Whether blogging is your passion or something you feel you have to do, I’m sure you put a lot of time and effort into creating your content. No matter how good a writer you are, most people will only read what you’ve posted recently, but with a little creativity, you can repurpose what you’ve written and get it working for you!
Mix and Match
Have you ever missed out on an opportunity to submit an article or blog post to an online or printed publication, because you couldn’t find the time to write something new? That’s too bad! You’ve got a bunch of great material at your fingertips, and just because they asked for something original doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Why not take selections from several related posts and combine them into a new one? You’ll need to do a little editing to make it flow properly, but it’ll take a lot less time than coming up with something brand new.
Reuse and Recycle
Your old blog posts don’t have to disappear into obscurity! Some, such as event announcements, may be time-sensitive, but organizing principles don’t change, so a list of tips you prepared two years ago will be equally useful today. All you need is a way to promote them once they’ve disappeared from your home page and your subscribers have deleted them from their inboxes or RSS readers.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that once or twice a day, I tweet a link to one of my older posts. I do this using a WordPress plug-in called Tweet Old Posts I installed after reading about it on Site Sketch 101, and it’s doing a great job of bringing my earlier work to the attention of newer readers and reviving the discussions on those posts. It can be configured to exclude certain categories or even specific posts, and you can decide how often you want it to tweet as well as the time frame of posts you want it to choose from.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog and you’ve been blogging for a while, I highly recommend that you try this plug-in. But even if you don’t, there’s no reason you can’t post links to your older posts on Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere. You can even organize the process by using a pre-scheduling tool such as TweetDeck or HootSuite.
Refresh and Renew
Some things do change. Maybe you wrote a really great post a few years ago, but some of the information is now out of date. There’s absolutely no reason not to take that post, remove the parts that are obsolete, and replace them with something new and fresh. But instead of keeping it buried in your archives, delete the old one and publish the revised edition as a brand new post.
Create a Compilation
Once you’ve been blogging for several years, there’s a good chance that you’ve touched on similar subjects from time to time. For example, perhaps every year you’ve written a post about getting organized for back to school, or getting organized for the holidays. This year, instead of scratching your head to come up with some new ideas, make it easy on yourself and make a list of your previous articles, with the titles linked to the original posts. Most readers won’t have seen them the first time, and those that did aren’t likely to remember and will probably enjoy reading them again.
Build a Book
Do you ever read your own blog and think, “This is great stuff. It’s too bad I couldn’t sell it!” Who says you can’t?
ProBlogger Darren Rowse’s PDF workbook 31 Days to Build a Better Blog was based on a series of blog posts that made up a month-long challenge to his readers. Since he launched the workbook in 2009, he’s sold over 19,000 copies! That’s probably more than most of us can realistically aspire to, considering the size of Rowse’s audience, but it proves that creating a book or e-book from blog content is a viable strategy.
By the way, the price of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is going from $19.95 to $29.99 on May 10, 2011, so if it sounds like something you could use, be sure to order it before the price increase kicks in!
These are just a few of the ways you can repurpose your blog content. What others can you think of?