How To ‘Recycle Content’: Drive Traffic & Bring Predictability To Your Content Marketing Strategy

Recycling content is about maximizing the impact of the content you produce, and leveraging the efficiency of repurposing digital content.

So what do I mean by ‘recycling content’, anyway? Recycling content is a way to increase the value of any content you created, by spending some time on the initial part, then recycling the idea over and over to maximize it’s potential.

The first part is about creating 10x content for an extra 10% effort, the second part is squeezing 10x the juice, creating 10% of the amount of content you currently do.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Humans are expensive.

And your paying for ‘human resources’ are expensive. (Even if you’re a one-person solopreneurship creating the content yourself, that’s expensive)

Investing time into writing an article is expensive. Some content (I’m thinking about larger pieces: videos, flow charts, and infographics) can take upwards of 8–10 weeks to produce and publish, start to finish.

And when it’s all said and done… Where does all that time and effort you spent creating content go? I mean where does it really go?

Oftentimes, small businesses post to their social media accounts (in bad cases, accounts are linked) (…and if that’s you, stop) and… that’s that.

Hoping that if you build it, they will come (Field of Dreams reference for my old fogies distinguished peers).

They won’t come. They never do.

You gotta get your ass in FRONT of viewers eyes’ somehow.

This is a problem most small business owners can’t get past for the life of them.

One (fairly simple) solution? Recycle yer damn content!

You spent all that time researching, fact-checking, writing, editing, sourcing images and photos, renaming, labeling, uploading, and setting up you OpenGraph data (if you’re not doing this on your blog, ask me about it; this is must-have… MUST HAVE… stuff), which is all the expensive (human-intensive) work, then when it comes to the simple, scalable, easy (computer) part, you’re barely scratching the surface on the potential of that content. You probably already know this and feel this.

Here it is. The time is now… Dig in.

Today we’re talking about making that content work for you.

Below, you’ll find 2 ways we’re recycling content at scale. You’re free to steal them and put them to use today.

CONTENT RECYCLING TACTIC #1: Re-Purpose Content Across Filetypes & Social Networks

The main goal here is about getting more content out there, with less effort. You’re increasing the number of places you are posting to: each on their own platform, with their own content, imagery, and followers.

After you creating that next piece of content for whichever channel you created it for (ie. your blog), turn that same content into other content forms: Think podcasts, Slideshows, Youtube videos, Facebook posts, Reddit posts, Medium posts, Infographics, Emails, Guest Posts, keep it going… get creative here.

I think a lot of this stuff is common sense but I don’t want to leave you bums with any excuses (Dan Peña reference), I went through and outlined how I’d approach a few of these content types.

The recurring theme is to keep it simple. Don’t discount this stuff because of some pre-conception.


Print your blog post onto paper (or to PDF and using a PDF editor) and read through it once in full, highlighting the most potent parts. Got it?

ull out your iPhone, open up your audio recorder or favourite note taking app, hit record, and read back the important parts.

When you’re done, export the audio to MP3. No edits. No intros. No shout outs, no sponsors, no background music. Just action.

Slap it up on any of the various audio sharing sites/apps. Think about iTunes, Soundcloud, YouTube.

Same content, whole new audience.

Examples can be found here.

Now go and schedule 12 tweets pointing at your new content over the next 7 days… Go!


Take those same highlighted parts and turn them into a PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides presentation.

There are tons of templates available – use Google Slides if not – that you can slap content into, and either export as:

  1. a PDF (perhaps offer the PDF as an opt-in bonus on the original content), or…
  2. as a Powerpoint slide deck and then upload to Slideshare.

Same content, whole new audience.

Examples can be found here, here, and here..

Now go and schedule 12 tweets pointing at your new content over the next 7 days… Go!

1.3 Video

Video is super versatile, and it’s here to stay.

People buy from faces, so getting in front of a camera is best but if you “can’t” do that (👶🏻🍼), do a screencast.

This isn’t rocket science… Don’t put it off, don’t avoid it.

Get out your selfie stick if you have one, or use a small iPhone portable tripod with a remote control, but it doesn’t even matter… grab your phone and hold it at arm’s length.

(Seriously, grab your phone… open it up… start. No script. 90 seconds. Go.)

1.3.1 SELFIE

All you need to do is write your content down point form on a Post-It note; 5 items total.

Hit record and start yacking: social media is supposed to be SOCIAL! Don’t worry about edits. Fuck-ups are good. Focus on re-purposing all the hours you spent on that original content into NEW forms that DIFFERENT eyeballs (or ears) will see.

You will get better with time, don’t expect to be awesome on your first video. Upload to YouTube and you’re all set.


If you’re doing a screencast, your job is even easier.

Start with the Slideshow we spoke about in 1.2 and post it to Slideshare, then come back and hit record.

There are tons of software options to record your screen so don’t pretend you can’t find one (Windows can use TinyTake or Jing, on OSX use QuickTime or Jing and if you’re working within Google Chrome, you can use GoVideo) but don’t make it complicated. Get it running and run with it.

Plug in your headphones (with mic! even Apple’s white wired headphones rock!), hit record, then put your slide deck into “presentation mode” and start talking.

Keep it casual. If you’re a natural goof, be a goof. If you’re a natural joker, be a joker.

A blanket recommendation is to speak slowly… even slower than feels natural. You know this content inside-out, this is the first time they’re seeing it.

FIRST & FOREMOST… have fun with it. Remember to smile. Embrace awkwardness, too; it’s endearing.

Now go and schedule 12 tweets pointing at your new content over the next 7 days… Go!

Same content, whole new audience.

Examples of some screencasts I found online.


Growing your email list is the NUMBER ONE thing any business needs to be doing online; if you’re not with it, get with it. If you don’t already have an email list – and an evergreen email campaign that works as you sleep! – then get your ass into your chair and put in the work until you do. This is your #1 priority. Must-have. Do it.

Anyway… Paste your article into Notepad or other text editor… and delete the second half of it.

Now chisel the remaining half down into a a few sentences and hook. (Perhaps explain the moment that led to you coming up with the idea for the blog post)

What I mean by ‘hook’ is that you want to open your reader’s brain to the problem WITHOUT directly solving it. Leave that connection open (don’t ‘close the loop’) then link to your post (or screencast video, or Facebook post, or infographic… you get the picture).

Add it to your evergreen email campaign to drip out. Now go and schedule 12 tweets pointing at your new content over the next 7 days… Go!

See what I’m saying? Same content, whole new audience.

Here are some good email lists to get your feet wet: Nev’s list is spectacular, and Bryan’s also one of the best in the game.


Infographic’s are a little more involved because they cost money but this stuff doesn’t need to be rocket science.

Take your original article and the send it over to someone on Fiverr (here are a cheap, mid-level, and premium providers).


This whole process is about recycling the content to leverage all the hours you spent creating the content, don’t throw it all down the drain by investing a bunch more time!

Now go and submit your infographic to a directory or three, and schedule 12 tweets over the next 7 days… Go!

Similar content, brand new audience. See the pattern?


In some cases, your content will be prime for a flowchart. I’m not going to dig in too deep, here. You’re hiring people to do some extra work.

Take the blog post and the send it over to someone on Fiverr.


Now go and schedule 12 tweets to your flowchart over the next 7 days… Go!

I hope that clears up some confusion you might’ve had about recycling content across different applications and media types.

The second content recycling tactic I’m talking about isn’t so much about recycling the content as it is recycling the value of it. You are squeezing every last drop of value out of that content by parading it around after you create it.

Oops! I’m getting ahead of myself again…

CONTENT RECYCLING TACTIC #2: Spend 20% Creating, and 80% Promoting

A huge oversight of (most?) content creators is sticking to what they’re good at… Creating content.

This is fine when you’re a blogger but when you decide to take yourself seriously (as a business), you soon realize your content’s not going to get seen unless you have visitors looking at it.

And since every time you hit publish, barely anyone’s seeing it, you’re going to need to change something to get people to see it.

And that something is ‘getting your freaking content in front of freaking eyeballs’, and it’s nothing to fear.

If you truly love the content you create and truly think it deserves to be shared, then it’s – at least as – important (if not more!) that you spend time promoting it to people who might want to see it.

The way you do that… and I’d argue the most respectful thing you can do for your content as a content creator is to assume ALL that time you invested creating the content should take up about 20% of your total time invested, and the other 80% of time investing promoting it.

That means if you spent 2 hours writing the blog post, now you’ve got to spend 8 hours promoting it. (think: reaching out to people asking for retweets, links, and shares)

Yes, that means you’re in big, BIG trouble if you wasted 40 hours writing that dog shit (but much much worse if you didn’t even track your time).

Either way, lesson learned – in the future, focus on leverage! Momentum!

But for now let’s keep it simple…


Pick a social media platform you love (and one which resonates with your fans/prospects) and a hashtag or similar method of grouping.

If your content is about the best dog leashes on the market, look for hashtags like #puppiesofinstagram, #doglovers, #instapuppies, #dogstagram, #woof, and anything else that sounds like it might be worth exploring. You’ll have time to hone your craft over the next months years, so keep it playful. (Rener Gracier reference)

I’m using Twitter for this example, but you can do similar things for whichever platform you choose. Don’t let small hurdles turn into road blocks. Just jump over the fuckin’ thing and keep running.

Business (especially in the early days) is better looked at as a process of ‘overcoming obstacles’ than it is about ‘steady growth’, so if you end up using another social platform and you can’t find a tool that makes the automation and scheduling as easy, then too bad.

Get over it.


Use it to your advantage, as now you know fewer people will be doing it.

Dig through that hashtag or grouping and start qualifying people with 1,000 or more followers whose audience might enjoy the content (what’s in it for THEM? What do THEY get?).

Copy-paste those accounts into a Notepad/text file/Google doc (or whatever’s comfortable) and keep going until you have 20.

This might take 30 mins at first, but over the upcoming weeks and months will become eeeeeasy peasy. Stick with it.

Reach out to each of them.

Craft your message my asking yourself “WHATS IN IT FOR THEM?” at every sentence. This is so hard for people to do. You want something, and you can’t stop thinking about it long enough to charm someone else into seeing they want what you have.

Again, don’t over think it. You’re a human reaching out to a human:

  • @influencer100 Totally agree on golden retrievers, they’re super friendly. Would your followers dig an article on how to compost in your kitchen?
  • @influencer200 Fellow team Patrick, here. But I missed last night’s episode, no spoilers!! Is your audience interested in eco-stuff? I’ve got a ‘composting in your kitchen’ that I want the right people to see.

Nothing to it. We could go all day, baby!

The long and short of it is:

  • Check out their tweets
  • Connect on something quick
  • Be human, and…
  • Ask if THEY and THEIR AUDIENCE would enjoy the content
  • Rinse and repeat, as needed

When they ask for a link, give them a contextual link but remember, it will be Retweeted, so keep the reply informative and sneak in a sentence that makes it worth clicking (headlines are God, or something)

Keep it casual.

Dig through your list, pre-write your tweets, and then go through one by one and schedule them out to send to your list. I can’t teach you how to do it, but you can use Buffer for a lot of social platforms and for Twitter I’d just use Tweetdeck as it’s my usual client, and it’s free.

Schedule them a day apart, and be sure to tweet or post manually between those times so that when people check through your tweets it’s not just you spamming for shares. Go beyond that, be a person. Being ‘human’ on social media shouldn’t be such a huge leap for people, but so many businesses can’t do it because they can’t bring themselves to make mistakes of appear imperfect. Get over that.

People will respect the hustle if you’re making your business part of your life. Hustle is good. Spam is bad. The difference? Whether or not the reader feels understood and (more importantly) receives value.

Don’t forget to schedule 12 tweets over the next 7 days… this stuff is important. You can tweet something 6 times per day and no one’s going to see the same tweet twice. Don’t be afraid to get your fuckin’ articles OUT there.

Is this your ONLY content that deserves to be shared? Helllll no… Go back and schedule new tweets for all your best content every 6 months.

Bang, bang, bang… nail out 12 tweets per article and twenty prospective retweets.

Creating a predictable process like this is simple to roll out across ALL your content, easily repeatable, and is the baseline for generating a long-standing business that is bringing in predictable revenue through your content marketing.

It takes time, but it’s cheap as chips, effective as ever, and proven for hundreds of years.

For the most part it’s a process you can outsource to someone for $5 per hour, and a second someone to write tweets at $12 per hour for 2 hours per week.

If you’re a small business which can’t already afford it, then let this article mark a change in your practices — this structured approach is the elbow grease that will bring you the momentum needed to enable you to pay someone ELSE to do it, down the road.

Some content creators will be reading this and feel like it’s icky yucky sales stuff and… I get it.

I empathize with your discomfort. Discomfort isn’t comfy, so let’s agree to filter this next part through a business lens:

This stuff matters.

It’s not enough to hide in your home office surrounded by ferns and moleskines looking like a Pinterest photo, churning out content that no one sees.

If you’re an artist in business, your art deserves to be seen and getting over the sales parts is the first step to being a professional.

Here’s the part that’s hard to hear… the tough love…

Your art is worthless to the world if not seen. You have got to get over yourself if you want to be more than where you are. Growth is uncomfortable. Embrace that. Get out there and receive some no’s. Go out and fail.

But you gotta work to get your content seen. You’re worth it. Your content’s worth it. You’ve put in the hours, it’s time to get paid; we’re trying to build a business here, baby!


If your content teaches, educates, or explains your topic in some way, Quora is an amazing resource for long term traffic and growth.

We love this method for clients, and it’s not been totally blown out by marketers for a few years so I’m sharing it with you 😄

The Quora Marketing process is simple…

Create an account, fill out your profile. In full. (If you want people to take you seriously, you have to look the part)

Dig through questions: You’re looking for questions that get a lot of traffic (some common knowledge helps here), and by looking at things like how many upvotes it’s received, and how many people found the question or specific answers helpful.

Look for questions that your content can help with or solve. Keep it relevant, there’s no need to spam here. Only answer questions where your article definitely answers what they’re asking.

Leave a thoughtful, helpful, educational answer with a link to learn more at your beautiful article, and hit publish.

Make your answer the best. Don’t leave it to be judged; be the best answer on there, and let the upvotes do the talking.

Okay, wait… You and I… We’re… What I mean is… You’d agree we’re friends, aren’t we? I’ve shared all this information… at this point we’re “friends”, are we not?

Well, in the privacy of this conversation between friends, perhaps ~let me~ allow me to switch out my white hat out for a black grey hat for a moment, here… in the name of science.

The truth is, upvotes are hard to get, manually. Especially on questions that are targeted by shithead marketers from here and /r/marketing.

The majority on there (I’m generalizing) will have gone black grey hat and bought some upvotes.

My take is… if you keep it within reason, and only leave answers on questions where you’ve answered the BEST, most HELPFUL and INSIGHTFUL answers which links out to a considered, thoughtful, conclusive blog post on the exact topic you’re commenting about, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

With that said, don’t let a random redditor twist your moral compass. Be your own judge.

Couple thoughts on this strategy:

  • Small changes to bits and pieces of your post end up becoming your Quora answer
  • Over time, posts will naturally start leaning towards answering questions which will make your outreach easier
  • You’ll continue to build your list and soon be able to recognize opportunities to answer questions and point them to your other content: slide decks, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. based on the context of the question and what makes sense.

If you’ve made it this far, you likely understand the message:

Human labour is expensive… spend time leveraging your already created content, instead of creating more.

The answer isn’t more content, it’s more work.

A lot of people try this out and soon realize it needs to be twenty, or a hundred times harder.

It’s not that the blog posts mean less, it’s that they’re meaningless if you’re not out proudly promoting them to the right people – continuously – as needed.

Blog less, create better content, and market that content harder instead of writing more.

If you try to do these two things (recycle content, and market it 80/20), you’ll find you’re producing more content than you were before, getting way more views, opt-ins, sales, etc. and spending far less time creating it.

Last and hopefully not least, go back to the email list. None of this shit matters if collecting email addresses isn’t the main focus of your website.

Your email list is your lifeline to sustainable, long term success online and in our social world. It doesn’t matter if you’re answering Quora answers if you’re not collecting email addresses when they land on your site. Bryan Harris has great ideas surrounding building your list.

That’s all I got for now. Hope this info reaches you well and that you found some fun, novel and interesting ideas in there.

There’s a lot to take in, and if you’re new to this stuff it might be overwhelming. Maybe save this comment and revisit it in a few months.

Thinking of implementing some of this stuff in your business? What parts made sense, what parts didn’t?

What’s one piece you took away from today that you’d like to implement right away in your business?

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