At the time of writing this, one of the most viewed pieces of content I published isn’t something recent. It’s actually an article that I published about five years ago talking about how to test AA batteries.
There isn’t anything incredibly unique and special about the article. However my team and I did one thing with it. We repurposed older content. That particular article happened to get the most benefit from it.
While in the writing community it can be an odd thing to go back to older content, there are actually benefits to going back to older articles. Sometimes you need the thoughts and ideas to stew over or maybe you find some new information you can add to the article. Whatever the case is here are some methods to repurpose older content.
Why Repurpose Older Content?
Time is one of the most valuable resources on the Internet but also our lives. While some people can argue that making new and fresh content is always the way to go that’s not entirely true.
It takes time to brainstorm and research a topic, write it out and edit it properly. The process can take an hour or two of your time to come up with something out of thin air. Compare that to an article that’s already gone through that process, most of your time is going to be on research and building on the points and arguments that were already addressed in the article.
In that sense, you’re saving yourself time by going back to older content and repurposing it.
On top of that, to repurpose older content you move out of the loop of where you need to create content day in and day out. Your questions shift from “how do I create an engaging piece,” to “How can I get this content to more people?”
There are some other advantages to repurpose older content too:
- Get an SEO boost. When you have several pieces of content discussing the same topic, you generate additional opportunities to target a specific keyword. Furthermore if you move that repurposed content outside of your own site you could get more links. Back-linking does have it’s perks and can point back to your official site too.
- Reaching new people. In several cases repurposing a piece of content can help in attracting people right out the door. The first time you published the content it may have appealed to one group of people. However if you repurpose it by adding more information, you could better accommodate those who needed that information.
- Boosts authority. Publishing quality and valuable content will make people see you as an authority figure. This person knows what they are talking about. But repurposing will allow you to get to the next level as you can change the article to discuss a particular topic in more detail or to spread it on other channels.
What Content Deserves Repurposing?
Another thing to do before you start repurposing older content is figuring out what should be repurposed. For small businesses publishing a handful of articles every month it won’t be too much of a strain.
But what if you’re publishing dozens of articles every month?
Finding that one article that deserves it can be tricky. On top of that you want to make sure repurposing it is worth your time.
Here is some criteria to repurpose older content.
It Should Be Evergreen
Evergreen content is the content that no matter what year or month you’re in it’s relevant. Going back to my article I published five years ago it’s still relevant today. After all AA batteries are still on the market and they’re probably not going to go anywhere.
But that’s just batteries. How about some more complex topics? Well look at my podcast where I share cybersecurity tips. I also talk about malware that hasn’t been around for decades. That’s still evergreen in the sense that even though people don’t need to know how to handle the ILOVEYOU virus, we can still learn about it and from it.
It’s really surprising how much qualifies as evergreen content. But going into specifics, there are two important elements needed. You can use this to determine whether the content is evergreen or not:
- First the content needs to be timeless. This means that this topic and/or the content is going to, has been and still is relevant.
- Second the content needs to be high quality. This means that the content is still getting hits despite being on your site for several months or years.
It Should Be Popular
On the note of the content being high quality, the content you want to repurpose needs to be popular.
But how do you know if something is great or it’s a flop?
Well that’s where your sites analytics will come in handy. If you have Google Analytics or some other WordPress plugin it doesn’t matter. So long as you can get an idea of how content is performing on your site on a monthly and yearly basis.
Make a point of checking your stats at least once per month. Highlight some of the content that’s gotten the most views and make note of the published date. You can even input this data into a spread sheet of your own for easier comparison.
The idea with this is checking for popularity. You’ll find certain trends and reading habits from your audience each year. Soon enough you’ll be able to find a consistent theme of what people are reading and enjoying on your site.
Not only is this good for what sort of content you want to create moving forward but it also pinpoints what content is worth repurposing.
It Should Be On A Topic You Can Talk More About
The last criteria is a personal element and requires you to simply browse through what you’ve wrote. As you’re browsing, make note of the topics or articles that you can improve on.
In the cybersecurity world there are all kinds of updates and happenings. The same can be said about your space. Has there been anything in the news about a topic you previously discussed? Has there been new information presented that can expand a topic you published before? Or maybe after reading an article or two you think you could add a thing or two extra to it.
Whatever the case or reasoning, that’s the final criteria to repurpose older content.
12 Ways To Repurpose Older Content
There are all kinds of ways to repurpose older content but keep in mind one thing about this:
Content repurposing isn’t about reusing an older piece constantly. True repurposing means that we are altering a piece of content to make it fresh and appealing to a brand new audience.
With this in mind consider the following methods.
Creating New Posts & Articles
This strategy might sound odd but bear with me on this. The whole idea of this suggestion stems from the concept of spin-offs. You see this in the film industry in subtle ways.
Take the TV shows Fraiser and Cheers. You might not know this but Fraiser is a spinoff of Cheers. Both are great shows, but one was inspired from the other.
Blog content is no different. Especially since hundreds of thousands of people have written about a wide variety of topics.
We’re at a point now where every topic has been exhausted and most content is a spin-off of something else.
So what does this mean for your content?
Well this strategy stems from taking one piece and branching it out into several articles.
For example, one way to repurpose older content is to convert a listicle into a full fledged series of articles.
Have a list of resources to help people start a business? Repurpose that article by creating review articles of individual resources.
The reverse is true too. If you have a lot of articles on one topic you can compile them into a single summarized post. You can then link them back to each of their respective articles too.
Articles often are filled with some data, interesting quotes and some actionable advice. These are great ingredients to create an effective slide show.
Not only can this be easier for people to digest, but it also recaps original content. There’s even a social media platform where you can share these slides. It’s called SlideShare.
Can’t make slides? Don’t worry. Canva is an incredibly powerful tool to help you. They even have pre-made templates for these sorts of things.
People digest pictures faster than they can with massive walls of text. Infographics are basically massive walls of pictures that people love. Broadly speaking, they serve as a summary of content and provides a visual outline.
This method is great if the article you are repurposing has a lot of data and statistics. This can allow you to share the data in a fun way. Not only that but you can break up the pieces of the infographic to break up the article too.
Canva has it’s own templates for infographics but you can also consider Piktochart or Visually who are specifically designed for infographics.
A cousin of the infographic, instructographics are basically the same. The only difference is they focus on “how to” content. These are very helpful tools since so much content revolves around how to articles.
So by creating visual content that goes through the steps and provides summaries is incredibly helpful. But where should you be posting these?
Well at the end of an article, but you can always expand your reach by posting them on Pinterest. Pinterest is a social media platform built on graphics. Pictures, quotes, infographics and instructographics alike.
Refreshing And Republishing Old Posts
Industries change. Or sometimes an article is missing a few pieces of information. Or maybe some information hasn’t aged all that well. This is a good reason to be looking over your content, however it’s also one method to repurpose old content. Even at the time you were thorough in your research, it could still be wrong later on.
If that’s the case, you can find value in repurposing content and spinning it as an entirely new article.
Repurposing articles in this method is a straightforward process. You remove the older bits or add in additional details. When you go to publish, make a note to let readers know that this content was updated and to let them know the post’s origins.
Repost And Re-Promote
The beauty of evergreen content is that you can share it today and it can deliver the same value when you first published it. It might sound unusual to share the same content to the same group but remember social media is massive.
Every day you are getting new followers. On top of that, people are in different timezones or doing something else. You have no clue who did what when they saw your post. Some might’ve moved on then but might find it super relevant now.
You won’t know until you get out and repost a piece of content.
Reposting On Quora
One of the more obscure social media platforms is Quora. Even if it’s not as big as the other social media giants it’s an incredibly powerful platform. But one thing that’s interesting about Quora is the fact there is a blog section on Quora.
The idea with this method is why not post that content over to the blog section after you’ve published it on your own blog? Or if it’s an older piece of content why not share it with the Quora community?
You can also take the reverse of this method. If you want to use the platform, take the answers you create on Quora and have them form the basis of blog posts on your site.
Crafting Daily Email Series
Email marketing is still a powerful force. And while some people may be turned off from daily emails, you can turn it around by making the content really meaningful.
For example, take my article on growing an Instagram audience. For those who really care about growing an audience on there I could create an email series where every day I write an email going into great detail about one of those 15 strategies. I can provide more specific steps, and show pictures.
This strategy extends the overall life of that article. Especially since I could be linking it in the email itself and people can use it as a point of reference when they want a summary.
You can even use this series as a way to attract more subscribers to your email list. After all, a free course going into detail about strategies you want is a powerful resource for people.
Creating An Ebook
And on the note of resources, you can always repurpose older content by turning the content into an e-book. By expanding on existing content, you can turn an already good piece of content into a high-quality e-book.
If you choose this method, I suggest you do more research and find more information to supplement it. Add photos and make the ebook something people want to invest in. After all if it’s just a more visually appealing form of the exact same content on your blog, people might not get as much use of it than if you added more info.
Naturally ebooks don’t really have a limit and is all based on how deep you want to go into a topic.
Writing Guest Posts
Quality content can lead to new stories, articles, and ideas. However those same things can easily spark to your outreach efforts as well. Thus you can turn those stories, ideas and articles into content you can share via a guest post or two or more.
Content that stems from older content is still fresh and beneficial. Especially since you plan to be linking back to the original source. Remember that it doesn’t need to be in depth, but does have to provide something new that the other person can share with their audience.
Creating Audio/Visual Content
You see this on this site as well on occasion. Typically in the form of a video that’s been then transcribed. But there is nothing wrong with doing the reverse. Google loves words to update its global index.
People digest content in all kinds of ways. That’s why content comes in all kinds of mediums. It makes sense for us to leverage that by repurposing older content in different mediums. Why not start a podcast where you’re reading off the articles you already published? Why not make videos of that content and go into deeper detail?
All of these ideas are good starting points and are a way to breath new life into older content. One other approach you can consider is discussing topics that relate to older content.
In January this year I had an interview with Mike Blackmore on online marketing. I could repurpose that content by making a video or a podcast series talking about the benefits of online marketing and exploring the topics raised a bit further.
Hosting A Webinar
While not everyone wants to be talking in front of a group of people, there is still merit to consider this and not brush it off because of fear. A webinar is a powerful tool because it allows you to present a topic and engage your audience directly in a conversation.
Best of all you can use your content you already created as a starting point for discussion. The webinar can entail you providing a brief summary of that content and then use that as a basis for conversations.
Or maybe you can bring up all of that research and content as need be or at the final part of your presentation. Either way this gets people to check out your content and to refresh themselves on what you published.
Repurposing Is Recycling
Over on the Mtek blog, discussed recycling content. These ideas are virtually one and the same. It’s taking one piece of content and stretching it out in many facets. While repurposing content can be as simple as tailoring it to each social media platform, these strategies take it one step farther.
Repurposing is basically recycling and therefore it’s just as helpful to consider putting into your own strategy for growing your business.
But remember, make sure the content you deliver with this strategy offers more value to the original content than it did before. Do that and your repurposing efforts will be more successful.