Many people and businesses have quite a few articles lying around that were published in magazines, newspapers, or distributed to customers and prospects. Consider this content gold—it’s a great way to efficiently fill your blog with the ideas and thoughts that make you and your business unique.
Here are five steps to bring that word document out into the blogosphere:
1. Find the right article.
This may seem obvious, but not all of your business’ content is suited for the web. For example, your business may want to keep certain information private, it may be written for the wrong audience, or maybe it doesn’t really align with your current brand strategy. Choose an interesting, relevant article—preferably one that’s already well written, too.
2. Divide into two or more blog posts, if possible.
Articles tend to be longer than the average blog post. Keep this in mind when you first revise it. One article can easily be enough content for two or even three posts. Try to keep each post limited to only one specific topic. If an article covers more than one, separate the content out.
3. Determine the keywords.
Once you have the rough draft of your content, research the best keywords for the post. When you’re confident that the keyword will attract the right readers, craft a title that includes this keyword and insert it throughout the post (but no more than eight times, that’s considered keyword stuffing and gets you penalized by search engines). The right keyword will help your targeted audience find you.
4. Optimize the post for your blog.
This step has two parts:
- Optimize the formatting and structure. This includes creating subheads, bulleted lists, and bolding where appropriate to keep the reader engaged with the content. Shorten sentences and paragraphs so that it’s easier to read.
- Add links and images. Interlinking the post with others from your blog helps readers to spend more time reading content they find appealing and interesting. Linking to other sites helps create connections with interesting ideas—and shows the credible sources and facts that have formed your opinions.
5. Inspire engagement.
Finesse the writing so the tone’s more conversational and consistent with the rest of your blog. This takes time—don’t rush it. You may need to re-write sentences and re-work paragraphs to get it just right. Once you’re happy with the writing, add a call to action prompting readers to comment or share the post with others.
This strategy is smart for several reasons. I do, however, see many people and business owners assume it’s a fast way to write blog entries. In my experience, this often isn’t the case. In fact, it takes a significant amount of time to substantially edit content and optimize it for the web.
Repurposing articles, or other written content, is not as much about saving time as it is about broadcasting your ideas and thought leadership to a wider audience—an audience that can respond and engage with you directly.
Does your business repurpose content for your blog? Do you have any other tips?