Recycling College Work in Freelance Writing
Just about any college program worth its salt requires students to produce periodic research, analysis, and term papers in almost every class. This is a surefire way to confirm whether a student has really understood the principles of a given instruction as well as how to apply those principles in a real-time example. By the time a person is done and has a degree, he or she has probably written a book or two in combined papers produced. And then all that work and information is thrown out with the cleaning of the dorm room or apartment before leaving school.
However, for many freelance writers for hire in school or about to graduate, those old papers and research can be gems. They already include plenty of research, most of it fairly up-to-date since that’s what’s required in many classes. If a writer can find a way to recycle this work and information, it allows him to leverage prior work and make earnings off of it repeatedly. Here’s a few caveats and tips on how:
- Once Posted, It Lives Forever – Keep in mind any work produced that gets posted to the Internet at school or by a client afterwards becomes fair game for copysearch queries. Clients that find such material, even if the writer owns the original post, are going to want unique, new content. So the trick is to rewrite one’s material again so that it doesn’t show up as a blatant verbatim copy. That said, even a rewrite takes far less time than a full-blown project from scratch, so the recycling still saves lots of time.
- Treat Prior Work as a Library – In most cases a term paper is not going to be an exact fit for a client’s project. The college work needs to be treated like a library, picking and pulling what is already done and cobbling it together to produce a new product. Most freelance writers become familiar with this approach over time, re-using their prior work, but new writers don’t have that luxury when getting started. So college papers can make up for the gap if used correctly.
- Remember Your Audience – One of the weirdest comments I received right after school was that my work read and sounded “too academic.” I was still writing for college instead of for the client. The content may be exactly what is needed, but clients want material that is similar to how they communicate. So learn how to write for the office or social media. Don’t expect college tense and wording to be accepted by default out in the real world.
- Don’t Forget to Update Your Work – Old papers and research grows stale. Smart writers add to their library, updating their material and content with each new related project. This allows the ability to write about changes over time as well as the most current developments, creating very valuable content for those who like detail and trends.
College papers and work don’t need to be thrown away. They have repeat lives, as well as earnings value, if a person can strategize how to use the material properly when freelancing.
Tom L has been out of college for the last 24 years and just recently decided to go back to school again for another degree to get more material for his writing library among other goals.