How to Repurpose Old Content When You’re Fresh Out of Ideas

Wondering what to write about for your next blog post? Still trying to come up with your next social media post? Let’s face it: one of the hardest parts of writing great content is coming up with a good idea.

How to Repurpose Old Content

You could sit there all day with your head in your hands and your eyes on your blank computer screen and come up with absolutely nothing. The good news is that you don’t need something brand spankin’ new every time.

Chances are, you already have a really good idea lying around. Where? Take a look through your old content, and it’s sure to spark an idea. Not sure how to repurpose it so you’re offering something new? Take a look at the following tips to get you started.

Benefits of Repurposed Content

Content should be new, fresh, and exciting. That’s what you constantly hear, right? But recycling content can have its benefits, too. The obvious benefit is that it saves you time coming up with and testing a new idea, but you get more than that. Among these benefits:

  1. It helps build your authority. Talking about the same topic multiple times helps you gain recognition on that issue.
  2. It’s good for SEO. Even if the content isn’t identical, you’re likely to use the same keywords, which makes it good for SEO. If you use the idea outside your site and link back to the original post, that’s even better for SEO.
  3. It helps you reach a wider audience. Whether you’re updating an old blog post to make it more evergreen or you’re changing the form of the content, you’re likely to reach plenty of people who never saw the original piece of content.

How to Identify Content That’s Worth Repurposing

Before you go ahead and recycle any old idea, you have to consider which ideas are worth repurposing. Honestly, most content can be repurposed, but you have to repurpose it for the right reasons. You wouldn’t want to republish a blog post that completely flopped the first time. Instead, you’d want to rework the content around the idea to make a stronger statement.

In general, though, you’ll find that content worth repurposing is:

  • Evergreen: Choose a topic that’s still relevant today. Tip: If you’re looking for quick traffic, you might consider twisting the idea to make it timely and newsworthy by connecting it to a recent event.
  • Incomplete: Do you have more to say about the topic? Then that’s definitely a topic worth using again! If you’ve said all you need to say – and so has everyone else – then consider skipping that topic for now.
  • Popular: Take a look at what has performed well in the past. Check your Google Analytics top pages report or use a tool like Ahrefs to find out what content got most shares, likes or links. Chances are, that’s the sort of topic that will drive results this time around – assuming you’re not repeating every thing your readers have already heard – so think of ways you can present that information using a fresh approach.

5 Ways to Repurpose Old Content

Found an idea you want to recycle? Here are a few suggestions on how to bring the topic back to life.

1.      Write a Sequel

If you didn’t get around to saying everything you wanted to the first time, take this opportunity to double your ideas. Let’s say, for instance, that you wrote a post titled “10 Common Investment Mistakes to Avoid.” Chances are, people are making a heck of a lot more than 10 investment mistakes. Write a new blog post along the lines of “10 More Investment Mistakes to Avoid.”

2.      Dig Deeper

Most blog posts – and even eBooks – only scratch the surface of the topic. Offer more value to your readers by digging into just one point from the original content. For instance, let’s say your eBook is titled “101 Simple Tips that Will Make You a Marketing Pro.”

One of your tips is to leverage influencers in your niche. For a new blog post or eBook, focus on only influencer marketing. Gather new examples, stats, and quotes to expand on the topic even more. (Check out Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique).

3.      Take a Different Viewpoint

Taking a new viewpoint doesn’t always mean you have to switch sides. All you have to do is take the idea but tell the story from a different angle. For instance, your initial blog post may have been along the lines of “How to Build a Social Media Marketing Strategy That Works.”

This time, you could write about “10 Things My Children Taught Me About Building a Successful Social Media Strategy.” Some of the points you present may overlap, but the experience and story is all new to your readers.

4.      Present It to a New Audience

Think your audience has heard everything you have to say? That’s great! Now it’s time to reach a new audience. Some examples of what you can do include:

  • Republishing an old guest post on your own blog or vice versa (keeping in mind the site’s guidelines and who owns the content).
  • Pulling excerpts from your eBook and placing them on your blog, or consolidating blog posts into an eBook.
  • Using old Tweets and tweaking them so you can share them on Facebook.
  • Uploading an old YouTube video onto a new platform.

If you’re recycling old content, make sure you go through it and double check that it’s still relevant today, and tweak it if necessary.

5.      Turn it Into a Different Form of Content

Blog posts don’t have to live as only blog posts. You can always take blog post or eBook content and turn it into a visual or audio format (or vice versa). Examples include:

  • Turning your eBook content into an infographic (how to create one for free at Canva).
  • Using your blog post as a video transcript.
  • Using your podcast content in a Slide Share presentation.

Re-purposing content like this allows you to use these different forms of content together to supplement each other, which can benefit your audience based on how they learn. For instance, insert the video link before your blog post, or link to your podcast from your Slide Share presentation.

Coming up with good ideas doesn’t have to drain the life out of you. Sometimes, you just have to say hello to the ideas that are staring you in the face. How will you re-purpose your next piece of content?

Alicia Rades

Alicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a professional blogger for hire who specializes in blogging, freelancing, and lifestyle topics. Learn more about her at, where you can download her free blogging guide, 20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hitting Publish.
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