Since side hustlers are pressed for time, one of the smartest things you can do is make the most out of everything you create.
This post will walk through how ONE project fueled:
- A bestselling book on Amazon.
- 4 guest blog posts.
- 3 podcast guest appearances.
- 1 podcast episode on The Side Hustle Show.
- An infographic.
- A “featured” SlideShare presentation.
- And this post, if you want to get really meta.
The Original Project
The project was my Work Smarter book, which actually started out as a blog post idea but quickly outgrew it and became something much larger.
The concept itself, which built a foundation from the Entrepreneur on Fire archives, was in a way already a re-purposing of existing content. The book aimed to curate, compile, and organize a list of favorite online resources; the selections largely had already been made — it was just a matter of organizing them into a useful and coherent format.
It was a ton of fun to put together, but that was just the beginning.
The 2 Types of Re-Purposed Content
There are two basic types of re-purposed content you can create:
- A look at the work from a different angle.
- A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of it.
I made sure to utilize both, because I felt like people would be interested in both types.
Guest Blog Opportunities
This book lent itself well to guest posts, because you could slice it up and present the data in several different ways.
I want to note that this tactic could work well for any book, especially non-fiction, to excerpt part(s) of it for guest posts for additional exposure.
The first post was on Entrepreneur on Fire, which only made sense since that is were many of the named resources and tools were sourced. I reached out to John and Kate and they were happy to host an article on the top 22 resources featured in the book.
That post was shared 82 times, and Bryn even created an infographic to go along with it!
(Created for free, w/ Piktochart.com)
The next guest post was on PostPlanner, a popular social media blog. For this post, I also focused on the most popular tools named in the study, but broke them down by category instead of the overall favorites.
That post has been shared 586 times!
Next up, I shared a post with Fancy Hands, the virtual assistant service that was instrumental in building the foundation for the book. They agreed to run it on their blog and even ran a sponsored Facebook post around it.
And finally, I created an epic 5000-word step-by-step guide on everything I did before, during, and after the launch to market the book.
This post took more than 8 hours to write and format, and some people joked it could be a book all on its own.
I wanted to make sure I found a worthy home for it, where it would get the attention appropriate for the amount of effort it took to create. My friend Steve Scott, an uber-successful Kindle author, agreed to host it on his popular blog and the article was shared over 200 times and generated dozens of comments.
Podcast Guest Opportunities
If you have an interesting project, especially one that generates good results, people are naturally curious and want to share the story with their audience.
That was the case when I had a chance to speak about the book and the marketing plan with:
- Joanna Penn for The Creative Penn Podcast – “Writing Non-Fiction as a Side Hustle“
- Alex Harris for The Marketing Optimization Podcast – “20,000 Amazon Downloads w/ Nick Loper” (Like how we’re both rocking the blue t-shirts like it was twin day?)
- Wade Danielson for The Entrepreneur’s Library – “Work Smarter w/ Nick Loper“
In all 3 cases, the hosts reached out to me so I really didn’t have to “hustle up” any interviews. They had either heard about the project through my marketing efforts, the guest blog posts, or some combination of the two.
But if that’s not your situation, you can easily go through the iTunes rankings and “pitch” hosts if you have a compelling story to tell. Either that or sign up on Radio Guest List.
A Podcast Episode for My Own Show
After I’d written the 5000-word monster post for Steve Scott, I decided I could publish the content on Side Hustle Nation in audio format.
(That way, I’d avoid any duplicate content issues with Google.)
At almost an hour, it’s by far my longest solo episode to date, and I was definitely losing my voice by the end of it!
So far, it’s been downloaded more than 1400 times.
A “Featured” SlideShare Presentation
A couple months after the book launched, I wanted to try another experiment. I wanted to see if a popular SlideShare presentation that linked to the book would bump up sales at all.
I’m sad to report it did not create any discernible spike in book sales, but for what it’s worth, the presentation itself has done well.
I spent an afternoon creating a PowerPoint deck from the information in the Entrepreneur on Fire guest post. Then, following my theory on SlideShare that it doesn’t take much social sharing to hit the homepage, I asked a handful of people to tweet it.
Sure enough, the next day I got an email notifying me that the presentation had been “featured” on the homepage. Now this is not as good as being named a “top presentation of the day” like a couple of my other efforts have been, but I’ll take it.
Later, it also hit the “trending on Twitter” category at the very bottom of the homepage.
The presentation has been shared more than 400 times and viewed more than 10,000 times!
I slacked on the video front. Maybe I’ll get there eventually.
The moral of the story is you may already be sitting on a content goldmine, and you don’t have to start from scratch every time out.
Did you know much of The 4-Hour Workweek was built from re-purposed blog posts? Re-purposing what you’ve already created can be a powerful strategy to accelerate your progress.
Homework: Think of one piece of content you can re-purpose and let me know about it in the comments below.
Adventures in Content Syndication: Which Channels are Worth Your Time?
You’ve heard of “Be Everywhere,” right?
Well one idea I had this summer was to make sure I was being smart about my content distribution. After all, once you go through the effort to create something (a blog post, a podcast, a video, etc.), you might as well spread it far and wide to reach as many people as possible.
For example, earlier this year, I submitted The Side Hustle Show to dozens of different podcast directories.
Did it have any impact on the download numbers? It’s hard to say, but the growth of the show seems to indicate it definitely didn’t hurt!
Similarly, I uploaded my non KDP select books to Smashwords earlier this year to reach a wider distribution. To be sure, the numbers are minuscule compared with Amazon, but I did receive my first royalty payments last month. Passive income, baby!
So what other opportunities are there for content syndication?
I tried 3:
- Slideshare –> Scribd
- Blog –> LinkedIn
- Podcast –> YouTube
Where they worth the effort? Read on for my results and takeaways.
1. Slideshare –> Scribd
I’ve been fortunate enough to have some success on Slideshare, the presentation sharing platform, and someone suggested syndicating my popular presentations to other sites.
The upload process was relatively straightforward and didn’t take much time.
In 6 weeks, my presentations have been viewed just 9 times on Scribd. And checking back now, it appears two out of the four I uploaded have been removed for some reason.
Or maybe I screwed something up. Either way, for 9 views I’m not in a rush to go back and fix it.
(For the sake of comparison, the presentations on Slideshare have received almost 125,000 views.)
On Slidesnack, it appears the presentations were not viewed at all.
Cue sad trombone.
This probably comes as no surprise, but in my Google Analytics, I found a big fat ZERO referral visitors from either of these sources.
Don’t waste your time.
2. Blog –> LinkedIn
With LinkedIn, my strategy was a little different.
I joined a bunch of LinkedIn groups relevant to entrepreneurship, small business, productivity, content marketing, social media, freelancing, podcasting, Kindle publishing, and more.
Then, I created a Hootsuite pro account (30-day free trial), and connected it to all those groups.
I spent some time in each group to determine how active they were. Were there dozens of post every day? Or just a few each week?
The activity level would dictate how often I would post — I didn’t want to be “that guy” who came in out of the blue and bombed a disproportionate number of links.
I tracked all this in an Excel spreadsheet: the name of the group, the URL, how many members they had, and how active they were. I also made a note of the general topic of the group to make sure I wasn’t posting irrelevant links.
Next, I sorted the groups by activity and topic to make the next step easier. For instance, if there were 3 very active social media groups, I batched those all together.
What I mean by that is you can upload a csv Excel file to Hootsuite that includes the date and time you want your content to be published there, along with your description and URL. The fewer of these Excel sheets I had to make, the better!
The URLs I pulled were relevant blog posts from the Side Hustle Nation archives.
By the end of the afternoon, I had mapped out over 300 posts in more than 20 groups. Adding up all the members of those groups, I was gunning for a nominal “reach” of 1.8 million over the next 30 days.
Big kudos to Mike Riscica who clued me into this strategy!
So what happened?
I don’t have any way to track how many times my posts were viewed, but I can only guess it was a tiny tiny fraction of those 1.8 million potential sets of eyeballs.
A few of the links generated some good debate and discussion, most notably when I posed the question if any authors in a particular group had ever outsourced their writing, and linked to my outsourced writing experiment post.
(Most group members were aghast I would even suggest such a thing, likening it to outsourcing sex or an NFL player outsourcing their playing. But stirring the pot and getting some comments going was OK by me!)
The experiment generated only 132 visitors to the site, and only 1 new email sign-up.
Even though I was posting consistently throughout the time period shown, the bulk of the traffic is bunched up around the time the authors were debating my outsourcing post.
If there’s a takeaway to be had there, it would be posting something conversation-worthy, perhaps in the form of a question.
The LinkedIn traffic accounted for just 0.5% of the overall site traffic during this time period, and performed measurably worse than average in terms of the bounce rate, time on site, and email opt-in rate.
Another thing that soured me from this strategy was a couple LinkedIn group moderators messaged me and accused me of spamming. That stung a little because of the time and effort I put into making sure my links would be relevant and useful to the topic of the group!
I’m wondering if there were some formatting issues with links coming from Hootsuite vs. links shared manually. I loved the idea of automating a month’s worth of social sharing, but in this case at least it didn’t perform so well.
Note: Another friend recommended OnlyWire as a Hootsuite alternative.
I still see some potential here for bigger impact, but the tactics require some tweaking.
3. Podcast –> YouTube
The final leg of my content syndication adventures was posting all my podcast episode archives into videos for YouTube.
Since YouTube is famously the #2 search engine in the land, it makes sense to have a presence there. (My YouTube channel is admittedly pretty weak!)
I only had one problem — my podcasts are audio only! I haven’t recorded video for any of them yet. Would anyone really sit there and watch a 30 minute video of just a placeholder image?
The tool I used to get this done was TunestoTube.com. It’s free to use on a limited basis and a small donation will unlock advanced features.
I uploaded the mp3 files and some thumbnail art, using ShareAsImage.com for many of them.
I copied the title and some of the show notes text from the corresponding podcast episode blog posts, and went to town.
YouTube experts, should I have created unique titles and descriptions?
I also added some relevant tags and included a couple links back to the show notes pages on SideHustleNation.
During the first month of the “videos” being live, they generated 213 views. For the sake of comparison, the podcast received around 16,000 downloads during that time period.
Still, assuming the 213 views are incremental people being exposed to my content and brand for the first time, that’s not a bad investment.
It projects out to 2500 views a year, which won’t shatter any records but isn’t insignificant either. If a handful of those people become fans of the show, that’s probably a win because it doesn’t take much time to syndicate here. In fact, if I create a process documentation for it, it’s something that could easily be handled by a virtual assistant.
You thought LinkedIn was bad? My YouTube efforts have generated a whopping 3 visits so far!
Yikes! Guess I need to give viewers a more compelling reason to come over to my site.
Really poor traffic results, but I still see the potential to reach new audience members here. I’ll probably continue to syndicate new podcast episodes to YouTube and maybe even begin recording future episodes in video.
It’s too big a platform to ignore!
I think “Be Everywhere” could be rephrased to “Be Everywhere You Can Be Well.” It makes more sense to do a few channels really well than every channel in a half-assed way (like I was doing w/ LinkedIn).
Have you had any content syndication successes? What could I have done differently?
Are there any other obvious channels I’m overlooking?