A step-by-step approach on how to repurpose long-form blog content (or transcripts of audio/video content) into shorter, more engaging pieces for social media while still preserving the original message and mission. You will learn:
- How to repurpose long-form content into shorter formats for social media.
- How to stay organized so you can eventually outsource your Instagram content
- How to use content buckets related to your mission to build authority and build a platform that showcases your expertise
"Remember that the idea is whatever repurposed content you come up with, you're always referring back to your long-form written content. We're basically trying to relay the same message you had in your long-form work, but transform it into different kinds of shorter formats that work well on their own as standalone content, but also refer back to your longer work because that's where the juice of your message will be."
Repurposing is taking long-form blogs or even really long captions and making more content out of them. I like to recommend that your contentbuckets be related to the things you feel are most important to your mission. Make sure that you have a virtual place where you can save all your repurposed work. I share the apps I'm using.
First step is going through your writing and highlighting the biggest points and major takeaways. Take a look at your content buckets or themes to see if you can pull specific examples of each theme. Buckets of content are helpful for when you're doing marketing too.
The next category is promoting. Go through and highlight the biggest moments in your blog post. Next up is memes and Gifs. Think of these as the thought leadership writing.
The next category for repurposing is explaining. You'd probably take your educating snippet, but you'd add on to it. You might even stick a paragraph directly into an AI tool. You can give yourself permission to go on a spicy rant.
The final category for repurposing that I'd like to leave you with is cross pollinating. Let your content pieces complement to each other. You can start keeping running lists of content that you've created for each of your content buckets. Make polls and surveys that tie your different content buckets together.
This episode focuses on long form content repurposing. I will most likely be making this episode into a cheat sheet of some kind. If you want to DM me on Instagram @rochellesanch and let me know you listen to this episode, I'll send it to you!
Full Audio Transcript
Before I started working on this season’s content, I asked around to see what kind of workflows that people wanted to see broken down into step-by-step processes. One of the big ones was repurposing, particularly taking long-form blogs or even really long captions and making more content out of them without coming up with new stuff.
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I love this process because I think you long-form, long-winded writers have a LOT to say, and you know it. And you have an endless amount of knowledge and inspiration to give to the world, which is probably related to why you blog or post your written work regularly.
When it comes to your content, you’re probably going to have an essay or blog post every now and then that is fairly unique and not a giant part of your messaging strategy, but most likely, you have some topics you talk about a LOT.
I like to call them content buckets, for example, mine tend to fall under general uplifting encouragement, simple systems, and accountability tips for staying focused.
You probably have your own, most likely three or four max, if you’re really honest about it. I personally like to recommend that your buckets be related to the things you feel are most important to your mission.
Like for example, let’s say you’re a writer and you’re writing book reviews and you want to repurpose them into more content. When it comes to content buckets for repurposing, I would avoid cut-and-dry buckets like, “Oh, my content buckets are Non-fiction books, Young adult fantasy books, and classics.”
Instead, think about WHY you focus on those things, and why people should care about them.
If you were suddenly the [official spokesperson of the world!] representing young adult fantasy books, why would that be important? Why would people need to hear more about young adult fantasy book?
It might be community building, because fantasy stories bring nerds together, and they make book clubs and create fan art and fan fiction.
Or it could be representation, where you love how authors are showcasing protagonists who are people of color, and neurodivergent, or people that represent marginalized communities in our real world.
So you want to figure out the deeper reasons for WHY you’re writing what you’re writing, and use those reasons as your content buckets. I guess they’re more like themes, now, but you get what I mean.
And then the next step would be deciding what kind of content you want to create as an off-shoot from you primary long-form writing, whether it’s your blog or an article or a book review or whatever.
I have different categories of content you could repurpose your work into:
Memes and Gifs
And I’ll go over each of those in this episode.
Remember that the idea is that whatever repurposed content you come up with, you’re always referring back to your long-form written content.
We’re basically trying to relay the same message you had in your long-form work but transform it into different kinds of shorter formats that work well on their own as standalone content but also refer back to your longer work because that’s where the juice of your message will be.
Now, just to clarify: for our purposes, I’m assuming you’re repurposing mostly for the sake of creating social media content. And it’s not for the sake of just making lots of content, because no one should dedicate their life to creating for free for the tech billionaire social media CEOs.
This is for your own platform building, regardless of which social media platform you’re using.
You’re blanketing the internet, so to speak, with content on different platforms that people will find when they’re looking to learn a little more about you and your work.
So keep that in mind as we start working through these categories.
For a lot of this episode I’ll be using Instagram content as the example.
Before I get to the breakdown, make sure that you have a place where you can save all your repurposed work.
I know some people really like Notion. I like using Google Sheets. I’m also experimenting with an app that’s still under development that’s called Heptabase, and that’s what I use to turn the content from this podcast into all my social media posts. I’m also testing out the process using Asana, which is my favorite project management site. So if you want to check back with me later to see what system I ended up going with, feel free! I’m literally just a DM away on Instagram. My handle is at-rochelle-sanch
But in general I just recommend that you choose to save your content ideas somewhere that’s on the internet and easily shared and that’s easy to keep organized. So it’s not just a digital version of a pile of sticky notes that only make sense to you, but in some kind of system, organized and labeled and titled.
Because again, my goal is to help you start outsourcing eventually and if you get into the habit of saving all your files locally onto your computer or on your phone then that will just make it harder to share some of that workload with a virtual assistant down the line.
So save it on the internet somewhere so a virtual assistant can help you eventually.
So the first step I recommend is going through your writing, and highlighting the biggest points and major takeaways. Like if someone was going to skim your writing, what would be the main points you want them to take from it. You may even want to revisit your branding book or your mission statement so that you remember the primary message you should always be getting across in your content.
Also, take a look at your content buckets or themes and see if you can pull specific examples of each theme so that you know what the overall message is.
And then our first category for repurposing is…
A lot of long-form blogging or writing is already educational, naturally. But if you’re going to repurpose the work, then start with the overall outline.
You can pull your sections or headings and probably make a basic bullet list of general advice or opinion on your topic just from those.
For example, again, if it’s a book review, maybe you had some things that stood out, and some things that didn’t sit right with you, and some things that you wish had happened a different way. I just named three pieces of content that can educate your audience, okay? For example:
4 Ways that this book differentiated itself from the usual book in its genre, or
3 Ways this book missed the mark for me, as a [insert whatever identity you have or community you come from]
And remember, you’re not writing a whole new post. These are probably included in your original writing.
So now you can make a video or a carousel of images and literally just list them and use one sentence to explain each point. These are the 4 ways. These are the 3 ways. Same content, just super shortened and to-the-point, without the prose.
Or if you go the content bucket route, let’s say one of your buckets is “Finding common humanity.” Look through your writing for 2 to 3 ways the book created common humanity. How the book builds community for your audience, and you can call those out.
Buckets of content are helpful for when you’re doing marketing, too, because if you know what your topics are then you can quickly search for opportunities related to each specific topic. Podcast searches, networking groups, Facebook groups, Instagram hashtags, and so on. So it will pay off, just trust the process.
The next category is
Go through and highlight the biggest moments in your blog. The way I like to look at it is to find the “quotables” which means if someone else found my website or listened to my podcast, and they reached out and asked if they could promote me to their 100,000 followers and feature this piece of writing on Instagram, what quote would they put on the image?
What exact words would go I like to see on the image?
And ideally those quotables would be enough to get someone who doesn’t know me at all to watch or listen or read and then look up my podcast or blog to learn more about me.
Another way to look at promoting would be to literally take any part of your written blog as an excerpt.
And then tack on something at the beginning that says “I wrote a blog about X,” or “This month’s book review is all about X.” Then you put your excerpt in there. And then you end it with a promotion like:
Read more at…
For more examples, visit…
For a deeper dive, go to…
Again, you can make videos, text images, carousels, whatever you want with it.
Memes and Gifs
If you’re particularly savvy with all the trending audios and memes and gifs, then this could be fun for you. Literally use anything in your blog that you think is entertaining or humorous or fairly obvious or just kind of catchy. And then put it on a meme.
One of my favorite Instagram accounts is L O T R underscore meme lord and they do a good job of this.
Of course, they’re not bloggers and they’re literally referencing the movies and books, but the idea is the same.
The next category of repurposed content is…
Think of these as the thought leadership writing. Like the gurus and experts who just declare stuff on Twitter and Linkedin? Except less douche-y, of course.
This is basically you taking the main points or at least the most entertaining points in your writing and saying it again, as a standalone thought.
You repeat the thought or sentiment as point-blank as possible. Just one sentence, as if you were going to follow it up with “This is just a fact.” Or, “That’s it, that’s the tweet.” Whether you want to actually add those afterward is up to you.
Another way you can look at this is a way to challenge yourself to say the same overall ideas as your blog but in significantly fewer words. How can you say it in one sentence? How can you say it in an even shorter sentence?
Thankfully, this process gets easier with practice, especially if you’re pretty long winded like I am.
Up next, the next category for repurposing is:
I consider this a little different from educating because it takes the educating a step further by giving an additional example of it.
So you’d probably take your educating snippet, but you’ll add on to it.
In a book review, you could say, “another author who did something similar was…”
If it’s a personal type of snippet, you could say, “I remember when I did this as a newly hired, recent graduate…” and then tell the short and sweet story from there. Or if it’s kind of funny then you could just say, “It did not go well.” And let that be the end of the content.
You could do what I call a guru mention, which looks like, “So-and-so often talks about this as a best practice…”
Or if it's something you wrote about to criticize or if it’s a controversial kind of thing, you could contrast it with a more common belief
You could also write the exact same idea but in a different tone. You might even stick a paragraph directly into an AI tool and see how it changes the wording, but that depends on how you feel about Ai stuff.
And finally, you can give yourself permission to go on a spicy rant! But again, we’re repurposing and not writing a whole new thing, so tread carefully there.
And the final category of repurposing that I’d like to leave you with is:
Cross Pollinating, which basically means let your content pieces compliment each other!
So I know that I’ve run through a lot of categories and examples so far, but the nice thing is that if you follow this practice you’ll have plenty to work with. Possibly even too much, and you’ll soon realize how possible it is for people to post social media content every day.
Cross-pollinating is a way to keep that “ecosystem of content” processing itself and reproducing and ultimately making your life as a content creator a lot easier.
What I suggest for this is a little bit of prep work. You can start keeping running lists of content that you’ve created for each of your content buckets. And the reason for that is so that you can create resource pages. If someone just found out about you and they’re interested in your work, then it may be helpful for them to see a whole page on your website with all of the articles and content that’s related to that topic, right?
An added bonus is that these resource lists could even be used as a book outline someday, or at least the starting point of a book that you might want to write on that particular topic.
The resource pages you create are helpful for your readers and audience because they consolidate all the really good stuff you’ve created into one place.
So you can literally take any of the snippets and highlights you’ve already pulled from your blog and make your call-to-action to check out this other thing you wrote about that topic.
Some different ways to cross-pollinate:
Again, using a call to action that refers to another blog post
You can make polls and surveys that tie your different content buckets together
You can infuse some humor into it and pull all the different ways you’ve said the same thing over and over in multiple blogs and collage them together, and then call yourself out and say something like “In case it’s not obvious, I really think you should XYZ” or “In case it’s not obvious enough, I feel very strongly about XYZ”
But here’s the thing, resource pages are also super helpful for you as a content creator because you can reference them yourself. So if you’re doing your monthly sit-down, looking at analytics on Instagram or wherever you’re posting, and you see that a particular topic resonates well with your readers, you can make a strategic decision based on that and maybe bring more on that topic.
Of course, this depends on your strategy, because for some of you it may mean that you need to revamp your other topics and not double down on the most popular one. But whatever the case, a resource page is always helpful.
And that’s the process! Let me run down the categories one more time. They were:
Memes and Gifs
I will most likely be making this episode into a cheat sheet of some kind so if you want… DM me on Instagram to let me know you listened to this episode on long form content repurposing. And ask me for that cheat sheet so you don’t have to listen to this whole episode over again or scroll through my podcast transcript. My instagram handle is at rochelle sanch and I’d love to hear from you about this episode.
And that’s it! I hope I’ve managed to stir up some ideas for your repurposing routine with your content. If you’re not a long-winded long-form writer but you need help repurposing your own kind of content, let me know and I can probably break that down for you, too.
Ultimately I want to see your processes get easier so that you can concentrate on the things your brilliant CEO brain needs to focus on in your business.
And so that you can eventually build yourself a team and start scaling.
Truly, I am rooting for you over here. Please take care and I’ll see you next time!
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