After just over a year on Associated Content, I’ve finally begun to work past my own biggest obstacle: writer’s block. Coming up with new and unique article ideas can be one of the biggest hurdles to making money and having your voice heard on the internet. But if you’re able to create a limitless list of article ideas, then whenever you’re in the mood to write, all you have to do is sit down and pick from one of the many suggestions you’ve listed for yourself. Here are the best ways to fight writer’s block:
Browse Message Boards
Associated Content pays for unique content, which means if you’re writing on a topic that everyone and their entire family has already written about, your article is unlikely to be popular or to get you an upfront payment. Message boards, however, are a great way to find new and novel article ideas. Join websites for topics that interest you and about which you are knowledgeable. You’ll find that people tend to post specific questions about their passions, whether it’s children, reptiles, home improvement, or gardening. Answering these questions, which often pour into message boards and online forums every day, can be a great way to create a unique spin on an old topic on Associated Content.
Write About Things You Search For
Every time I become curious about something, whether it’s a random health question, something I want to know how to do, or a new approach to animal behavior, I make a note of it. Odds are good if you’re searching for something, especially if it’s something very specific, others are searching for it to. Once you’ve found the answer to your question, you’re an expert on the topic and can start learning enough about it to write an article.
Keep a Notebook and Running List
When you begin to really focus on coming up with new article ideas, you absolutely must write them down. Carry a notebook with you everywhere you go, and any time you think of a new article, a new question, or something you’d like to research more, write it down. The topics you are curious about can easily be transformed into informative and unique articles on Associated Content, a blog, or yahoo.
Break a Big Topic Into Smaller Chunks
When you write for the web, you shouldn’t be writing the sorts of topics that could be turned into books or research papers. Generally, people searching the web want fast and simple answers as well as an opportunity to get more in depth information if they want. If there’s a big topic about which you are knowledgeable- this history of philosophy, computer programming, etc.- break it down into smaller chunks. This is a great way to get multiple articles, and you can provide links to each topic within the series of articles in each article, which can dramatically increase your page views.
Write Several Different Angles on a Single Topic
An article entitled, “How To Get A Child to Behave” will likely not do well on Associated Content. Instead, think about all the ways children misbehave- tantrums, whining, lying, hitting, etc.- and write articles about each of these topics. The next time you think of a broad question, encounter a massive frustration, or contemplate a general philosophical issue, think about ways to approach it from every different angle and pretty soon you’ll have a series of articles that are searchable and web-friendly.
Write About What You Know
We’re always told to write about what we know. But sometimes the things that we know are so obvious to us that it never occurs to us that other people aren’t experts. Write about the things your job makes you an expert in. If you’re a lawyer you can write legal how-to’s; police officers can write about safety; teachers can write about teaching children to learn to read. Think about the things that you have knowledge about and consider what other people might want to know about these topics.
Check Advice Columns
There are advice columns about nearly every topic imaginable- relationships, fashion, home improvement, etc. Peruse internet advice columns and see what people are asking. If you’ve got better advice to give than the advice columnist does, write an article about the topic.
Watch Lifestyle Television
Shows like Oprah and the Today Show often address every day topics but rarely go particularly in depth. Start examining the information people are consuming on television and write articles about it. You’ll find a cornucopia of article ideas for parenting, relationships, mental health, and numerous other every day lifestyle topics.
Write About The Internet
People searching for things on the internet are, by definition, interested in what’s going on on the internet. Consider writing round-up articles listing the best sites for various topics, the best online stores, the best online videos on particular topics, etc. If you check google trends to see what people are searching for, you can create a unique guide that helps people find what they are searching for more easily.
I’ve gotten dozens of article ideas from single sentences in books. When you read something interesting, bookmark the page and research the topic. You may come up with a unique and informative article idea for Associated Content.
If you get stuck with writer’s block, don’t fixate on coming up with an idea. Your mind is likely to just get progressively more blank. Instead, take a break and wait for the topics to come naturally. You’ll find if you’re not fixated on coming up with a topic, just thinking about life, perusing the internet, or sitting around reading may help you find topics you otherwise never would have thought of.