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Don’t Re-publish. Re-purpose! by Ian Chandler

Don’t Re-publish. Re-purpose! by Ian Chandler

You might have re-purposed some old household items but have you ever thought about re-purposing your old content?

Re-purposing content is a common practice in business but many writers have never even thought of doing it. It’s a shamefully underrated strategy that can help you expand your portfolio, give you more credibility, and even land you some paying jobs.

What is Re-purposing Content?

Re-purposing content is taking content you’ve already written, and editing or rewriting it to use in a different way. It’s important to note that re-purposing is different from republishing. Republishing content is simply taking that same content, and publishing it again, whereas re-purposing involves some sort of transformation to the work. For example, if you take a magazine article you’ve written, and submit it to another magazine, that’s republishing. If you were to take that article, and use it as part of an e-book, that would be re-purposing.

How to Re-purpose Content

Before you think about re-purposing content, there are a couple of important matters you have to sort out. First, make sure you own the rights to the work you want to re-purpose. Most of the time, you will own the rights to your work, but there are some cases where the client will own the work. Of course, this varies on a case-by-case basis and you’ll need to refer to any past contracts or agreements. If the client does own the content, you’ll need to contact them before re-purposing it. In most cases, they will allow you to do so.

Second, have a game plan. If you re-purpose content without a strategy, you probably won’t gain anything from it. You need to have a specific goal in place, and plan around that. It’s imperative that you think about this in advance instead of just crossing your fingers, and blindly re-purposing your content. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish by re-purposing this content? (e.g. get more clients, land a gig, use it as content in a new book, etc.)
  • What medium should I use to re-purpose my content in order to achieve my goal?
  • How should I change the content (if at all) to make it ready for re-purposing?

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s look at some examples of re-purposing, and their possible benefits.

Articles

One of the most straightforward examples is re-purposing one article for use in a new article. If you’re working on an article that’s similar to one you’ve written in the past, you can pull content from that old article for use in the new one. You can also use the Skyscraper Technique on your own old posts in order to create updated versions that will perform better. This strategy involves building on old content, and improving upon it in order to create the definitive version of that old article.

E-books and Print Books

If you have a lot of related content lying around, why not turn it into an book?  You can turn just about any kind of content into a great book. Got some articles that never got accepted? How about some old blog posts? These are all types of content you can assemble into a book.

Videos

Video marketing is only getting bigger. You might even already be using videos to promote yourself. If you’ve written content that’s related to your niche, you can turn that content into a video. For example, if you’re a writer who specializes in marketing, you can use some old articles to create a marketing tips video, and share that on social media and YouTube to gain more credibility.

These are just a few examples. The sky’s the limit here. All you need to re-purpose is some old content, a winning strategy, and your imagination.

Ian Chandler is a freelance writer and Head Instructor at Writing Launch.



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One Response to "Don’t Re-publish. Re-purpose! by Ian Chandler"

  1. Roy Stevenson  April 17, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Excellent summary of repurposing, Ian Chandler. Nicely written! I’ve been repurposing my magazine articles, website posts, and newsletter editorials into eBooks for the past 10 years and have sold more than 3,000 eBooks as a result. I know some fellow travel writers who have repurposed their published stories into compendiums or anthologies and have done well from this. Right now, during the Coronapocalypse, is an excellent time for out-of-work travel writers (and probably most freelance writers) to compile their article collections into books. Regards, Roy Stevenson. http://www.pitchTravelWrite.com