One of the biggest challenges of a content creator is the creation of content itself (I’m sounding a bit like Patches O’Houlihan from Dodgeball but stay with me here). You can run out of ideas. You can have writer’s block. You may genuinely feel tapped out or unable to force inspiration. But hold on. Are you sure you’ve leveraged all of your creations to the fullest extent possible?
In this article, we’re going to explore how to re-purpose the things you create on a daily basis and how to keep inspiration and momentum going.
How to Leverage Everything You Create
If I attempted to make a comprehensive list of my ideas, we would be here all day. I will provide you with a couple of examples of content creators (the blogger and the musician) and what they can do to multiply their content. These ideas can definitely benefit other types of content producers as well.
Spin-off: if you’ve written blog posts covering multiple subjects, hone in on one point and expound on it.
Guest post: sometimes guest posting on other blogs will change the way you approach your writing. Seeing from new perspectives and angles may help you break out of your usual ways of operating and thus revive enthusiasm.
Write a book: it might be too obvious to say, but if you’ve spent any amount of time blogging, you’ve probably upped your writing skills over time. Take what you’ve learned and invest it towards writing an e-book or physical book. You don’t have to start from scratch. Take the blog posts you’ve written and consolidate them into a more thorough, cohesive package. If you choose not to charge for the final product, you could offer it as an incentive for signing up for your newsletter.
The five Q’s: consider the five questions you are most often asked, and the five questions you would like people to ask you. Create a new blog post for each question.
Multimedia: create a media kit detailing your experience and services you offer. Merge some of your blog posts in a downloadable PDF document, or create reference guides.
Graphics: create graphics for your blog posts; especially things that can be presented visually. If you use numbers a lot, develop infographics.
Podcast: take some of the content you’ve produced and re-present it in audio form. If you already have a podcast, delve in to specific subjects you covered in your podcast and write about them. Have your episodes transcribed and publish them as blog posts as well.
Video: script a video or try vlogging. Think about how you could make an engaging video out of the content you’ve already produced. Get the videos transcribed and publish the text too.
Today’s musician has more on their plate than you might expect. Not only do they have to write songs and play instruments, they also have to market themselves, engage on social media, book shows, submit their music to various opportunities, distribute their music, and network with people constantly.
However, leveraging content need not be complicated. Let’s say that you just released a brand new single. Here are just a few ways you could branch out and create more content with it:
Remix: find an enthusiastic and eager DJ to remix your song. Give your fans the stems and ask them to produce their own versions. Remix it yourself. Offer the remixes as free downloads, or put together a deluxe package for your fans.
Podcast: create a commentary around the creation of your new single.
Video: make a music video. Make a lyric video. Make an acoustic version. Make a video detailing what the song is about and what inspired you to write it. Make a video explaining the production elements and technical details.
Blog: blog about the new song. Write about the creative process.
Lyrics: publish the lyrics to your new song on your website.
Graphics: create appealing graphics (album artwork) for your single. It’s okay to craft multiple versions.
Scans: scan your lyric and chord sheets and publish them on your website.
Sheet music/tabs: get your single transcribed and offer it as a free download or sell it.
Sketches: if you’re an artist, or if you’re reasonably adept at drawing (or you know someone that is), create concept sketches around the themes of your single.
PDF: bring together all the content you created around the single and jam it in a single downloadable PDF document.
Taking Hold of Inspiration
It’s easy to think of inspiration as something that comes and goes. Sometimes this is just an excuse for not proactively surrounding yourself with your passions or not sufficiently challenging yourself. If you find yourself in this quandary, try one of the following:
Think: take some time to really think about your projects and let your imagination do the work for you. Don’t force anything. Shut off all distractions, retreat to a quiet place and just think. In today’s high-paced world, very few people take the time to reflect, but those who do are often some of the most highly paid individuals.
Go for a walk: clear your head. If you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about your project and you’re not getting anywhere, get some fresh air and exercise. You may be surprised how fast you experience breakthroughs.
Capture your ideas: carry a notepad at all times. It’s okay to capture audio on your phone as well, but the best method is still writing things down. Some of your best ideas come to you when you’re not even thinking about your projects. Write them down when they come to you, or you might forget.
Read a book: this should be pretty obvious, but actively plugging in to your passion will keep it aflame. If you’ve already spent a lot of time in your niche, you may not learn anything new, but you may be able to recapture some of your initial excitement.
Watch a video: find a video (or several videos) on YouTube in your niche and devour them.
Try something new: sometimes you have to stretch yourself and your skillset. You may be surprised to find that the things you learn can also apply to your current field of endeavor.
Live life: Take risks. Take a vacation. Fall in love. I spent about 10 years of my life actively pursuing a music career and I know from personal experience that keeping locked up and working on your craft for too long can produce writer’s block. Obviously practice is a part of a musician’s regime (and should be a part of your routine as well), but not experiencing life inevitably leads to creating drivel that’s not relatable. Get out, live life, and come back when that surge of emotion moves you (but keep practicing in the mean time).
Leveraging your content is about turning a river into many tributaries. This article is far from comprehensive, but if you channel your creativity, I’m sure you could come up with ideas of your own. I hope I have opened some new doors for you.