5 Easy Ways to Generate Content – Repackage Existing Ideas

February 21, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

repackageOne of the hardest things to do as a blogger or website publisher is to generate quality content on a daily basis. Fresh ideas have to be thought out and then effectively formed into coherent posts that are useful to the community. Sometimes it’s just not feasible to expect something revolutionary day in and day out. What do you do when you’re dry out of ideas?

One of the best methods I use to generate content for the blog is to repackage ideas. By this, I don’t mean stealing content and claiming it as my own. That would be blatant scraping and copyright infringement. What I do mean is using ideas and content already out there to provide additional value and to further add to the conversation taking place.

Using this strategy, content generation is not as difficult as you may think and actually gives you a break from creating the long flagship articles that define your blog. Repackaging ideas shouldn’t be the main focus of your blog, but it’s a great way to efficiently create valuable content and save time.

So how do you go about using this method? Below are 5 different ways you can repackage content and make it your own.

1. Use a different format

People learn in different ways. Some prefer text and others would rather use multimedia formats like audio, images, diagrams, and video. You can gain an advantage by porting over ideas to a format that is more convenient for users. Below are some examples

  • Repackage the knowledge in traditional books to a web format that is free and easily accessible to all.
  • Make a complicated idea easier to understand by using diagrams and images.
  • Cater to travelers and the visually-impaired by creating audio books and podcasts.
  • Utilize videos to entertain, save time, and make it easier for users to take in your content.
  • Take books, audio, images, and other content freely available on the public domain and reformat them in a way that makes them more useful to readers. For example, an interactive version of Shakespeare’s plays might gain interest from the right crowd. Check out Project Gutenberg for free content.

2. Add your personal touch

Your unique personality is something that cannot be copied and will give you an edge if used properly. Take an idea already out there and explain how it relates to you. For example, people already know that blogging can turn into a full-time job with high income potential. But how does that relate to you? Tell your story and people will love you for it. Problogger, Zen Habits, and Get Rich Slowly are great examples of this.

3. Write a response

Having trouble thinking of a post idea? Take a popular article in your niche and write a response (counter arguments usually works best). This is an effective strategy for attracting attention, gaining links, and working your way up social media sites. For examples, see my posts: SEO Confidence Lacking? Turn Up Your Competition – Calling Out Courtney Tuttle, 6 Things You Don’t Know (but think you know) about SEO, 6 Reasons Why SEO’s are NOT Like Used Car Salesmen.

4. Cater to a different audience

Old ideas customized for a specific audience become new ideas. For example, Israel of Fat Man Unleashed released a workout routine specifically for bloggers. He took something common (working out) and made it more interesting by catering to a specific audience (bloggers). Aaron Wall of SEO Book also uses this tactic in his SEO Guide for bloggers.

5. Add more points

It’s nearly impossible for a single person to come up with all of the aspects of a single idea. It’s easy to take advantage of this fact by building upon a previous article and adding points where appropriate. For instance, you can follow up an article called “6 Reasons” with “6 More Reasons”. Be creative and use your own perspective to add value.

Are you repackaging ideas to create new content? If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to build your site, be heard, and save time in the process. What do you think?

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22 Responses to “5 Easy Ways to Generate Content – Repackage Existing Ideas”

Ty Brown on February 21st, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

This is one way that I often generate content and I have to say it is a great method. It’s not redundant if you can give recycled content some freshness.

Tom Beaton on February 21st, 2008

Doing something thats already been done better is a pretty popular business model for a reason. It is a nice way to add value and create something fresh. Just make sure you are the first person to repackage content as if everyone does it there is very little value.

Gyutae Park on February 23rd, 2008

Like you said, there is definitely a first mover’s advantage when it comes to repackaging content. However, it should not be your main goal. Creating unique and fresh ideas should always be your primary focus.

Andrew Pavelski on February 22nd, 2008

I definitely agree that ‘repackaging’ is a great opportunity to generate new content w/ less effort.

Gyutae Park on February 23rd, 2008

Yep, thanks for the comment Andrew. How are you repackaging for the posts on your blog?

Andrew Pavelski on February 24th, 2008

In all honesty, I haven’t been repackaging posts on my blog, but this article made me more aware of the opportunity. I’m going to start!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Wayne Liew on February 22nd, 2008

On top of all these, adding in some extra SEO factors that will help your article to rank even higher than the original article is actually an evil way since we are not just getting ideas, but also the search engine traffic that the original writer is targeting. :mrgreen:

Gyutae Park on February 23rd, 2008

Hey Wayne,
Thanks for dropping by. That’s interesting you mention that because that’s one of the main reasons why scraper sites exist. They want to rank higher than the original source and make money off of the search engine traffic.

Of course this strategy is different because we’re developing a whole new article, just based off of the original.

Mahei on February 23rd, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Repackaging also allows bloggers to cover more ground/topics without having to find something “new”. Simply identify what fits your niche, give it a read, research around it, and write it up in your blog. You may even be able to come up with an alternative perspective to add to what you’ve read.

Great post!

Gyutae Park on February 23rd, 2008

Great points. Pretty much summed up the article in about 2 sentences. 🙂

Ruchir Chawdhry on February 24th, 2008

Borrowing of ideas is what I use if I get stuck. Just look at the headline of a post and begin writing it and change the headline a bit in the end.

Responses can also be pretty good, especially for coverage in niche Social Media sites like sphinn. I think both of the articles you mentioned went hot on Sphin ass they were as reaction to something that had already frontpaged.

Jason on February 25th, 2008

Thanks for the tips.

I find that reading someone else’s blog or listening to an interview usually sparks an idea for an article or piece of content for me. It’s not even related all the time, but it gets the creative juices flowing.

Gerri on February 26th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I think you are on the money there. I find that it is the way in which someone gets their point of view or someone else’s across. I have seen people trying to get points across on their blogs but not in a way that is captivating and then someone else goes and does it in a different way that gets me all excited and I might later on realize that I had kind of read something like that somewhere else. Get what I mean?

Tevin Anderson on February 27th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Yay for us, and thanks, Gyutae Park.

David Chew on March 1st, 2008

All these is useful for new bloggers but repacking really is important if you want to attract more readers.

Susanne F on March 2nd, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I use the re-packing method often – I add screen shots to the posts. From the feedback I get I know that a lot of people like it this way – I assume they are also visual persons.

Krsto on March 2nd, 2008

Re-packing is a very complicated job in my opinnion. It can sometimes be as hard as finding a fresh content

Louis Liem on March 24th, 2008

I think basically all things people call “NEW” is something developed from existing ones. That’s how people invent things.
That applies also in content generations. Sometimes comments can be a good source for new post ideas 🙂

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