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Where Do YOU Get Ideas For Your Online Article Submissions?
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We’re in the middle of a series where we’re creating a year long schedule of article topics.

In the last post, I showed you my list of article topics for next month.

Each topic was indicated by a title and a short description. That title and short description will be of infinite help to me when I start writing each article.

You may wonder–how in the world did I come up with those article ideas?

Here are 3 places where I routinely get my ideas for articles:

1 – E-books I’ve written.

For the list of topics in the last post, I went to an e-book that I wrote a few years ago. I looked through the e-book’s table of contents and picked out some topics that I thought would be useful to my target readers and that I found interesting.

I came up with the titles first, then I went back in and wrote a short description. I can use that short description when I submit my article, but even before that the short description helps me when I start to write my article. I can almost use that short description as an opening paragraph.

I’m always grateful for a head start when it comes to writing articles! It helps get the creative juices flowing. Nothing worse than staring at a blank page!

Just a tip–for those of you who have e-books or even hard copy books on your topic, you do not have to re-write the content if you want to turn it into online articles. The only time you need to re-write the content is if it is appearing on your website–you want the content on your own site to be unique.

An e-book is not usually online, so it’s fine to pick out portions and adapt it to suit the length of an article. You’ll also want to make it “article friendly”–be sure you’ve got an appropriate intro and concluding paragraph. You may also want to transform the information to include a numbered list or bullet points.

2 – When people write in asking me questions.

I welcome questions about article marketing from everyone–you don’t have to be a member of my article submitter membership site to pick my brain. I love the questions, and I will routinely get questions that merit an involved reply. These are the types of questions that reveal an obvious misunderstanding of some element of article marketing that needs some in depth explaining.

Many times I’ll get a great question, and I’ll think “That would make a good blog post.” (I first write the blog posts, then rewrite the posts into articles that I submit.). Then after I think about it for a while, I realize that in order to do the topic justice I need to give background info and suggestions for applying the new info, and also examples and illustrations, and so on. What started out as one innocent question from a reader turns into a 4 part series that thoroughly covers the topic.

3 – When problems pop up…

Sometimes people don’t write in with questions, but rather they write to tell me about a problem that they are having.

For example, one person wrote me to say that she was just tired of writing articles. She was having trouble concentrating, her writing quality was going downhill, she was no longer excited about writing, and she didn’t know how she would continue her marketing activities.

When I see something like that, I can relate. That is a problem that many writers have–it’s called “writer’s block”. I have had that problem myself from time to time, but the thing that has helped me the most has been writing articles that help others overcome this issue.

There are other examples of problems, usually involving an emotional element–getting frustrated waiting for results, being doubtful of your ability to learn a new skill, feeling overwhelmed at all the information that is thrown at you about website marketing. Even in a very technical field like search engine marketing, there is still an emotional element, and I get a lot of fulfillment in writing articles on my topic that address the human side of my readers.

These are my 3 big sources for article ideas. What are yours?

Where do YOU get your ideas for articles?

Photo credit:

light bulb moment by Firose Huzenne

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13 Responses to “Where Do YOU Get Ideas For Your Online Article Submissions?”

  1. Kim Snyder says:

    I get a lot of my ideas for questions I get asked. I think about all the items I offer and then ask myself, if I had no idea how to use it, what information would I need? I look over the keywords in titles of blog posts that get hits month after month. That tells me that more information maybe helpful..
    When I am out running around and see a product (as you can tell I run a website filled with products) I think about ways it could be used..

  2. Enjoyed your article very much. Especialy enjoyed going back and looking at your outline plan for article writing and setting out the project work over the month.

    I whole-heartedly endorse the tipe regarding article submission as the best, most productive and most sustainable way of getting your profile out into the market place. It is also the least expensive.

    Well done.,


  3. Sam Streubel says:

    First I use something like Rank Checker to see how individual website pages are ranking in the SERPS. I concentrate on the pages that are just out of the top 10 because they offer the best return for my article marketing efforts if I can get them to move from page two to page one.

    Next I go to Wordtracker with the main keyword phrase from the page I’m promoting and look for variations of that phrase or LSI keyword phrases (keywords related to, but not containing, the main keyword) that could be the basis for an interesting article.

    Then I filter potential titles a bit more by looking for those with a reasonable number of daily searches and as little competition as possible.

  4. You ask where do I get my ideas for writing articles. In answer, I have to ask myself the question and think about it.

    Basically, I am motivated by the sense that each of us is “unique”. There is no other soul earth who sees, thinks, hears, speaks, imagines just like you do. That spark of light from the sun is captured in a way by you that cannot be replicated precisely like you. Similar, maybe, but not the same. Equally, I hear what you are saying in a way that is unique to my interpretation and understanding. You saay what you are thinking in a way that is unique to you and your soul and persona. What I feel may be similar to you; may be even familiar to you but it is not the same.
    It is that uniqueness that gives authenticity to your account and your story. It is that which makes what you have to say so special. No other can do the same. It may be copied, but then that is copy.


  5. David Judge says:

    I generally get a lot of my forward ideas for article through google reader. The first step I go through is to set-up feeds into reader from google news, then I search on google for niche I am writing for and set-up feeds from those locations. I then leave it to bake for about a month and go in and brain storm a lot of ideas for articles from there. You have to be careful once you have set this up as you will begin to find a lot of your own articles appear (along with variations of your original articles) and it sort of distorts the information. The other way I collect ideas for articles is through surveys. I set up a free survey questionnaire through survey monkey and email all of my existing clients asking them to fill in the questionnaire. You do need to give away something of real value for this to work, preferrably not just a discount on your services. Small MP3 players or gift vouchers are very cheap and assist you getting answers.

  6. Ramachandran says:

    Article ideas come in a random fashion. It is more like an instantaneous
    outburst. A strong desire to pen down.

  7. Hi Steve,
    I`ve been reading your articles for a while now & thoroughly enjoy them!
    As always, this is another good article……..unless, you`re like me!
    1) I haven`t writen an e-book
    2) people don`t yet write to me asking questions
    3) I don`t hear about other people`s problems

    What sources of inspiration would you offer me.


  8. Rick Carter says:

    I will use the bullet points on my sales page as titles and then write a brie article on that topic. Sometimes you can get 2 articles out of it – 1 that is ramblings on the topic, and another one detailing “how to” on the topic.
    Plus this provides consistency to the reader. If they click through from the article to the salespage, there will be consistency between the article and the salepage.
    Rick Carter

  9. Jurgen Wolff says:

    I set up a Google Alert for key words relating to my field (writing) and usually find at least one idea a day from the results. Sometimes I simply write my own version of whatever topic comes up, sometimes I reference someone else’s blog post and add to it.

  10. Thanks for the 3 steps on getting inspiration to write articles all year round.

    I must admit using existing article content to produce several new aticles took me by susrprise.

    Looking forward to your fortcomimg article marketing newsletter.

    Best regards,

    Andrew Molobetsi
    in Sunny South Africa

  11. Anne says:

    Hi Steve,

    I get my ideas from basically the following places:

    - my website content. I pick a blog post and will write an article that will talk in details about one or two specific points of a blog post.

    -the comments and questions people make or ask on my website.

    - keywords research: I use Google Keyword Tool and look for long-tail keywords that would make an interesting article.

    - my Google Analytics account: I look at the traffic coming from Search engines and I write articles around long-tail keyphrases people are searching for.

    - other people’s blogs in my niche (related topics): my niche is article marketing and I will look at SEO blogs, web traffic blogs, and get ideas from there.


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