In this section I want to share how to quickly write content without sacrificing quality and without overtaxing your brain.
I’ve been using this concept for years.
It’s called “recycling” or “repurposing”.
The idea is fairly simple –
The process of taking existing content and
using it in another format or fashion.
A few quick examples include –
- Recording mp3s of the content from an ebook and selling it as an audio product.
- Extracting content from an ebook to create ezine articles.
- Converting the content of an ebook into a workshop or seminar presentation.
I’ve always been a big believer in getting the most mileage from your effort. Done correctly, this can be a big asset for you, as well as a big time-saver. Done incorrectly, and you become the king or queen of “rehashing”.
There’s a big, big difference between
recycled content and rehashed content.
That’s what we’ll be talking about today.
Let me explain it to you by using a simple acronym…
How To Prepare Lessons Super F.A.S.T.™
There are four basic ways that I use the concept of “recycling” content in my own business which I describe by using the acronym F.A.S.T.™…
F – FIND appropriate excerpts.
A – ADD to free materials.
S – SWIPE other people’s content.
T – TRANSCRIBE your rants.
I’ve even used several of these in preparing Membernaire™ lessons!
Let’s talk about each of these four options and how they can be use to create your own FTM site lesson super “fast”…
Do you have existing products related to the topic of your FTM site? Feel free to excerpt portions of those products as lesson materials.
For years I’ve been teaching people to NEVER “find a niche and then move on to the next niche”. Instead, it’s important that you choose a MARKET and then feed that market a variety of related offers. There are many reasons why this is a crucial part of success and this strategy is just one of those reasons.
If you already have full blown products, reports, workshop presentations, physical products and/or other existing offers that are related to your FTM site topic, then it is easy to extract 3-5 pages (and even more) to use as part or all of a lesson.
Think about it –
- If you’ve written a 100 page course on “Weight Loss” how easy would it be to extract the chapter on “7 Ways To Raise Your Metabolism” to use as a lesson?
Once I had a course where I teach how to start and grow a successful affiliate program. It would be easy (and appropriate) for me to extract 5-7 ways to find affiliates (out of the 30 that I mention in the course) and use it as a lesson in this series to explain how to find affiliates to promote your FTM site.
The basic method of “recycling” content is to simply extract it from your existing paid products and offers.
In fact, you can use the ENTIRE CONTENT in some cases.
I’ve done this twice so far in the Membernaire™ lessons…
- Remember those two lessons on outsourcing … “Hiring a Ghostwriter”? That was originally a product that I sold entitled “Autopilot Commissions”.
- Remember those two lessons entitled, “The CIA Report”? That’s actually a report that I was selling till recently.
In those two cases, they aren’t just “excerpts”, they are the entire volume of content!
Now, before you think to yourself, “I’ve just hit the mother lode here”, let me give you a couple of cautions.
Firstly, don’t overdo it. If you offer nothing original in your FTM site, you’ll likely lose your customer base very quickly. If it’s all content that they’ve gotten from you before (I.E. As existing customers) then they’ll likely ask for their money back and move on to something else.
Secondly, expect a few refunds. From time to time I’ll get someone who emails me and says, “Jimmy, I’ve purchased XYZ in the past from you and notice that you’ve included it free in XYZ. Can I get a refund on my initial purchase?” I grant the refund and move on. The overlap is minimum and the reward (getting “fast” content to an entire database of members) far outweighs the risk (giving a handful of refunds).
The next option that I use is to “add to free materials”.
In other words –
You take existing content that you’ve previously made available for free and you contribute additional content to further explain and enhance it.
What is this “existing free content”? Here are just a few ideas…
- Ezine articles
- Blog posts
- Quick tips
- Customer support responses
- Instant messages
- Forum posts
- Chat conversations
- Short reports
I can’t tell you how many times that free content has been converted into paid content simply by expanding on the information shared previously.
It’s actually quite simple. Let me give you a couple of quick suggestion for doing this to your own existing free materials…
- Add More MEANING. The first – and easiest – way to add more content to an existing work is to “add more meaning” to your explanation of the points. In other words, you explain things more thoroughly. You add more details. You clarify things. You include more commentary. If you have a 500 word article with 3 points in it, you add more “meat” to those points and convert it into a 3-5 page lesson. Throw in case studies, examples, strategies, stories, options and more to better explain the original work.
- Add More METHODS. The second way to do this is to “add more methods”. That is, you include more ways to accomplish whatever you shared in your original free material. If you have a blog post that shared, “3 Ways To Cut Vacation Costs”, then convert it into a lesson entitled, “10 Ways To Cut Vacation Costs”. If you’ve written a customer support email where you share, “My Two Favorite Places To Find Freelancers”, then add to this and make it a lesson entitled, “The 7 Best Places To Find Freelancers”.
Take a quick inventory of your existing free materials. Which of them are related to your FTM site? How can you “add more meaning” or “add more methods” to them to quickly update them into a new lesson?
Why not ask for permission to “borrow” a portion of someone else’s content in order to create your lesson? That is, you find a 3-5 pages of information from someone else’s paid product and ask the copyright owner (aka “author”) if you can include it as a lesson for your FTM site.
Instant high quality content. Now that’s super fast!
So, why would they allow this?
It’s simple: free promotion for the complete product from which you’ve excerpted the content.
When you include their content as a lesson, you’d open the lesson with a comment like this…
“Today’s lesson is a real treat. I’ve secured permission from Jimmy D. Brown to include the following chapter taken from his Small Reports Fortune course. It’s a superb tutorial for writing a mini-salesletter. Please drop Jimmy a quick email to say ‘thanks’ for letting us use it today. Or, better still, show your thanks by taking a look at his complete course that teaches you how to write and sell 7-15 page small reports. Click Here for all the details. Enjoy the lesson!”
Now do you see what the author has to gain from allowing you to use a portion of their content? They get a free plug for their product every time one of your members reads the lesson.
And – get this – you’ve got more to gain as well. Not only do you get free content for your lesson, but you can insert YOUR AFFILIATE LINK into the promotional piece that leads to THEIR PRODUCT. You earn a commission if anyone buys through your link.
The key to this is “not asking too much”.
If you only want to reprint a few pages that does not give away some “secret” that is the main point of their paid product, many people will grant you permission.
Note: A “variation” on this them is to collaborate on the extracted content. In other words, you weave your own comments throughout the borrowed information. Your comments would be separated by including them in a box or indented in a different font. There would need to be some distinction showing that the additional comments were YOURS and not the original author. And you’d need to secure permission from the author to use them in that manner. Or, you can just make some “before and after” comments preceding and following the excerpted content. Either way, it’s a way to blend things together so that the lesson has an air of “you” to it.
And the final method I want to share is to “transcribe your rants”. That is, record yourself talking about a topic related to your FTM site and then have it transcribed into the actual lesson document you’ll be distributing.
Don’t discount this idea. Even if you feel disorganized talking off the cuff and like to have everything scripted in advance (that’s me!). You might be amazed at how much content you can create by just talking.
The best way that I’ve discovered to do
this is to create a simple outline.
Here’s a sample outline that I could use for my own “rant”…
How To Have A Meaningful Prayer And Bible Time
Open with the fact that most people aren’t satisfied with their “quiet time” each day. (Tell my story about Paula)
Answer the three questions that I get often…
“Why do I have a great time with the Lord for days and even weeks and then go through a time when I don’t want to pray?”
“What are the keys to having a quiet time?”
“How long should I pray and read the Bible each day?”
Talk about barriers such as…
Offer some insights into how to overcome those barriers such as…
- Establishing a specific time and place.
- Making it a priority and firm commitment.
- Creating an environment. (Don’t forget to talk about praise music in the background)
I could add more things to the outline, but that just gives you an idea of what one might look like.
In looking at this outline, I could talk for 20-30 minutes easily by just rambling on what I know and feel about the entries. Once transcribed, I’ve got a 5-7 page lesson ready to go without WRITING a word of the lesson itself.
Chances are you are working on a new lesson right now. If not, you will be soon enough. And you’ll likely create an outline from which to write.
So, once you have that outline, record yourself explaining what you’ve outlined INSTEAD OF WRITING IT.
Have it transcribed and you’ll have a lesson ready “super fast”.
- Note your main points of the lesson.
- Insert some questions to answer.
- Share a few stories.
- Input a few extra tips for each point.
Take the outline and just talk.
Seriously, try it once and see what happens. Then, post a project at Elance.com for a transcriptionist. Lessons made easy!