I want to talk about content repurposing.
Right now I’m writing a book called Leveling Up. It’s about how gamers can change the world by playing the ultimate game of business. It’s basically what I think I’m doing right now.
The backstory: I used to play a lot of games growing up, because I was never really interested in school. So I did what I could with games and strived to be the best at whatever I could play. I knew that if I put some effort into it, I could be good at it.
That’s why I’m writing this book—because there are 1.8 billion gamers (spending $22 billion in one year!) out there who could be changing the world, if they just knew how.
A lot of the stuff that I learned from games, a lot of the soft skills, actually translate extremely well into the world of business. For example, you can play your best poker for months at a time, but it’s a numbers game at the end of the day and sometimes there’s going to be variance. When you’re losing for a couple months, you’re really going to get rattled. As a result, you have to learn how to control your emotions better.
That’s why I think poker’s a great game for aspiring entrepreneurs.
In the course of writing Leveling Up, I found a format for real-life case studies that works well. I’ll lead with a topical quote, then go into a personal anecdote and finally give some real-life business examples, too. For example, in one chapter, I might start with gaming but end up talking about Steve Jobs or Elon Musk.
And that’s when it hit me.
I have all this other content. I’ve interviewed over 200 entrepreneurs on my podcast Growth Everywhere at this point. Why not include these people, too? I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. All these success stories (and failures) are evergreen and incredibly valuable. That’s an example of repurposing content.
So I’m working on the book proposal to take to a publisher, which is basically an outline that includes a snippet of each chapter. From there you have to write a marketing plan, too. They want to know how you’re going to market this thing. That could be a whole other post or live video.
There’s a really good article from Seth Godin called ‘Advice for Authors‘ which is basically a 19-point list on what to expect as a writer as you try to get your book out there. If you’re looking to make a lot of money by writing a book, you probably shouldn’t be doing it, because that’s pretty rare. Harry Potter is a great example of perseverance. Anyway, I digress.
What I’m doing now is adding content from my Growth Everywhere interviews. Usually when you write a book, you probably go through four or five drafts at the minimum. The first draft that I did was really a lot of dictating into my phone and then transcribing it, and then getting it onto paper. Once I have it all transcribed, all I need to do is continually rewrite something until it’s more to my liking. That’s a kind of repurposing, too, because I’m constantly iterating it.
Let’s say I’m talking about sustained learning. From there I’m going to look for somebody that I remember as a learner who’s really driven. All these people in the podcasts are really driven, but who really stands out to me? In this example, Emerson Spartz (listen to his interview here) dropped out of middle school and his father made him read biographies all the time. The web properties that he has drives over 160 million monthly paid views. He’s really motivated.
And that’s the takeaway: read a lot of biographies, learn about these people so you don’t have to make the same mistakes that they made.
Another example is from Ron Klein (listen to his interview here). He’s the guy that invented the magnetic credit card strike. I’m going to put him in another chapter about perseverance because he was diagnosed with a disease when he was 16 or so.
I also have a topic section. There’s one on A/B testing. Who are all the people that I’ve interviewed on A/B testing? Who are all the people that I’ve interviewed on advertising? Guess what? I can make mini podcast episodes for each and every one of these topics and just keep adding to them. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I can just repurpose the content I’ve already got.
Not only that, but I have my other podcast called Marketing School and I can categorize every single idea in there and repurpose it into a post or a separate podcast or live video. A lot of this stuff, these stories, they’re never going to fade. They’re evergreen.
Think about all the content that you’ve produced. How are you going to make it evergreen? If you aren’t producing content yet you should be! For us, it is the backbone of what we do. Without me doing my podcast it wouldn’t have led to speaking gigs and I wouldn’t have spoken to Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute who said, “Hey, you have to do the book,” which is why I’m doing the book right now.
The more you learn, the more you’re able to speak to things, then you can start to put content out there. You realize that the people who do try to create content when they don’t have much experience, when they haven’t paid their dues, you’re going to find that their content falls flat and they eventually give up.
If you’re constantly learning, you’re constantly reinventing yourself, and then you have a lot of material from which to produce content or repurpose the content you’ve already created.
Can you turn your content into videos? Can you make it into another podcast? Can you put it into your book, for example? What can you do with it?
Let me know what you think. Let me know what issues you see with this. Leave some messages in the comments.
This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post:
Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.