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Deanna Jump didn’t set out to be a millionaire. A kindergarten teacher in Georgia, she simply saw something she could share with her fellow teachers – lesson plans. Thanks to the site TeachersPayTeachers, she was able to sell her catchy two-week units for $8 apiece. Then the unexpected happened – she sold 161,000 copies, grossing 1.2 million dollars.

Deanna wasn’t a business expert, nor a content creation guru. She simply saw a need that existed in the marketplace, and created the content – lesson plans – that was needed to fill it. Her experience as a kindergarten teacher and her creativity combined to create content that was evergreen, profitable, and did more work for HER than she did for it.

This article is about how you can do the same. You may not make a million dollars selling lesson plans, but every content creator can take simple steps to make their content work for THEM, rather than slaving away for the content.

1.     Find a Need and Meet it. This is business 101 for any company, and it’s also content 101 for creating profitable content. What gaps exist in your area of expertise? Do people need more transparency? More organization? An easier way to understand and train a complex topic? What marketplace need can you meet?

2.     Create Evergreen Content. Deanna hit pay dirt because her lesson plans will never go out of style. Each year brings a new crop of kindergarteners to schools across the nation, and they all need to learn basic topics in fun ways. In the same way, to make your content work for you, create content that stays relevant as time passes. That way, you won’t have to constantly work to update content – it will work for you instead.

3.     Repurpose Existing Content. One of the best ways to reduce the work you do to create useful content is to repurpose what already exists. Deanna almost certainly didn’t start from scratch with her lessons – initially, she probably tweaked lesson plans she was already using and put them up for sale. In the same way, look around your company for existing content – old websites, brochures, marketing material that isn’t being used. Dust it off, repurpose it, and put it to work!

4.     Put the Content to Work. Once you have great content, what do you do? Assuming you don’t have a ready-made market like TeachersPayTeachers, there are several options:

Sell the content on your site. Put up e-books, sell detailed marketing reports, or offer your training material on your company’s site

Give it away to create goodwill. Even without a sale, content can work hard by creating goodwill. When you give away a free report or other valuable content, you position yourself as a generous market expert.

Use the content internally. If a new employee doesn’t understand your program, a training document can make a big difference. You can also use content to help managers understand the need for various marketing or product initiatives.

Create videos or infographics from existing content. One of the best ways to put text to work is to create a different form of content from it. Videos and infographics are great tools for communicating your goals to your clients and growing your business. 

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. But the bottom line is simple – you don’t have to slave away for your content. Yes, content creation is hard work, but once it’s created, you can put it to work for you and gain far more than you ever imagined.

How do you put your content to work? Let me know in the comments!


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