I'll be the first to admit I'm not green. Trees are to be cut down to make me stuff I want to buy. I could care less how many chemicals a steer was exposed to so long as it tastes good. I sometimes throw recyclables out with the regular garbage and don't feel the least bit bad. The one thing I do recycle is my writing and you should too.
Lean times hit everyone and it never ever hurts to have a safety net to help generate a little extra income in a very short period of time. Anyone that has hit a rough patch and is using bids left and right with no work to show for it, or has seemingly all their regulars go on a buying embargo at one time has to know if it happened once, it will happen again. While you're searching down the big ticket jobs that really pay your bills, what do you do in the meantime?
Sure you can go to the Paid to write sites (PTWS) and try churning out a pile of articles for maybe an average of about $3 each that take a good 30 minutes or so each and pray you don't shoot yourself in the head after three days. It is money and money is good, but after awhile it gets tedious, frustrating, and it almost screams at you to stop writing. With changes to the pay structure at our preferred PTWS, how do you make money in the lean times and not go insane?
The simple answer is you go green and recycle your work. If you've been freelancing awhile you have to have a few hundred completed articles saved somewhere. You've done the research, you've constructed the format, the hard part is done. Now you have to re-write it.
Nobody likes re-writes all that much, but take a quick look at why you will learn to love it.
An average 400 word article should never take more than 30 minutes to write. Ever. A rewrite of one of those should take no more than ten minutes. That is 6 rewrites an hour for the math challenged. Lets suppose you can rewrite them that fast (And of course make them distinct from the piece you sold) that means if you only average $2/article that is $12/hr. It isn't great money but it isn't bad. If you can average $3/article that is $18. Not bad huh?
Say you have a small cache of articles like...hmmm.....300 sitting around.
300 articles x10 minutes = 50 hours
300 articles at lets say $2.50/article =$750
$750/50 hours = $15/hr
That is something you can do in one week if you apply yourself which will bring in enough money to let you keep pursuing higher paying gigs. It may not sound big, but if extrapolated over 1 year that is $36,000 assuming you take a months vacation, so yes it is good money even if only briefly. The problem is I don't know anyone with 12,000 or so articles to do this with, but that's not the point. The point is short term relief.
Even if you don't need to rack up a big week to cover a shortfall you can easily rewrite your sold articles quick and easy for extra PTWS dinero. With that said, let's look at the second angle.
Not all articles we sell to publishers come in neat little 400 word containers. In the case of those that are less, you should be able to beef them up in less than ten minutes to create a new article. In the case of longer ones trim them down. A 1000 word article becomes two 500 world articles. Chapters in an ebook become a series of articles.
In some cases it is going to take some time to make changes, but if you are waiting on bids come through and have nothing else to do but contemplate who invented liquid soap, and why, then you have time to do rewrites. Making some money off this material via reposting makes a whole lot more sense than letting it grow more cobwebs than an octogenarians special happy place.
The big question is whether or not it is legal and ethical. The short answer is yes. So long as you make each rewrite distinct from the original you are good to go. To keep past clients happy make sure you change the SEO (even kill it altogether and just get the thing posted fast) and generally make it your own. You all know how to rewrite so why am I explaining it.....Of course you now have the long steady trickle of pennies from share revenue to make this keep paying off long term.
The thing is if you recycle writing like I'm supposed to do with Mountain Dew bottles, you can make an extra couple thousand dollars a year in your downtime with minimal effort. Take it all at once or bleed it out over time, the choice is yours. Just make it a point to get in the routine of doing it, unless of course you already have enough money. If you do, I accept cash or Asian call girls under 5'5" with dyed blonde hair as gratuities. Just a suggestion, feel no pressure.