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Article Writing Secrets: Where Do I Get Ideas?


Where Do I Get Ideas?

That's the most common question I get from fellow writers looking to break into article marketing. The truth? Steal them.

Yes, you literally steal ideas and twist them a bit to make them fresh – make them yours.

That leads to another question, how do you make old ideas yours so that they're fresh, new and – dare I say – revolutionary?

Actually, it's not as tough as you may think. Here's a quick and easy formula I use for turning old content into something new:

1.Find an old text. Dust off articles, books and home-study courses from your industry and find content that may be useful to your audience. I know what you're thinking. “What about copyrights, Lisa?” Good question. Unless you plan to republish entire blocks of text from the source material, you won't run into any problems. See the following points to find out why.

2.Pull out key points. Look at the information and pull out the salient points that really jump out to you. I usually highlight the points that are exciting to me, and then I re-phrase those points by putting them into my own words.

3.Add your expertise. Under the key points, you'll want to share a bit of advice and expand on the main idea. The best way to do that is to share some of your experience. Tell an anecdote or story from when you handled a similar situation. For instance, when I was an editor at a large business-to-business newsletter publishing company, I often took several articles, pulled out the main ideas and combined the information to create one short, coherent article. You can do the same.

4.Raise your voice. To make sure you're using the source material as a point of reference only, consider reading your final article aloud. If it doesn't sound like something you'd say to a friend or colleague in the industry, re-write it. In my experience, that's the only way the article will ring true with your readers. Plus, you'll steer very clear of the copyright police – who, frankly, aren't really watching anyway. It's your audience you want to please.

Bottom line: Maybe they have heard this information before, but they haven't heard it from YOU – a battle-tested, shooting straight-from-the-hip expert.

It really is that simple. But it does take some practice. Find two long articles from your industry and boil them down to four or five key points. Then simply expand on those points by sharing stories and anecdotes from your experiences.

Try it and let me know how you make out. This is the best way to find so-called “fresh ideas.” When you look at it this way, new ideas are everywhere.

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