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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Writing and Public Speaking

How to Generate Article Ideas That Get Read
By:Ahmad Sofi MdHashim

Coming up with interesting ideas for articles is a challenge in itself. The more ideas you formulate, the better your chances at having a continual stream of fresh content for your website and general distribution on the Internet. Where can you find these elusive ideas?

There are several methods you can use to brainstorm article ideas that will be of interest to your customers, potential customers and website visitors. Following are a few to get you started.

Chat rooms and message boards.

With billions of Internet users online, you are bound to be able to find chat rooms and message boards that relate to your topic. These people are your potential customers. Spend some time visiting chat rooms and reading through message board posts to find out what theyre talking about, what concerns they have, and what kind of information they are most interested in. Checking out chat rooms and message boards serves a double purpose: it can help you generate article ideas, and give you some leads on where to post your articles after youve written them.

Television, print media and online news.

Stay current with the most recent topics and trends in your industry by watching news broadcasts, skimming newspapers or browsing the latest online news feeds. If you notice anything relating to your topic or business that seems to be drawing a lot of attention, write a few articles about it. Timely articles are more likely to be spread fast across the Internet, and by taking advantage of current events in your articles, you can increase your visibility.

More timely ideas.

Use the time of the year to your advantage when brainstorming article ideas. Can you relate your topic to a season, a holiday, or an upcoming celebration? Invest in the latest issue of Chases Calendar of Events, which lists hundreds of typical and unusual holidays throughout the year, and look for several you can tie into. For example, if you run a website design business, you could write an article about looking your best online for Build a Better Image Week in September. You can also discover more about current hot topics in public discussion by browsing online non-fiction bestseller lists to see what books people are buying.

Your website and current customers.

You can generate article ideas according to what your customers are already asking about! Check your guestbook comments regularly and keep a file of any questions customers ask you via e-mail or phone. You can also ask customers and visitors to participate in a survey and let you know what types of articles or information they would like to see on your website.

If you dont knowfind out!

You may come up with quite a few ideas for articles on subjects you are not familiar with. If a topic would make a great article, but you dont know much about the subject area, relax: everything you need to find out more is right at your fingertips.

Internet research is a great way to educate yourself and gather enough information for a compelling and factual article. The most obvious way to do this is using a search engine like Google or Yahoo. However, it can be hard to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly in search engine results.

Fortunately, there are plenty of free sources for good information online. Try plugging in your topic or subject at one of these websites:

Wikipedia www.en.wikipedia.org: This free online encyclopedia contains over one million searchable articles on various topics.

HowStuffWorks www.howstuffworks.com: A comprehensive searchable website that explains how everything works. Categories include people, science, health, entertainment, computers, auto, home, money and more.

Fact Monster www.factmonster.com: Another searchable database that features an online almanac, dictionary, encyclopedia and atlas.

RefDesk.com www.refdesk.com: This site indexes and reviews web-based resources and archives quality informational websites. RefDesk.com features a facts subject index, a fast facts section, links to essential online reference resources like dictionaries, almanacs, calculators, encyclopedias and genealogy databases, and more.

Ahmad Sofi MdHashim

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