7 Ways Publishers Can Re-purpose Existing Content

in Community Content Engine

Creating content is hard work and is often one of the most time consuming and expensive parts of being a publisher. This can be even more true when you start to consider that publishing online requires even more content than print but fear not cause all content creation isn't created equal. Online publishers have the opportunity to reuse and re-purpose content in many ways to lesson the burden on the editorial team whether that's by reusing/cross-linking between articles, listings and events or curating other peoples content in thoughtful ways. Here are a few of our favorites:

Share a List of Upcoming Events

For those publishers with a user generated calendar on their site, this is one of the quickest ways to come up with new content. Simply browse the upcoming events, pick your favorites and then include a title, description and link out to the event in YOUR calendar along with a brief intro to why you chose these particular events. You could pick events around a given theme (kids for example) or activity (like live music). Easy peasy. First article completed!

Re-purpose Old Content Into a New Article by Theme, Date or Popularity

Similar to posting a list of upcoming events, you can also find a series of older articles related to a specific theme, date or popularity and create a new article that lists those articles. One example is something like "The best from October 2013: Halloween Costumes, Planning for the Holiday's and Preparing Your Home for Winter". Again, you'll want to write a brief intro paragraph to give it context and then add the article titles along with an image, description and link to the articles you chose. Alternatively, you could pick a theme such as Halloween and choose only Halloween related articles from the last several years or you could review your analytics and choose the top 10 articles from September ("September in Review") by pageviews.

Create a Local Guide

Local guides are a way to re-purpose information from your directory in a more digestible format that's great for SEO and social sharing. Most directories are fact based, i.e., they have the business name, phone number, address, hours of operation, etc., but as a trusted local publisher your readers look to you to get more context about each business. Use guides to give your editorial opinion on each business. For example, in a dining guide you might include the list of local restaurants on Main Street. One such establishment might be a pizza joint that has "the best slice in town after 9pm!" Make sure to include that context and give the business your editorial seal of approval.  One quick note about guides, they are typically published as pages on your website instead of an article because they aren't date specific but they can still be shared via email of or Facebook nonetheless.

Curate Stories from Larger News Sites

Have a major television station, newspaper or radio station that focuses on local news? They have a website too and you can use them as your source for local news. Simply find 3 or more "top stories" from their sites, write one or two sentences on each from your point of view, link back to their site for the rest of the story and publish it as a weekly roundup of top stories for your community. They key is to add your opinion and not just copy and paste (which is illegal) but link back to their site for the full article.

Curate Stories from 3rd Party Sites by Theme

Similar to curating news, you can curate other non-news content from a variety of sources. For example, you may want to write an article on DIY party decorations. You could search for "DIY party decorations" on Google and then write a quick article that references your 5 favorite tips, tricks, etc. Again, the important thing is to not plagiarize but reference their content along with your own unique content but this is a great way to simplify the writing process.

Share Your Favorite Posts from Facebook

Following a lot of businesses or people on Facebook? Why not find your favorite local focused posts and do a weekly roundup with your commentary? People love to see themselves referenced in the media so this is a great way to get people to share your articles. You could search for posts around a particular theme like things to do this fall (corn mazes, pumpkin carving, apple picking, etc.). It doesn't have to be limited to Facebook either. It could include Instagram photos, tweets and other user generated content. We call this a mashup because you are taking content from different parts of the internet and combining it in a useful way. Just don't forget to add some commentary otherwise it's not that useful. One or two sentences on each is plenty!

Organize Stories from Print by Issue

If you are posting all your print content online or you're referencing additional content in print (online exclusives) you should consider creating one article that highlights all that content in one place. We call this the In-This-Issue post and it has several major benefits. First, it gives you one main place to send everyone for everything related to that issue. This way you can simply send people to your home page and it will be really easy to find everything. Second, it makes your print content really easy to share on Facebook and email. One link for everything! Next, it's great for SEO because someone might search for the "Fall 2014 issue" and if you don't have an article with that text in it then you won't get found. Lastly, when they read the article they not only see what they originally came to read but also all the related content they might not otherwise had known existed. This is how you get people to click through several articles when they visit your site and increase engagement.

In all cases, you are creating some really great content to share on Facebook or through email so don't stop with articles on your website. Grab the first couple sentences (assuming they are descriptive of what the article is about) and share it to Facebook with a link back to your site. Then share the same article in an email along with other recent articles. Have a twitter account? Share it there too. That's four touch points for one piece of content that took a fraction of the time that creating an original piece of content would and it's still really great content for your readers. A win-win!

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