If you are a content creator, and you aren't repurposing content, you are doing it wrong.
I suggest a 50/50 mix to start: Half of what you publish is original, and the other half is repurposed in some way. You make a short thing longer. You cut a longer thing into shorter articles. You change the format, or style, or voice. But the main message and the key points are essentially the same.
In this particular article, the way I am grouping the content (Repurpose, Respond, Round Up) is original content for me, but I've included some of the points and examples I am sharing here in other places. I will also expand on this article later to repurpose it for the book I am working on.
Look at what else is going on in the world around you, from media headlines, to your trade press and favorite bloggers, to what your friends are talking about on Facebook and Twitter. Look at what's coming up on your schedule. What can you write in response to what you see? Sometimes it can literally be a response (Jack said this on his blog, but here's what we think . . .). Other times, your response is simply inspired by something you've seen, even if it doesn't relate directly.
In last week's newsletter about not letting your fears dictate your marketing strategy, I was responding directly to an article in the New York Times. Last week, I also wrote a blog post called "How to Blog Daily" and that was inspired by a small snippet in a blog post by Katya Andresen.
Another quick way to create content is to round up a bunch of (often unrelated) ideas. You can do these in traditional round-up posts where you include several news blurbs, or anecdotes, or links you recommend. I think they work best when you can add a little perspective or value, such as how the individual items are related, or why you are sharing them. That approach is often called "curating content" in today's marketing lingo. We do that with Mixed Links on the blog.
You can also think of lists as a type of round up too -- in this article I'm rounding up three ways to create content fast into one post. Rounding up little bits of "leftover" content from other projects and sharing them is also a great way to repurpose content.
This article appeared in the May 16, 2012 edition of our weekly Nonprofit Marketing Tips e-newsletter.