It’s an established fact of internet marketing that one of the most effective forms of free advertisement is to write and distribut articles to newsletters. Stone Evans of Plug-in-Profits said, “once you get one of YOUR ARTICLES published on someone else’s blog or website, that article and the links within it are probably going to remain there FOREVER.”
But finding ideas that jump off the page can seem a daunting task. Many marketers stare at a blank screen, lost, as if hoping an idea will emerge on its own. Experienced writers know ideas are not created in a vaccum. Ideas, especially article ideas, are like branches of a tree: Each grows from another. Understanding this is the first step in finding the ideas needed. Because the nuclei of article ideas are all around us, in every day life. The trick is to see them for what they are.
Below are some excellent sources for ideas, ones that most writers use without even realizing it.
During the course of many conversations, a clever writer will naturally learn two things: what it is they, themselves, know and what it is others don’t, but want/need to. Many articles have begun from a casual remark or question. For instance, a writer may be explaining their work to a group of friends and mention RSS or ROI. One friend may interrupt, asking, “What IS ROI?” and everyone seems curious. Voila`! Not only does the writer have an article idea, but a title to go along with it: “What IS ROI?”
In the forums, even new marketers will see others’ questions that they can anwser. Because forums often bring together some new and some experienced marketers, one thread can offer ideas for several different articles. A newbie will ask a question that is not general knowledge– evidence of this being that many others’ view the thread and post responses.
This source is two fold, but please do not mis-interpret this as in any way endorsing plagarism.
— First, by reading others’ articles, a writer’s own questions and observations can become the seed for article ideas. While reading about ROI, for instance, the similarity between ROI factors and smart shopping practises caught my attention and soon “7 Shopping Tips For Smart Affiliate Marketing ROI”, was born.
— Second, as a writer works on one article, an off-shoot of that idea often develops organically. While it may be too “off-topic” or diverse for the current article, it does form the nucleus of a new one. During the course of writing this article, no less than 10 other ideas have presented themselves. (The value of these ideas and which, if any, will see the light of day are yet to be seen.)
Even the newest marketer brings to marketing some life experience. If, indeed, one has no experience or relevent content to add directly related to internet marketing, there is always the “off-topic” article to be written. While this may be used in non-marketing newsletters, the point is the author is exposing his/her link to the world at large.
Yes, that’s right. Most think that experience is a basic ingredient to writing an article. Yet, generally speaking, it is often the less experienced marketer that will notice something their more experienced counter-parts have over looked. Noticing these things can often spur great article ideas.
This is a classic writer’s tool and with good reason: it works. Brainstorming is merely a matter of sitting quietly with paper and pen (or word-processing software, as the case may be) and writing down every possible idea, regardless of value or judgement that occurs to them related to a given subject. It differs from the sources above (which should be written down ASAP) because it comes from stream-of-consciousness thinking, from free-association, rather than a specific source. The value of these, too, should be decided later.
The main ingredient in finding good article ideas is to learn to think in terms of articles. That is, to see the possible ideas when they present themselves and to grab hold of them. Sometimes the newest writer can seize on the hottest article idea, once they know what to look for. With practise, too, it becomes easier.–mo