Have you ever looked back through your old blog posts and thought, “Why did I give away all of this brilliant writing for free?”
Well, here’s some good news: Unless your blog topic is last night’s baseball scores or this week’s hurricane, there’s income potential in those old posts yet.
Loads of it.
If your posts have evergreen, highly useful information, they can be turned into paid products.
With a little effort you can recombine, reuse, repackage, and repurpose that old material into new forms.
And people will pay money for them.
Yes, I know. It’s illogical — why don’t they just go back through and read your blog for free?
Most readers simply don’t.
Happily, some people would prefer to shell out their hard-earned cash for a handier, fancier, or better-organized slice of your content delivered in a different format.
So, don’t disappoint them …
12 simple ways you can earn from that dusty archive
- eBook. Once you’ve accumulated 50-100 posts or so, you have plenty of material you can repackage into an eBook. Probably two-thirds of my first ebook was adapted from my first 75 blog posts. You can slice and dice your stack of posts different ways, too, using the same post in more than one eBook. Create a “20 Best Blog Posts” eBook, for instance, a “Best of the Mailbag” for the reader questions you answered, or several short eBooks on a few of your most popular topics.
- Teleclass. Print out a few blog posts and read them on a phone call, riff on them a little bit, take some questions from the audience, and you’ve got a teleclass. Charge a fee, or make the class free to draw a bigger crowd. Then, sell other products to your teleclass audience live, and sell the recording of the class on your website. You can also use the recording as a freebie incentive to help stimulate sales of higher-ticket products.
- Webinar. Add some eye-catching PowerPoint slides to that teleclass, and now it’s a full-fledged Webinar — and worth more money — while still basically just recycling your blog posts. Don’t forget to make limited-time product or service offers during the broadcast to rake in additional sales. Don’t have another product? Presell the next Webinar you plan to do off another set of your old blog posts.
- Paid speaking engagement. Perform that Webinar before a live, in-person audience instead of broadcasting it over the Interwebs, and you’ve got another revenue source. Start doing free talks, get some experience, and then see if you can find paid work. This recently happened to a friend of mine — he gave a live talk that essentially recycled a few of his recent blog posts, and was immediately told by a professional speaker present that he could command $5,000-$8,000 an appearance if he wanted to hit the pro-speaking circuit. Ka-ching!
- One-on-one mentoring. Some people read your blog, but they just don’t get it. They can’t apply the knowledge you’re sharing to their own lives. They need personalized help implementing your teachings. String your blog posts together into a course, spend a few hours talking through your materials with them on the phone, customize your advice to fit their circumstances, and charge a premium for granting one person your undivided attention.
- Group coaching. Instead of spending a few hours on one person, take the same information from those blog posts you use in individual mentoring and teach them to a group of 10 or 12 at a time. You can charge a more affordable rate, but your hourly rate goes up because you have more participants on the consulting calls. Group coaching is popular because it’s a way to get personal access to an expert without paying the individual-coaching rate. I recently introduced this and immediately sold out four times as many slots as I usually sold for personal mentoring in a month. Tape these sessions and you’ve also got a set of recordings you could edit down and sell at a package price.
- PDF report. Boil down the gist of the blog posts you used to create your presentation into a report that sums up your key points and you can charge more, both live and when you sell recordings later. The report can also be used on its own as a freebie to drive signups to your email list. And once you build a list, you can sell stuff. The report is a major money-enabler.
- Go back and link old blog posts to new offers. Once you’ve created those new eBooks or Webinars, you can turn old blog posts into perpetual sales-referral machines by going back and adding links to your new products. Prioritize your most popular older posts for link-i-fying, then try to go through your whole blogroll as time allows.
- Charge micropayments. Think you’ve got some great older posts? Go back and place them behind a micropayment paywall, where readers can see the top free, but then have to pay $.99 to read the full post. There are a growing number of providers that can help you automate this process, including well-known names such as PayPal Micropay and Payments.Amazon, as well as many startup services. Watch out as many charge steep fees — one of the cheapest at the moment is CashSender.
- Repost in your membership community. If you reorganize your blog posts under theme topics, you can present them as courses inside a paid membership group. The more content you have in your community, the easier it is to attract and keep those paying members, who’ll appreciate the convenience of not having to hunt through your blog for information piecemeal.
- Audition piece to get paying gigs. If you’re interested in adding some blogging-for-hire to your resume, you can position your blog as one big “clip” to entice paying clients. Add a “hire me” tab to your blog, make sure your site has a clean, uncluttered design and your posts stick to your niche topic. (That one you wrote about the funny pig video on YouTube? Delete it.) Then target some company blogs in your subject area and start inquiring whether they need a paid blogger.
- Rewrite and resell. Once you’ve written about a topic on your own blog, it’s usually not much work to rewrite it for a paying market. Throw a piece of breaking news into the mix that adds a new spin to your original post, go back to your notes for a few new quotes or additional points, find a new related link or two, give it all a light rewrite and presto — a whole new post you could sell to other blogs. Don’t be an article spinner and have some robot replace all your adjectives with hilariously inappropriate ones and call it a rewrite — write a completely new post on your topic. It usually takes me maybe 15 or 20 minutes.
Do you have cash sitting in your archives?
Remember that brand-new readers find your blog all the time — and they’ve never seen your older stuff.
Many of your current subscribers haven’t read all your posts, either, unless you’ve got a 100 percent click-through rate
So, do your readers (and yourself) a favor and scoop up your best older posts and turn them into a new, paid product.
How have you turned your “old” blog posts into income? Leave a comment below and tell us your technique.
About the Author: Carol Tice keeps finding new uses for the posts on her Make a Living Writing blog. She answers freelance writers’ questions Wednesdays at noon PST on her podcast, The Freelance Writer’s Free-for-All.
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