After investing hours and hours into researching, drafting, and editing an article, it's a shame to let it simply drift off into the World Wide Wayside. Aside from reposting that same article across multiple social media platforms or external publishing platforms, how else can one extend the value of original content?
One practice that is becoming increasingly popular amongst content marketers is to not just repost, but repurpose content in entirely new formats. These formats bring a new function for your content along with new potential audiences and distribution platforms. In this article, we look at two repurposing formats in particular, ebooks and screencasts, and examine both the strategies and tools for each.
Turning Articles into Ebooks
Ebooks provide a great means of presenting a more comprehensive examination on a particular topic. That examination, however, does not have to be some sort of 1000+ page Magnum Opus. Even 25–50 pages of well thought-out content, supported by a clean layout and visuals, can be more than enough to make your mark on a subject. Content that does particularly well in this format often stems from a “series,” or collection of articles published over time. Review your archives to see if you've put together any “series” of posts, either purposefully or accidentally, and use those as the basis for your ebook.
For many folks just getting started with ebook publishing, the hardest aspects are tackling the design and formatting required to make an ebook sell. For cover and layout design, consider hiring a designer from 99Designs. Their crowdsourcing model works particularly well with seeing a variety of design concepts in a relatively short amount of time, great for those who are either indecisive or experimental. When it comes to assembling and formatting the book, consider using a tool such as Pressbooks. Pressbooks not only tackles the layout of your ebook, but it also produces the final copy in all major e-book publishing formats required by companies such as Amazon, Nook, and Kobo. These finalized formats will then allow you to approach these marketplaces for potential sale/distribution.
Turning Articles into Screencasts
Screencasts are simply presentations where the author is recording both the timing of the presentation as well as their narration. This combination of visual content and audio content works well, especially for turning technical articles into visual walk-throughs where you switch from a presentation to a demonstration. A great way to approach screencasts is by aiming to turn your articles into five-minute presentations. In these presentations, you simply create a slide for each major point in the article and spend 30 to 60 seconds or so expanding on that subject. This means a well-written article with five to ten key points can easily turn into a great screencast.
When it comes to producing your screencasts, you'll need to tackle a few components. First, you might consider using a tool such as Canva to design the slides of your presentation. Once the presentation's content is finalized, you can utilize a service such as Camtasia to record the screencast of yourself narrating the presentation. Finally, once you've published your screencast, upload the static presentation to Slideshare and the narrated screencast to Vimeo.
These two formats extend well for companies looking to make the most of their content without having to invest in a more sophisticated media infrastructure. For those with more resources and ambition on their side, other great formats for repurposing content include webinars, videos, and podcasting. Regardless of the format you choose, consider spending some time exploring your archives and discovering new ways to gain value out of your hard-earned past work.
Ross Beyeler co-founded For Art's Sake Media, Inc., a technology company servicing the art industry, and Growth Spark, a design and technology consultancy focused on helping eCommerce and B2B service companies excel. (Growth Spark has completed over 225 projects and led Ross to a 2010 nomination as one of BusinessWeek's Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25).
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