February 26th, 2019 E-Learning

Want to get more mileage out of your online content? Here’s how it can serve double duty.

If you’ve been creating online course content for a while, you probably have a trove of valuable material stored up that could be put to better use. Some of that may be material you cut from other courses, or it might be a micro course you developed a year or two ago, or it might be a series of popular blog posts.

No matter the original source for this material, there’s nothing saying you can only use it once. In fact, repurposing it is a great way to put it in front of new audiences in a form that might be easier for them to access. And, of course, it’s always a win if you can save yourself from repeating work.

If you’re wondering how you can get more from your content, here’s where to start.

1. Repackage and bundle content.

When it comes to courses, there are two basic ways to repurpose content: split a large course into mini courses, or bundle mini courses into something bigger. Both these options are completely legitimate ways to repurpose the course content you’ve already created, and they’re great ways to bring in new learners. It also provides a great marketing opportunity to bring that old content back in front of audiences.

A caveat, though: if you’re marketing a micro course that’s derived from one of your other courses, be sure your leaners understand this before they sign up. If one of them has already purchased your large course, they may feel cheated at the lack of new content. Similarly, if they’ve already purchased a micro course, you can upsell your main course by offering them a discount.

2. Create different content types.

It’s one thing to split up and re-arrange old course content, but what about turning it into something new altogether? This is a particularly good option if you have unused material lying around. The new content types might also be more appealing to various learners. A few popular content types include:

  • Blogs. Did you have to cut an interesting piece of material from your course because it didn’t quite fit your subject matter? Turn it into a blog post and reap the SEO benefits.
  • Videos. Why not turn a lesson segment into a video and post it to YouTube? Videos are not only popular, they give you an opportunity to expand your reach on social media.
  • Podcasts. I’m a sucker for podcasts. They’re quirky, casual, and a lot easier to do well than video. Plus, they work well for learners who want to listen to your content while driving to work or doing chores around the house.
  • Infographics. Infographics are a great way to restructure information in a way that adds meaning for the learner. Look for lesson content that could benefit from a visual aid, or repurpose one of your listicle blog posts.
  • PDF Downloads. These are a great offering to entice visitors to sign up to your newsletter, and if you have a lot of content, they’re not hard to make. Think about expanding one of your most popular blogs, or boosting its appeal with some nice graphics. If you can make an infographic and write a blog post, you can also create an appealing PDF.

3. Offer it as conference content.

If you have the chance to speak at a conference, jump on it. It may mean keeping your ear to the ground and seeking out opportunities, but if you submit a topic and get selected, it establishes you as an industry leader. Attendees who stay for your talk not only see you as a credible expert, they also get to sample your content for themselves. Those who like what they hear are more likely to sign up for your course afterwards, especially if they have a chance to talk to you later.

Even better, have someone record your talk and put it on your website. Not only is that video offering valuable content, it’s also signaling that you are the type of instructor who has been selected to speak at events.

For many instructors, speaking at a conference can be intimidating. The good news is, you probably already have more than enough content to deliver a compelling talk. Simply look to your old lessons for inspiration.

4. Rewrite it into a guest blog.

If it seems strange to you to put your content onto someone else’s website, think of it like opening a Starbucks inside a book store. Not only are you adding to the value of the website where you’re guest blogging, you’re also getting your course content in front of their audience. And, as with conferences, you’re adding to the prestige of your program.

That said, you don’t have to share your entire course on someone else’s blog. Instead, limit yourself to a small segment that will be easy to share. Then be sure to link back to your course so that readers of the blog know where to go for more.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel (but you can update it).

You’ve already put so much hard work into your course, it would be a shame to see it go to waste. Reusing that content in various ways is a great tactic to get more from it, and spare yourself some of the strain of developing additional resources.

However, do take time to update content if it’s been a while since you originally created it. As with any repurposing project, it may need a little polishing to bring back the shine.

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