Repurposed content is a gold mine, but it needs mastery to perform at best.
I used to hate repurposed content (and sometimes I still do).
The first time I noticed one of my favorite writers publishing two articles on the same topic, I felt betrayed by his lack of creativity and ideas.
He didn’t even try to give a new take or mask his content better. The concepts were the same, and even the subheadings were alike. So although I loved his style, I couldn’t get over this dirty trick, and I stopped following him.
A few months later, my position inverted. I was reading about breathing techniques, eager to know more about their benefits. Luckily, I found many related articles at the end of the page, so I continued my reads.
The articles were similar — they were all discussing the benefits of breathing techniques — but something was different. The writer offered various perspectives on the same topic by changing contexts.
One talked about the benefits of breathing techniques in interacting with other people. While another one discussed the benefits that helped to deal with school anxiety. So even if part of the content was repurposed, every article gave the reader different takes on the subject. And I loved it.
I understood repurposed content wasn’t evil — it only needed writers to be careful. And since I aim to become a great writer, I searched for the reasons that would make people write many times about the same topics. So here are the 4 reasons why repurposed content always works best.
1 — Repurposed content enhances trust.
I am a lazy reader. So if I like a topic you discussed, but you don’t feed me more, I won’t struggle to dig it myself.
But I am not part of the minority — many readers have curious minds and lazy hands. And you, as a writer, need to give them confirmation of your words if you want to gain their trust.
In such an information-polluted environment, credibility is one of the hardest sentiments you can achieve. Readers overdose with data every day, so they built a habit of doubting anything that doesn’t give them proof. But if you repurpose content on the same topic and give them more ways to trust you, the chance that they remember about you increases.
Repurposed content, however, shouldn’t happen often, or it can have the opposite effect.
If I repeat the same concepts multiple times, I risk boring my audience and making them search for better writers. So you need to find a balance between what is repurposed and what is fresh.
2 — Different stories attract distinct parts of the same niche.
Marketing advantage is another reason why repurposed content should be part of your writing strategy. And by marketing advantage, I mean increased possibility to attract distinct parts of the same niche.
If I write two articles about content creation — one for writers and one for students — I can talk about similar topics, but the audience will be distinct.
Many students may want to become writers, so part of the audience will overlap. But most writers are not students anymore, and most students don’t want to become writers. So I can gain an audience from both groups and use the same topic to attract different people.
Still, you need to change your content and address the correct niche. First, you should adjust the headline to suggest a different perspective. And the content needs to adapt as well to convey separate messages.
To simplify the transition, ask yourself what purpose your audience wants to achieve. Students might be interested in creating content that satisfies their teachers. While writers might be interested in creating content that pleases their readers. They are distinct purposes, but you can address them with the same topic.
3 — More content is always better.
Although quality content is a must, quantity has its value too. And if you write many articles, there is a higher chance that one of them will become viral.
But quantity is not as easy as it seems. Usually, the most exhausting part of content creation is the creative process itself. And you can’t always have many ideas to share.
Sometimes, you may have great brainstorming sessions and many topics to discuss. But if you write with consistency, creativity will often lack while the expectations of your readers grow. So you need to use repurposed content to output the same number of articles even if none of them focus on a new idea.
Also, by doing that, you gain another marketing advantage because indexing algorithms will rank you better. If you have many articles discussing the same topic, you will have higher chances of ranking one of them. And one indexed piece could carry the others if you build efficient links.
4 — Repurposed content improves creative thinking.
Creative thinking is the last of the 4 reasons why repurposed content always works best. And discussing the same topic multiple times trains your brainpower to find new connections and ideas for future articles.
Every time you write about a subject with a different perspective, you recognize the vastity of problems you could solve. So your creative thinking improves, and an article generates a few more ideas for other pieces.
I always isolate myself from everything that could distract me when I write. With repurposed content, however, I keep my idea pool open. I want to capture any new concept that comes to mind when thinking about the problems my audience could experience. So I focus both on writing and brainstorming.
Also, if the topic triggers enough ideas, I build a content map with a range of possibilities for repurposing content. So writing translates into brainstorming, and I don’t have to force myself into searching for new ideas.
How to repurpose content without fooling your readers.
These are the 4 reasons why repurposed content always works best for your writing strategy. But you might want to know the rules to write good repurposed content without fooling your readers or making them feel so.
Assume your readers are not stupid.
If you want to avoid this possibility, start assuming your readers are not stupid. So if you repurpose content, make sure you have a new story to narrate or a new perspective to give.
You can keep parts of the repurposed content and rewrite them. But at least aim to change some of the core principles, come up with new examples or focus on different parts of the story. Perhaps something you didn’t deepen enough in the other piece of content. Or something your readers didn’t understand and needs clarification.
Don’t publish repurposed content too often.
Readers search for two things in an article: usefulness and surprise. But if your article is a piece of repurposed content, it will lack both of them. So you need to find a way to add value to what you have already discussed while keeping the articles far enough that the readers forget about them.
As a rule of thumb, I make sure to write about the same topic less than twice a month. This way, I meet both kinds of expectations.
If readers are interested and wish more information, they will get it the following month. Meanwhile, I don’t risk bothering the uninterested part of my audience.
Create a flow.
With an efficient strategy, repurposed content works at its best. You need to control the flow between repurposed content and use viral pieces as a booster.
Using the example above, how could you connect an article about writers with one about students?
If you are a student and want to level up your writing, you can read the article for the writers. But if you are a writer, why should you read the article for students? Perhaps because you want to improve your style and emerge from the mass?
Make sure to add those connections to your article and guide your readers through your content.
Repurposed content always works best, and you now have 4 valid reasons why this is true. But if you still have some doubts, I’ve been in your shoes before.
I doubted repurposed content, and sometimes I still hate it when they do it wrong. If there are two articles discussing the same topic where anything that changes is the headline of the paragraphs, I won’t read them. I don’t deserve that treatment. So if you find a writer who fools you like that, take that follow and give it to someone that deserves it best.
Repurposed content is a gold mine, but it needs mastery to perform at best.
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