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How to Repurpose Blogs into Articles

My firm recently launched a curated content site featuring new and recycled articles from our team and summaries of externally created content. For this post, I’d like to share our process for re-purposing blogs into articles.

First, why re-purpose blog content?

Every OpenView employee is committed to writing at least one blog post every week. (Want to see how we do this? Check out my case study on how my firm organizes our blog.)

We have decided to re-purpose some of our content for the following reasons:

  1. Blogging is a great, relatively low-risk way to test new ideas. Many employees treat the blog as a sounding board, writing short posts that simply express their viewpoint on a new strategy, process or sometimes even product. Blog posts can easily be re-purposed into longer, more detailed articles.
  2. We want to reach another audience. A different type of reader may gravitate to an article rather than a blog. By re-purposing content, you are ensuring that your target audience will find you and consume your content in a way that most appeals to them.

Here’s the process we use.

Step 1: Identify blog posts that lend themselves to becoming great articles

Not every blog post is destined to become an article. So what makes a post good for re-purposing? We have found that blogs with one or more of the following characteristics make excellent articles:

  • Is relevant for one of our personas
  • Covers a process
  • Is not purely an opinion piece
  • Offers new ideas rather than a commentary on external ideas
  • Is not internally focused
  • Provides a case study or example
  • Offers specific action items the reader can implement quickly

Step 2: Work with a freelancer to develop the article

OpenView uses a network of external copywriters to develop the content for the Labs idea site. We have found that working with freelancers enables us to develop valuable content much more efficiently than completing the work in-house. Provide specific details on what you expect from the freelancer as she writes your articles. You may consider answering these questions in your Statement of Work:

  • What is the goal for each article?
  • Do you want the freelancer to conduct additional research?
  • Should she include several links to your existing content within the new article?
  • How long should the article be?
  • How many revisions is the freelancer expected to do?
  • How many articles can the freelancer tackle at the same time?
  • What is the deadline for each article?

If you don’t have a network of freelancers you can count on, there are several ways to find exceptional people to help with your content initiatives. Check out services like Junta42 or post an ad on Craigslist.

Step 3: Review with the original author

Each week, I receive a new batch of freshly re-purposed articles from our freelancers. I quickly review them to determine if they are ready for the content experts (i.e., the original authors). Once I am comfortable with the style and nature of the article, I connect the freelancer with the original author for review.

OpenView uses Central Desktop, an online collaboration tool (provided by one our of portfolio companies) to streamline this process:

  1. The original author reviews the article to determine if she is comfortable with the work the freelancer completed.
  2. If the original author has any feedback, it is documented in our online collaboration tool and sent back to the freelancer.
  3. The freelancer incorporates the feedback and passes it back to the original author for final review.

Step 4: Prepping for publication

Once the article has been finalized and approved, it is up to the original author to enter that content into the CMS of our website. Each employee is able to work directly in our CMS to format his or her content and prepare for final review by the editor.

How have you re-purposed content for your company? What are some of your successes and failures?