Guest Post by Jeff Davidson
The best topics for articles are derived from successful work that you’ve already done. This includes books, reports, papers, summaries, guides, and exhibits that you’ve prepared which can be generalized and applied to a larger audience. Even if you’ve never written about a subject, you may have an article if you have special knowledge or insights.
Here are some ways to generate article topics and start getting published.
Clip Articles That Stimulate You
Every time you read the Sunday newspaper or a professional journal, save articles that strike your fancy. You might not even know how you’d use the article when you clip it. File all of the clippings by topic or subject area. Months later, review your clip file, and you’ll find that what you’ve clipped serves as the catalyst for numerous article ideas.
Freelance writers have successfully used the clip file technique for years.
Think of six, eight, or more ways to do something better. The market for how-to articles is strong as more and more people thirst for do-it-yourself information. By putting a number into the title of your article, such as “7 Ways to Accomplish XYZ,” you have a hook that will attract readers.
Generic Article Topics
Here are ten generic article topics to help get you started:
1. How to____________________________________________
2. ______Reasons Why________________________________
3. ______Ways to Improve______________________________
4. ______to Consider Before____________________________
6. New Developments__________________________________
7. A______________Approach to_________________________
8. The Art of__________________________________________
9. Overcoming Resistance to____________________________
10. Planning for Your___________________________________
Here are how these topics were turned into potential articles:
1. How to Ask for a Bigger Office
2. Six Reasons Why Using a PC Will Decrease your Efficiency
3. Eight Ways to Improve Your Vocabulary
4. Items to Consider Before Changing Jobs
5. Four Pitfalls in Working for a Government Agency
6. New Developments in Laser Technology
7. A New Approach to Group Decision-Making
8. The Art of Closing the Sale
9. Overcoming Resistance to Reorganization
10. Planning for Your Next Job Promotion
List Your Gripes
A list of gripes or discomforts in connection with your work can actually contain the seeds of articles. If something bothers you, it undoubtedly bothers others. Discuss the problem in broad terms and offer suggestions for redress. By recognizing the universality of a problem that you face, you’ll be creating material for an excellent article.
Remember the Memorable
An unforgettable staff member (or boss), a favorite professional experience, your biggest disappointment, or other memorable event can lead to some underlying lesson, something we can all use in our lives.
Focus on Your Potential Readers
If you concentrate for a moment on who will be reading your article and what impact it will have on them, your writing will flow more smoothly. Think of the last time you wrote a letter to a friend or relative. Your writing task was on a one-to-one basis and your target audience was perfectly defined. Your words and ideas probably flowed freely. You can achieve the same effect when you precisely define the target group that will be reading your article. If it helps, write the name of your target group on the top of your outline, such as peers, project staff, or executives earning over $180,000 per year.
About Jeff Davidson
Jeff Davidson, the internationally recognized expert on work-life balance, holds the registered trademark as the Work-Life Balance Expert®. He is the author of several popular books including Breathing Space, Simpler Living, and The 60-Second Organizer. He is an Advisory Board Member on The Organized Executive, a monthly publication of Columbia Books.
In 2013, Jeff had eight books published in Chinese, including Simpler Living, The 60-Second Innovator, The 60-Second Organizer, The 60-Second Self-Starter, Ten-Minute Guide to Time Management, and Ten-Minute Guide to Project Management.
Jeff Davidson is on the web at http://www.BreathingSpace.com.
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