How many ways can you use one piece of content?
Although a decent article, video, or podcast will generate attention, why not maximize your efforts by repurposing your material across additional platforms?
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How much content is enough?
Is one piece of content such as an article or a video enough?
The answers to both those questions is, well, that depends.
It depends on how much time you have and on how creative you want to be. It depends on how much effort you want to put into generating visibility and reach.
And it depends how active you are on your various social media channels and on how active you want to be.
There's a well-known marketer in the U.S. who talks about creating 64 pieces in a day.
Yes. Sixty-four pieces of content. In a day.
While this might seem a little extreme, and while it is possible with planning, focus, and work, for most content creators, that level of content creation might be a stretch.
And on top of that, there may simply not be the interest to support bombarding your community (or any distribution channel) with that kind of sheer volume.
Sixty-four pieces of content each day works out at 3 pieces of content every hour (over a 24-hour period). And really, most
people probably don't wan't to work that hard.
But you? You're not most people, which means you're prepared to do what other people won't do in order to see the kind of success that other people may never see.
So in what follows, I'm going to walk you through several ways to
create multiple pieces of content from one article.
If the belief that you have to write and publish something every day is slowing you down, this article is for you.
Counter to what you may have heard, you don’t have to write dozens of articles a month to create awareness and visibility.
The key to content success lies in maximizing reach and in in multiplying value. I didn't really understand this back in 2009 or
so when I first set up this website. I used to think that in order to remain visible I had to write and publish something every day.
I was wrong, and in what follows, I'd like to show you why
you don't have to work yourself into the ground to make an impression.
I've learned that for the most part, success with content is more to do with how, where, and when you distribute it than it is with creating something every day.
While the point above may appear to counter the point of creating more content, it's more to do with wringing every last drop of value and reach out of each piece of main content.
Success with content is connected to the format your content appears in, and in the ways in which your ideal community prefers to consume your content.
You might be one of those people who only writes articles.
You might only make videos or record podcasts.
You might be quite happy making slide decks.
I have no problem with any of this because if it works for you,
carry on doing it.
As an example, I know of a videographer and filmmaker in the
UK who only posts on Facebook and Twitter. He helps small business owners make compelling videos.
He has no website, he doesn't write and publish web-based articles, and he doesn't offer products as such. Instead, he runs a Facebook group from which he generates $250,000 a year in coaching and mastermind fees.
So if you want to stay where you are, helping only the people you're helping, that's OK.
At one time, not that long ago, I would have been the last person you would have found creating various kinds of content on a regular basis. But when I realized that by focusing only on one kind of content that I was limiting my reach, my opinion changed.
Bear in mind that your followers and advocates have many ways of consuming content.
For every one of your readers there may be an equal number of Twitter scrollers. For every Twitter scroller there may be 10 LinkedIn video viewers. For every video viewer there may be five podcast listeners, and so on.
And these may only be the people who already know about you. Because so many of us these days are so connected to so many other people, just think what one share of one piece of your content by one of your followers could do for your reach?
Consider this: by only creating one kind of content you're reaching fewer people than you could be reaching. As such, you're helping fewer people than you could be helping.
This means that potentially, you're missing out on reaching more people and it means you're missing out on building your list of subscribers.
I’ll say this until the cows come home, building your list of subscribers needs to be your number one priority. This isn't a sales pitch for an offer—it's a reminder that to get more we have to get up and do more.
Rather than creating more content or spending money on advertising, why not make better use of the content we already have by re-purposing it across more distribution channels.
Why do all that research and put in all that time on writing an article or in creating a video or podcast, why not to use chunks of
its content again somewhere else?
So consider the following:
- Why not turn that 1,500-word article into a short video
or into a 10-minute podcast?
- Or why not turn that podcast or video into a series of
social media posts?
- Why not turn those social media posts into a slide show?
- Why not convert that slide show into a series of email messages?
With a little foresight and planning it's easier than you think to convert one piece of content into 10, or 20, or 50 pieces of additional material—or what I refer to as micro content—and it's through these pieces of micro content that you can build visibility and drive traffic to a landing page, or a website, or to a social media stream.
The trick with content creation lies in thinking bigger!
The secret to content creation isn't so much about quantity because two things matter more. The first is the quality of the material you're creating. The second is the way you distribute it.
As far as SEO is concerned, a well-written 1,500 word, keyword-rich article will outperform a so-so, vaguely worded 500 word article.
However, the days of putting a blog post out there, or of sharing it on social media with your friends and family and hoping for the best are gone (if they were ever effective in the first place).
To reach more people, your content needs to appear in more places, in more forms, and with greater frequency than ever.
If you’ve got 30 articles of 2,000 words apiece, you don’t just have 30 articles, you’ve got a book. But through serialization, you don't just have a book, you have a whole podcast series, or a video course, or hundreds of social media posts, images, and emails.
Here's the problem with all this
Most content creators don’t think this way. They see the task of writing a book as insurmountable, as something that’s beyond them. Or worse still, they see it as work.
But by creating content you’re passionate about, engaged in, and excited about you turn the process of work into a fun activity.
Fun is easier than work. If creating a book seems daunting, break the task down into smaller chunks. Here's how:
Once you've chosen your topic, get yourself a large notepad or
30 to 50 sheets of plain paper and write single-word headings connected with the various areas of your main topic at the top of each sheet.
Let's say your subject is classic car refurbishment. Single word descriptions in this niche could include:
- fuel pumps
- brake replacement
- tire care
- alloy wheels
- searching scrapyards ...
And so on. You write down a single subject for a whole slew of terms connected to your niche and then you to each page in turn and you flesh things out with 10 to 15 sub points for each item on each sheet.
Sub points under the brake replacement page could include:
- brake shoes
- break pads
- break adjustments
- parking (hand brake)
- brake fluid ... and so on.
Under each sub point above you drill down again and write a list
of extra talking points about each area. Let’s start with brake shoes.
You could explain what they are, what they do, where they go,
and what they connect to. You could then explain how they work, how often they need replacing, how they wear out, how they’re sized and adjusted, and so on.
You do this for each header page and for each sub heading.
You only work on one page at a time.
If you can write 30 to 50 words per subject page, per subheading you’ll create a simple outline for a piece of content in about half
an hour. Each of these subject areas then becomes the seed for both a larger whole, and a stand alone piece of content.
Do you see how through this process you could easily create 50 or so pieces of content in one day? Multiply this over the course of a few days each week for a month and in pretty short order you'll have an extensive archive of content ideas to dip into.
If that’s not your style, why not license other people's content through private label rights? Except, instead of taking the easy route, which is to just republish that material as it is, why not
make it your own?
Getting around the issue of using the same content that lots of other buyers of the PLR are presenting takes a little bit of work, but it's worth it to make your version stand out from the crowd.
To see how many people are using the same PLR you've bought
the rights to, copy and paste a sentence or two from your PLR article into Google's search box and place quotation marks around it: "like this".
Then carry out your search.
If the search returns a series of identical entries all on different websites, that's how many people are republishing the same article you've just acquired, which means unless you makes changes to whatever you publish, your version of that same article will get lost in the crowd.
As with reusing content in other ways, the secret to success with PLR lies in making it your own. Many of the articles I’ve created over the last few years have used PLR as seed material, including the article you’re reading now.
I have neither the time nor the patience to argue the pluses and minuses of using PLR. I only use material from reliable sources, and I invest time and effort into making the PLR content I do use as original as possible.
To these articles my own, I add anecdotes, stories, and metaphors, and I draw from personal and professional experiences. I reword, reframe, and remix angles, ideas, and examples until the article I wind up with is something no one will find anywhere else.
When I use a PLR article I'll usually rewrite 80 to 90% of piece
I've acquired the rights to to give it my voice and to make it unique. I’ll usually multiply the content by a factor of 5, which means I can easily turn a 450-word article into a 2,250 to 3,500-
This approach repurposes the PLR content while adding my own slant while making the content unique. Let’s look at some of the ways you can repurpose your content.
If you host a webinar, why not get it transcribed so you can offer the transcription to the people who signed up to attend the webinar as a PDF?
If your webinar uses few visuals, why not turn your content into
a podcast? With a few charts, graphs, and illustrations, your transcript can become an ebook. Or it could become a series of social media or blog posts, or even a case study.
You could repackage your webinar as a video and share it on:
Slides, infographics, and images
If you've created images for a video, you have enough slides to create a slideshow you can upload to SlideShare.net.
You can make slides for presentations in Keynote or PowerPoint. Or you could use an online slide making app like Canva, PromoRepublic, Prezi, or Google Slides.
You could use your slides as the basis for a book, or a series of social media posts, or a blog or an article.
Because Google ranks and indexes images, by giving each individual image extra keywords in the file name and alt text and by saving the file as a JPEG or a PNG, each image becomes searchable and keyword specific, which helps create site visibility.
The best way to avoid copyright issues with images is to use public domain images or to create your own. If you're using your own photographs, you own the copyright and you can do with them what you like.
If your images include other people, get anyone in the image to sign a release form giving you permission to use their likeness in your messaging. If you're using images you've bought from an online image library read the license rules before sharing them. Sometimes, extra image use may need an extended license. Be sure to read the fine print before you buy.
But whatever you do, image-wise, do not pull images from Google Images and not pull images from popular franchises such as Disney or Marvel. The copyright risks are too great, the risks of getting sued are too high, and regardless of what you may have read on any social media platform, simply because the images are on Google Images does not mean that those images are available for you to use without permission.
You could turn your original images into a series of memes, or into extra slides by adding text overlays of text in an image processing program such as Adobe Photoshop.
Similarly, an infographic with a extra images and a bulleted or numbered list can easily become a separate blog post or article in its own right. Images and soundbites from your articles could become a magazine layout, and so on. The point is to think literally and laterally.
You can also use infographics as the basis for a webinar or even a podcast. Although I'm a professional graphic designer, I still use two online design and image applications on a regular basis.
The first platform I use is Stencil, which offers over 2.3 million royalty-free stock images (with more added each week), and just over 1,100 predesigned templates. If you're creating visuals for different brands, Stencil also lets you upload and store multiple variations of your logo or different logos.
If stock images and logos aren't your thing, Stencil offers 2 million icons and graphic elements, and over 100,000 quotations that you can easily pair with images, and the platform also gives you access to over 3,000 Google web fonts.
Stencil offers three levels of access: the basic level is free, with the next levels at just $9 and $12 per month (if you pay annually in advance). To learn more about Stencil, click here.
The second platform I use is PromoRepublic, which I use for both content creation and curation, and for scheduling social media and website-based content.
PromoRepublic is an ideal tool to connect your brand with all kinds of communities and audiences across a range of social media channels.
The platform gives you the ability create, store, and schedule your content, and everything is editable. You can set up ads, manage material for multiple locations, and set up posts to repeat on specific days and at preset times, making the most out of your content across a range of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn.
With 100,000 customizable images and templates, you can set things up to your exact needs. PromoRepublic also offers suggestions on preselected articles, themes, and topics, all of which you can customize on your terms.
Their intuitive graphics editor makes it easy to personalize any template with your own images, logos, titles, and texts, and you can schedule or publish with one simple mouse click.
Starting at $49 a month for up to 10 social media accounts
and 2 users, PromoRepublic offers isn't cheap (its next level is $99
a month, which allows up to 15 people to post to 30 social media accounts), but its content scheduling capability and its range of flexible templates curated content are huge time savers.
Articles, blog posts, and podcasts
Whether you create your own content or license someone else's, you have an opportunity to tweak things to suit your needs.
A series of short blog posts can become a longer article, or can easily be turned into an ebook or a special report.
Or why not break up a long article or special report into a series of related emails, or into shorter blog posts?
Items in a bulleted or numbered list can become a slide in a specific slide show or a set of social media posts.
You could then turn your slide sets into a video.
Or your bulleted lists can become a podcast, or repurposed into a series of emails.
If you think a stand alone podcast limits what you else you can do with it, why not have it transcribed for other uses? The scope for content transformation is as wide as your imagination.
Live video and live events
Did you know that with Facebook Live events, you can download them and put them straight onto YouTube without any other work?
With a little bit of effort you can also transcribe your Facebook Live events. Your transcription could then become an article and a blog posts, or even an ebook or a special report.
If your live event includes other people, why not get their written permission to record them before you share the video and turn your video into a syndicated interview? If it's your event, you might even want to sell the recordings to the attendees or to those who couldn't attend in person.
The bottom line here is that content doesn't have to be just one thing. Your followers all consume content in different ways, so why not find out what kinds of content people interact with or relate to the most and then cater to their needs?
With thought, effort, and planning your material can reach a wider community and help you expand your reach, and it really is possible to create dozens of pieces of additional content from one main piece of material.
The key to success here lies in doing the work, having fun, and in being willing to experiment. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start repurposing!
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Marketing, branding, and social media strategist. Happy hubby, movie geek, and keen cook.
Originally from the UK, Gary Bloomer lives just outside Philadelphia, USA. Online, he's been answering questions about social media, marketing, and branding since 2009.
A talented writer, an award-winning graphic designer, and a regular contributor to the Know-How Exchange
of MarketingProfs.com (one of the Internet's leading marketing websites), he's known for giving practical, non-nonsense, BS-free marketing and branding advice.
Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn