Biz Hacks: How To Repurpose Your Blog Content Like A Pro

By Brogan Micallef

Creating content for your biz can feel like a never-ending hamster wheel. You’re writing and producing more and more (and more!) blog posts, newsletters, social media posts, ebooks, webinars, trainings and course materials than you can throw a green smoothie at.

And sheesh. It’s enough to drive a girl crazy.

What if, instead, you made better use of what you already have? Let me introduce you to content repurposing.

You may have heard of content repurposing before. And maybe you feel like you shouldn’t have to repurpose your content (because you’re an entrepreneur right? A creative! You have plenty of ideas). Maybe you feel like repurposing your content is boring. Or you just don’t know where to start...

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to make things harder than they need to be. There’s enough going on in your business without you having to create content 24/7. (And as much as I love content, even I don’t want to do that!)

How to repurpose when you're a creative (+ make it fun rather than creativity-and-soul-sucking)

1.    Reframe your mindset

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” - Henry Ford

The longer I’m in business, the more I realise how powerful the stories we tell ourselves are. What’s going on in our heads has a huge effect on the way we think about ourselves, our work, and what’s possible for our business.

That means you need to decide that it’s a good idea for you to repurpose content. If you tell yourself it’s boring, or that you hate it, or that it feels wrong, then that’s exactly what you’ll believe!

2.    Style it up
The beauty of content repurposing is that there’s no one way to do it. This is all about doing content your way. Let’s say you’ve written a blog post. How else can you get that idea, thought, topic or message out to more people? Get creative. You could:

  • Turn it into a podcast episode.
  • Film a video.
  • Produce an ebook.
  • Launch a course.
  • Run an email challenge.
  • Host a webinar or live training.
  • Create a fun social media campaign (hashtag included).
  • Make a new product for your shop (digital or physical).
  • Write a poem.
  • Craft a love letter for your peeps.
  • Design your own greeting cards. Get them printed and then snail mail them.
  • Produce a set of inspirational quote posters.
  • Present at a local meet-up.
  • Present at a conference.
  • Sketch a cartoon.
  • All of the above!

Use this list to help you brainstorm ideas. Get out a piece of paper and pen, start a mind map and let your imagination run wild. Remember point 1: our mindset is the only limiting factor in this process. Check in with yourself and take note of the language you’re using. Then get back to brainstorming.

Am I doing this right?  Short answer? Yes. Yes, you are. This is your business. And this is your content.

If it gets you feeling super pumped and is valuable to your audience, then yes, you’re doing it right. There’s no need to second guess yourself, lady. And now I’ll let you in on a secret...

Since I wanted to show you just how simple content repurposing can be, I tried a little experiment. This very post you’re reading is an example of repurposed content. It’s a fusion of content from this post and this post, with some restyling and updated content for a new twist.

See? It doesn’t have to be hard.

You’re already creating epic content for your peeps. Content repurposing is simply a way to get more traction from the content you create.

Keep it simple. Have fun with it.  And always remember: your message matters.

Brogan Micallef is a Content-Lovin’, Science + Sci-Fi Obsessed, Jane-Austen fangirl and proud of it! She helps entrepreneurs get their message out to those who need it most (minus the time-sucking procrastination, self-sabotage and comparisonitis). Through her 1:1 services, digital products, blog + her free Facebook Mastermind, she's here to remind you that when it comes to content, connection beats attention. (Because communication isn't leaving 2 emojis on Instagram or sending salesy PMs. Your message is worth more than that.) Learn how to get your message to those who need it most (and have a blast doing it) with a free resource library at broganmicallef.com.

The 3 Step System for Re-Purposing Your Blogs For A Book

By Angela Meer

The other day I was helping my mom clean out her garage for an upcoming move. We were in the process of creating three piles from the contents of the garage: trash, recycle and keep. It was quite the task. There were dozens of boxes stacked higher than my head, old plastic containers that she had bought to preserve our memories as we began to grow up and move onto lives of our own.

One by one we began to look through these boxes. We found old trophies my brother had won in little league, pictures of me climbing the tree at our old house, but one thing in particular really caught my eye…my old notes from high school.

I grew up right before cell phones were a common sight in classrooms and my best friend and I would exchange intricately folded notes between class. Notes about boys and boredom and what we would do that weekend, but mostly about boys. I began to read the notes one-by- one, laughing at the contents and grinning at memories long forgotten. But something else appeared on those faded notes that no one expected to see there, least of all me.

Wisdom.

The non-jaded, altruistic, naïve and innocent wisdom that I often read was something to marvel at. Here I was, barely sixteen, waxing on about the state of the world and what I was going to do to fix it. I had pretty amazing ideas. I had really romantic thoughts. I had belief systems that, if I dug down deep enough, still existed in my thirty-something year old soul.

I came home with those notes and they began to act as a muse to my older self. I found myself writing the most beautiful things – things I eventually put in my book. The book writing world has really changed. And for bloggers, journal writers and note-keepers, like me, that’s really good news. With the rise of self-publishing, worldwide distribution and new categories designed to appeal to a wider audience, those of us who thought we had to write a novel-length book are now happily surprised.

One of Amazon’s readily consumed book categories is something called “short reads.” In this category they list books that come in under 45, 30 and even 15 minutes of read time. This means that bloggers could pull together 2-6 related blog posts and have a book on your hands. I work with bloggers all the time who say, “Oh I can write a short blog, but a book is too much.” When I point this great news out to them, we usually can get their book on Amazon within 30 days.

Our old blog posts, journal entries, and yes even high school notes, they can all be re-purposed to serve as a book, if you know the right steps for organizing them.

Here are my best tips for bloggers wanting to turn published author:

1. Look back at the blog posts that got you the most attention in the form of likes, shares and page views. Using this data will help you determine which topic or stories your readership wants you to expand upon. Use these blogs as the basis for the book topic.

2. Collect all the blog posts, journals or notes that relate to this topic. Begin to look for sequences, either in time or in action, to build the premise of your book. For example: if your blog post about raising a child with ADD got the most attention, consider utilizing old journal entries before you had a diagnosis for your child. Let those journal entries, with the emotional expedition and the raw concern, serve as a vehicle for getting your story onto paper. Then, in a time-based sequence, keep collecting anything you wrote about the journey from the beginning to the end. If your topic isn’t a story, but instructional in nature, begin to lay out the steps to your topic, but don’t forget to use stories sprinkled throughout.

3. Begin to tie these blog posts, journal entries and notes together in a cohesive fashion. Fill in the blanks where necessary. Eliminate and cut out topics and themes that don’t relate. Now that books are routinely shorter in size, bloggers can achieve author status with, sometimes, less than a day’s work. Don’t let the old book writing models prevent you from opening the door to the title of author. And don’t let the wisdom of yesteryears fall into old boxes in mom’s garage.

Once upon a time there was a girl who was loved but lived in a trailer park. She knew that someday she was supposed to give her gifts to a world that was rich, but not satisfied. Her body was broken by palsy, and a little crooked, and her parents couldn’t afford braces for her teeth. But because she was loved, she made it her mission to teach, to expand, to heal and to return love.

Angela Meer's story starts from a place of vulnerability, a place of joy, a place of death resulting in hope. Her work has appeared with MTV News, the Associated Press and has been tweeted on the New York Times Square billboard. She is the author of “Storytelling for Creative Entrepreneurs” and jokes that she is a wine-drinking, storytelling missionary to the masses. Just last week she submitted her thesis for a Master’s Degree in Writing. Angela lives in rural southern Oregon where she writes, teaches and wrestles with cats. Her husband feeds her coffee and props her eyelids open so they can engage with the outside world and be social…sometimes.

How To Be a Shameless Promoter Without Inducing Eye Rolls

In an era of Kardashians and Kanyes, selfies and borderline obnoxious status updates, it seems like humility is a lost virtue. (RIP, modesty: it’s been real.)

Makes sense, right? Well, kinda. In these Tinder slash Twitter slash Instagram times, it’s all about showcasing the best of you with the best visual and in as few characters as possible. It’s also easier to have a certain arrogance when posting on social media, because you literally have no filter (not to worry, by “no filter” I mean no reservations).

And even if it means shouting your accomplishments from the rooftops (or in Yeezy’s case, with consecutive ALL CAPS TWEETS), promoting yourself is necessary because if you’re not going to do it, no one else will do it for you.  The trouble is, being boastful and plugging yourself constantly on social media and in person can get annoying AF to your audience -- but being humble might cause you to miss out on opportunities. And that’s no fun.

It’s a case of “don’t hate the playa, hate the game.”  And it is, indeed, a game. So play by the rules, promote yourself with poise and come out a winner with these 5 tips:

 

SHOW, DON'T TELLWhether you’re selling merchandise or your personal brand, hard facts speak volumes. So instead of posting that “You’re the best PR person in the city” on Facebook, opt for sharing photos of recent sold-out events you’ve organized. LinkedIn is the ideal platform for sharing news coverage about you, awards you might have received or listing recent achievements. Save Twitter as a playground for “quick hits,” such as any media coverage about you, recent articles you’ve written, or upcoming conferences you are speaking at, for example.

You can also leverage platforms like Levo to showcase your experience and your portfolio. Levo is an awesome website for creating personal profiles, where you can “tell your story” by adding all the cool projects you’ve worked on and connecting with your network.  

Tip: Focus on the “why?” So when listing your accomplishments, always demonstrate the value added to your potential clients and why you stand out from the competition. For example, if you’re a publicist, post your client’s media coverage and showcase the buzz your client’s product is receiving. 

 

GIVE PROPSShouting out to people on your team, and anyone who helped you “make it happen,” is critical. For starters, the ability to give credit is a huge step toward being a successful manager, leader or entrepreneur.

The magic of paying it forward on social media is also a key component to earning social capital. So if someone in your network tweets about an accomplishment, “heart” it and comment with a “Slay, girl. Slay!” (Feel free to insert relevant emojis.)

Go a step further and tweet about a female entrepreneur you know who’s killing it in her field, just to spread some love.

Giving credit to others on social media can even work with strangers, not only personal connections. They will appreciate the kindness and many people might even return the favor. It’s all about social media karma!

BE A CONNECTOR
Knowing how to connect people to business opportunities or jobs is an amazing skill: it proves that you’re resourceful and have a vast network. If you’re the person in your squad who has this skill, use it! Your reputation as a master connector of people and ideas will spread -- and it’s not something you need to shout from the rooftops either. Your clout will be clear.

AVOID CORPORATE JARGON
One of my personal pet peeves is when people spew corporate buzzwords in presentations and on their resumes, thinking it makes them sound credible. It goes something like this: “I suggest we deep dive into some blue sky thinking that's high level so we can take a holistic approach.” It makes you sound like a robot, and more importantly, it takes away all authenticity. (More on this in a minute.)

While it’s key to sound savvy and relevant in your posts and social media presence, it’s also important to sound genuine. And yes, you might think you sound real smart with your corporate buzzwords, but they induce all kinds of eye rolls in my books.

 

BE AUTHENTICAuthenticity is the most important part of knowing how to promote yourself with class. Not to get all Dr. Seuss on you guys, but no matter how you’re hustling, there’s a key mantra to keep in mind: no one else is YOUer than YOU. Others might have your skills and your experience, but no one else has your brand DNA: you know, all the things that make you, well, you.

Leandra Medine a.k.a. the Man Repeller is a great example of someone who has stayed true to herself. Her best-selling book Seeking Love. Finding Overalls and Man Repeller blog and brand are direct reflections of her personality, so when she promotes herself, she still seems real and slightly self-deprecating. This is part of her shtick and what has helped her gain celeb status.

So when speaking about yourself and promoting your recent wins, always make sure to stay true to your brand and personality. Authenticity is super valued in this era, so use it to your advantage. 

 

THE RECAPThe truth is, you need to be boastful, confident and plug yourself constantly. Because if you don’t tell your story, someone else will. And in a sea of other bloggers / freelancers / creatives / career women / entrepreneurs, etc., standing out is critical to your success.

Now go forth and self-promote!

This post originally appeared on Create + Cultivate. Karin Eldor is a coffee-addicted copywriter, with a long-time love for all things pop culture, fashion and tech. Ever since she got her first issues of YM (remember that one?) and Seventeen in the mail, she was hooked on the world of editorial content. After earning her Communications degree, she spent 6 years honing her craft as a Senior Editor for AskMen.com. More recently, Karin enjoyed gramming and strategizing as Social Media Manager at ALDO. Today, she is Chief Content Writer at 818 Agency and a social media consultant.  

5 Must Know Tips for Taking Better Blog Photos

By Kimberly Murray

Everywhere I look it seems that someone is posting a beautiful picture online. Have you noticed that, too? Whether on Instagram, Pinterest, or your blog, visual images are key to communicating to people more about yourself, your brand, and/or your products and services. For bloggers, high-quality visual images are essential to securing the best sponsored post opportunities with the brands that you love. For businesses that sell a product, they are crucial to showing how your product looks or works. Many creatives choose to hire a professional photographer to create images for their visual marketing strategy. However, you may want to create them yourself. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure that your photos stand out.

1. Learn Your Camera
Regardless of the type of camera you are using (e.g., DSLR, point-and- shoot, cell phone), it is important to know all of the features that are possible to adjust. Sure, you can take a decent photo with your camera on “auto,” but you have so many more options if you learn to adjust some of the manual features. Instead of having the camera guess the type of look you are trying to achieve, you have control over whether you want everything in focus, the background blurred, a really bright image, etc.

Sometimes, when your camera is on “auto,” the resulting image will be underexposed or too dark. You might think to yourself, “I can just fix it in photoshop.” But, you shouldn’t have to. Take time to learn your camera settings so that you can get it right “in camera.” If you aren’t ready to jump right into full manual mode, many cameras have in-between settings, where you adjust one component, such as the aperture or f-stop (which controls the amount of blur in your photos), and the camera automatically adjusts the other settings for you.

2. Turn Out the Lights
After learning your camera, the number one thing you can do to improve the quality of your photos is to turn out the lights. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true. In my opinion, natural light is the best way to go! (Unless, of course, you have an awesome studio lighting set-up. In which case, you probably wouldn’t be reading these tips.) When I am at home, I take my photos near the windows in the mid- to late-afternoon, which is when my living room gets the best light. If I am in a cafe or restaurant and know that I want to snap a picture with my cell phone to post to Instagram, I always choose a seat by the window.

Turning out the lights applies to shoots outdoors, too. If you do “outfit of the day” posts, try taking your next photo in the shade and avoid the urge to use your pop-up flash. This creates an image with nice, even lighting. If you want to try that hazy or sun flare look, then stand with your back to the sun and have someone take a photo of you. This is referred to as a backlit photo.

3. Study Your Surroundings
Spend a day studying the light in your home. Turn out the lights and see which rooms get the most light and at what time of day. What if none of the rooms get ample light? Take your setup outdoors. Mother nature provides the best light there is! If you opt to stay indoors, shoot in the rooms that you’ve learned get the best light. Hey, no one needs to know that you shot images for your latest recipe post in the bathroom…unless of course, you have tell-tale signs in the background. Speaking of which, once you decide on where you want to shoot, take a moment to make sure that there is nothing distracting in the frame. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to upload your image to your blog or website only to discover that you forgot to remove that dirty mug. Finally, it is wise to look around and make sure that there is nothing nearby that is creating a color cast (or unintentional tint) in your image. For example, if you are trying to achieve a bright image with lots of neutral or light tones and there is a bright pink object nearby (but out of the frame), that pink color might create a tint to your otherwise neutral scene.

4. Buy White and Black Foam Core
Most craft stores sell foam core in white or black. They can double as both backgrounds and objects to reflect or detract light. When I’m shooting an image and I notice that the shadows are a little deeper than I’d like, I prop up a piece of white foam core next to the setup (and opposite the window) to reflect light back into the scene and lighten or remove the shadows. Anything white or silver will do the trick…a white sheet of paper, a white pillowcase, or a piece of aluminum foil wrapped around cardboard. The opposite is true with black foam core. I use it when I want to create more shadows.

5. Experiment with Angles and Aperture
Once you’ve learned to adjust your camera settings, found the best light, removed distracting elements, and set up your scene, it is time to take the picture. If you are using a digital camera or cell phone, there are an endless number of exposures you can take. So, don’t be afraid to snap away! Typically, I either shoot my images straight on, slightly above the scene at an angle, and directly overhead (oftentimes called the “bird’s eye view”). Which angle I choose depends on what I want to highlight. The angle also affects what aperture or f-stop I choose. (Again, the aperture dictates whether some aspect of the photo is blurry or whether everything is in focus. It is adjusted by changing your f-stop.) When I take photos straight on, I almost always blur part of the background to make the main focus of the image stand out. I achieve this by choosing a smaller f-stop, such as f/2.8 or f/2.2. For extreme blur, some lenses go down to f/1.2. I also achieve this by moving whatever I want in focus away from the objects in the background and closer to my camera lens. The closer they are to the objects in the background, the more everything will appear in focus. When I shoot at an angle, I typically want to focus on the object in front and show the other objects in back, but slightly out of focus. When I shoot from above, as I do with flatlays, I always shoot at a higher f-stop (e.g., f/16) so that everything is sharply in focus. In general, if you want to show height, such as with a stack of cookies, you will choose to shoot straight on or slightly above at an angle. If you are shooting something flat (e.g., pizza, invitation suites, what’s in your bag), you will likely choose to shoot from above.

Those are some of my top tips for taking better photos for your blog or website. With a little bit of practice and experimentation, you can create images that make your brand stand out. How will you use these tips for your next photo project?

Kimberly Murray is a product, lifestyle and portrait photographer. She works with creatives to enhance their visual marketing strategies prior to their launch and throughout the life of their businesses. She also collaborates with bloggers on special projects. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and at Kimberly Murray.

Free Valentine's Day Cards For Bloggers

Popping in with a little gift before Valentine’s Day because well...we love to share the love!

Last year we teamed up with Emma Kate Codrington to create a little something special for our blogging babes. The result? Gorgeous hand-lettered Valentine's Day cards from us to you.

They were such a huge hit that I wanted to offer them again - completely free of charge of course. Grab them below!

Free Cards
Free Valentines Day Cards