Finding Article Topics

Being a SleuthIn our previous post in our series on promoting your website through articles, we considered the structure of an article. Knowing how to lay out an article correctly is half the battle. The other half of the battle is deciding what to write about. Most writers struggle with writer’s block. So it really can be a battle at times.

In this post we will look at four tips to help you find topics for your articles.

Tip #1 – Write a Book
well, not really. But imagine you had to write a book on the subject of your website. Start by creating an outline or table of contents for the book. Be sure to write out the outline in your favorite word processor.

One starts with the main “chapter headings”. If you think a particular chapter is a big subject, break it down into sub headings.

Each of these headings is a potential article for your website.

For example, suppose your website’s objective is to help new authors. The “chapters” could be something like this:

– Writing a Novel
– Types of novel
– Need for a plot
– Create Vague Outline
– Develop Characters

Each of these could then be an article. You may want to break each down into subsections is the subject is too broad.

Tip #2 – Be a Spy
Visit the websites of your competition, or that are simply roughly in the same area of interest of your website. You are bound to find ideas that you can use. There are always more than one way to approach a topic so you would not be plagiarizing.

Often you will find that reading someone else’s article will sow seeds of new article ideas in your mind. You might rewrite an article to suit your specific target audience or your specific location.

Tip #3 – Ask Your Clients
If you have opportunity ask your clients what kind of articles they would be interested in or would find helpful.

They don’t even have to be clients, get a group of friends and colleagues and have a brainstorming session. If you have teenaged kids, include them too. Such a “mastermind” group can be very helpful in identifying article topics.

Tip #4 – Use Your Search Engine
This one is really obvious. When using your search engine (e.g. Bing or Google) start by searching using your main topic as the key search term first. Then use your “chapters” and slowly drill down.

Finally
If you follow our four tips, you will build up a structured list of topics that you can use to guide your article writing. Be sure to save it in a convenient location where you can get at it easily. More about using the list in a later post.

In the next post in this series we will look at scheduling your writing activities.

Using a search engine to find topics on how to find topics:

article topics