Written by: Aileen Hinsch
Whether writing comes easily to you or not, it takes precious time to produce quality blog posts, articles and other pieces to feed a hungry content marketing program. If you find yourself struggling to churn out fresh content week after week, take heart. There’s a proven way to get great results by doing less work.
I’m talking about repurposing and rewriting content you have already produced. This means using existing articles as a foundation for valuable, new content pieces and avoid starting from square one each time you put pen to paper.
Rewriting content doesn’t mean that you change a few words in an article and republish it. (That’s a different strategy, entirely.) When rewriting content, you’ll want to take the basic ideas from your original article and put a new spin on them. Here are some easy ways to do that.
1. Convert a list into a series of individual pieces of content.
Titles with numbers appeal to readers, which is why every fashion magazine cover has 2-3 headlines that include a number. You may have written articles like these yourself: “7 Ways to…” or “7 Reasons You Should Invest in…” If so, you’ve created the basis for seven new articles. Take each point in your list and turn it into an individual article. This gives you the opportunity to build on and expand your ideas, demonstrating deep knowledge of the subject. Consider adding background information or case studies to make it more substantial.
2. Take several related posts and combine them into a single summary post.
Maybe you’re an accountant who has written several blog posts on ways to prepare for the busy tax season. Or you’re a lawyer who has been blogging about the evolving developments of an important legal issue. Take the key point from each article, summarize each in a paragraph and publish an all new article such as “Top Tips for Tax Season” or “What Every Business Needs to Know About the XYZ Law.” (You may have noticed that this approach turns Tip 1 on its head.)
3. Draft a White Paper
Perhaps the idea of whittling down a blog post to a single paragraph seems impossible — there’s too much relevant information to cut out. If that’s the case, consider turning several related blog posts into a valuable guide or white paper. Review and edit the content you have, add transitional text to ensure that the articles flow together and write an introduction. Then package the whole thing together. If you want it to look great, hire a designer to develop a cover and a polished layout. You can share the guide with clients and prospects, put it in your online library or place it behind a registration form and use it to build your email list. And if you have an upcoming speaking engagement or sponsorship event, you can distribute hardcopies of your guide as a reminder of your expertise.
4. Revise an old post for a new audience
Here at Hinge, our target audience is professional services. While the industries we serve have a lot of unique issues, they also share many challenges. Consider common concerns among your own client base. If you’ve written an article that is geared to your non-profit clients, for instance, could you rewrite the article to speak to similar challenges faced by the small businesses with whom you work? If you have an active media outreach program, you will also be able to target a broader range of publications with minimal extra effort.
5. Update an old post with new information
Even though change happens at a rapid pace in today’s world, many issues faced by professional services firms, such as business development and employee retention, remain the same. That means that a blog post you wrote three years ago may still be relevant. Review old posts to determine if you can update them with fresh statistics and new case studies so that they engage readers today.
Quality content will play an important role in professional services firms’ marketing strategies for the foreseeable future. Learning how to rewrite content without sacrificing quality is a skill whose benefits will be realized for many years to come.
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