Creating content is one of the Article Marketer's biggest jobs. One of the best ways to create content is to simply repurpose IP (intellectual property) that you've already got laying around. Leveraging existing material saves time and energy, and helps you integrate your article marketing more seamlessly with the work it supports. Take a tip from our eco-warrior friends and reduce, reuse and recycle what you've already gone to so much trouble to create - and give your article marketing productivity a boost in the process.
Leveraging your content for fun and profit
The key to increasing your article marketing results without working your fingers to the bone is leverage - in this instance meaning the ability to increase your return on investment by maximizing the potential of any given resource. Leveraging your content involves viewing it as a persistent and mutable resource rather than a disposable, single-use product. Of course there are times when you may have nothing to work with at hand or are entering new article territories and have to start from scratch. But starting over every time you need to produce content on a subject for which you have already created existing and extensive material is simply a poor use of your time and energy.
Write once, publish endlessly
Written an ebook, program or other IP? Great! Reuse this content by summarizing (reducing) chapters or even reprinting short sections as discrete articles. Once you've done that, you might even try reducing the essence of the entire ebook into a single article - it's great practice for writing book summaries for potential print publishing agents. Plus you can then turn around and plug your ebook or program in the resource box!
Likewise, you can create articles out of existing programs, seminars or workshops by distilling each section or class into a single article (or article series, if the work is complex). These articles can then be compounded into a supplementary ebook or workbook to provide you with even more salable IP. As above, don't forget to promote your seminar or workshop in your resource box that goes out with each related article.
And don't forget to go looking for articles within articles. If you've read Article Marketing Bootcamp: The Anatomy of an "Article Marketing" Article, you'll recognize this entire article as an expansion of a section on content creation from that article. Likewise, sift through your own existing articles to see if there are bits and pieces in there that could be fleshed out into full-length articles. Top Ten lists and the like are perfect for this. Each list item can become the topic of a full article and the articles combined become the basis for an article series, which can then be combined into an ebook, program workshop and so on - coming full circle with the section above. But there's no need to stick with just your list-based articles. Any article that makes more than one central point has the potential to be broken down into several in-depth offspring.
Mining for online gold
Create article content by recycling your online content. Of course, your blog is the obvious first stop to find great article seeds or even complete ready-to-submit articles, depending on your blogging style. But there are other options as well.
Scan through your discussion list posts, helpful emails to friends, Yahoo! Group exchanges and other such sites looking for any unfinished pearls of wisdom that you can polish up into full-fledged article gems. You will need permission to use other people's contributions (comments, replies and so on) verbatim, but if you want to avoid that you can simply paraphrase or rewrite their responses in your own words. Just make sure that your version is substantially different from their original words, so there's no hint of copyright infringement.
And stop by your website on the way back. Your FAQ, informational pages, resource pages and other visitor-focused content can often be expanded, combined or simply reformatted to build several helpful articles. Of course, these articles should be information rich and not simply promo or marketing pieces - focus on the subject of your work, not your company.
Working smarter, not harder
Recycling your content is not only good for saving time and getting the most out of every word, it's also good business. Repurposing your existing material across several different contexts and forms strengthens your brand - no matter where in your continuum of content potential customers find themselves, the material they find will be comfortably familiar, conceptually consistent and internally self-reinforcing. In other words, your content will always look and feel like a part of a well-conceived whole, rather than separate pieces of topically related work.
Recycling saves time, energy and mental wear and tear. It allows one spate of creativity to serve several different needs. And it provides the writer with a nearly limitless potential for leveraging their concepts and creations into a cohesive and integrated body of work. In short, it is a magic wand that creates the biggest content bang for the smallest labor buck.
Reuse, reduce and recycle. And then?reap your rewards!
Soni Pitts is a professional freelance writer and editor, with experience that ranges from short web articles to full-length ebooks and beyond.
"Need professional quality writing, but hate to write - or just don't have the time to do it all yourself? Don't let less-than-perfect writing skills or a tight schedule leave you at a loss for words. Query writer [at] sonipitts.com for a free consultation, samples and a quote."