Repurposing old content: How to choose the right piece

So, I’ve managed to convince you that repurposing your content is important and should be a part of your content strategy and, if I’ve guessed right, you’ve got an archive full of old content, just gathering dust?

Awesome 🥳

Beginning with content that has already been published is the best place to start as most of the hard work is done already.


I can hear the question ticking over in your mind 🤔

“Which piece of content should I choose?”

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

In my blog today I want to talk to you about the 6 things you can look for in your old content to help decide whether a specific piece is worth repurposing.

For the sake of clarity, I am going to use my blogs for reference but this can be done with social media posts, podcasts, webinars, videos … whatever form your content takes, you can do this, too.

What is repurposing content and why does it matter?

If you’ve not read my previous blogs (and social posts) about content repurposing, you may already be confused at what I’m talking about!

As my darling husband describes it:

“Content repurposing is like when you up-cycle a piece of furniture.”

You’re taking an existing piece of content and transforming it into something new. It will most likely have the same underlying message but it’s going to look and feel completely different.

Why should content repurposing be a part of your content strategy?

  • It can save you precious time – who doesn’t want to save time?

  • It will help you reach new audiences in their preferred medium

  • It can help you redeem a flop – we’ve all had them!

  • It can help you gain traction on social media

Ok. So are you ready to get stuck into it?

How to choose the right piece of content to repurpose?

You need to consider these 6 things when choosing a piece of content.

Was it popular?

Probably one of the easiest ways to assess your content. Was it popular the first time around?

Look at your analytics:

  • Website

  • Social media

  • Email open rate

So, this blog was extremely popular with my audience. It still receives regular views and I’ve had industry colleagues ask if they can share with their clients.

This was also a surprise to me. I republished (copy and pasted) the same blog into a LinkedIn article and got a great response from my audience. This is now a ‘featured’ post on my LinkedIn profile!

What does your audience want?

Stats are great, they can give you a good indication of whether people are reading your content but don’t forget the people you’re aiming at.

Why not ask your audience by polling them on your socials? You could select a few of the blogs from your website and rephrase the headline to suit a poll question. Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn all allow for polling in some form and that way you’re getting the information straight from the horse’s 🐴 mouth. (you could also consider surveying your email list).

You could also take the time to go through the comments on your social pages. Is your audience asking questions about something you’ve already written about? If they are, then you may find that they just haven’t seen that initial piece of content.

This is a perfect opportunity to repurpose it and bring it to their attention.

Does your content stand the test of time?

Ok, this one is very important.

You need to locate the content that is considered evergreen. This means content that doesn’t reference current events, trends or anything that could tie it to a specific point in time.

Evergreen content is ripe for repurposing and it will last for a very long time.

It’s also worth considering content that isn’t evergreen but could become evergreen.

I wrote my most popular blog ’28 great content ideas to inspire you' right in the middle of the COVID lockdowns. I mean, just look at this:

This COVID ‘thing’ hit me hard on an emotional level and I just couldn’t drag my writing mind out of bed in the morning. It stayed there, snuggled under the blankets, wishing for better days.

Even some of the posts I used to promote this blog contained references to current events. However, the actual content, the bit people are clicking through for, is evergreen. Who wouldn’t want 28 content ideas 🤷🏼‍♀️?

In its repurposed form there is no reference to current/past events.

Is it the best it can be?

I’m not saying your content may be bad, what I mean is, is it the best you can make it.

Think, and look, at some of your old posts. I cringe every time I see my first EVER blog post!

Here’s the link so you can see what I mean:

Why do you need a VA?

This blog was 'reverse repurposed'. By that I mean it started life as a social media series and I then created the blog from those posts (and not well 🤣).

It reads and looks like an amateur published it but that’s not to say the content isn’t still valuable to my audience.

Do you have any posts like that? Could you give them a new lease on life?

While using your best content should be the priority you can work with anything provided you can see what/where it went wrong!

Do you love it?

I know this sounds a bit odd but if you thoroughly enjoyed creating a piece of content, you’re proud 😊 of it and you felt the words flying off your fingers and onto the screen, then it’s worth a look.

If you’re passionate about the content, then you’ll find it easier to work on re-shaping it.

Again, while focussing on the pieces that make you proud, you shouldn’t completely discount the pieces you don’t love. Think about why you don’t love them and determine whether it’s the content (which can be improved), the format (which can be changed) or something else.

You may just need to completely switch the direction of unloved content. What does the opposite side of the story look like?

Take my blog ‘5 tips to remain focussed & productive in a co-working space’. This blog flopped! It’s had a total of 5 views since February!

It could have flopped for many reasons (including the fact that COVID closed co-working spaces) but it could be completely flipped and I could write about how to remain focussed while working from home (that’s very relevant right now).

So even with unloved content, there’s still potential, you just need to consider it from all sides to see things differently.

Think outside the box!

Can the piece of content be split?

Here’s where we get into the gold mine of content.

Does the piece of content you’re considering have the potential to become one new piece of content or multiple new pieces?

Imagine you’re looking at a list post such as my '11 ways to repurpose your content'. The name, alone, indicates that there are at least 11 separate ideas within that blog.

A list post is very easy to split into a series of social media posts and quote images. It could also allow you to expand some of the ideas to be more informative and perhaps even provide new blogs as standalone pieces.

Keep your eyes peeled for these gems in early 2021!

3 Tips to make your life easier

Tip 1:

If you’re getting started on your content repurposing journey and you’re getting prepared to sit down and assess your content archives, I’d recommend creating a spreadsheet to help you.

Mine is very simple.

There are columns for:

  • Blog title

  • Relevant analytics (in my case, views)

  • Is it evergreen?

  • It is good?

  • Do I like it?

  • Is it single or multiple posts?

This enables me to see, at a high level, which content I should be looking at for repurposing. I can sort by popularity and filter further from there.

Tip 2:

Start with content that ticks all of the boxes. You’ll thank yourself later by starting with the absolute cream of the crop!

Tip 3:

Start with long-form content.

  • Blog posts

  • Podcasts

  • Webinars

  • Live streams of over 15 minutes

Later on, we’ll start looking at shorter content such as social media posts. For the time being, trust me, it is much easier to shorten content than to lengthen it. It is much easier to find multiple new ideas when there is more content to work with.

As you can see, there are a few different ways to decide if your old content is worth repurposing. I hope this post has given you an idea of where you can start your journey.

As long as your chosen piece of content meets one of the criteria listed in this post, you’re onto a winner. Run with it, have some fun and share in the comments what you repurposed and how it went.

If you have loved what you’ve read here today but it just sounds like something you’ll never put the time aside to do, don’t panic! Carrying out a content audit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea which is why I can do it for you!

Pop on over to my Content Audit page to learn more about what’s included and to get started.