Why upcycled content is a must for your editorial calendar

Do you find yourself in need of more content, but without the 25-person content team to help you crank it out? I feel you.

But the reality is, whether we’re a one-person team or a 100-person agency, we all feel the need to keep our marketing channels updated and full of fresh content.

One of my tricks for meeting the challenge even when I’m out of ideas or feeling short on time is to see content everywhere.

Content is lurking around every corner

Every conversation you have could turn into an engaging piece of content — you just have to open your eyes to the possibilities. An email chain could turn into a white paper; an internal meeting presentation could be the starting point for a press release about your company’s capabilities; even a casual brainstorm can later become a topical blog post.

While these sources of content will often need guidance and rewriting from you, the bulk of the idea is there for you to start with, putting you steps ahead in the writing process.

My chart below gives you some thought starters on how this process works:

content image

Here’s a recent real-life example of this: A colleague was giving a lunch-and-learn presentation on emerging trends in technology. He had put a lot of time and effort into culling the most recent research and examples to bring his ideas to life. This could have been a one-and-done PowerPoint presentation. But as a content marketer always on the hunt for story ideas, I knew this presentation could go much further.

After his presentation, I got a copy of his deck. I used that material and the internal discussion it sparked during the meeting to draft an article for an upcoming issue of our newsletter. It took a few rounds of edits back and forth to capture his tone and to get all the details just right, but the process was much faster than if I had started from square one.

This method of organic content creation is great because the ideas often spring from a place of true passion and interest — not from the demand to sit down and write a story.

Next time you’re in a meeting, attending a conference or sorting through a long email from a colleague, consider whether there’s a great piece of marketable content unfolding before you.


This post the second in a series on finding shortcuts to creating great content. Read the original post on how to create a content team, and stay tuned for my next posts in this series, which will cover building a better arsenal of story types, thinking beyond copy and how to plan for evergreens, but leave room for spontaneity.

Some of the content from this series was published in an article I wrote for the PR News Writer’s Guidebook 2014 called “Create Inspiring Content by Seeing Stories Everywhere and Thinking Beyond Copy.” 


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