6 Proven Ways to Generate Article Ideas
In this article, I'm sharing methods on how to beat writer's block and never run out of ideas.
I use these methods and never run out of ideas
You like to write. You put writing on your schedule. You planned to write. Then you sit at your desk, but nothing comes to mind. Sounds familiar?
Even seasoned writers experience a dry spell. Those days when absolutely nothing comes to mind, and you’re stuck with a dreaded writer’s block.
Here is the reality check: it’s not enough to want to write — you need to have a clear picture of what you want to write.
As a writer, I’ve been there. I knew I wanted to write. But what will I write? Every time I sat down at my desk, I felt frustrated because I wasn’t able to write anything. Not even a word. I knew I had ideas somewhere in the back of my mind, but I didn’t have a magic wand to let them out.
After I started using a combination of methods, I never ran out of ideas again. I kissed my writer’s block goodbye.
Here are 6 ways you can generate article ideas.
Write about quotes
Sometimes when I have no clue what to write about, I read a life-changing quote. I think about it more, which leads to more ideas.
Quotes are an excellent way to generate ideas. You can build the whole article based on quotes alone.
It gives you a chance to be creative and go in any direction you want.
Pick quotes based on your interest. It can be about motivation, inspiration, or creativity. Next, find quotes that fit your topic.
For example, if your topic is writing and you want to encourage people to write, you may come up with “5 Inspirational Quotes When You Want to Give Up on Writing.” Then pick your favorite quotes and write a paragraph or two about each one. Here is my article on quotes: 5 Motivational Quotes When You Want to Give Up.
Rewrite your content
Let’s say you wrote an article on creativity. You can cover the topic again and rewrite it but from a different angle. It’s okay to cover the topic more than once as long as your content is different.
There are so many ways you can pivot articles on the same topic. If you’re writing about creativity, you can write about it in general or discuss specific aspects at length.
If I chose creativity as my topic, I can write about ways to boost creativity or habits that promote a creative mind. Here is one of my articles on creativity: 6 Habits of Highly Creative People.
The more you consume, the more you produce. One way to consume is through reading. The more you read, the more you think. And the more you think, the more you come up with different ideas.
Content is everywhere. You can read on Medium, Yahoo, popular websites, and blogs. You can also read books that inspire you.
I mostly write about health and wellness, but sometimes I write outside of my niche. If I come across an eye-catching story, I’m inspired to write my own story on the same topic. That’s why once in a while I step outside of my niche and write an opinion or a pop culture piece. Here is one example: Looking At New Lives In the Aftermath of the Pandemic Crisis.
You consume not just through reading. You can learn so much through visual content too by watching YouTube videos and podcasts. Or watch movies, documentaries, and shows for inspiration.
Reflect on your personal experiences
Self-reflection is a great way to generate ideas for your article. Take time to think about your life. Pick a life experience and think about it. Start freewriting to get your thoughts out. Write in a free stream of consciousness. Pour your heart into your story.
You can also write about special moments in your life. Maybe you’ve had a life-changing experience you want to share? Maybe you’ve learned an important lesson in life that you can’t wait to share with others?
For example, when I started reflecting on my own life experiences, I came up with this personal story: One Thing I Wish Men Knew About Women.
Think of an idea or concept that sparks your interest
I’m sure you can come up with an idea or concept you want to explore. It can be about creativity, gratitude, mindfulness. It can be just about anything. The sky is the limit.
Pro Tip: If you still haven’t figured out your niche yet, this method will lead you in the right direction.
For example, at one point I wanted to write about compassion. I was curious to know what drives compassion and how it helps to make the world better. To help me develop my article, I needed to do more research. I wanted to dive into the topic from a psychological standpoint.
I found some articles on reputable psychology websites. I used the knowledge I picked up from reading to write this article: How We Can Make the World Better With Compassion.
You can take any topic that interests you and research it extensively. It will help you to add substance to your article.
Write about your talents and skills
Sometimes you can generate ideas just by asking yourself: “What am I good at?” “Do I have a special talent or skill I am proud of that I want to share with others?”
Think of an area of your expertise — what advice would you give to someone in the same field? Maybe you are a successful entrepreneur and can teach people about habits and productivity. Or maybe you are a freelance writer who built your career from the ground up.
When you think about sharing your expertise with others, think of the value you will bring to the reader by writing your article. Think from a reader’s perspective — what knowledge will he or she gain from your experience? And how can they apply that knowledge in real life?
If you can cover those two areas, you’ll increase the chances of writing a great article that will grab the attention of your readers. Here is an example of my piece: 4 Truths to Live by to Become a Successful Writer.
The bottom line
Writing isn’t always a smooth journey. Writer’s block can affect anyone — even the most experienced writers. Knowing what to write makes it easier to start writing. And you can take a step forward in the right direction by trying any of the methods above to generate content.
I'm a freelance writer, musician and a mom of two kids. I love writing on health-related, self-improvement, and writing topics as well as world events.