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How publishers wring new value from old content

There are a few ways publishers squeeze more out of their content. One is the approach BuzzFeed has honed, to keep iterating. One way it does this is with what it calls “hot frames.” It may write up a post with a certain frame, and if does well, try it again across different platforms and geographies. So a 2013 post that publisher Dao Nguyen once wrote, 27 Signs You Were Raised By Asian Immigrant Parents (2.3 million views) was based on similar ones and could be adapted to other immigrant communities. The idea also could be adapted into a video or illustration and translated into other languages.

BuzzFeed also spins existing content into new forms. It has posts that are turned into videos and the other way around; posts that have quizzes along with them. Its Facebook pages, Tasty and Nifty, grew out of an adaptation strategy where it applies learnings from editorial to videos and franchises out of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.

Having well-tended evergreen content — timeless fare like how-tos and recipes — also helps publishers in search. At About.com, which gets some two-thirds of its traffic from people Googling topics like health, finance, evergreen content is so much its essence that its writers spend as much if not more time updating articles as they do producing new ones, CEO Neil Vogel said.

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