More of the Same? The Power of Repurposed Content
“Do not submit copied content, even if you wrote the original.”
If Moses descended from the Textbroker mountain, this would certainly have been one of the ten commandments. Indeed, writing duplicate content is a cardinal sin for many reasons. Not only are we referring to issues such as copyrights and plagiarism, but how can an author expect to grow if he or she never pushes the boundaries of innovation and creativity?
This brings up an important (and often overlooked) question. What about repurposed content? After all, the chances are high that any prolific author has composed hundreds of pieces which all revolve around the same subject matter. Here are some examples of content that tends to be requested nearly ad infinitum by clients:
- Financial advice
- Work-at-home suggestions
- Online marketing tips
- E-commerce observations
- Do-it-yourself articles
- Health-related posts
Might we be able to recycle some of the same materials that we have already written? Well, yes and no. In order to fully understand how repurposing your existing content can be an excellent tool, we first need to look at what types of texts can apply as well as your limitations.
The Notion of Evergreen Content
Although the majority of writers are already familiar with this term, it bears repeating when we consider the context of this article. Evergreen writing is essentially the act of creating a piece that does not have any time- or product-specific traits. So, this naturally rules out orders such as product descriptions, the latest world news or a blog post highlighting the upcoming release of a new product.
Evergreen material is instead defined by a sustainable quality so that (much like the tree) it will never lose its outer sense of vitality. The good news is that many categories tend to fall within these guidelines if we know where to look. Some of the most common examples include advice articles, DIY blogs, and marketing suggestions. These happen to be many of the same which were mentioned within the first section of this article.
What are Your Limitations?
The most obvious concern is duplicating material. We are all aware that authors will be penalised if they happen to resubmit content that was already published elsewhere. This can sometimes be tricky for bountiful writers, as their texts are often “fingerprinted” by their unique style. For example, it is not entirely uncommon for a text which contains long-tale phrases such as “one of the best ways to” or “let us take a closer look at” to be flagged for duplicate content. This is naturally not the fault of the writer in question. It simply signifies that he or she will need to expand their syntactic reservoir.
This is why we should not confuse the word “reuse” with “repurpose”. Take a moment to think about a repurposed car engine. While it contains many newer and more efficient parts, its role remains the same. This is entirely analogous to repurposed content. It is therefore ridiculous to copy and paste sections of text in a different order and to expect that the overlords at Copyscape will not take notice. You will otherwise be flirting dangerously close to content fraud. The bottom line is simple. Physically reproducing or directly copying material from a previous post violates Textbroker guidelines and should never take place.
The Benefits of Recycling Your Content
Now that we have taken a look at some types of content that can be repurposed as well as the basic guidelines, we need to place the benefits of this strategy into the spotlight.
Time is Money
From the perspective of a writer, being able to quickly repurpose material is an excellent way to expedite the creation process; especially when dealing with extremely familiar subject matter. As time is money, this is important for those who wish to accrue a steady income. Of course, this is under the assumption that the material in question is written to the relevant standards and is in accordance with the order brief.
Long-Term Digital Traction
The longitudinal nature of repurposed content is also ideal from an evergreen point of view. As this material can be applied without having to address temporal concerns, it is able to remain active for long periods of time. In turn, this will provide clients with a sustainable ROI. This is in direct contrast to a one-off promotion or announcement, as such material is always associated with a rather short digital shelf life.
The Ability to Further Expand Your Knowledge Base
It should be clear that repurposing content does not necessarily have to represent a boring process. Writers can instead bolster their experience within an existing area by researching new facts or placing a spin on a piece that is intended to be applied to a specific industry. Let’s look at an example which can serve to cement this observation.
Imagine for a moment that you have written volumes on the subject of social media marketing. While the core concepts will remain the same across multiple industries, your approach when addressing the needs of a paper supplier will be different when compared to a client who wishes to promote a smartphone gaming app. To put it simply, you can become more flexible in regards to the overall approach, even if the outcome is intended to be the same. This malleable mindset will often translate to other areas of your writing; providing you with a more robust repertoire of skills.
The Process of Experimentation
Even the most well-versed writers will state that the learning curve never truly ends. There is always a new concept to embrace or a new strategy to explore. Unfortunately, this sense of creative freedom can often be stifled when we are writing one-off pieces of a more technical nature. The same holds true when referring to content with stringent guidelines. However, repurposing material is an entirely different matter.
General topics tend to provide us with a significant amount of latitude and therefore, more creative freedom. This is why they can represent excellent opportunities to experiment with different styles, tones and grammar. Not only will you grow as a writer, but these very same approaches can be implemented when curating entirely new articles.
Flexible and SEO-Friendly
We need to keep in mind that gaining a loyal Textbroker client will often depend upon the success of previous articles. Writers who are able to provide targeted and effective SEO solutions are much more likely to enjoy steady work in the form of Direct Orders. As always, repurposing content can come in quite handy.
It is once again useful to reinforce the concept of search engine optimisation in this sense. Repurposed content can be used to target a different demographic depending upon variables such as style and tonality. For instance, an article covering the basics of website design will contain the same intrinsic information, whether it is written for a professional e-commerce provider or a reader who might be thinking about starting an online business. The difference involves engagement and namely, how the article is flavoured to resonate with the audience. In terms of SEO, the ability to target niche markets without having to create the material from scratch is a massive advantage.
Efficiently Handling Bulk Orders
There may be times when a single client places dozens of orders which all contain essentially the same material. This is often done for SEO purposes, as multiple articles written in slightly different fashions can be placed across numerous websites and social media platforms. This is also when the true power of repurposed content will come into play.
Although it can be mentally fatiguing to write about the same subject in 20 or 30 different ways, should begin to look at such tasks as an exercise in mental agility as opposed to simply churning out rote material in the hopes that we will not become snagged by Copyscape.
Authors who are effectively able to produce articles in bulk while ensuring that each one is slightly different are highly vaunted within the writing community, as many others feel that such tasks are above their current pay grade. This is particularly relevant for anyone who may be hoping to become a full-time author. A great deal of money can be earned through bulk tasks, even if they might not be as inherently interesting as delving into entirely new subject matter.
On a final note, let’s remember that one of the secrets to success within the Textbroker community is the ability to develop working relationships with clients. Authors are primarily defined by their writing style, their volume of work and their public profile. While some may argue that this is a rather impersonal approach, the exact opposite is true. Those who are able to stand out from the crowd will be much more likely to enjoy a steady workflow. This is once again where repurposed content can come into play.
While repurposed content is indeed different from previous material, it will often have the same “flavour” in terms of personality and style (once again referring back to the notion of a fingerprint mentioned earlier). Clients tend to be attracted to authors who are flexible enough to take on a kaleidoscope of topics and reliable enough to display the same tonality across multiple pieces. In other words, the customer will remain confident that any new subject matter is able to flow with other previously written articles that might already be posted throughout his or her website.
Repurposing Content: Providing Familiar Material with a Fresh Makeover
Now that we have addressed the primary advantages of this approach, it is only logical to analyse how a writer can recycle existing content in order to provide a new spin on a specific topic.
The first step involves (obviously) appreciating the order instructions so that all parameters can be met during the creation process. This will also help to prevent a dreaded revision request. Next, consider how the material in question can be modified. There are several ways in which you can provide a makeover to what might otherwise remain dull and repetitive content. Here are some sure-fire tips:
- Adjust the number and length of paragraphs.
- Change the order of subheadings in order to place hierarchical stress upon different elements.
- Modify the tone of voice.
- Employ fresh and industry-specific outbound links.
- When appropriate, provide hyperlinks to royalty-free images.
Each of these methods can be used in synergy with one another in order to create an entirely different grammatical “sculpture” from what can be considered the same block of digital stone.
Repurpose, but do NOT Repeat
It is logical to close this article by once again stressing that there is a massive difference between recycling familiar material and simply repeating phrases. The only limitations of a writer are those which he or she believes exist. Honing the ability to repurpose content is one of the most sought-after talents. While there is no doubt that such a skill will take time to perfect, the journey is well worth the effort. Clients will appreciate the hard work, and perhaps more importantly, writers will be able to add another tool into their existing skillset.
About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.