Content Curation, Content Strategy

Even the most focused and seasoned content producers eventually run out of ideas at some point in their life and need to recharge.

I am no exception to the ‘writer’s block’ and will admit that I’m not always able to push out brilliant, outstanding and engaging content on a regular basis. The workflow of my blog simply comes to a standstill.

So what’s my solution to this crippling ordeal? To fuss about, bicker and complain about having a clogged mind? No.

Instead, the ideal solution is a little more novel than just giving up on your blog in frustration. It’s called content repurposing.

Content creation is no joke, so why not reuse the most popular posts from your archives? Use Google analytics (and similar software) to identify your most popular blogs to repurpose.

A polarizing topic

The blogging community is a little divided on the ethics of recycling your older blogs for different mediums, a prominent example is Chris Brogan who informed Ana Hoffman – founder of Traffic Generation – about his beef with republishing archived data. “I’m not into content repurposing. When I see it, it tells me that the person has very few ideas.”

Although Chris himself is a veteran blogger and CEO of Owner Media, he has a rather skewed definition of repurposed content.

But Ana Hoffman rightly retorts in her blog, “… I want you to think of content repurposing as content reinventing, reimagining.”

Reinventing the wheel

Think of content repurposing as ‘content reinventing’. You are reinventing the wheel and not just copy pasting from your archives.

Take for example an empty bottle of beer. Now that all the liquid content has been emptied, it makes sense to use the bottle to store a different liquid, for instance you could store honey, water or whatever you fancy.

Ana Hoffman gives a perfect example of what the term ‘repurpose’ actually means. In the year 1943, Richard James, a mechanical engineer by profession accidentally discovered the popular children’s toy, Slinky in his attempts to use springs for use on sea vessels to keep sensitive equipment steady.

The slinky was not just used for the original purpose it was created for, but the helical spring found use as a toy, by NASA for zero-gravity experiments in space and to demonstrate the property of waves in physics classrooms.

The essentials of the original slinky didn’t change much, with the exception that they were repurposed just a tad bit for different target audiences and mediums.

In very much the same way, your older content can be repurposed into videos, audio podcasts, SlideShares and even newsletters in a physical form.

This brings us to our next problem, identifying the most appropriate platform, medium and target audience for repurposing the original piece.

According to the independent research carried out by Neil Patel, co-founder at Crazy Egg, there are two tips which will help determine where your repurposed content will work at best.

1) Identifying the three stages of the buyer’s journey towards product, a process which savvy marketers term as the active research process. Awareness, Consideration and Decision.

Every business will have its own subtle variations in defining the buyer’s overall journey, but the essentials remain the same.

2) Identifying your business or blog’s multiple buyer personas.

Repurpose your content in such a way that it appeals to each of these different personas.

Understanding the various nuances of their buyer’s persona is the responsibility of the blog’s owner.

For instance, persona 1 could be tech savvy who doesn’t really need to be given a detailed lecture each time you mention the term SEO.

Then there is persona 2 who’s still learning the basics of SEO, so it makes sense to present relevant segments from older articles which explain SEO in greater detail.

Use the information in a neatly arranged table such as the one prepared below by hubspot.

Each buyer’s persona has a different journey and identifying them will allow you to strategically segment and repurpose your articles to create a greater outreach.

Alex Chris echoes the same sentiments in his blog, “It is necessary to have a blog post promotion strategy, because without one, your content will not reach its full potential.”

Your best bet is to promote your content on social media unabashedly without incurring any penalty from Google, Bing and other search engines.

Share your blog posts on your Facebook page; of course driving higher returns will require access to a larger fan base. Not something which small and new businesses have at their disposal.

Here are 5 real world examples of how serious bloggers successfully gained new leads by strategically repurposing their older content

1) Jay Baer’s informational videos

Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert, creates three minute videos on various topics.

His team realized that the video content could be transformed into various formats to include iTune podcasts, blog content for the website, LinkedIn posts and posts on Medium.

2) Ben Hardy’s goal to connect with a traditional publisher

In order to get noticed by a traditional publisher, Ben Hardy realized that his blog would require a large fanbase.

His strategy? To repurpose his blog posts on Medium. In a span of 6 months, his subscriber list grew to 20,000.

3) Internet Business Mastery: Podcasts to blogs

The Internet Business Mastery podcast is co-hosted by Jeremy and Jason, but they also have their own blogs.

They decided to verbally read from their popular blogs and posted them as podcasts. Those audio blogs gained 100% more downloads than their promoted podcasts.

4) Buffer’s small experiment in 2015

Buffer started a challenge called “No New Content” to see whether repurposing their content would fetch increased organic search traffic or decrease their user base. The brief experiment resulted in a growth of over 4% traffic.

5) Copyblogger’s attempts to use SlideShare

Perhaps the most prominent example of the gains from repurposed content is Copyblogger’s blog post, The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content which they converted into a SlideShare. The SlideShare presentation netted them 41,000+ views to date.

Each time Google rolls out an update to their algorithms, your SEO campaign and growth strategy suffers and unless you learn and adapt, you won’t experience any significant growth.

At the time of this article’s writing, repurposing content is one of the best ways to generate increased organic traffic to your website.

It is not every day that you will have your mental wits about you and come up with thought provoking, informational and useful blogs.

Sometimes a bit of change is needed; if leading bloggers are switching over to more dynamic content by repurposing what they found in their archives, doesn’t it make sense for you to do the same?


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Chad Pollitt Partner, VP of Audience Native Advertising Institute
Jay Baer Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Author
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