Stop and think about your meals growing up. You didn’t go hungry too often did you? Even though your mom didn’t cook a fresh plate a food for every person at every meal, somehow your whole family ate pretty well every day.

Your mom was smart with her cooking, planning a few meals that would feed the whole family all week. Today we’re going to take lessons from your mom’s kitchen and apply them to your editorial calendar.

Here are 10 home cooked recipes to help you repurpose content for different channels. It will help you produce more content and attract more visitors, leads, and customers to your business.

1) You can’t make 5 different dinners every night

Even if you had no siblings, your mom couldn’t make make everyone in the family a different meal for breakfast lunch and dinner. While spaghetti for dad, a hamburger for you, and tacos for mom sounds good, the time and cost of the meal just tripled. Not to mention the cleanup! Just as mom focused on meals that would work for all the mouths she needed to feed, you should do the same with your content.

You’ve probably got 8-10 “mouths” to feed with content:

  • Ebooks / whitepapers
  • Blog posts
  • Email newsletter
  • Facebook, Twitter. Google+
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • *extra credit if your company uses slideshare, pinterest, or has a podcast.
  • **teacher’s pet award if you’re also doing live events, webinars, and publishing books.

How do bloggers keep up with all their content & social channels? They repurpose everything: [tweet this]

The obvious path for most companies is to create campaign content that can be distributed across all of their channels. You can’t write separate content for Facebook from Google Plus. You can’t tweet about new topics yet. It’s only natural that you take your blog and ebook content and repurpose it for all of your channels. This brings us to probably the most important point we’ll make in this ebook:

The #1 Point of Confusion in Repurposing:

If you promote your blog post or ebook on Facebook and Twitter, you’re NOT repurposing it… you’re promoting it! It’s NOT about promoting, it’s about ENGAGING!

Quick Engagement Litmus Test:

Is your post or tweet likely to be shared by your customers?

Does the post or tweet offer value WITHOUT a link your landing page?

When you slice up your casserole - make sure that every bite tastes good. Whether it’s a blog post, a newsletter, or a tweet - each bite should have a little meat and a little sauce - with the meat being the valuable info and the sauce being a little creative style. This way whether you’re linking to the rest of the casserole or not, each bite you offer has a great taste on its own. [tweet this]

The ability to slice up and repurpose your content starts way back when you first plan the meal. Casseroles divide easily and ribs are a little boney to slice up in to lots of bite size pieces. When you have a lot of mouths to feed - pick an easily divisible dish! When you make your list of points or outline when creating a blog post or pdf, plan for each main point to be repurposed - this way you can know from the start that you’ll get full exposure and full reward from creating the content.

2) Never waste the leftovers

When mom made the family’s favorite casserole - she knew it’d be gone in an instant. So she did what every smart cook does - she made a little extra. We’ll show you how making a little extra content through repurposing can multiply your meals while you use up all the leftovers. [tweet this]

Webinars & Live Events: It’s just too easy to make several meals out of them:

  • Record the event and post the video (or just highlights) on Youtube
  • Tweet the stats, the juicy points and compelling quotes.
  • Post the webinar on Facebook and start a discussion.
  • Add the webinar to your blog as an instant replay.
  • Transcribe the webinar (easily outsourced via Odesk, Elance, etc) and turn main each main point into a blog post, which of course will link to the full webinar’s instant replay.
  • Upload your webinar slides to SlideShare.

Ebooks and Blog Posts: Repurpose them for maximum mileage:

  • Each question your article answers can be made into its own Youtube Q&A video.
  • Key stats can be tweeted - or repurposed together as an Infographic.
  • Share the photos on Facebook - along with key points and quotes.
  • Write about reactions to the article on Google Plus.
  • Add key portions to your email newsletter - make a series out of it if you can!
  • Morph your most outstanding points into attractive graphics and share on Pinterest.

Just remember that repurposing is engaging, not self promoting. Promotions may get clicks, but engagement grows the size of your audience and establishes your company as a thought leader. [tweet this]

3) Add fresh toppings

Mom wouldn’t just put leftover spaghetti on your plate, she’d freshen it up with a salad, and entice you to eat up with a little desert. Adding something fresh made the spaghetti feel less like a leftover. You should do the same in your repurposing.

  • When you slice up your content and share it.- include an engaging photo.
  • When you repurpose a key question or point into a Youtube video - keep it fun and shoot with a nice backdrop.
  • If you tweet a quote - include a pic of the author. Then lay the quote on the pic and pin it.
  • Take a moment to include keywords and hashtags in your posts.
  • Each bite of repurposed content should either link to another bite or link to the whole cake.

4) Food doesn’t spoil immediately

Just like your mom would pull two day old meatloaf out of the fridge and make a meal from it, you can do the same when repurposing content.

Food in the fridge can be eaten multiple times across several days, and so can your content. Guy Kawasaki has given several talks where he has stated that he tweets the same content four different times - as it quadruples his clicks. [tweet this]

Scheduling tweets for morning, afternoon and evening is a great strategy, as well as tweeting on weekends. Share your re-purposed content again after 30, 60, and 90 days. Nobody cares that the content wasn’t written today, as long as it’s still relevant.

If your company only promotes its content the first day it’s written (sometimes only one time per channel), it’s greatly limiting your exposure.

5) Re-purpose even while you’re still cooking!

Mom wanted to make sure dinner was going to taste good, so she’d sneak a bite here and there while she was cooking. It let her know early on if she needed to make any tweaks to the recipe. You can begin repurposing before you’ve even finished your original content, confirming the repurposed pieces will taste good.

Example: Use tweetables in your blog post to not prepare your tweets in advance, but to encourage visitors to share your content as they read it! [tweet this] Here at Lean Labs we’ve had great success with tweetables, and here is an example post with embedded tweetables.

6) Preserve and extend shelf life

Your mom (or if you’re young, your grandma) grew far more tomatoes than her family could ever eat before they went bad - so she canned them for later use.

You can extend the life of your content and repurpose it after a week, a month or even a year. [tweet this] There’s nothing that says you have to repurpose content the same week it was written.

Here are a few tips on extending the shelf life of your content:

  • Include keywords to help your content get ranked.
  • Send your customers your post popular blog posts of the week, month, quarter, or year.
  • Write the content from the other perspective. Instead of Top 5 Ideas for X, write the Worst 5 Ideas, linking back to the original post of course.
  • Write a sequel - If you published the top trends of 2013 - update it with a review of those trends as well as current trends in 2014.
  • By waiting to repurpose - you can focus on re-purposing your most successful content.

Content simply doesn’t spoil as fast as many authors think. What’s the harm with re-sharing your pdf via social media after 45 or 90 days on a slow day when there’s not alot going on? Absolutely nothing!

7) Publish a leftover casserole!

A leftover casserole, if you’re not privy, is when you take leftover beef, chicken, and veggies and you cook it into an entirely new dish. Why not think outside the box and publish your best content into a whole new dish?! One of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, did it well:

Seth Godin published an entire book from his blog posts, called “What You Gonna Do with That Duck?” Seth’s book, at 608 pages, is a compilation of his best blog posts from 2006-2012. It’s not only huge but also hardcover - I can’t believe you can buy it and get free shipping!

This book wasn’t even the first time Seth has done this. Are you still worried about re-sharing a blog post from 90 days ago? Seth lets people pay money for a book containing his free blog posts spanning the last decade!

8) Let your customers choose their flavor

Pasta is versatile, just like your content. It doesn’t take a lot of work to split it into several very different dishes. It could have meat sauce, alfredo sauce, or marinara sauce, which caters to very different audiences. It’s not that much more work and it triples the likelihood that your dish will be enjoyed.

Similarly, some customers like to read and skim, others like to listen, and others are visual.

  • For visual learners: Take your key points and charts and turn them into an infographic. [tweet this]
  • For audio fans and Youtube’aholics: Talk through your blog post, turning it into a video. [tweet this]
  • And of course for readers - take your webinar transcript and create multiple blog posts.

Why should you offer your content in multiple flavors? In addition to pleasing customers...

  • Pinterest is the fastest growing social network - home to wonderful infographics.
  • Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world - are you ranking well there?
To assume your audience only wants to read is like thinking there’s only one sauce for pasta.

9) Share it with the neighbors

Sharing extra brownies with your neighbors makes instant friends. It’s not that much work for you but it goes along way and really helps you get known and liked in the neighborhood.

Here’s how to share content as brownies: Look through your most successful blog posts and gather the stats. Share the successful metrics with other websites in your industry and offer to write them a fresh perspective as a guest post on their blog.

That blog wins because you’re offering them free content that has already proven to be successful. You win because you you get to improve your writing on an already successful topic and have it shared with an entirely new audience for free!

The more often you do this - the more doors that will open. Soon you’ll have a vast network of friends who can help promote your business. By the way, thanks Hubspot for sharing our guest post!

10) It’s okay to eat out once in a while

No matter how good your content is - it gets a little boring to hear about you, you you. Why not spice it up once in a while and write about great things other people are doing?

You can easily curate great content from around the web and repurpose it through your channels. Write a review of a relevant book, blog about a really cool infographic, create a video covering the main points in a webinar you listened to. You can also reciprocate with a blogger who allowed you a guest post on his site by allowing him to write a guest post for your blog.

The point is, just how your mom didn’t cook every meal you ate, not every piece of content your customers see needs to be created by you. You thanked your mom for taking you out to eat, and your customers will do the same.

And that’s our home cooked guide to repurposing. It’s just like mom used to make!

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Originally published Jan 10, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated October 30 2023


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