Total Recall was a box office smash in 1990, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a character whose memories had been changed, and were violently resurrected — to dramatic ends — when he decided to take a virtual vacation through memory implants. Ironically, the movie was remade 22 years later this past summer, a total recall in and of itself.
There might be some lessons to be learned somewhere from the film, the main one probably being that you don’t want to breathe the Martian atmosphere pre-Schwarzenegger’s arrival. Mainly, though, we’re talking here about remembering the past.
Total recall isn’t a bad way to be when it comes to the content you create. What a shame to create something and forget it.
It is daunting to think that you have to create brand new content every day, without repeating yourself.
You don’t. Remember two things:
- Ideas lead to other ideas. Even slight iterations are still something new to work with. Working with an idea once doesn’t mean you’re really done with it. There’s more life to it. It’s not cheating, it’s building.
- Last month was a long time ago. You have new fans and readers since then. Your opinion and understanding of the topic might have changed. You’ll handle the content differently than you did the first time around.
With this in mind, there ways to reuse previously created content.
Pulling quotes from past blog posts or highlighting favorite tweets by pairing them with a strong graphic gives you the perfect content for Facebook and Pinterest. Images get shared more than anything on Facebook, and of course, images are what Pinterest is all about. With Pinterest, be sure you have a link back to the original post or Twitter account associated with the image. Be sure to include your Twitter username on any tweet-based images.
2. Blog Posts
Old blog posts become new blog posts easily. We’re not talking self-plagiarization or simple copy-and-paste. We’re talking about expanding and fleshing out. Turn a blog post into a series, for example. Use a blog post’s bulleted list as your basis. Present an updated view on an old topic. Again, think “foundation” and work on top of what you already started.
You can write an eBook, and turn that into a blog post or series, or you can turn a blog post or series into an eBook. The key, particularly if you are using the eBook to generate leads, is to provide an incentive to get the eBook. Perhaps the eBook has expanded content, or some extras, that the blog post doesn’t have. Perhaps the blog post will serve as a way to entice someone to read more in the eBook. Either way, eBooks and blog posts work extremely well together.
Just like eBooks, videos make good blog posts and vice versa. If you have a video made, it’s probably no more than two minutes in length and it’s also highly likely that you had to leave out a lot of what you wanted to say. Pairing that video in a blog post where you can add the extra content is a win all around. Blog posts can be the leaping off point for videos, too. It goes both ways.
You’ve already come up with an idea and created the content. Why not explore that same idea in different formats? It makes sense, and means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you sit down to your computer. Just because it was from yesterday or beyond doesn’t mean it’s off limits. Total recall of past content is where new ideas come from.