The Dos and Don’ts of Repurposing Content

Repurposing Content
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Any successful blog owner will tell you that their “secret sauce” is centered around repurposing content. If you want to grow your traffic and engage with new visitors, take time to figure out ways you can re-publish and reuse old content.

However, many website owners struggle to understand how to optimize content for repurposing. You can make many mistakes in the process, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Each post is unique in its own way and requires a specific approach. With that in mind, we want to cover the basics of dos and don’ts for repurposing content.

At the end of this post, you should be able to apply all this knowledge and successfully optimize your old content.

Why Should You Repurpose Content?

Repurposing content means reworking published content to create a new experience for your clients.

There are multiple reasons why you should do it:

  • The content is outdated, and it does not contribute to your readers anymore
  • Your customer base has expanded and includes new targeted audiences
  • SEO rules have changed
  • The business is making a change in the marketing strategy
  • You want to improve the quality of older content to meet the new standards
  • Your business stands to save time and money on creating new content
  • All writers would love to beat writer’s block

These are just some examples of why you should repurpose your old content. However, as we mentioned at the beginning, you must make sure to do it in the right way.

What are the Most Common Mistakes When Repurposing Content?

Before we show you the right way, let us first cover the most important don’ts of repurposing content.

Once you understand what to avoid, you’ll find it intuitive to focus on the right tactics and strategies.

1.  Repurposing Without a Purpose

Each piece of content has its purpose. If the purpose does not exist, there is no need to waste time and rework the content. This usually happens if your target audience changes.

For example, you might want to update your content strategy to align with new SEO requirements. However, the new customer base has no interest in the old topics you covered on your blog.

In this case, optimizing old content is a waste of time. It will fail to answer your consumers’ questions regardless of what you do to it.

2. Approaching Repurposing As A Copy/Paste Exercise

Even though you are taking something old, changing it, and publishing it again, that is not the same as doing a copy/paste. That is a common misconception that leads to mistakes.

The idea is to edit old content and make relevant changes. Furthermore, it is a terrible practice to copy and paste something published, no matter if it is someone else’s work or your own.

3. Looking for Shortcuts to Speed up the Process

When you first start repurposing old content, you might initially expect it to be a quick and easy process.

After all, you’ve already gotten the entire post or article written. It will take a few moments to change it, and it’s ready, right?

Don’t underestimate the effort it will take to repurpose. That would be a huge mistake.

Sure, you might have it already written. But repurposing takes time, dedicated effort, and attention to detail.

You will need to rewrite the entire piece in a fresh and engaging way. Give it more meaning. For example, repurposing can turn static content into interactive content.

On top of that, you will need to align the content to your new marketing strategy and optimize it for SEO. If you have old statistics, you will need to refresh them as well.

There is more to repurposing than meets the eye. Plan to take your time if you want to make this work.

4. Ignoring the Original Context

Each piece of content has its context. If you are repurposing an article, you need to make sure you maintain the integrity of the context.

It is an excellent strategy to rewrite an old piece and add a link to the old article inside. This allows your readers to view both versions and see your progress over time.

How to Properly Repurpose Content?

Now that we understand the most common mistakes in repurposing content, let us see how to do it correctly.

1. Always Repurpose Evergreen Content

Evergreen content includes the best pieces of content on your website. It is crucial to give your consumers a fresh view of the evergreen topics.

The good thing is that typical evergreen content will already be optimized for the right keywords, because it drives a lot of organic traffic to your website.

2. Repurpose Content to Meet the Requirements of Different Platforms

If you have a fantastic video post that will be great for YouTube, you cannot post it on Instagram. Instagram has a specific set of requirements.

In the same way, every social media platform has a specific way of posting content.

When you are repurposing content, always consider the format as well as the publication platform/medium you intend to employ.

You might have to create multiple versions of new content, so you can post them on multiple platforms and still meet the editorial requirements.

3. Include More SEO Options When Repurposing Content

The original piece you wrote might still be good. However, it might not be optimized for various Google featured snippets.

Semantic markup is still rather new. If you didn’t use it one old material, definitely see about adding it on repurposed content.

By adding these new options, you are enriching your content in more than one way.

4. How to Update Outdated Content

Each piece of content is written for a specific moment. As time goes by, the content can become outdated. When this happens, you’ll need to take action to avoid it becoming stale.

The best way to deal with it is to check your resources, mark outdated information, and refresh it with new data.

You also need to match the tone of your new audience.

For example, you might have a piece you wrote with a highly technical approach. Let’s say the language is not user-friendly, and only experts in the field can read it.

In this scenario, you will need to rewrite this content in a more simple way that still keeps the content’s purpose but delivers it more casually.

The Dos and Don’ts of Repurposing Content Explained

As you can see, there are many dos and don’ts for repurposing content. You must be very careful with this approach. It is rewarding, but only if you do it correctly.

Work on developing your repurposing strategy, and you will always have more material to create powerful content that will reach your audience in the future.


Feature Image Credit: Flickr user Richard Ingram. Free for Commercial Use License (CCO), with attribution required.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

This guest post brought to you courtesy of Return On NowProfessional Austin SEO and PPC Services Company.

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James Hunter

James Hunter is a talented content creator and a professional blogger with over ten years of experience. His content and marketing strategy knowledge is vast, and he finds great passion in sharing it with others. James wants to help young professionals hone their skills and bring more value to their customers through his articles.

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