May 17, 2021

The Creator's Philosophy - Create Once Use Many Times

Reading Time: 4 mins

In the world of content creation, we’re always creating new things. New blog posts, new videos, podcasts, and social media posts.

It can seem like an endless task to create and add value to the world.

The trick to avoiding this overwhelm is to adopt what I’m calling the creator’s philosophy:

Create once, use many times.

Once you understand and apply this concept to the things you create, you’ll be able to overcome creative blocks to create things that your audience will enjoy.

The Creator's Philosophy - Create Once Use Many Times - Pin

Collecting Ideas

Let’s take a step back and examine where a blog post, video, podcast episode starts. That’s with the initial idea in your mind.

Ideas come from everywhere as long as you pay attention.

They strike when you’re doing the most mundane things like driving to work or cooking dinner.

It’s your primary job as a creator to observe the world around you, capture those thoughts and ideas, then turn them into something interesting.

A lot of people refer to this process as collecting dots.

Each thing you observe and make note of is a dot.

You can store these dots in a notebook, a PKM, or even on a scrap piece of paper.

Don’t make the mistake of keeping these in your head because you are sure to forget them.

As David Allen puts it:

“Your mind is for having ideas not for holding them”.

Creating New Ideas

Once you’ve collected lots of dots (ideas and thoughts), the creative process can begin.

Now you connect the dots to create new and unique things.

If you use tools like Obsidian or Roam Research to collect your notes, the backlinking feature is an excellent way to connect your ideas.

It doesn’t matter which tool you choose, so don’t stress about it.

By combining different ideas using the filter of your interests and preferences, you’ll create something unique to you.

You’ll have a new and interesting idea you can turn into a blog post, video, podcast, or whatever else you want to create.

Reusing Existing Ideas

This is where the heart of the creator’s philosophy lies: in re-using your existing ideas.

This can happen in two ways:

  1. Your original idea becomes refined over time thanks to feedback from your audience.
  2. You repurpose the original idea into different mediums.

Just because you’ve had that one great idea and published an article about it, doesn’t mean your next task is to come up with a brand new idea.

Think about how you can repurpose your original idea in different ways. This is how you get more value from that single idea.

#1 Refining Your Idea Over Time

When you create something like a blog post and publish it, your audience pays attention to that content.

If you have developed an engaged audience, they will read it and provide you with feedback. They will offer suggestions on where things can be improved or where your ideas and assumptions differ from theirs.

Of course, you should take some of the anonymous feedback you receive with a grain of salt.

With that said, feedback allows you to consider the original idea you had from another perspective.

There might be something you missed or something you didn’t know when you published the article.

If you continue to research and refine your original idea, it becomes something different.

You can then make a follow-up article containing the things you’ve learned since writing the first article.

This is how you take one idea and refine it over time to produce many pieces of content.

#2 Repurposing Your Idea Into Different Mediums

Once you’ve published a blog post, consider how it can be repurposed into different mediums.

Everything you create is a valuable asset that can be reused or recycled in different ways.

Here are some suggestions:

There’s a tweet from Nicolas Cole I came across that sums this up:

“The NEW way is to republish that same content on each individual platform in the language of that platform.” @Nicolascole77


Adopt the creator’s philosophy of “create once use many times” and you’ll get more value out of the ideas you have and the things you create.

Your job as a creator is to collect ideas and connect them to form new ones that serve as blog articles, videos, or podcasts.

There are lots of ways to repurpose your content into different mediums so get creative and see where you end up!

If you enjoyed reading this article or have anything you want to add, reach out to me over on Twitter.