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The Complete Guide to Content Repurposing

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The Complete Guide to Content Repurposing


Your content is not “one and done” when published.

You’ve spent so much time creating that piece of content. So it makes sense to get as much mileage as you can out of each piece you create.

How do you do that? Content repurposing.

In this post, you’ll learn the following:

What is content repurposing?

Content repurposing is when you find a new use for all or parts of your existing content. It usually involves changing up the format of the content, e.g., from a video to a blog post.

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Why should you repurpose content?

Here are three reasons why you should repurpose your content:

1. It’s efficient

You don’t always have to create every piece of content from scratch. Not only is it time-consuming, but it also makes it difficult to scale up your content creation.

Instead, take advantage of what you’ve already created. You’ve put in the hard work to create that piece of content, so make full use of it.

Remix and reformat it for different channels.

2. It allows you to reach audiences who prefer different formats

We all have different tastes.

There are some people who prefer reading. Others prefer watching, while the rest prefer listening.

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Converting your content into different formats allows you to reach these different sets of audiences.

3. It gives your existing content a new lease of life

In 2017, we published this post on how long it takes to rank on Google. Two years later, we turned it into a Twitter thread:

We didn’t rerun the study. Neither did we update nor refresh the content. Nothing was changed. But it regained new life when it was turned into a Twitter thread.

Content discovery is a perpetual problem. If your posts are not ranking on Google, the chances of them being “rediscovered” are low. But they’re probably still good pieces of content. They’re just under-discovered.

So when you turn your content into new formats on other platforms, you help other people rediscover your older content.

Which content should you repurpose?

There is no “one piece of content” you must repurpose. It eventually depends on your goals and strategy.

However, content repurposing does require some work. It’s not a one-to-one conversion—you have to expect to do some rewriting or editing so that the content fits the new format and platform.

Expert “repurposers” like GaryVee have a team behind them. They’re not going about it alone. That also means that if you are doing it alone, you will not be able to repurpose every single piece of content.

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Translation: You need to prioritize.

A good way to do this is to look at what the platform wants and repurpose content specifically for it. For example, suppose you want to repurpose one of your blog posts into a YouTube video.

Rather than choosing at will, find out what topics people are searching for on YouTube. Then find the best-fit blog post for that topic and repurpose it accordingly. We’ll go into more detail on how to do so shortly.

Alternatively, you can simply find your best-performing pieces and repurpose them. After all, if they’re doing well on one channel, there is a higher probability they’ll also do well on another.

This can be as simple as seeing which of your videos on YouTube have the most views:

Two rows of Ahrefs' YouTube videos in grid format

You can also enter your website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and go to the Top pages report to see which of your pages get the most search traffic:

List of URLs with corresponding data on traffic and value

Content repurposing ideas

Ready to repurpose your content? Here are a few ideas you can consider:

1. Turn your blog post into a video (and vice versa)

We often do this at Ahrefs. For example, our blog post on influencer marketing was repurposed into a video.

Excerpt of Ahrefs' YouTube video and Ahrefs' blog article on influencer marketing

This is bidirectional. We also turn our videos into blog posts. For example, this blog post on affiliate marketing was created using content in our video.

As mentioned earlier, this is not done randomly. To figure out which content we should repurpose, we first find out which topics people are searching for. Here’s how we do it for YouTube:

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  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Select YouTube
  3. Enter a few relevant keywords (e.g., SEO, marketing, etc)
  4. Go to the Matching terms report

List of keywords with corresponding data on volume and GV

Eyeball the report and see if there are any topics that match an existing blog post you have. For example, we can see that the term “influencer marketing” gets around 1,500 monthly searches on YouTube—exactly the reason why we repurposed the blog post into a video.

Excerpt of list of keywords showing the keyword "influencer marketing" gets quite a bit of monthly searches on YouTube

If you’re doing it the other way around—turning a video into a blog post—then follow the same steps but switch the search engine to Google.

Search engine changed to "Google" in search bar

Likewise, look through the report and see if there are any topics that match an existing video.

2. Repurpose your videos into a course

Most of your content is probably published chronologically. But chronology is not a great way to consume content.

So why not organize pieces of content in a logical manner and turn them into a course?

For example, our SEO training course is a series of YouTube videos neatly arranged into multiple modules.

Table of contents of the various modules and courses

Likewise, our “how to use Ahrefs” course is made up of in-app tutorials that already exist within our reports.

How do you know what courses to create? Here’s how:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter a few relevant keywords (e.g., SEO, marketing, etc)
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
  4. In the Include box, enter terms like “course,” “academy,” “training,” etc
  5. Choose Any word
List of keywords with corresponding data like KD, volume, etc

Look through the report and see if there are any courses you can create by repurposing your content.

3. Turn your blog posts into a book

What’s the written version of a course? A book!

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Likewise, you can compile and organize your blog posts and turn them into a book. This can live on your site simply as an ebook. Or you can even go big and publish it as an actual paperback.

This is what CoSchedule did.

Book cover of "How To Get Started With Agile Marketing And Do Better Work"

The issue, however, is that book discovery has not kept up with the times. So even after repurposing, you’ll need to promote your book.

One way to do this is to find sites that collate lists of the best books in your niche and get your book mentioned.

Here’s how to find these sites:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Search for “best [topic] books”
  3. Set the Live/Broken filter to Live only (you want to be included, so the page needs to be live)
  4. Check One page per domain (you don’t need to reach out to the same site more than once)
  5. Sort the results by Page traffic to prioritize your efforts
Content Explorer search results with filters applied

Go through the list and see if your book is a good fit for any of these pages.

4. Turn your videos into multiple short-form videos

With the popularity of TikTok, short-form videos are a rising format. Even YouTube is getting in on the game with #shorts.

One row of YouTube Shorts in grid format

If you have an existing video, it makes perfect sense to divide and turn it into multiple shorter videos. You can then republish them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram Reels, or even as YouTube shorts or TikTok videos.

For example, this 1 ½ minute video on Twitter was originally part of a longer YouTube video we published.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7PzHO40bOU

5. Turn your blog posts into guest posts

We spend quite a bit of time researching each blog post. Some posts are so comprehensive that they span a few chapters:

List of chapters on link building

Each chapter can easily be a blog post on its own.

So here’s the idea: Why not turn each of these chapters into a guest post for other sites? Not only is it efficient—you’ve done the research after all—but you also get additional exposure, referral traffic and, better, a link back to your own site. (And links are an important ranking factor for ranking higher on Google.)

We call this concept the “Splintering Technique”:

  1. Write an incredible, detailed piece of content for your blog
  2. Break it into “splinters” and submit each one as a guest article to another blog
On left, long list of paper partially chopped up. In the middle, an axe. On right, three separate pieces of paper

You can even go further by changing the perspective for each topic. For example, Chapter 2 on “how to build links” can easily be transformed into multiple blog posts:

  • How to build links for startups
  • How to build links for nonprofits
  • How to build links for ecommerce businesses
  • How to build links for local businesses

And so on.

We term this the “Perspective Technique”:

Topic "future of link building for" branches out to five different entities

This concept is not “new.” It’s used extensively in the world of book publishing. See, for example, the books written by business guru Eliyahu Goldratt:

List of business novels on a Wiki page

It’s basically Eliyahu’s famous Theory of Constraints model applied to different perspectives.

With a bunch of content you can “splinter” off, how do you find sites you can pitch to? Here’s how:

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  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Search for terms relevant to your niche (e.g., keto)

Then, set these filters:

  1. Check One page per domain 
  2. Check Exclude subdomains
  3. Check Exclude homepages
  4. Set Live/Broken filter to Only live
  5. Language filter to English (or language you write in)
Content Explorer search results with filters applied

If the list is still too large to manage, you can set more filters (e.g., Domain Rating) to narrow it down to the best sites.

Since these sites cover topics similar to yours, they’re likely to accept your guest post pitch. Find the website owner’s or editor’s email, reach out, and pitch them your topics.

Recommended reading: Guest Blogging for SEO: How to Build High-Quality Links at Scale

6. Turn your blog post into Twitter threads

Every time we publish a post, we encourage each individual author to repurpose their content into a Twitter thread.

As you can see, they get a ton of traction.

You can turn the entire blog post or parts of it into a thread. For example, this thread is from a section of our blog post on technical SEO:

Don’t limit yourself to blog posts. Videos, podcasts, etc.,—they’re all Twitter thread-worthy material.

How do you write a great thread? Let’s get meta and learn from creators on Twitter themselves:

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7. Turn blog posts/videos/existing content into Quora answers

A few years ago, I started actively answering questions on Quora. In the process, I’ve gained over a million views.

Excerpt of SQ's Quora profile

But most of my answers were not generated from scratch. Instead, I repurposed them from our existing content.

How do you find the right questions to answer? Here’s how:

  1. Enter quora.com into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Go to the Top pages report
  3. In the Include box, enter topics relevant to your content
List of page URLs with corresponding data on traffic, keywords, etc

You’ll see a list of questions that are actually ranking on Google. So by answering these questions, you can get traffic from both Google and Quora.

Pick out those that you can repurpose content for and answer them.

Recommended reading: Quora Marketing: ~1 Million Views Generated. Here’s How to Replicate Our Success

8. Turn your content into Reddit posts

Marketers tend to skip out on Reddit because of the community’s intense hatred for anything promotional. But Reddit is still a social network—and social networks need content to thrive.

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That means marketers are welcome, as long as the content they post is helpful and valuable.

One way to do this is to publish a tl;dr version of your content and strip away all internal and external links. Only at the end of your post do you leave a link back to your original piece of content.

That’s what our chief marketing officer, Tim Soulo, recently did on the r/bigseo subreddit.

Tim's post about link building on r/bigseo

With 74 upvotes and a Silver award, it was pretty well received.

Recommended reading: Reddit Marketing: How to Self Promote on Reddit and Get More Traffic

9. Reuse bits and pieces of your existing content as social media posts

At Ahrefs, we like to create custom images that illustrate certain concepts in our content. Not surprisingly, we also repurpose them on our social media accounts:

Ahrefs' dot plot graph featured in a LinkedIn post

Go through your content. Each tip, idea, solution, lesson, custom image, or takeaway in your content can be extracted and reused as a standalone post on social media.

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Don’t waste it.

Final thoughts

Most people repurpose their content after it has been published. But content repurposing, like content promotion, has to be baked into the creation process.

For content promotion, that means thinking about how you want to promote your content before you begin creating it. Likewise, for content repurposing, you have to think about how you want to repurpose your content before you create it.

Then, while you’re creating the content, you’re also repurposing it at the same time. That way, it’s not a mad dash after publication. Rather, your repurposed content can be launched together with your published content—and help distribute it further.

Ryan McCready, head of content marketing at Foundation Inc., calls this “active repurposing.” I recommend reading this post to see how he puts it into action.

Any questions or comments about content repurposing? Let me know on Twitter.





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SEO

Is RankBrain A Ranking Factor In Google Search?

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Is RankBrain A Ranking Factor In Google Search?

Google’s understanding of human language is made possible by several breakthrough technologies in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Launched in 2015, RankBrain was the first of said breakthroughs. It allowed Google to return results for queries with no previous record of searches.

RankBrain’s functionality has evolved since its initial introduction. It now allows Google’s algorithms to do something that humans do instinctively: relate words to real-world concepts.

In the days before RankBrain, Google interpreted words literally. It didn’t understand synonyms or figurative meanings.

That limited both the quality and quantity of search results Google could provide.

The ability to interpret what humans mean when they write queries in natural language marked a significant milestone for Google Search.

RankBrain does more than understand language; if you need a hint at its other function, it’s in the name: Rank.

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In this article, we’ll investigate the claims around RankBrain as a ranking factor, providing clarity on what RankBrain is and how it impacts search results.

[Learn More:] The Complete Guide To Google Ranking Factors

The Claim: RankBrain As A Ranking Factor

RankBrain is a technology that seems to impact how Google returns search results.

Due to its association with search, many people consider RankBrain a ranking factor.

Without knowing what “RankBrain” means, people new to SEO may assume it refers to a technology Google uses to rank search results.

That assumption isn’t far off, but not every component of Google’s search algorithm is a ranking factor in and of itself.

The following section goes over what Google designed RankBrain to do and how it assists with answering queries.

The Evidence: Is RankBrain A Ranking Factor?

RankBrain is an artificial intelligence (AI) system introduced in 2015 to help Google return results for queries without previous search data.

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That changed sometime between the spring of 2015 and 2016. Google announced an update to RankBrain, which integrated AI into all queries.

Wired revealed this information in an article that notes Google isn’t clear on how RankBrain improves all queries, but it does affect rankings.

From Wired:

“Google is characteristically fuzzy on exactly how it improves search (something to do with the long tail? Better interpretation of ambiguous requests?) but [Google engineer Jeff Dean] says that RankBrain is ‘involved in every query,’ and affects the actual rankings ‘probably not in every query but in a lot of queries.’”

What differentiates RankBrain from other Google algorithms is its ability to learn how to answer more ambiguous queries.

As Google’s Gary Illyes explains, the algorithm makes educated guesses at what a user would likely click on for a never-before-seen query.

“RankBrain is a PR-sexy machine learning ranking component that uses historical search data to predict what would a user most likely click on for a previously unseen query.”

RankBrain allows Google to solve problems it used to run into with traditional algorithms.

Contrary to popular theories about how RankBrain works, it does not use data gathered from users’ interactions with a webpage.

RankBrain relies more on data gathered from users’ interactions with search results.

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Illyes provides further clarity:

“It is a really cool piece of engineering that saved our butts countless times whenever traditional algos were like, e.g. “oh look a “not” in the query string! let’s ignore the hell out of it!”, but it’s generally just relying on (sometimes) months old data about what happened on the results page itself, not on the landing page.”

In short – RankBrain is a machine learning system that allows Google’s search algorithm to deliver more relevant results.

RankBrain accomplishes this through an improved understanding of ambiguous queries and long-tail keywords.

RankBrain uses data gathered from users’ interactions with search results to predict which pages will likely get clicked on for a brand new search query.

Practical Example From Google’s Vice President of Search

In addition to returning results for ambiguous and never-before-seen queries, RankBrain is capable of connecting words to concepts.

Pandu Nayak, Google’s Vice President of Search, explains how this works with an example of a query that contains the phrase “food chain.”

“Food chain” can refer to organisms in an ecosystem (literal meaning), or it can refer to a hierarchy of people (figurative meaning).

As Nayak states, RankBrain helps Google determine the intended meaning of words based on how a searcher uses them in a query:

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“For example, if you search for ‘what’s the title of the consumer at the highest level of a food chain,’ our systems learn from seeing those words on various pages that the concept of a food chain may have to do with animals, and not human consumers.

By understanding and matching these words to their related concepts, RankBrain understands that you’re looking for what’s commonly referred to as an “apex predator.”

Thanks to this understanding, Nayak confirms, RankBrain can decide the best order for top search results by ranking them according to relevance.

[Ebook Download:] Ranking Factors: Fact Or Fiction 2nd Edition

Our Verdict: RankBrain Is A Confirmed Ranking Factor

Google has confirmed that RankBrain is used to rank search results and is involved in all queries.

In 2016, Andrey Lipattsev, a Google Search Quality Senior Strategist, said RankBrain was one of the three most important ranking signals (along with content and links).

RankBrain continues to play an essential role in search results today.

RankBrain differs from traditional ranking factors in that there’s not an obvious way to actively optimize for it.

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How do you optimize for ambiguous keywords or queries that no one’s ever entered into Google?

The only option is to provide Google with as much information about a page as possible, which site owners should do anyway if they create holistic content for users.

Illyes was asked this question once and replied with a similar sentiment:

“you optimize your content for users and thus for RankBrain. that hasn’t changed”

Search Engine Journal VIP Contributor Dave Davies provides more advanced tips for communicating information to Google regarding different entities on a page in A Complete Guide To The Google RankBrain Algorithm.


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

Ranking Factors: Fact Or Fiction? Let’s Bust Some Myths! [Ebook]

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