Fear hit me.
“I have a research paper due tomorrow morning,” I said aloud, startling everyone else in the movie theater who was watching Kevin Costner hit a golf ball.
How could I have forgotten? It was 8:00 on a Sunday evening and I had an 8-page paper due in twelve hours.
When I arrived home, I sat down in front of my computer and tried to think of a topic. My professor said our papers needed to be about technology in some way, shape or form.
“How can I find, research, and write about a topic in one night? I have a few hours to do a few week’s worth of work!”
I was in trouble.
Glancing down at my desk, I saw the “World War I” research paper I had written for another class. “If only I could use the information I already researched for this paper,” I jokingly thought to myself.
Then I got an idea.
I would write a research paper about how the Internet has made writing research papers easier. I would write about two fictional students; one who used books from the library to do all his research, and one who used the Internet (“technology”) for his research. The research paper topic for these fictional students? World War I.
It was more of a creative writing exercise than an actual research paper, but it was packed with historical quotes, dates, and facts.
I wish I could tell you that karma punished me for my forgetfulness and procrastination, and my professor gave me a bad grade. I wish I could tell you that, but college is no fairy-tale world.
My professor loved it. He gave me an “A” and said it was one of the best papers he’d ever received.
Repurposing blog content
The college version of Kevin, the procrastinator, would have loved blogging. With a little bit of ingenuity, it’s possible to take one post you’ve researched and written, and use it over and over.
Here are 4 ways you can take a post you’ve already written and repurpose it.
1. Make a YouTube video
Do you have a speaking voice that’s more Tracy Morgan than Morgan Freeman? Doesn’t matter. Do you look more like Adam West than Amy Adams? Doesn’t matter either.
If you have a blog post filled with information, the hard part is already done for you. You can easily take the information in your post and turn into a short (1-3 minutes) script.
Practice the script a few times. Record yourself using your webcam. Re-record yourself after you’ve removed the spinach from your teeth. Publish it to YouTube.
2. Make a SlideShare presentation
Do you have a list post? Open Microsoft PowerPoint. Create a slideshow based on the points in your post (you can probably copy and paste 90% of it). Make it look pretty (this is the part which can take a little time, depending on your design skills and PowerPoint experience). Upload it to SlideShare.
Because SlideShare presentations are created from PDF files, it means you can have links inside your presentations. On the last slide, have a strong call to action. Link to your blog or, even better, an opt-in page for your mailing list.
And if your SlideShare presentation goes viral, it can mean a nice traffic boost to your blog…
3. Create a PDF version of a post
You could copy the text of your post, paste it into Microsoft Word or Open Office, and save it as a PDF file. Or, even better, simply use PrintFriendly.com.
Why would you want to create a PDF version of the post? Well, for starters, as Ana points out in her post above there are directories in which you can submit PDF-versions of your posts. Some of these directories have Google PageRanks of 6 or higher.
The primary reason you would want to create a PDF of your post is many of your readers prefer it. A PDF is something they can download and read on their Kindle. It’s something they can print and have handy. It’s something they can hold onto long after your blog goes the way of the dodo.
(I’m talking of other people’s blogs, of course. Not yours.)
Plus, if your PDF is particularly valuable or long (Example: You went temporarily insane and wrote an 8,317-word post), you can offer it as as incentive for readers to join your mailing list.
4. Create a PDF checklist of a post
Similar to the above, but with a little bit of extra work on your part.
If your post is detailed, it can be hard for readers to easily digest it. Sometimes, a quick recap detailing the high points is invaluable.
Open your preferred word processing document, and type a 2-to-4 sentence overview of the main points in your post. Be as clear and concise as possible. If your post offered actionable steps, be sure to include them. Save it as a PDF.
Checklists are another incentive you can offer readers to join your mailing list.
Want to make them especially enticing? Include an extra tip (or two or three) in your checklist which wasn’t included in your blog post.
For readers who enjoyed your post, your extra tip is something they’ll want to know.
Wrapping it up
Getting the most bang for your buck is a must for bloggers.
If you have written something good, you need to find ways to repurpose it. What you wrote is awesome, right? Then why wouldn’t you want to stretch it as far as it can go?
What’s your favorite way to repurpose content? Let me know in a comment below!
Creative Commons Images via epSos .de.