Creative Content Recycling: Are You Wasting Your Garbage?

Creative Content Recycling: Are You Wasting Your Garbage?

Reader Comments (42)

  1. This is sure does make you rethink about all of the work I have done in the past. Now, I’m going to have a different perspective with content, pictures, or designs.

    Thanks for putting this out!

  2. I love it! I try to use everything I do, watch on television or movies, people I see in a grocery store, lessons I’ve learned from jobs I hate – all of it helps me create new posts. Now if I can just apply your knowledge and start creating ebooks – I’ll be well on my way.
    Thanks for sharing these highly insightful tips!

  3. If you do some field research, you always end up with a lot more material than just what you need for your project. Be it snippets from newspapers, pictures, URL’s etc. Collect these things in a archive. Sometimes you can use these to write an article on some history on a topic, timelines, good in depth insights which are sometimes timeless and so further. For good reporting this is essential to build a knowledge base about your topics. Key is, to make it searchable or make a system around it so you can reach into it much easier.

  4. That’s exactly what Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, did as a kid. He noticed convenience stores would rip the covers off comic books that didn’t sell, send them back to the distributor for a refund, and throw away the coverless comics. He took those books from the trash and started a library in his basement, charging kids to read them. He “recycled” his little sister as the librarian so he didn’t have to do the actual work, too. 🙂

  5. Blog posts easily can come from recycled material. When I write, my first draft will often be a long and rambling free-form thought fest. I allow myself this just to get the ideas down and out of my head. Then when editing comes, I might find that there are actually two or three different posts that can come from this one train of thought. So I cut it up into bite size chunks, refine one chunk for use now, and put the rest away for use later.

  6. I love the Henry Ford analogy. This just goes to show that we can be more “green” even with our virtual refuse.

    Something that may seem elementary to the person owning the business may be a big pile of valuable-ness to the person just starting out.

    Refuse from products that are sold can also be turned into free e-books and blog posts as well. You can even collect up all of your blog posts for a given time period and Pdf them together to form a giant how-to manual that you can give away or sell.

    People like EASY. Sure they can go through your blog and re-print each post, but if they can spend a few bucks to have the information on a silver platter, most will go for the easy route.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  7. Another angle on this is to not just recycle scrap content, but also to repackage activity that you were “just doing” for another purpose.

    Here’s what I mean: In addition to creating the Question the Rules course, Lee and I created the Question the Rules Mastermind — a separate mentorship program. One of the things we’re going to do for members of the Mastermind is to explain the process of how QTR (the course itself) was created and launched — because it was a very unconventional process, but one that even in pre-launch was VERY successful, and which generated a ton of great responses from people who joined early.

    We were going to create and launch QTR either way… but using the story and lessons learned in doing so (along with a lot of do’s and don’ts that would help ANY launch) as a way of repurposing that “we were going to do it anyway” activity is another good way to not waste your waste.

  8. By the standard definition, I’m not a pack rat. I don’t keep anything around, ever, that I don’t see a use for later which keeps my house clean… and my desk clean… and my car clean… etc.

    I only make one exception to that rule. I always keep whatever I do for projects organized into folders, including the stuff I didn’t use, with the intent of coming back to them later for ideas or as a resource for future projects.

    What I really took from this article is not just recycling stuff like I’ve been doing to continue with the same old thing, but to find a new use for the stuff I have set aside, to find something new that adds value to my current offerings and products.

    Great post, thanks.

  9. I call it my “compost heap,” I’ve got clips and snippets that didn’t get used, tangents that weren’t quite on for the main deal. But this takes that idea further and gives me some new stuff to chew on, it’s very cool. Thanks guys. 🙂

  10. Talking to a business analyst friend the other day provoked a discussion about a similar thing.

    He said that any resources put into development are too much, and if you aren’t selling things that you already have then your investment is too high to recoup within an acceptable timeframe.

    While I think there is something to be said for long term development projects for the sake of development (i.e. without funding/investors) I agree and see the recycling efforts of this blog to support a very similar philosophy.

  11. The “bonus” DVD – ha! Great point about repackaging the leftovers.

    I’d love to recycle my blog extras, but sometimes swimming through yesterday’s trash feels more like DOUBLE work.

    What’s the best way to store leftovers ’til you’re ready to cook again?

  12. It never ceases to amaze me how often you write or read something and then find a post that applies to the topic-cue the Twilight Zone music, please. 🙂

    I wrote an article a year ago that never got published as the site lost funding (don’t you just hate that?)

    I literally just sent that same article in response to an ad. It was a perfect fit and I thought, “Note to self-see what other “old” stuff you have.”

    But, alas, Copyblogger thought of it 1st-again! Great ideas here. Keep ’em coming.

  13. I love Sonia’s use of compost heap. I live in a big city and don’t have a yard but really wanted to compost. A local guy started a business where he gives us composting buckets, picks them up weekly, and then sells the compost to a farm. He’s started a great side business with our food waste.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ways to re-use content and this article was perfect timing for me.

  14. Look who’s all grown up.

    Rework is an amazing book. Speed up your time to market, etc.

    The funny thing is that Rework convinced me that I didn’t need basecamp/projectpath. That software is cumbersome and it keeps me from being in touch with my clients.

    Anyway, good times, thanks.

  15. Hey you guys,
    since subscribing to this blog i have learnt so much about so many aspects of writing and online marketing in general that really,you don’t need to go anywhere else,its all here.
    Keep sharing the goldmine.
    From one appreciative business owner,
    regards Ron

  16. I really like this idea. As a songwriter, I often recycle lyric lines I scrap from one song to inspire a new song. But I never thought of applying the same recycling strategy as content for blogging! Thanks for opening up new ideas 🙂

  17. You won’t read this Johnny, because I know you don’t follow the rules…but love the idea of keeping the scraps around.

    Might start pasting them into evernote from here on out.

  18. This a great concept, in my business one the biggest barriers people come up against is creating content, But I always teach them them someones waist is another inspiration!

    Great Piece

  19. HAHAHA Nathan, I’m totally calling you on saying I wouldn’t read it.

    You’ve confused my irresponsibility with my need for written praise. Following comments is one of those things that happens when the second one wins.

  20. Yes- ‘Rework’ is a Must read for ANY Imer- and those slackers that always try to think of ways to be creatively lazy! ( Not me..I’m just sayin’…!!)

    Ironic to see comments re not using Basecamp (the authors project management tool) after reading the book.
    Certainly,’Rebels Without A Pause’ will love this.. ( Lee & Johnny know who you are).
    Another great Post Copybloggers- Thank you!

  21. I typically “recycle” by posting odds and ends to various other platforms.

    That super duper paragraph exactly irrelevant to my thesis? Cut, email to Posterous.

    The screenshot that just wouldn’t fit? Tumblr.

    And so on.

  22. I wish these comments were threaded… adding to my previous… pushing out content for recycling is half of it. The other half is when it comes back reassembled and repackaged.

  23. I have found this especially true for my blog posts. Some days, I end up with the beginnings of at least 2 more blog posts that stem from the “cast offs” from other posts I’ve written.

  24. It makes sense recycling articles as new angles to the same issues could be made available for readers. Business comes with new lessons each day so what was written yesterday could be made more illuminating today.

This article's comments are closed.