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Writing Tips: Finding Unique Topics to Write About

In AC Nuggets, Writing Tips on February 21, 2008 at 7:00 am

Unless you’re sitting down with a list of topics you want to tackle, it can be challenging to come up with unique and interesting article ideas – especially those that haven’t already been covered on the web, or on Associated Content.

It’s always a good idea to do a simple ‘search’ on AC AND Google to find out which angles have already been covered. This not only lowers the risk of plagiarized copy, but also makes it easier to take a completely fresh approach to your idea. You can still read other people’s work to pick up key points, but you’ll need to come up with something entirely different after that.

Here are some simple ways to brainstorm that list of read-worthy titles:

  1. Look at magazine editorial calendars. Most publishers now post editorial calendars online, and this can help you generate ideas for ‘in season’ topics. Plan your own editorial calendar with the same themes so you can pick up the ‘what’s hot’ article topics easily.
  2. Visit Amazon.com. This is a goldmine for digging up thousands of topic ideas. Watch the bestsellers list, find out which products are most popular, and weave these ideas or products into your articles for maximum impact.
  3. Flip through the TV Guide. Don’t waste time watching hours of television. If you’re looking for fresh article fodder, just read the summaries in the TV Guide for the general themes and ideas of shows, and use these to create unique topics of your own.
  4. Talk to friends and neighbors. Random conversations can quickly become source material for a fresh new topic idea. Is your neighbor raving about her Jenny Craig success story? Write an article about the latest trends with weight loss programs. Has the local café announced a new blend of coffee or tea? Write an article about the history of that coffee blend. Pick up new things to research from your environment – all you have to do is pay attention!
  5. Take a vacation in your hometown. Play tourist for a weekend, and get some pictures of key places and attractions in your area. You can develop at least 3-5 articles on various events and attractions in your local community, from the perspective of a traveler.
  6. Use the traditional approaches – at least once per week. Use internet trend trackers to kick off a brainstorming session. This can also cut down on the keyword research you may have to do.

Reading as much as possible, of course, will help keep those creative juices flowing nonstop; the more you read, the more you research, and the more you explore different subjects in detail, the higher the chances that you’ll generate original ideas.

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