Reuse, repurpose, recycle: giving new meaning to things we would otherwise forget about or throw away saves us time and resources. Cutting down on waste is a great way to help the environment and combat climate change, but getting into a recycling mindset can have a more direct impact on your life as well. A reusable water bottle, for example, can save you money by eliminating the need to buy bottled water. Composting your food waste, along with soiled paper packaging and other products, creates nutrient rich soil you can use in your yard or garden. You can also sell it to farmers.
A recycling mindset goes a long way in the world of digital content, too. After all, whether it’s a blog post, a marketing email, or an infographic, your content required time and energy to create. Why let it collect dust once it’s published? Build on the work you’ve already done and save resources by breathing new life into that content! We’ve come up with five ways to help you get started.
Build On What’s Popular
So you’ve published a well-received article. Why stop there? Build on your momentum by expanding on that topic. A great way to do this is to write an opposing piece, or as Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina puts it, an “evil twin” of the original piece. Write a “mistakes to avoid” piece to follow up your “how-to” or “best practices” blog post. By taking a different perspective, you give more insight into that topic. It’s also important to pay attention to what your audience is asking you directly. If you’re answering customer questions in emails, you could turn those answers into an FAQ article. Some questions might even warrant their own articles.
Say It A Different Way
Your existing work may feel like separate entities, but to get the most out of it, look at them as Lego sets. You’ve built them out of different pieces that you can easily pull apart and put back together a different way. That infographic could translate into an informative blog post. A quote from your podcast might be especially tweetable. A listicle can be a good basis for a video. Your content will get more exposure if you make it available across different formats and channels.
Revisit Old Facts
If you have an archive of email newsletters, blog posts, studies, or other content, chances are they represent a lot of research. Even if that content is a few years old, the information used to create it is still valuable. If the statistic you used in an article has changed since you wrote it, what can you draw from the difference between then and now? If new research adds to or disproves the facts you used, what does that mean to your audience? These insights can be a good source of follow-up content.
If you’ve written several articles expanding on a single subject, you’ve given yourself a head start on a larger project. You can take all the work you’ve done on those articles and combine them into an ebook or a hands-on guide. In these, you can dive deeper into the subjects you’re writing about. You can also turn your work into a webinar or online course series, or start a podcast that explores your particular area of expertise.
Keep It All Connected
Be a one-stop knowledge shop! By building on your previous work, you can create a network of information where your audience can find the answers to all of their questions. Your older articles will also continue to generate traffic if you link back to them in new content. You can also add a “suggested articles” section at the end of your posts to direct your visitors to further reading.
By refreshing and reusing what you already have, you save yourself the time and energy of creating new content. But having a recycling mindset when it comes to your content isn’t just about saving your resources; you can also build on previous work and explore new channels and formats to expand your reach and grow your audience. It pays to take a new outlook on your existing content.