Are you running short of ideas for your articles? Here are a couple of pointers to help you out.
1. Subscribe to a dozen RSS feeds on your favourite topics. Scan through the feeds every morning or at night and select a few articles for thorough reading. After reading the articles, tag them using your own classification system.
Classifying articles in different categories helps locate them quickly. Use Google’s RSS reader or Netvibes for reading and tagging the RSS feeds. You will have access to your categorized articles from any computer connected to the Internet.
2. Subscribe to a few print magazines and read them regularly. After you finish reading an article, record the main points of the article in a Google note. You will have access to these notes anywhere in the World.
3. Use a PDA and carry it with you wherever you go. Better yet, get a PDA with a camera and cell phone. You will only carry one gadget for all your communication, organization, and content generation needs.
Take pictures of interesting places, events, and moments you come across in your daily life. Use the voice recorder of the PDA to record whenever an idea hits you. Every night, transfer the ideas from your PDA to Google notes and upload your pictures to flickr.
4. Scan through the comments posted by others on the online articles you read regularly. Record interesting ideas, pros and cons of an issue, and strong opinions posted by others in your Google notes. Leverage the wisdom of the crowd.
5. Have lunch with friends at least once a week. Bounce ideas off them on any topic. Mix ideas from divergent topics to create new ideas in your own subjects.
6. Use the time like driving, watching TV while exercising, etc. to think about your favourite topics and try to relate to things you observe on the road and on the TV. When you get an idea, record it in your PDA.
7. Go through all the ideas and articles you have collected to create new ideas by giving new twists to the old ideas. Combine two or more ideas and change or improve an existing idea to come up with your own idea.
8. Use a variety of online tools like Technorati, Digg, Delicious, etc. for writing inspiration. Every hour, hundreds of new articles and news stories are posted on these sites. Quickly scan them to hit a few gold nuggets that can serve as springboards for new ideas.
9. Using on-line tools discussed earlier, select an issue and jot down all the pros and cons. Search Google to enhance the idea by adding more pros and cons. Once you have collected a dozen diverse opinions, you will be able to write an article based on those facts in a pro-con format.
10. Ask yourself what if, what else, and why not questions on an issue and search the Internet to find answers from different sources. Create new ideas generated from existing materials, provide step-by-step guide for somebody to practice an obvious idea, or offer benefits of practicing an old idea.
Hope this helps! Tell us if any of these tips works for you.