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Repurposing Content

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

Get 21 Pieces of Content (or More) from One

For a writer, repurposing content is the ultimate recycling program.

You start with one piece of content (such as your monthly or quarterly newsletter) and adapt it to fit different delivery platforms and formats (such as your blog, social media, appeal letters, email campaigns, and website.)

Repurposing your content seems so simple that you may feel it’s a cop out.

It’s not.

Why it's smart to repurpose content with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #FreelanceWriting #ContentWriting #WritingTips

Why It's Smart to Repurpose Your Content

If you’re a smart, efficient communicator you recognize that you need to repeat your message in different formats to drive it home.

1. Repurposing saves time

Just as recycling aluminum cans or newspaper uses fewer resources than making new ones, it takes less time and energy to reuse a piece of content.

2. Repurposing reaches more readers

A Facebook post reaches different readers than does your newsletter. A video reaches the aural learner while the blog reaches the visual learner. The tweet reaches the person who is time-starved; the email campaign reaches those on your house list.

3. Repurposing keeps your message consistent

Unified stories and language help make your point clear.

4. Repurposing reinforces your message

The Rule of 7 in marketing says that a reader needs to hear your message at least seven times before she’ll respond. But the rule was created before social media. Today, the Rule of 7 can be rewritten – repurposed – to say that a reader needs to hear your messages at least seven times in a day before she’ll respond. Bottom line: you need to repeat your message for it to be heard above today’s noise.

Does Repurposing Content Make You a Better Writer?

Do you write a blog post the same way you write an appeal letter? Do you tweet the same way you write a new page for your web site?

Me, neither.

Writing better content is not just about subject matter. Writing better content is about packaging – that is to say, how you put together words for a particular audience to communicate that idea.

That takes skill. Repurposing your content makes you a better writer when you package it for the platform and the people who read it. 

Here’s an Example of Repurposing Content

Let’s start with one piece: your monthly or quarterly newsletter. It can become 21-30 pieces of content, like this:

  • 3 blog posts: comment on newsletter stories or points in depth
  • 1-3 website pages:  create evergreen pages on your website that explain a certain concept, program, person, or condition, optimized to web traffic
  • 1-3 videos: record short, helpful messages that comment on one point in depth and reach aural learners
  • 8-10+ Twitter updates: post pithy snippets or facts from your newsletter with a link to your website
  • 4-8 Facebook posts or Instagram posts: engage visual learners and create traffic
  • 1 appeal letter: use your most compelling newsletter story as a centerpiece of your next appeal letter
  • 3 email campaigns: write different subject lines and modify the email body content to repeat the message from the newsletter

Modify the formula to different types of content. For instance, a blog post can become the basis for an article, social media posts, and an email campaign.

Repurposing your content: it’s simple. And smart.  

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