Today, in two different ezines, I read about the advantages of recycling your work. Both Funds for Writers and Writer's Weekly featured pieces which touched on this subject.
This is excellent advice for any writer, but particularly those of us who write non-fiction articles. As I look over my publication history, I see several articles which have been published two or more times. In each case, the second publication took little or no effort on my part. Occasionally, I did need to update or change the slant slightly, but the majority of work had already been done.
More and more us are trying to be green in our lives by recycling paper, plastic, clothes and buying used cars instead of new ones. Use that same philosophy in your writing life. Go through your past submissions. What can you find that is still useful information? Can you update a piece? Maybe you sold a parenting article to a regional publication. Recently when I pitched a parenting article to a magazine in California, they responded that they loved the idea, but were only buying reprints from authors outside of their region. The editor urged me to get back to her when the article was available for second reprint rights. You can be sure I've made a note of this publication and will be sending them the article as a reprint.
You've all heard the phrase "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." Put that to work in your writing life as well as your everyday life. Reduce the time you spend writing by selling reprints. Reuse your articles, sell them as reprints. Recycle your work, sell those reprints.