Knock Out Hints, Tips & Tricks for Repurposing Content

by Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) July 31st, 2009 

Knockout Tips for Repurposing Content

I'll admit that the writer side of me is screaming 'Don't repurpose content'. The website and business owner side of me, however, knows that it's foolish to lose out on some of your content's value. After all, when you're paying good money or spending the time to write something good, you really should beat the heck out of every letter to get as much out of them as you can. (See? Us copywriters can be rational. Sometimes. ;) )

Now, I know that this subject has been done several times, but I think I have several hints, tips, and tricks that many either don't use, or haven't thought about. Ok, so let's get on with it:

Give Your Facebook Page a Right Hook

If you've got a good blog post or article that you've published, I mentioned in my last post about content strategy that you can use it in Facebook, forum, or elsewhere to generate as much attention as possible. There's a few tricks to doing this:

  • Wait til your article is crawled, then repost it elsewhere.
  • Rewrite it and post it up

Unfortunately, there's a downside. If you have followers who read your blog and connect with you on various social media sites, they're going to get tired of reading the same thing. You'll also find that your loyal readers will read the content in one spot or another, but never make it to your site (where all the links that you really want them to click are). This is just a waste! So, if you want to avoid this issue, here's a few tips:

  • Give only the first portion of the post or article and make them click through to your site in order to get the rest of the info. To make this idea even more effective, you'll want to stop the piece at a pivotal point or give the 'ah ha' moment and then give the link to your site. This is where your readers can relieve their curiosity. Trust me, they won't be able to help themselves.
  • Come at the topic from a different angle. So, if you've got 'five ways to scratch your back' try 'five ways to get your friend to scratch your back', or 'how to avoid back itch'. As an added bonus, you can add or take away bits to give some variety and hold the reader's interest. This is fairly similar to a basic rewrite, but you'll find that some people learn differently than others.

Press Release Power!

Give a Straight Right with a Press Release

Press releases can be a great thing, and when you consider the time and effort that goes into them, it's a real shame that people don't use this important information more often. Well, there's a reason for it: Readers don't generally like reading them. That's why news sites use them as a content source. So, why don't you do the same? Here's a few hints to get you started:

  • Your social media connections want to hear your news too. That's why, I always make an SM friendly/SEO optimized press release as well as an SMO press release with added media. It makes your news much easier to share and far more interesting. (And with an SMO release, it's 'just the facts, ma'am'.)
  • You have all of these wonderful RSS subscribers and many Twitter/LinkedIn/Social-networks-that-you-pimp-your-links-on followers. Why not let them in on the news rather than making your readers stumble upon it in Google News (Ha! That was pretty crafty wasn't it?). Anyway, rewrite the information into a fun and informative piece that's blogworthy. It's also a great opportunity to mix it with a bit of a case study or background story to explain a bit of how your big event came about.
  • Your news will have benefited you in some way (or at least we would hope!) Therefore, expand on these benefits to increase your content. This could include a piece on things you've learned while implementing something new, why you decided to add whatever it is to your business, or even new things you discovered during the process. You'd be amazed how important this information is to others and how many people can relate to it. This stuff often makes excellent viral material to boot.

Case Studies and White Paper TKO

White papers, reports and other large content items make excellent marketing material and often go viral. So, if they work that well on their own, why wouldn't they work in different formats?

Choose a few of the juicy parts, rewrite them, give them to your blog subscribers, use them for article marketing, make it into a feature piece, or make a press release. You'll also find that repurposing this kind of content will increase your subscribers, followers, and build even more links because the material will get picked up by a different market and expand your reach.

Content Combination Catchweight

YouTube, Ustream, Internet radio, and other mediums are fantastic for repurposing content. Best of all, your readers can listen to them while they're having their morning run or enjoying a coffee. Why not take some of the pieces you've written and read them (in a fluent, conversational way) or add slides to them? You might even decide to present the piece and discuss the subject with another expert or your listeners. Again, the recordings are always great for links, but more importantly, you'll find that they enhance the connection you have with the community.

A Few Extra Pointers for Good Measure…

A few do's:

  • Make sure to have fun with it. Change things around, involve others, and don't be afraid to add an air of mystery to things once in awhile.
  • Match your audience. You speak differently on audio or video than you do on a blog or in a formal press release. This includes using the right voice and vocabulary.
  • Formatting is essential. When repurposing your content, make sure that it's always clean, clear, easy to read, and pleasing to the eyes.
  • Try something new. If you aren't sure about using content in a particular format or location, test it. You'd be amazed at the secrets you can uncover simply by trial and error.
  • Track everything. You can't tell what's working and what isn't unless you know where the traffic and the clicks are coming from.

A few donts:

  • Don't spam people to death. Personally, I have a lot of alerts and an overstuffed RSS reader on top of the various social networks that I take part in. If I keep getting hit with the same stuff repeatedly, I start cutting. This is counterproductive and does nothing to help you reach your goals. Yes, you might pick up a few extra clicks, but if you add two new readers and irritate four, you're still two people down.
  • Article spinning, slight rewrites, and automated systems are evil! They make a mess and generally just don't work. Why? Synonyms don't often mean the same thing or fit well in the sentence. You also risk weakening the power of the content and adding double meanings. Then, there's formatting issues. People can tell when you've done this, and personally, it gives me the impression that the author is insulting my intelligence. This poor quality also reflects poorly on your business. In my opinion, do it right, or not at all.
  • It's ok to republish the same content, but be aware of the dangers. If the search engines get to it on Facebook before they crawl it on your blog, Facebook will get a majority of the SERP power.

Well, I'd love for you to try some of these techniques out and let me know how it goes. But, I'd also love to hear if you have any techniques that I haven't mentioned. Give me a shout here, or even on Twitter!

Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) is the Senior Copywriter and Consultant at Angie's Copywriting Services. She loves to create SEO Web copy and other types of online and offline content, but she figures SEO and Social Media is pretty great too. She likes to chat about business and marketing, find great links, and more. Oh, and you can find this copywriter on Twitter too.

Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom)

Angie Haggstrom is the Senior Copywriter and Consultant at Angie's Copywriting Services, specializing in online and offline content including SEO web copy, brochures, and more. A Twitter and blogging fanatic, you'll find she chats about SEO, Social Media, business, marketing, and just about anything else she finds interesting along the way.

Angie's Copywriting

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11 Responses to “Knock Out Hints, Tips & Tricks for Repurposing Content”

  1. That was a fantastic post. I loved the ideas and am already inspired and excited about integrating some of these techniques. I run a few blogs and when I get "bloggers block" re-purposing my favorite posts from one blog to the other is a great idea.

  2. Thanks Miguel!

    Yep, so long as you use the right tricks, it can have amazing results.

    Angie Haggstrom
    SEP/Angie's Copywriting

  3. Good points. How easily readers find out, if the writer has not done the homework. The quality beats always the quantity. So the proper post planning is very, very important. And the "HOOK", which you mentioned. We should always be able to stand out from the crowd, to build our own angle.

    Juhani

  4. TM says:

    Thank you for providing some excellent insight on this topic. I especially liked the part where you talked about matching your audience. I think this is a critical area that most people pay the least amount of attention to. It may take some research to figure out the best way to do that, but it can really make a difference when you are trying to build relationships with people. I also agree that it really important to find that "hook" to not only differentiate yourself from others who are probably covering the same topic, but to also grab the attention of viewers and make them interested in hearing what you have to say. Again, great tips and what a fun way to present it to us!

  5. vikram says:

    Very Informative points thanks for sharing these points. i strongly agree with you that quality always matter than the quantity. good work done. thanks again

  6. Juhani, TM — I absolutely agree and it's precisely why so many people don't see content as important. They produce a series of 'how to scratch your back articles' that in no way target the audience or intrigue them. The way I see it, if it wouldn't interest me as a customer, it isn't going to interest anyone else either.

    Vikram — You are most welcome!

  7. Mike S says:

    Great Article and I agree with everything you said….though I wish I didn't practice some of the don'ts I still do just because I have nothing left to write about after blogging for 10 years now. I ran out of things to write about about five years ago.

    Good Article though.

  8. Hi Mike,

    It definitely hard to find things to write about after awhile, but even then, there's always some thing new. For me, it's the inspiration :) Sometimes just a slight change in direction helps. I'm currently working on a report/study that you may find interesting in that regards as well. So, keep your eyes open!

    Angie Haggstrom
    SEP/Angie's Copywriting

  9. Kimberly says:

    Hi Angie,
    One thing that keeps getting overlooked is how you can re-purpose content within your own website. Not all visitors are going to navigate the same way – and it seems that the newest content management systems are helping people do this. Can they do better? Sure. What do you think? Do you think that there is a drawback to being able to re-purpose content on your own website? I'd love to know what you think about this: http://www.oshyn.com/_blog/Sitecore/post/The_Next_Evolution_of_Web_Content_Management_Technologies/

    • You can absolutely repuropose on your own website, however, you need to be careful as to how you do it. Generally however, each page is written with a specific purpose, so it doesn't always work. Personally, I'd be using internal linking rather than using the same content in more than one location. Also, I'd be looking at ways to strengthen the site in order to give site visitors better direct (in other words, increase the number of people going the way I want them to).

      Drawbacks? Duplicate content if you aren't careful, but it also has to do with your visitor. If I go to 10 different products, and they all have the same content/description, it has a negative impact in that it looks like all products are the same… give me a reason to buy the bigger and better one.

      As per the link, I'm honestly not a fan of automation. The way I see it, computers are not intuitive enough…however, I would have to try it long before recommending it to anyone.

  10. SEO is like a cat fight? I love the cat fight pic. That's the best SEO analogy. LOL