Lee Odden

5 Ways to Re-Purpose Content for Blog SEO

Content is King and links are Queen. Together with a nice dose of marketing they make a nice little kingdom. But what if you have trouble generating new content on a regular basis? How can resource strapped bloggers and busy web site owners leverage what they’re already doing for the benefit of their online audiences and better search engine visibility?

The answer to those questions lies in an analysis of the content creation processes within the overall organization. Companies like TopRank call that process consulting but in the meantime, here are 5 tips for those active in an industry to re-purpose content for the web.

  • Get more power out of PowerPoint – Turn PowerPoint decks into articles and/or blog posts and vice versa. It’s smart marketing anyway, to build supporting editorial visibility to a topic you’re speaking on at conferences, with prospective clients or other situations requiring PowerPoint. Why not leverage the effort put into a PowerPoint presentation for inspiration to create a contributed article offered for republishing to other blogs or industry publications? Same goes for transforming a PowerPoint into a single or series of blog posts.Conversely, a great article that speaks well to your key strengths with research and examples can be a perfect outline for creating an effective PowerPoint presentation. Two birds, one stone. Nice.
  • Let interviews do the talking – lf you’re fortunate to be interviewed by other bloggers, typically via email, leverage the answers you’ve given into a blog post or an article. Many such interviews do not include the full text of your reply, which you can use for your own online content. Another scenario is when the interview is by phone, podcast or video and you’ve been given prep questions in advance. Answer the prep questions in text and you have a great basis for several blog posts or an article.If the press and bloggers are not knocking on your door for interviews, no worries. Have a co-worker interview you using a digital camera about your perspective on a certain industry topic. Either transcribe the interview or have your co-worker create prep questions and answer them. You get video and show notes out of it, both great content for a blog.You could just write an article of course, but we’ve found the interview angle to be more motivating for many people not confident about exactly what to write.
  • Break it up – Take a long article you’ve had published online or in a notable publication and break it up in to a series of blog posts. Do this AFTER the article runs in the publication! Add unique introductions and summaries along with plenty of related resource links. Of course this tactic assumes the original article is structured into topical segments, easy for breaking up. If you’re not writing articles that way, it might be time to start. Hint hint.
  • Turn press releases into lemonade – Press releases written in AP style are pretty boring for consumers. Heck, they’re pretty boring for everyone. Take the key messages of the press release and rewrite conversationally as blog post making sure to cite examples, offer tips and to link out to relevant resources – ideally other influential blogs on the topic. There’s no harm in having a link to the original press release either.
  • What’s old is new – A robust blog often posts an array of tips, insights and how to’s over time. We’ve been posting since Dec 2003 and believe me, there’s a lot of content update opportunities over 5 years of blogging.The search marketing industry changes pretty quickly creating the need to offer updated tips to stay current. What better source for those updates than old blog posts that were popular in the past? Update the title, ex: “All New Tips for Re-Purposing Blog Content” as well as the actual tips and make recent news references. Be sure to revisit what keywords are in demand by mining popular social tags and keyword research tools. Add new examples and links to external resources, ideally influential blogs on the topic. Those links out are like a virtual tap tap on the shoulder of the popular blogs and might just get you noticed. They can also be useful to readers and search engines.

Bonus:
When you shoot a video for online promotion, take screen shots of appealing moments. Share them on image sharing sites and social networks with a link back to the blog post where the video is embedded. If you manage multiple blogs on relevantly similar topics, show the image(s) on the other blog(s) along with a unique text transcription of the word content within the video. Link back to the blog post with video embedded.

These examples are bit close to home because many are what we do with Online Marketing Blog and our own involvement with the SEM industry. These tips are literally the tip of the iceberg and can be applied to just about any industry. It comes down to being both creative and understanding what your target audience wants. If they don’t respond well to repurposed content, then you’ll either need to hire a writer or get more creative in your packaging of information.

“Listen” to blog comments or lack thereof, web analytics and social media monitoring to get an idea of how audiences respond and also to get new ideas for more content. As with all marketing, it’s a matter of anticipating what the audience wants and doing your best to give it to them. If they don’t respond, use analytics and feedback to make changes and refine.

We’ve shown you some of ours, now how ’bout you show us a few of your tips for re-purposing content?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Wil Reynolds says:

    Lee, good post! One thing I have found that can work is to take old posts and re-position them to fit the context of the day (politics, economy, hybrids, etc). Very often just changing the angle a bit can give a new context and new life.

  2. I am amazed by the number of businesses that do not re-purpose content. They go through all the work to create some amazing material, then just let it sit on the back-burner or some invisible marketing site.

    One item I always tell clients to look at for re-purposing content is your e-mail inbox. Once a day (or once a week), select one of those “hefty” e-mails you wrote to a client or internal partner and strip it of the proprietary or confidential information. In an instant you have a 2-5 paragraph article with some highly useful information that you can share on you blog or newsletter.

    ~Barry Hurd

  3. Great point Barry. Answering questions via email is one of the goldmines for sourcing blog content. Especially with sales and customer service staff. The questions they’re answering are often the same questions prospects and customers are asking online via search.

  4. Thanks Wil. I do the “change the angle” thing but typically not on the same blog. Ex: I might write a vertically specific post on one nich blog and be able to repurpose the structure of that post to a blog for a different niche. Examples are different as are personalized intros and call to action but the core SEO, social or PR message is consistent.

  5. How many times has someone sent you an email asking you for more specific information on a post that you’ve done? I’ve found that instead of responding with a detailed email to simply state “I’ll get back to you with those details shortly”, then write a blog post about it and then direct them to the blog. You can find a ton of ideas by looking in your sent mail bin!

  6. Lee, Barry & Paul,
    Some great suggestions. I am not the most prolific writer so it always helps me if I can start with some decent material. Still takes some work, but it’s a very good starting point.

    Arnie

  7. Great tips, Lee. Good, original content takes time and effort to create. There’s no reason not to leverage it as much as possible.

  8. I rework similarly themed material I’ve contributed to Yahoo! Answers into blog posts as well.

  9. Great post Lee, I like the powerpoint idea. You could then use a tool to convert the ppt file to a swf file and upload it as video!

  10. Not as yet. Bizarrely I have a batch being done for me as we speak. I’ll post links when they ready. Nothing as flash with music though.

    Vozme is also kind a cool tool if you like a robo voice read article. It automatically reads your content and you can save it as an MP3 file.

  11. Great suggestions, thank you!

    Paul, tapping into that sent box is a goldmine.

    Mark, Yahoo Answers is a great idea and one I hadn’t thought of before. Nice.

    Jason, I’ve thought about doing that with a voiceover and some intro music as well. I haven’t implemented yet. Do you have any examples?

  12. Alastair Campbell says:

    Great article. It is amazing how many items can be re-used for a blog. People often say ‘I wouldn’t know what to write about’ when in fact they already have done most of the work – they just need to think about what to do with it next.

  13. eagerstudent says:

    great post everyone
    i’m new to blogging for a business… where do i get started and how do i use the skills i have for blogging to get a job. my 1st degree is in marketing and currently working on a mba degree…
    is there a link where i can learn the basics?

    any advice is great. thanks

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