visited sites online, with several in the top few thousand sites online. So, just as with YouTube, it makes perfect sense to ensure you’re siphoning off at least some of that traffic to your own site.
Simply rewrite your blog post as a free reprint article (or get it done for you) – you’re usually looking for somewhere between 400 and 800 words – and submit it to some top article directories and other online publishers.
Similar to guest posting, you get the benefit from a link or two in the resource (or bio) box at the end of the article. Don’t just link back to your main home page, but link back to other pages on your site too, including previous blog posts.
But you don’t have to link to your own site, and other options can be worth thinking about.
For example, you can link to other branches of your Content Tree™, such as videos on YouTube (or perhaps your YouTube channel), social media channels, your shared presentations, and so on. As well as helping to build relationships with your audience, along with your authority and credibility with them, you’ll also be passing on link value through these intermediary third-party sites and help illustrate to Google the overall authority of your own site.
Branch 9 – White Papers
It depends on your industry, but you may wish to create a white paper from your original blog post, and then promote and distribute it to reach new audiences for your business. ThatWhitePaperGuy.com has some useful info regarding white papers, what they are and how to promote and get them out there.
Branch 10 – eBooks
Once you have a number of blog posts or original pieces of content, repurpose them by compiling them together into a suitable eBook format and distribute online. You could for example sell such eBooks for the Kindle on Amazon, or distribute them in other formats for free online download.
You could also offer your eBook as an incentive for new subscribers to sign up to your email list.
Branch 11 – Books
Similar to the above of course, but this time the real, hold-in-your-hand printed version that appeals to a whole new audience. And a blog with a couple years’ worth of posts often gives ample material from which a book can relatively easily be compiled.
Having your own book immediately gives you a huge amount of authority in the eyes of your customers, prospects, and others. The value that gives you will often far outstrip any value you may get from sales of the book, and many such authors profit far more from simply giving the book away, including as an incentive to join a mailing list, or as a much more powerful business card.
Rapid New Growth …
So that’s eleven branches created from your original root piece of content, and illustrates the power of leveraging content for multiple purposes in order to reach new audiences and spread the word about your business far and wide through a number of different channels.
Did you know that for some tree species, multiple trees can grow from the same underlying root system?
The same can apply to content, and can help further develop your content strategy through some rapid new growth.
From your original root piece of content – your original blog post – you can often create brand new blog posts, by simply expanding on points you raised.
For example, in this blog post, each of the branches I’ve discussed above could conceivably be used as the basis for a brand new blog post for the future, offering a very easy and straightforward solution to the issue of wondering what content to create next.
And then from each of those new blog posts, new branches would again be created …
Before long, with each blog post rooting a new Content Tree™, you’ve created your very own forest, your own eco-system that feeds itself, and people will start seeing you everywhere online … what will that level of visibility do for your business?
Content Tree™ and Content Tree Methodology™ are trademarks of Takanomi Limited, owners of vWriter.com.
(Can you think of any more branches you could create? …)
[Edit: See Five More Ways To Grow Your Content Tree …]