How to get best ideas for writing articles?
I’m pretty sure that every blogger has similar questions. Nobody likes wasting their time. If we’re going to spend precious hours writing, we want our words to attract as many readers as possible.
It doesn’t matter how often we post, or what our niche is; our goal is to make our writing as fresh and appealing as possible. That’s what builds a following.
The opposite is also true. For example, I have a friend who stopped reading books written by a certain author because the man seemed to recycle much of his material.
Honestly, we can’t write interesting articles if we don’t know how to find material for them. Writers in any blog category can use these eight methods for finding fresh information:
"Our goal is to make our writing as fresh and appealing as possible." - Traci Lawrence
8 Methods for Finding Fresh Information
1. Situations you encounter— Everyday life is full of humor and practical lessons. Grocery stores and roadblocks in traffic can teach us about the need for patience. Online arguments or confusion can lead us to research how to make our writing more clear.
2. TV/movies/books— I find nuggets of wisdom in many reality shows After all, truth is often stranger than fiction. Some facts can make us scratch our heads and say “Huh? I didn’t know that!”, or “I didn’t think of that!” That’s the response I often get to my articles. Readers appreciate seeing details in a new light.
The fascinating tidbits we learn daily can apply to many types of blogs: lifestyle, fashion, writing tips, travel, and so on. The key is to open our minds to using information in more than one way.
3. Your life experience— Everybody knows more than they realize. You don’t have to spend hours in a classroom or researching online to gain invaluable life lessons. Frankly, my formal education has taught me only a fraction of what I have learned through my actual life experience.
For example, reading books doesn’t teach us about successful social interaction. To learn what really works, we have to actually get out and participate in life. That’s why our past is a gold mine to explore anytime we write about anything.
4. Friends— Plenty of my friends have given me useful information. They know that I write about optimism and healthy relationships. So they send links, pictures, and articles. Sometimes, they tell me about conversations or situations that fit the general theme of my blog.
5. Your previously published articles— You can save yourself time and effort if you revise and publish old blog posts. You can add new quotes, images, and stories. Of course you can also edit the original text as well. This will help you to approach the article with a fresh outlook. Please be sure to only recycle articles that are at least four months old.
6. Random inspirational thoughts— I carry around writing materials wherever I go. We can find uplifting insightin the most commonplace settings:
- A beautiful tree may lead us to think of a quote about nature.
- A small child reminds us of our own childhood.
- A neighbor’s smartphone is a reminder that we want to write an article on technology.
- A cute puppy inspires us to write another post about caring for pets.
7. Your research— Information is always available online on a variety of topics. It’s especially useful to research current events, science, technology and politics by that method; those issues are always evolving.
Books and magazines are another great source for humor, history, and uplifting thoughts.
8. Other people’s articles or videos— Some of my articles focus on well-known music videos or uplifting quotes that I find online. I also enjoy paraphrasing others’ work and linking out to it.
Those eight ideas include the main ways that I find material for my articles. I write about spiritual-based optimism and healthy relationships. However, I’m sure my tips could also work for other types of articles:
- Nutrition and health
- And the list goes on…
Now, let’s explore what happens when authors concentrate too much on themselves. Here are the extremes to avoid:
a. Don’t talk only about every detail of every project you’re working on , unless it will help your target audience.
b. Don’t discuss only the negative aspects of your life ; there’s enough of that out there. People read for information, inspiration, or to get a laugh. They want something to grab onto.
If you are discussing challenges, decide how you can turn the article into a positive teaching experience for your readers. When I first started blogging, I allowed my natural pessimism to show through because I’ve had a very rough life.
You know what? Very few people wanted to come to my pity party; they were too busy having their own “party”.
Readers want to be lifted out of the fear and anger that is so prevalent everywhere. Now, when I mention challenges, I try to turn them into a positive, even amusing, lesson to which many people can relate--hopefully.
Here’s the number 1 rule to remember: A blog is not a journal, nor is it Twitter. People don’t want to read only about everything you ate for lunch, or details of every relationship or health struggle.
You’re writing for the readers, not for you. That’s why it’s important to bring them new material from a variety of sources.
Personally, I expect inspiration anytime, from anywhere. That’s what makes an interesting blog!
Traci Lawrence is an author, blogger, substitute teacher, and freelance editor living in the Eastern United States. Traci’s writing is motivated by her real-life experience in being undervalued. Her passions are healthy relationships and communication.
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