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How To Submit Articles: Finding Article Topics When You Have No Idea What To Write About
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Last time we were talking about the role that procrastination plays in article writing. It’s very tempting to put off doing your writing, but why do you put off writing?

Most of the time I think it’s that we don’t have something to write about. We don’t have the first step in place for doing that task, so we avoid it.

It also might have something to do with having written so many articles already, you wonder if you’ve covered everything. Your brain is just not on fire with ideas like it once was.

I know exactly how that feels, and I wanted to share some techniques for overcoming whatever we’re calling this–procrastination, writer’s block, lack of inspiration–whatever it is!

1 – Do the hardest thing first.

I think I learned that piece of advise from the book “Getting Things Done”. I haven’t looked at the book for ages, but that one piece of advise has stuck with me, and I find it to be infinitely helpful.

So, you need to write a few articles. Rather than save them for the afternoon or later in your day (or later in the month! ;) ), try tackling them first thing in the morning. Incidentally, I’ve heard that creativity is also at its highest in the morning, so that might help too.

This works not only with writing articles, but with other dreaded administrative and personal tasks. What is one task that has been hovering over you, that you know you need to do and that just won’t go away on its own? Do an experiment–do that task as the first thing in your workday.

You’ll feel a boost of momentum, a huge relief off of your shoulders, and you just might have more energy and enthusiasm for writing articles.

2 – Determine the first step…

When we don’t know what the first step is for a certain task, we’re very reluctant to undertake it because we don’t know what to do. We don’t want to find ourselves just staring at a blank piece of paper–that’s so discouraging!

What’s the first step with writing articles? Deciding on a topic. If you know what topic you’re going to be writing about, you’ll be much less resistant to sitting down to write.

If you’re not sure what to write about, there are several things you can do to generate article ideas:

  • Log into your Ezine Articles account and use the Title Suggestion Tool. In getting title suggestions, you’re also getting article ideas.
  • Do you own simple keyword research. Go to Google’s free keyword tool, and type in one of your keywords or a phrase that is associated with your general topic. You will be presented with a list of phrases that people are using when they do searches in Google. Look through that list–use some of the phrases as inspiration for article topics. (You’ll also see some stats for each phrase–”monthly search volume” is one of them. That stat refers to how many searches were done for that phrase within the last month.)
  • And the next one I’m making into its own tip….

3 – Go back to the first articles you wrote and tackle those topics again.

Some of you may have been writing articles for a long time–years and years. After a while, you start to think you may have covered every aspect of your niche.

Think back to when you first started writing articles–it was easier to come up with ideas back then, because you had your whole niche left to cover with your articles. You hadn’t covered any of your topics yet, so it may have seemed that your article ideas were endless.

I want you to go back to your first articles. Look at the topics you chose to cover. You’ve learned a lot since you wrote those articles, if it’s been a few years. Try to write new articles covering those topics, but with the new knowledge that you’ve gained.

Just to be clear–I’m not saying to re-write your past articles. No, don’t do that. I’m suggesting that you tackle these topics again and write a totally new article with new ideas.

4 – Write in a different location.

This is a simple idea that has helped me when I’ve been in a slump. I’m used to writing my articles from my home office, which can be convenient. For some reason though, there are times when it is simply impossible to concentrate, and I have a hard time getting myself into my office to write.

When that happens, I go to my local library. There are tons of people there working on computers to keep me company, the desks that they have there are always clean (unlike my own desk!), and I don’t have the distractions of home. I find it easier to get down to business and to write from a spot that I’m not used to.

5 – Work in multiples.

Momentum plays a large part in writing. When you first sit down to write, your momentum is at its most sluggish, but as you get words on the page, your momentum hits its own groove, and your ideas flow more easily.

One way to capitalize on this is to write articles in multiples–I like to do two at one sitting. Sometimes I bounce these articles off of each other–I generate a bunch of ideas for one topic, enough to flesh out two articles. Then I divide the information into two articles. In that way, I make the momentum work for me.

I hope these tips have been helpful–do you have any to add?

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2 Responses to “How To Submit Articles: Finding Article Topics When You Have No Idea What To Write About”

  1. Russ says:

    Hey Steve, I saw the title of this article in the subject line and knew it would be good and it is.
    But on the article before this when you say Google has wiped out blog networks but not “ours” what does “ours” refer to It’s part of a 2300 network?

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Russ,

    I think with the new Panda 3.3 update in Google, there is perhaps a confusion in terms. Panda 3.3 has basically wiped out a certain type of “blog network”. But the type of “blog network” that is being described Google’s Panda 3.3 update is totally different from the types of blogs that are on our publisher list.

    The blogs that we submit to are not paid, and we do not create the blogs or own any of the blogs. They are all owned by individuals who have chosen to create and maintain a blog, and then each individual blog owner has asked us to submit articles to them.

    So, our own “blog network” (or list of blog publishers) is made up of user-submitted blogs (rather than sites we create and maintain), and the owners of those blogs are free to decide which posts sent to them are actually published. The blogs often have other content on them as well, with the content we send them simply supplementing the blog owner’s own activities. It’s not that much different to blog owners going to article directories to get regular content to add to their blogs manually.

    So, when I say that our blog network is fine, I’m referring to the sites on our distribution list that are blogs. The reason why the blogs on our publisher’s list are fine is that they are not the types of blogs that Google has issue with.

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