Guest Post: Repurpose with Good Intentions

What’s on the iPod: Super Bass by Nicki Minaj (Yes I did, yes I did!)

Good day of work yesterday. I started the second portion of a large project, scheduled some conference meetings, and worked through some revisions to a project. Plus, it’s finally gorgeous here on the East coast — yesterday was 75 degrees and today may hit 80. I’m taking advantage and getting out at lunchtime — roof open and sunblock on. No way I work from home just to be cooped up indoors on days like this.

Today, more of the same.

I have a treat for you: I asked Cathy Miller to write a guest post about repurposing, and boy, did she deliver.
Probably one of the most sensible, successful writers around, Cathy has taken to task those mountains of repetitive advice that don’t really deliver much, and she’s written from her own expertise a pretty fantastic post on exactly what to do with your content to make it pay back even more.

Thanks, Cathy!

Repurpose with Good Intentions

by Cathy Miller

The online world swoops up original ideas
and regurgitates them ad nauseum. Headlines scream with 100 Creative Ways to Do X with content you’ve seen before. Posts
promising something new are lost in the trash pile of discarded topics.
With the threat of more of the same, why
would you want to repurpose anything? Think good intentions.
Old Stuff

This may come as a shock. The term repurpose existed long before bored blog
owners searched for new content.
from Heloise
found new ways to use household items
Money-strapped moms made hand-me-downs
new again
Environmentalists encouraged recycling
Old stuff has a new life – a new purpose.
One thing the above repurposers (is that a word?) have in common is they
repurpose with good intentions.
Can you say the same about repurposed
Repurposing Content

If for some reason you have not tapped into the hot topic of
repurposing content, let me share the scoop.
The volume of content required for successful marketing is
overwhelming. Consider the marketing of your own freelance writing business – business
site/blog, ebooks, social media, brochures, and more. Repurposing takes
existing content and creates a new format or spin on the old.
Ebook from blog
– You may have already discovered this form of repurposing. You
snag blog posts with similar topics and convert the posts into an ebook.
Presentations/Videos Do you have a popular blog post? Try a
visual alternative to your written pearls with a SlideShare presentation or
Podcasts Take an interesting interview or topic
and add audio with a podcast format. Think about a topic for a series of
We humans love our images. Enhance
boring statistics. Pin a favorite video.
The above is a small sample of ways to repurpose existing
content. Like many overworked marketing ideas, repurposing backfires when your
intentions focus more on producing content than quality.
Good Intentions

The following are 7 good intentions for repurposing content.
Breathe new
life into something of value
– Why does the phrase putting lipstick on a pig come to mind? If your original content is
caked-on trash, recycling it is a waste of time (pun intended).
Appeal to
different styles
– Some of us are detail geeks. Others need visuals to
understand. By offering your content in multiple formats, you appeal to
individuals with different learning styles or preferences.
broader audience
– With the different styles, you reach a broader audience.
Because one market hates white papers does not mean there is no value in your
series of papers. Repurpose key messages into a format that appeals to a
different audience.
– Have you ever written a blog post that generated a high
number of comments? Perhaps one point struck a chord with readers or the
discussion took a different path. By repurposing the original post, you expand
the discussion and generate new interest.
Save time
– Repurposing allows you to be more productive. It’s easier to tweak
existing content into something new than to start from scratch.
your message
– Effective copywriters repeat key messages in their writing. When
you repurpose, you are using another format to deliver your message, which
helps readers remember and understand.
better results
–You can convert prospects into sales through repurposing. For
example, you initiate an email marketing campaign. You repurpose the email
message into a blog post or a capabilities brochure. Same message, but more
bang for your buck.
Good intentions work for you and your clients. There are a
million posts, presentations, videos, and other formats on how to repurpose your content. Achieving quality results happens
when you start with value and repurpose with good intentions.
How have you repurposed
your content for better results?
Cathy has a business writing blog at Simply stated business, a
health care blog at Simply stated health care
and her personal bog, millercathy: A Baby Boomer’s Second

About the author




  • Cathy Miller April 9, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for the opportunity, Lori. Always a pleasure to hang out with your readers. 🙂

  • Devon Ellington April 9, 2013 at 11:47 am

    All of that's great. What drives me nuts is when a writer "repurposes" the same content in the exact same format, but acts like it's new information — like the same blog post appearing on a half a dozen related sites, acting like it's something new, without any note that this is syndicated.

  • Cathy Miller April 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Agree, Devon, that falls more under the regurgitation definition. 😉

  • Lori April 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Cathy, thank you again for such a great guest post.

    One of my favorite repurposing methods is to revisit the topic. I did that on an article about nationalization of insurance regulation. Did it twice, in fact — once five years out, then again at ten years out. That's another way to use the same topic and experts, but bring fresh content to the piece.

  • Paula April 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Great post, Cathy.

    I love the smart repurposing things and ideas. If only more people understood the differences you pointed out so clearly.

    Repurposing is finding a new way to use something, or a new spin on it. Without that new twist, you're only repeating yourself. Or worse, repeating something someone else already said.

  • Cathy Miller April 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks, Lori and Paula.

    That's a great example of repurposing, Lori. I revisited QR Codes at my site as it continues to be the post with the highest amount of traffic. I wanted to see what had changed since I wrote it.

    Paula- especially repurposing someone else's post with no credit to the original 😉

  • Lori April 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Not a bad idea, Cathy. I know a few posts here have been popular. Time to give the people what they want. 🙂

  • anne wayman April 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I hope my repurposing of my own stuff has been successful… and I'm not sure there is ever a truly original idea… oh maybe back when something new is first created, like the telephone or the web… but it doesn't happen very often.

  • Cathy Miller April 9, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    You are so right, Anne. 🙂 I remember when I first started blogging and thought I was so clever – only to have my pride dashed in a plethora of posts with the same topic. 😉