Make The Most of Your Writing: Simple Ways To Repurpose Content

repurpose content

A simple and effective approach to getting exposure for your book is to repurpose content you’ve created for different media. This tactic introduces your writing to a wide variety of people, some of whom might just buy your book!

Getting readers exposed to your writing is harder than it has ever been before. Aside from the millions of books published annually, there are over 150 million blog sites in existence today. Content is everywhere, so it is really important to be strategic with your marketing efforts.

One simple and effective approach is repurposing your writing for different media. This tactic exposes your writing to a wide variety of people, some of whom might just buy your book! Here’s how you can make it happen.

1. Create a visual story

Soon after Matthew Inman purchased a Tesla Model S, he fell deeply in love with it. He adored his new car so much, he decided to write a story about it — a visual story.

Inman created a humorous cartoon that covered everything from how he renamed his Tesla to how many days it had been since he’d stopped at a gas station.

repurpose content Tesla 1repurpose content Tesla 2


Of course, his story would still have been interesting if it were just plain text, but the drawings made it so much easier to read, and more hilarious too.

This is a great example of why visual storytelling is so effective. Images have been shown to drive increased engagement in everything from social media to keynote sessions. For example:

How might this work with your book?
One simple method you could try is creating a series of images using a passage from your writing.

I’ll use an example from one of my favorite essays, “Father Forgets” by W. Livingston Larned. Here’s a snippet from the first few paragraphs.

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily, I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel.

Using a tool called Pablo, I created the following series of images in just 4 minutes. They can easily be shared over Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social channel you prefer.

repurpose content father 1repurpose content father 2
repurpose content father 3repurpose content father 4


You could even create a few blog posts made up exclusively of this type of content.

2. Write a behind-the-scenes blog post

Sharing a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to write a book would be an incredible resource for aspiring authors.

Lots of people want to write a book, but many don’t know where to start. That’s where you come in – you’ve experienced the highs and lows of writing. You are in the perfect place to pass on important principles that will inspire and equip future writers!

07 SalaryA great example of how this might work comes from the team at Buffer. Buffer practices total salary transparency, where every employee’s income is available for anyone in the world to see (yeah, seriously transparent!). Prospective team members can also calculate what they might earn at Buffer using an online salary calculator.

When Buffer released the second iteration of their salary formula, their founders wrote a lengthy blog post detailing how this process came about. They explained:

  • Why a new salary formula was needed.
  • The components that made up everyone’s salary.
  • Why there were some alterations in the formula for team members in certain parts of the world.
  • How a Buffer salary differs from pay practices at other companies.

This article got Buffer huge exposure. What’s more, it’s inspiring tons of startups and corporations to be more transparent.

How might this work with your book?
There truly are endless options when it comes to divulging the book-writing process. Just think back on any part of the experience, open up about what actually happened, and you’ve got a how-to post!

A few examples include:

  • Sharing the steps between getting from your book idea to writing your first chapter, including snippets from the original draft.
  • Outlining exactly what the editing process looks like once you have finished your first draft, sharing passages in before and after form.
  • Detailing what took the longest time to write and why, including excerpts from those sections.

3. Submit your writing to a publication

In the space of two years, Kimanzi Constable went from working a job he hated and living a life he dreaded to becoming an author and international speaker. And oh, he also moved to Hawaii!

Constable attributes much of his success to a change of mindset, but he also adopted some smart tactics to help him grow his audience of over 30,000 email subscribers and 100,000 book readers.

One approach he’s well known for is writing for larger publications.

“When you write for websites that get millions of visitors, a few of those readers are bound to be curious. They read one of your articles and check out your bio. If the bio matches what you’re writing about, they will click back to your website. If you have a strong freebie for your email list – they’ll take the bait and sign up.

“In the last year and a half of writing for publications, my email list has grown from 3,263 to over 30,000 subscribers.

“One cool feature of most publications is that they have a book widget that allows you to display your books. For the ones that don’t, you can link to your book in your bio. When someone is digging your article, it’s a natural decision for them to get more through your book. It’s one click, and they’re on Amazon buying it.

“In all of my years in this space, it’s one of the most consistent ways I’ve encountered for steady book sales. You even get the big spikes from time-to-time (I’ve had several 2,000-books-sold days when an article went viral).”

Of course, not everyone will see the same results as Constable, but there’s a great lesson to be learned here – it is wise to place your work any place there are lots of eyeballs!

How might this work with your book?
You have lots of options when it comes to submitting your writing to publications:

  • Submit a chapter of your book to websites such as Everyday Fiction, Carve Magazine or any other publication of your choosing.
  • Adapt a section of your book and transform it into an essay or short story.
  • Write a behind-the-scenes post (similar to option #2 above) specifically for a publication.

4. Create a podcast

In the last few years we’ve witnessed the rebirth of audio entertainment, particularly educational and narrative-based podcasts.

Serial, Hardcore History and Welcome to Night Vale are just a few examples of successful audio programs with stories as the centerpiece. We humans can’t help it — we love listening to a good story, and many of us now carry devices that give us access to these tantalizing tales all day long!

Scott Sigler is a great example of someone who created a popular podcast using his writing. Back in 2005, Sigler decided to release his first novel as a podcast. He managed to attract about 10,000 listeners, which then compelled him to create podcasts for his two subsequent books.

Sigler’s explained his podcast-first tactic during an interview with the Independent newspaper.

“The only way to get people’s attention these days is to give them something for free.

“If someone walks into a bookstore, why would they pick up a Scott Sigler when there’s a Stephen King? They won’t. So I give my content away, give readers a chance to try it for free.

“And if they like my stuff, then guess what: they’ll go out and buy the book.”

How might this work with your book?
Contrary to what many people might think, creating a podcast can actually be really easy.

  • Use your mobile phone to record yourself reading passages from your book.
  • Upload your audio files to your blog.
  • Voila! You have a podcast!

Many podcasts are highly produced with down-to-the-millisecond intros and heavy editing, but you can keep things simple. The first episode from The Message is a great example of this in practice – just jump straight into the story without any theatrics.

Of course, if you’re more serious about podcasting long term, you can purchase some very inexpensive equipment to get you started. Here’s a nice run down of what you’ll need from Pat Flynn and a guide for how to podcast books from Mignon Fogarty.

Over to you
Thankfully there are lots of different ways to repurpose your writing. Your options are unlimited, so why not experiment with a few different approaches in the next few weeks?

I’m sure you also have a lot to add into this conversation. I’d love to hear from your personal experiences – how have you used your content to attract more readers?

I’m so interested to read what has and hasn’t worked! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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