Make do and mend: how to repurpose blog posts

Over the summer I decided to stop publishing new content on my blog for a time.  For almost two years blog writing has been a big part of my strategy to promote the work I do. I have written about the services I provide as a virtual assistant, things I need to know about for my work such as copyright, GDPR and plain English and about training and development I have undertaken. Over the last few months, rather than writing new blog posts, I have been repurposing blogs I had already written and sharing these on social media instead. Not sure what I mean by repurposing? Read on to learn more.

Real reused, recycled, re-purposed kitchen pot and cup for succulents, alternative to plastic pots.
Image by Adobe Stock.

What is repurposing

Repurposing simply means to use something for a different purpose to the one for which it was originally intended.  Containers for example can be repurposed, say from food use, to plant pots or jewellery boxes; cities can be repurposed from industrial areas to entertainment areas and  buildings can be repurposed from shops, to offices and restaurants. Maybe you have seen telephone boxes repurposed as libraries or defibrillator stations; clothing can be repurposed; toilet rolls make great biodegradable pots for small plants; greetings cards can be repurposed into gift tags and medicines designed to treat one kind of health condition can be repurposed and used to treat different health conditions.

St William's College, York.
Image by Etan J. Tal – CC BY-SA 4.0. The image shows St William’s College, York. The curved wood protrusions are probably repurposed ship frames.

Blog writing and posting to social media eats time, so repurposing is one way to make time for other things, meaning you don’t have to create new content every day or every week, rather you  work on getting what you have already created, seen by more  people.

Benefits of repurposing my blogs on social media included:

  • not feeling under pressure to produce new work for a time
  • the opportunity to undertake a content review to ensure my blogs were still relevant and didn’t need updating
  • driving more traffic to my website — by showing people a snippet of a blog post, it hopefully encouraged them to click through to read more
  • being able to share my blogs with people on social media who I may not have been connected with when I first wrote them — I have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of engagement my repurposed blogs have received, sometimes more than the original
  • reaching people in different time zones and with different social media viewing habits — when you repurpose content, you can reach new audiences that otherwise may have never found it, simply by giving it a fresh look and feel.

Iconic British red phone booth repurposed as defibrillator station.
Image by Adobe Stock.

How to go about repurposing

Repurposing doesn’t mean sharing a post exactly the same each time, rather you should try to re-frame your content each time you use it so as not to repeat yourself. When I publish a brand new  blog, I announce it as ‘new’ or ‘latest’ but when I repurpose a blog, I  pull out something I think is of interest, re-framing my social media post around that or linking the post to an awareness day for example National Freelancers Day or International Virtual Assistants Day.

When you are reviewing work to repurpose look at what you might be able to improve or what you may now have more to say on. Perhaps something has changed since you published the blog, or maybe you have learned something new on the topic. Remember, change happens and even blog posts written a few months back may not have aged well.

Keidel Memorial Hospital, Fredericksburg, Texas.
Image by Randy von Liski– CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. The image shows the former Keidel Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg, Texas, now repurposed as a  gourmet kitchen store.

However if you come across a piece of work you think could be repurposed, bear in mind the original piece could well rank well and pull in significant traffic to your website, so consider giving the blog post a quick makeover rather than creating an entirely new one. Some blog providers allow you to change the publish date, enabling you to keep the website address (URL) but show it on your blog as a brand new post, so updating original content, using the existing page website address, will enable you to hold on to the pages SEO value.

You could also consider publishing your work on other websites.  Publishing  content in a variety of places can help you gain authority in your area of work and by publishing content outside of your own website, you may be able to benefit from back links to your website too. Take a look at re-publishing your blog as a LinkedIn article, as a Medium or Dreamstime blog or as an answer to a question on Quora. You could also consider repurposing a blog post in another format, say as a podcast or video, using it to develop an online course or as an article in a newsletter.

Recycled children's boots and shoes on garden bench used as plant pots, a fun way to encourage recycle reuse and reduce waste.
Image by Adobe Stock.

Repurposing content can be a huge time saver, you may even want to consider how you will repurpose your blog before you begin creating it, so you can be sure to make the most of it and by focusing on adding value to the original content and re-framing it when posting to social media, your repurposing efforts should pay dividends.

Further information and sources

© Toni Louise Abram at Izzy Wizzy. All Rights Reserved.

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