Recasting existing content for use by a different audience or in a different context empowers you as a writer – as a marketer – and/or as a consultant. And it is a great way to reuse evergreen content.
I discovered this myself when I rewrote four existing blog posts – aimed at fellow bloggers – as a single blog post aimed at project managers.
I used four of my existing blog posts as input to my effort:
- Creating Online Content for Your Customers: Scannability
- Creating Online Content for Your Customers: Relevance
- Creating Online Content for Your Customers: Clarity
- Creating Online Content for Your Customers: Accuracy
Here is how I transformed them with four easy steps that you can leverage in your own work.
Step 1 – Find the Purpose, Find the Theme
My original blog posts grew out of a simple presentation I put together three years ago to explain how hiring a content strategist like me could lead to improvements in a business’s content. You can see a version of that original slide deck on my LinkedIn page today.
I had already recast my content’s original purpose, which was sales-oriented so that it worked as a set of helpful guidelines for fellow bloggers. Now I had to do another recast.
To do that I relied on my familiarity with the new audience – project managers – and examined what type of blog posts appealed to them in the past. I knew that my audience was interested in soft skills and had paid special attention to blog posts containing helpful tips.
So my new blog post’s purpose became clear – I would provide helpful tips to project managers on how they can better communicate information to their project teams. To help make the central idea concrete for them, I rearranged the important words from my original blog posts – clarity, accuracy, relevance, and scannability – to form the acronym CARS.
Now I had a theme for the post that I could play with. But I knew I had to do more to appeal to my new audience.
Step 2 – Capture the Benefits for the New Audience
My recast had to build a case for why my audience should care about the content I was presenting. So I followed some of my own past advice and positioned the content by speaking to the benefits of effective communication for project managers.
I fear I appealed first to their fears of a poorly managed project. But I followed immediately with some specific benefits that I supported with some statistical evidence reported by third parties. The flow was, without saying so directly, from describing some recognizable “common experiences” (all negative) to listing some logical reasons why my advice might reverse those experiences.
All of the benefits and statistics I included spoke to the central concern that any project manager might have – enabling team members to get things done in a timely manner. I underscored that concern in a summary sentence before moving on with the details of my post. No need to keep them guessing.
Step 3 – Keep It Simple
In each of the four main sections of the blog post, I kept to a recurring format that was scannable and easy for a busy professional to digest. I knew wanted to use a minimalist approach throughout to meet the audience’s need for quick tips and also to fit the medium – a blog post.
The content flowed with the format in a logical pattern: I started with a straightforward statement followed immediately by a short logical point or statistic. I then listed a set of tips in the form of bullet points.
Because I already knew my content so well, I didn’t have to work hard to tighten up my concepts into bite-sized morsels.
Step 4 – Use Examples They Relate to
In my original blog posts, I expounded on points I thought my blogger audience would be interested in. In this recast version, I wanted to do something different.
I wanted to sprinkle in terms and quick examples that would ring true to my audience. So I mentioned familiar work products, used phrases they might hear regularly, and mentioned familiar concepts like timeliness, stakeholders, and budgets.
I also ended the blog post by applying the concepts I had detailed to three real-world situations. That way, I could demonstrate how some of my tips could help my audience in their daily work.
You can view my final, recast product on the PMI Mile Hi website. Let me know what you think!