For many writers finding great article ideas is the hardest part of the job. Most writers all wonder at some point how to get ideas for writing articles. We watch other writers pump out one article right after another and wonder how they do it. They know where to look! Article ideas are all around you just waiting for you to write them.
1) There are millions of people asking questions everyday on the hottest topics. Questions sites, such as Yahoo Answers, are a hub of potential ideas. You can browse around in your personal niche or read under other topics of interest. Not only will you find what people want to know, you may also discover that the answerers have completed half your research by posting links in their answers. Question sites help you tune in to the newest trends and write what your readers are wanting to read.
2) While the national news is a great place to find ideas, many of those have been covered and re-covered and are beginning to get old. Your local news is a better place to look for the truly great article idea. You can catch the hottest trends before they hit the national arena, or find a topic that can be expanded to a national level. Pay attention to what piques your interest. If your local prison is laying off guards it could be a big news if it is part of a national trend. Look at the small picture then zoom out.
3) When you are surfing the net or at the bookstore researching your own questions, think about writing an article on your findings. When answering your own questions you are going to be doing the work anyway, you might as well write it down. You aren't the only one trying to find the best place for your honeymoon or which new car to buy. These articles aren't just easy to write because you are doing the research anyway, but also because you already find the subjects interesting.
4) Seasonal events are always a sure bet. Whether they are holiday articles, event articles, or truly seasonal, there is always a demand. Keep in mind your lead times. Some publications publish articles a couple months out, so you may want to write about Christmas is September, and not December. You can look locally for these, as well. If your city has an oatmeal festival, others may enjoy reading about it. Or perhaps write on the history of oatmeal, the health benefits, or oatmeal festivals around the nation. You can take your subject and spin it in several ways for different niche audiences.
5) Like question sites, discussion forums keep you up to date on what people are interested in right now. You can join a forum on your niche or on a personal interest. The hot topics being discussed will be a gold mine of ideas. On forums you may also stumble across an interesting expert and have access to an otherwise undiscovered interview source.
6) Get out from behind your keyboard once in a while. Great article ideas really do just line the streets. When walking around your neighborhood you may notice something interesting or out of the ordinary to write about. Local events, shopping, restaurants, and history are all at your fingertips but only if you go outside once in a while and discover them.
7) Don't forget to mine your experience. We've all heard write what you know, and this really is sage advice. You have experienced a lot of things that others would like to read about. If you have ever been a parent, childless, a member of a club or organization, sky dived, had your wisdom teeth out, gone to college, dropped out of high school, been married, been on a bad date, or just about anything else you can think of you have article fodder.
Don't forget to keep a notebook with you to record your ideas in. Once you start actively looking, you will be surprised at the amount of great article ideas that are really out there, just waiting for you to write them.