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It’s OK to Reinvent Your Own Wheel.

It seems like almost everyday another remake is announced.  It could be the reboot of a TV show, a new version of a past-hit movie, or the revival of a popular musical.  Every time another remake is announced around my house we always say, “Well, Hollywood/Broadway is dead.  There are no new ideas!” 

Then, a thought occurred to me over the weekend, am I a hypocrite?  By asking clients to repurpose book chapters, blog posts, keynotes, and other collateral for article topics, am I just asking for a remake?  Often, we’ll suggest a client’s first article be an ‘umbrella’ article summarizing their topic to introduce them to editors’ readers and give the editors a taste of the excellent content to come from this author.  Then, in future articles you can drill down deeper into the topic.  It’s not uncommon for a client’s fourth or fifth article to be based on one of the bullet points from a previous article. 

I always suggest to clients, “Why reinvent the wheel?”  Re-use, repurpose.  This builds frequency and repetition.  A book chapter makes a great blog post, a blog post makes a great article topic, and multiple articles put together make a great book!  A meeting planner or executive could see your blog and want more information so they buy your book and then find your article in their association journal and hire you for their next convention or corporate event. 

So, by preaching what the entertainment industry is practicing am I being a charlatan?  Do I have a double-standard?  There’s one major difference – I’m advocating remaking your own original content.  Hollywood and Broadway are re-using and re-doing other people’s creativity, they’re not putting in the time, effort and risk to develop their own. 

If it’s your idea, recycle it until the cows come home!  It’s yours, you created it, you took the time and risk to refine it.  Your content can and will have many lives. 


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