Turning College Essays into Viral Blog Posts

Turning College Essays into Viral Blog Posts

It’s nearly the end of the semester! Whoot-whoot! And if you’re like me, you may have a pile of essays, grades, and zero brainpower. You don’t want to go on a blog posting hiatus, but after cramming for finals, you’re not sure what you could even post.

But never fear! Because those computer files of homework & essays can be turned into practical, reader friendly posts. Believe me, I’ve done it before. Also, you don’t have to wait until the end of the semester to turn your essays into blog posts. This can be done pretty much anytime you’re short on brain power and have a surplus of homework 🙂 Which is all the time.

How do you take a double-spaced essay and turn it into a blog post? Here’s three steps to transform homework into blogging content.

Three Steps to Turning Essays into Blog Posts

Ask yourself, Am I passionate about this essay? 

First and foremost, you must really care about that essay. Maybe your beliefs are wrapped up in the thesis. Or you know people need to agree with your argument. Maybe you’ve proposed change  you believe should be done. Or maybe you’ve just spent 24 hours writing that paper and want some tangible profits.

Whatever the case may be, when you turned in that essay, did you believe what you wrote? Was it important to you?

If it’s important to you, it will be engaging content. You should be able to make it matter to someone.

I wrote an essay on using media for my class on Media & Society. As I wrote the paragraphs, I grew frustrated with how people use media all the time, but especially in church. When I submitted the essay, I knew I wanted more people than just my college professor to read it. I felt the subject was important – and not just in the classroom.

If you feel that way after turning in your homework, than your homework should make engaging online content. And not only will it be engaging, but it is something you care about. People want to read what you care about. If you’re not passionate about the subject, then your posts will be boring.

Create Action for the Reader

Once you uncover your passion in an essay, you need to move that passion towards your readers. Instead of just arguing for your beliefs, create actions for the reader.

In my case, I wrote an essay on how media is harming relationships. Instead of just listing stats and facts as I did in my essay, I gave specific action for the reader to do.
In my essay, I issued a thesis on media consumption. In my blog post, I gave three specific actions for my readers to fight media hypocrisy.

While writing a passionate essay is the first step, you must drill into your writing. What is your article asking people to change? What will readers do differently when they read this? A good blog post gives specific steps for readers to do. Kind of like what you’re reading right now. Three steps to turn college essays to blog posts. I could just talk about how essays make good blog posts, and never give any specific directions. But that would be terrible for me to write and not much good for anyone to read.

Your ideas may be the best in the world, but if you don’t give your readers a way to act on those ideas, these ideas will never leave the printed page.

Change from College to Blogging Style

Are essays conversational? Most of the time they sound academic, maybe even speechifying. When you turn in a paper your target audience is a professor. But your readers aren’t grading your blog. At least not like a professor would.

While your essays are formal, your blog posts should sound normal. Your readers are your friends, not your GPA creators.

I found the idea of viewing your writing as a conversation helpful. When you read your post out-loud, does it sound normal? In one of my classes, we discussed writing the news in a conversational tone. Our professor gave us this question, “If you were telling this story over dinner, how would you tell your mom?”

So, when you transfer an essay into a blog post, reword your writing. Cut out lengthy sentences, even complex phrases. Use 4 syllable words sparingly. Explain technical terms in everyday language. And add pictures. The more pictures, the more appealing. (Also, be sure to not use anything copyrighted. Don’t set yourself up for a lawsuit.)

And just to be sure it sounds great, read your post to a friend. I guarantee as you read it, you’ll uncover awkward wording or messy terminology.

Never Run out of Post Ideas

The number one blogging roadblock I’ve run across is post ideas. How do you keep your blog going? What do you write week to week?
If you’re in college, blogging boredom can be especially true. You’re not traveling to new places, making new foods, or spending the time to review new movies and books. But you are doing a lot of time thinking. And those thought can be great blog posts.
Blogging is a big brain investment. Learning to recycle your homework can help keep your blog fresh and updated.

What do you do to find new content? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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