If you write articles for your personal, company or club newsletter or blog, it’s a good idea to keep a list of possible article ideas to pull from. Avoid the stomach sinking worst case scenario of having nothing to write about. Prepare yourself for your next article by keeping track of issues that come up in your area of expertise and/or industry.
I used # 7 to create this post. I asked potential clients in my networking group what they wanted to know about writing. One of them asked “How do I come up with a list of topics for my industry newsletter?” Check out the following steps for my answer.
If you want to keep track of ideas on paper consider also keeping an ongoing Word Doc file (or equivalent) to track web based publication links.
1) Find out what’s being said on Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn) about your industry across the nation or worldwide. Cut and paste interesting conversation threads or links into your Word Doc.
2) Keep note of what issues YOU face throughout the month and how you handle these situations.
3) It’s okay to jot down the obvious issues in your field…your insider solutions may not be so obvious.
4) Listen to what your co-workers are chatting about and write down the issues they’re experiencing.
5) Ask your higher ups what issues your industry is facing as a whole.
6) Research what your competition is up to online.
7) What questions do your clients have that you can write about?
Give yourself some time before your deadline to go over your notes and highlight the most compelling issues and trends listed. Pick one of those issues to be this month’s article topic.