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A Simple Formula For Coming Up With Hundreds Of Winning Article Ideas

By Randy Ruggles Copyright © 2004

So you've decided to try your hand at writing articles because you've heard it's a great way to promote your business on the Internet.

You've overcome your paralysing fear of grammar. You've borrowed a good thesaurus. And you're confident you can write an article that's interesting and informative.

The problem? You don't have a clue what to write about.

Here's a simple technique to help you come up with tons of article ideas.

First, you should already know which general theme your articles will revolve around. Marketing? Cooking? Science? Music? Obviously you'll choose a theme that appeals to the target market of your product or service.

Next, you probably already own several books that deal with this theme since it's your area of interest. (I suggest if you're not already an avid reader, become one before attempting to write articles.)

Go grab one of your books. Open it to a page.

Now read a paragraph. Any paragraph will do. Then, ask yourself this question:

What is the main idea the author is trying to communicate in this passage? (Hint: often the main idea of a paragraph is the first or the last sentence.)

Now write the idea down on a piece of paper. Could this idea be developed into an entire article? Could you add examples from your own experience to flesh it out and cover the topic in more depth?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not recommending you plagiarize someone else's work. That would be bad. But remember - you can't copyright an idea. There's nothing wrong with taking someone else's idea and giving it your own fresh perspective.

Let me do an example with you to illustrate how this works.

I write articles about marketing for home-based businesses. I have a fairly large collection of business books. Let's go to my bookshelf and see what we find, shall we? (Hmmm . . . I really should organize this thing someday.)

Here we go: "Multiple Streams Of Internet Income" by Robert Allen. I open the book to page 122. My eye falls on this paragraph:

"Remember, your first and most important task is to entice your visitors to leave their e-mail address and give you permission to contact them again. The more valuable your free gift, the less resistant they will be to leave their e-mail address."

The main idea of this paragraph is the importance of capturing the e-mail addresses of your Web site visitors. So, I write that down.

Next, I brainstorm possible headlines by using 'who, what, where, when, why and how.' For example:

1/ How Top Internet Marketers Get Your E-Mail Address

2/ What FREE Things To Give Away On Your Site To Capture E-Mail Addresses

3/ Why Getting Your Visitor's E-Mail Address Is Crucial

These headlines need work. But any one of these ideas could be developed into a full article.

Let's do another one.

Oh, look. Here's "Making Money In Cyberspace" by Paul and Sarah Edwards. On page 5, I find this paragraph:

"You can start doing business in cyberspace for $100, or even less. Lots of people - especially large companies who want to make an impressive showing - have spent more, but you don't have to."

Potential article ideas?

1/ 10 Internet Businesses You Can Start For Under $100

2/ How To Start A Business On The Internet For $100 Or Less

3/ 5 Reasons Why An Internet Business Is Easy To Start (one of the reasons, of course, being its low start-up cost)

Don't think you have to re-invent the wheel when coming up with topics to write about. Don't reject an idea just because you think it's already been done. Your article will be unique because you'll bring to it your own unique style and perspective.

Just use this technique to get the ideas flowing. Then get writing.

About the Author:

Randy Ruggles is a direct-response Copywriter and Marketing Consultant. He is the author of “How To Start Your Own Home-Based Coupon Book Business.” For powerful, persuasive copy that sells, visit Get his FREE 10-day, e-mail course called “The 10 Most Common Advert- ising Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)” by sending a blank e-mail to mailto:[email protected].

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