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Recycle content: 6 ways to reach larger audiences

SUMMARY: It takes a lot of time to research and write excellent content. Why not get more mileage out of your sermons and blogs? Recycling content to fit other media allows you to reach much larger and more diverse audiences.  You wouldn't clean the bowl before scraping up the cookie dough. So go on, lick the spoon. Now break out the rubber spatula because you missed a spot.

Here are some ways to repurpose your work. With a fresh look, your edits could make the content even stronger.

1. Your church newsletter
If you have a blog post or even an article from another source that garnered great response or comments, why not include it in your e-mail newsletter? Obviously if it's from another website, you'll have to get permission. However, that's usually not hard to do, since everyone likes his or her content republished.

2. Present your content.
Take a popular or soul-tugging blog article and turn it into a sermon or presentation for church leaders. You've already done the research. Just convert it into PowerPoint slides or a speech outline; add some scripture, graphics and a few fun one-liners, and you're done. With permission, you could include some of the comments from your readers. Promote your blog during the presentation and use it to show embedded videos or other resources.

3. Turn your series into an e-book.
This is a great idea for a series of articles or sermons.  One benefit is that it gives you credibility for knowing a particular topic. Give people an incentive to subscribe to your e-newsletter by giving them your e-book as a free download.

A series of e-books could eventually lead to a larger physical book that contains all of your favorite writings and memoirs.

4. Article directories
Article directories let readers click on your keyword-rich links and visit your website. This recycling method is easy, yet it takes time to reformat content for sites like EzineArticles. Here's a list of top article directories by traffic and PageRank. They all have guidelines about how articles should look, number of links to be included and topics.

Tips to get started

  • Write two introductions. One should be around 500 characters and the other 250. These two character limits are very common. The spelling check in Microsoft Word will tell you - in the summary at the end - how many characters you have. This bullet point is 225 characters.
  • Minimum article word counts of 300 to 500 are common.
  • Plan for zero to five links. Research the directories' guidelines before posting. Usually you can have one or two links to your site and the other links to sources that support your article.
  • Linking to popular sites like Wikipedia will often reflect positively on your article.
  • Poor grammar and spelling often lead to disapproval. Need I say more? 
  • Articles that are too optimized for keywords may be rejected. Appropriate keyword density is less than 2 percent of your total article word count.

5. Document sharing
Reuse your presentations on document-sharing sites like SlideShare so others can present your brilliant content. Then embed the presentations on your blog with additional comments. The more eyes, the merrier.

6. Podcasts
People like to take content with them, whether it's in the car or while they're working out. So give them your sermons and articles in the same way. You can record them for free using a program called Audacity and then publish them to the Web so users can subscribe via iTunes. Reuse old content and attract a completely new audience.

Save your precious brain energy and repurpose good ideas. If you've got it, flaunt it.

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