How To Utilize Onward State’s Community Section

A month ago, Onward State debuted the Community section as part of an effort to make our website a platform for readers to voice their opinions, share interesting stories, promote community events, or write about anything in the Penn State community that interested them. We’ve already had a great response, with posts on a wide variety of topics that have provoked both support and debate amongst other readers.  But we’re missing one crucial element: you.

Want to submit something? Head over to our submit content page. We also want to give you more room to create an identity than the post alone, which is why we have created  member profiles. Make sure to upload a picture and provide contact information in case readers want to contact you.

Here’s some tips to make your community content stand out from all the rest.

  • You can write about anything! If there is any topic you want to speak out about, don’t hesitate to write up a post. Whether you want to promote an event, share a story about your experiences, or provide feedback on current events, your voice is welcome.
  • Know your audience. By making sure that your content is relevant to the Penn State community, you can attract more readers and ultimately reach more people. For example, it’s probably not a great idea to write a review of your favorite movie, but an article about an interesting documentary about Penn State would be fine.
  • Start a conversation. Being part of a community goes two ways. The best blog posts start a dialogue between the author and readers, expanding the scope of the original story. Pose questions to your reader to encourage discussion and debate, and continue to interact and respond to comments that you may receive.
  • Change up the format. Most readers, when faced with an extremely long article, may not want to spend the time to read the whole post. If you divide the post into sections and put spaces between them, readers won’t be turned off by a giant wall of text. If your subject works better as a list, try making bullets of the most important points.
  • Use multimedia. You can attach pictures and video using the submission form, and they will help bring your post to life. Make sure to tell us where you want the pictures to go so that we can format the article the way you want it to be.
  • Share! Onward State will promote community content through our Facebook and Twitter pages, but the best way to get your work seen is to help promote it yourself. Send your post’s link to your friends, share it on Facebook, or tweet about it to encourage others to read and respond to your post.
  • Promote your organization. If you’re a leader in a student organization, the Community section is a great way for you to get your organization’s message out to our broad readership. You can create a profile for your organization and post regular updates on news and events.

Now, get writing! We hope to see your Community Content on the front page of Onward State soon!

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About the Author

Alex Federman

Alex is a Senior at Penn State who enjoys watching movies and television shows (probably a bit too much). He's a Film/Video major, with a Spanish minor.

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