What Should I Write? Finding Ideas for Freelancers
Here are some tips to find article ideas:
Study the Markets: If you're writing for magazines, make a list of all articles published in the magazine for the past six months. Group them into categories, and then study this list. How can you add to it? How can you shine? Don't forget to notice any upcoming themes. Finally, do a Google search for interviews with editors/writers to see if they suggest any upcoming articles they would like to see. You can also study newspapers if they use freelancers and of course, ezines and blogs should be a very similar process to print magazines mentioned above.
Brainstorming techniques: Take a subject you are familiar with and find the unique angle. Here is an example for an article I did for a family magazine.
- Theme: Gardens and Spring
- So, what do I know would be a good article for this audience (for Families magazine)?
- POSSIBLE IDEAS FOR ARTICLES (writing down any that come to mind--good or not)
- Parks are popular in spring.
- People like to plant with children
- Are there unusual plants I could write about?
- Planting veggies w/kids for healthy eating.
- Recent book I read SHADOW GARDEN & how to make one* (Here is my best idea.)
Ask Yourself What If: This is a technique often used by fiction writers to come up with ideas for stories. Basically, you keep asking what if? until you get a good idea—one that will sell.
- EXAMPLE: Traveling with a dog
- What if you have to travel with a dog?
- What if you have to travel with a large breed dog?
- What if you have to travel with a large breed dog that has separation anxiety?
Everyone gets stuck in a rut--but with a few simple tips and tricks, you'll have plenty of story ideas to query in no time.
Margo L. Dill is a published author, teacher, and editor in St. Louis, MO. Find out more at http://www.editor-911.com .