If you write articles frequently, you have probably found that sometimes you just don't know what to write about. This is a very common issue for even the best of us; however there are some quick tricks that can help. Here are what the top five:
1. Look at today's news -- A busy news site such as Yahoo or Excite is good for this. Look at the news wire sections; they usually have a lot of brief, succinct content that can be extremely useful for generating topic ideas.
2. Read articles from other people -- Whether you read the Article Announcement groups, Websites with article collections, or a few print magazines it doesn't matter. By reading someone else's material though, you can usually gain a bit of motivation and a fresh perspective. This will cause you to think of different angles for many of the same topics.
3. Read some message boards, discussion lists or newsgroups -- Often times you'll see questions, answers and advice in these areas that generate a whole wealth of new article ideas.
4. Read through your own archives -- Sometimes things we've written months or even years ago are seen in a new light as we learn and grow. Rewrite existing content, write it with a new twist, or simply update it for today's market.
5. Join a few news release services, particularly those that allow you to reprint their content verbatim -- By joining one or more news release services, you can elect to have new press releases sent to you regularly by email. If this is too much for you, simply turn the email delivery off and bookmark the login page. When you need content ideas, browse through some of the latest press releases until something catches your interest. With that, you can then go about creating your own article around the information you found.
One or two of these services (i.e. News stream) actually allow you to reprint their content at no charge as well. So, if you're pressed for time, and/or nothing else is working, then go grab something pre-made and use it. Remember to only do this with quality material, and only with permission.
And a bonus tip: Read quotes! Yep. Quotes often generate quite a bit of thought, realization or just plain emotional response -- all of which are great building blocks for creating articles of your own.
Writing articles can seem agonizing when you just don't know what to write about. There's no reason to waste time and energy agonizing though, just keep this list around and refer back to it whenever you're in a pinch for ideas!