This article appeared in my monthly ezine. If you missed it, and you don’t want to miss being among the first to read more articles like it, then please subscribe.
Over the years, I have encouraged writers to write on topics that are meaningful to them. I can’t do the work for anyone, but I can cover the basics of how to find and flesh out ideas, how to turn ideas into solid writing, and how to polish and sell articles to publications that pay.
It’s amazing to me how such a simple set of ideas can lead to such powerful results. I have seen writers take a single important topic that is meaningful to them and build what is essentially a cottage industry from it. I am always so gratified to watch a writer construct this kind of success over many years, because that’s what it takes. But I also remember that every writer starts somewhere. And that moment when they strike upon the topic or idea is ripe with infinite potential and profits.
Infinite potential and profits have to start somewhere. Article writing is a great place to prime the pump. The fact that article writing is so straightforward and teachable while still being engaging and creative is great news for writers.
Here’s eight ways to mine your life for article ideas:
Look to what you know. Do not listen to people who tell you not to write about what you know. One of my most successful students started out as a forum moderator on a topic that she was passionate about. After several years of passion into action, she has a continually growing profitable body of work on the topic. But you have to put what you know into action for this to work for you.
Look to what you would like to know more about. If you are hungry to learn more, this is an excellent sign. Even if research is not your favorite part of the writing process, if you find yourself digging deeper on any topic in your personal life, consider applying what you learn by writing about it. You’ll prosper as you grow.
Look to who you know. If you are now a mom and you spend your days online surrounded by moms, then you might want to consider writing for moms. Why wouldn’t you? Same goes for whatever kind of people you hang out with all day on social media.
Look at your personal history. Chances are good that there are a handful of topics that have always been important to you. Maybe these are related to the way you grew up, were raised, or experienced family rituals and routines. No one has precisely your perspective, and you are sure to profit by sharing yours in your writing.
Look to topics you just can’t get enough of. If you could write and write and write and never tire of the topic, then you’ve found a match! It may even be a match that lasts a lifetime.
Look to a topic about which there is a ton to share. Has the topic been well-traversed? That’s okay. No one is going to approach the topic quite the same way you will. Use other people’s work as a springboard for your work. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due.
Look for a topic with constant breaking news. Health. Parenting. Technology. These are topics that will always be in the headlines. Major studies for research on these topics will always be underway. This means a steady stream of material for writers who choose these topics. Look for breaking news on your topic and keep tabs on it no matter what you write about.
Look to your bio. As you grow as a professional, you may inadvertently stumble into topics, audiences, markets, and ideas that just somehow click. This can happen even when there is no apparent connection to your past or present. So if it does happen, pay attention. Perhaps you can grow your career in a new and exciting direction.
You likely have everything you need to get started with a writing career right at your fingertips. But your future success all comes down to what you do with it.
Why not start brainstorming some ideas today? If you want to learn article writing basics, check out my three article writing courses in my online school.
I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. I am focused on making the world a saner, more expressive place. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!