Tomorrow’s newspaper in Florida is a very different beast! With the increasing availability of instant news and information 24/7, the ‘news’ part of newspapers is rapidly morphing. If I want to know who did what when or what today’s big issue is, whether that be globally, nationally or locally, I have a seemingly unlimited choice of instant news services from which to choose. Even my old mobile phone grants me immediate internet access, meaning keeping up with the Jones’s has never been easier.
So why do we still have newspapers in Florida ? Everyone knows that circulation is plummeting, but a few of us die-hards believe there will always be print. Why? Because it is comfortable. The Y-Gens are still buying their magazines and books because they also enjoy that relaxing slump on the couch with a drink, snacks and an engaging read. The operative word here of course is engaging!
Since you publish your newsletter on a regular basis, sometimes it's difficult to find newsletter ideas for your next issue's content. You sit in front of your monitor and stare at the white screen where the typing cursor is blinking... but your mind doesn't seem to come up with any ideas.
Here are 10 tips to help you find good article ideas...
#1. Make an Ideas List
If you've been writing articles for a while, you know your brightest ideas don't usually come to your mind when you need them. Actually, you usually get the best ideas when you're doing something else and thinking about another thing.
But everything changes when you decide to sit and write an article... you get the writer's block. You really need a good idea for your next issue... but your mind doesn't help a bit.
The solution is creating an idea list. Whenever you get a bright idea, just add it to your list. After a short time, you'll have a list full of creative ideas for your next 20 issues at least. So whenever you want to write an article, you simply take a look at your list and choose an idea you feel like writing about.
I've been using this technique for almost a year and it has really helped me write better articles faster and easier!
#2. Do a Little Keyword Research
Find out which keywords your target market are searching in search engines. Then write an article about it. So not only you will provide your subscribers with the exact information they're looking for, but you may also get a top ranking for that article in search engines - which will bring you lots of targeted traffic for free.
Wordtracker is an essential keyword research tool that I always use to get many keyword ideas and find out how many times people have searched for them. You can also use Overture free keyword suggestion tool.
#3. Ask Your Readers
To turn your subscribers into loyal readers and win their trust, you should provide them with the exact information they're looking for.
The easiest way to find out "what" exactly they want to know is simply adding a "Ask the Editor" section to your newsletter. Soon you will receive lot of emails from your readers asking you for advice about various topics.
You can choose the most common questions and problems and write an article about it. So you'll get lots of great article ideas for your future issues. What's more, your readers will love your newsletter for providing them with the exact information they need!
#4. Study Forums where Your Target Market Hangs out
More and more people participate in forums these days. One of the reasons is because you can get professional advice for free. And this is exactly what makes forums a great place for you to get bright ideas for your newsletter content.
You simply need to go to the forums where your target market hangs out. There you will discover many of the most common questions and problems your target market has. So you can write helpful articles about them.
#5. Browse Article Directories
There are many article directories available online. You just need to browse related categories to your newsletter topic and take a look at article titles. They will inspire you and give you awesome content ideas for your newsletter.
Here are some of the largest article directories...
#6. Review Other People's Products
You might know many great books, software programs, and services that will benefit your newsletter readers. So why not write an honest review about one of them to help your subscribers make the right decision?
What's more, you can join their affiliate program and earn a commission from every sale you make via your affiliate link. This can make you a lot of money because if you provide your readers with a honest review about a useful product, many of them will buy the product and you'll get a commission.
Just remember your role as an affiliate is NOT to sell. It's the most common mistake affiliates make. Selling is the duty of the merchant. Your role is PREselling. It means warming up your visitors and putting them in an open-to-buy mindset.
I had almost no affiliate income before I discovered this secret. Then a friend recommended me Make Your Content PREsell - An awesome ebook about the #1 secret to affiliate marketing success.
I owe a big part of my success to this ebook. I highly recommend it! You can learn more about it at: http://mycps.sitesell.com/best-offer.html
#7. Interview an Expert in Your Field
People like to hear success stories and learn how successful people have reached to where they are now. You can interview successful people in your field by email or phone.
Well-known experts are usually very busy, so they won't accept long interviews. In general, the more famous an expert is, the shortest your interview must be or they won't accept it.
The experts you choose to interview should not necessarily be very famous - like multi-millionaires. They hardly accept to let you interview them. You can interview an ordinary person who has been fairly successful in your field.
#8. Write How-To Articles
You can write how-to articles about almost anything. People love how-to articles. Here are some sample titles...
* How to Go to Sleep in 3 Minutes
* How to Cure Your Headache in 5 Minutes without any Medicine
* How to Look 10 Years Younger
#9. Give a Certain Number of Tips, Ideas, etc.
People love articles that promise to give a certain number of tips - like this article :). These articles are also easy to write. For example you can easily find 3 tips about any topic and turn it to an article. Here are some title examples...
* 5 Tips on How to Deal with an Overbearing Boss
* Top 10 Questions to Ask in an Interview
* 9 Creative Home Business Ideas to Start with Less than $100
#10. Use Guest Articles
Don't feel like writing an article or just don't have the time? No problem. You can publish someone else's article in your newsletter for free. I've introduced some large article directories here in this article in Idea #5.
Since it's much easier to copy and paste a written article than spending time on writing your own, you may be tempted to use guest articles as your main article in many of your issues. But do yourself a favor and don't do it too often. Let me explain why...
What's the goal of your newsletter? Isn't it to win your prospects' trust and prove your expertise to sell them your own products or affiliate products? So if you don't write the majority of your newsletter articles yourself, how can you prove your expertise?
# Final Thoughts
I hope this article helps you get creative article ideas for your newsletter. But if you haven't found a good idea yet, don't push yourself too hard. Don't point a gun to your mind and order it to give you a great idea or you will shoot. 🙂
After all, it's YOUR mind. It's what has always helped you in your business... and your life. So be kinder to it. Relax and take sometime off. Go outside and let your mind rest for a while. Don't even think about your newsletter.
Then get back to this article and try to find a good idea. If you get an idea for your next issue, well done! I'm happy for you!
But if you still can't seem to come up with anything, no problem. Just send a message to your readers and let them know you won't publish your newsletter this week/month.
And remember... your happiness, your health, and enjoying your life is what matters the most. You don't have to write your newsletter until next week, next month... or even next year. Your newsletter is just a small part of your business... and your business is only a small part of your life.
Wish you happiness, health and wealth! 🙂
Writing a News Feature Story
Tomorrow's newspaper is a very different beast! With the increasing availability of instant news and information 24/7, the 'news' part of newspapers is rapidly morphing. If I want to know who did what when or what today's big issue is, whether that be globally, nationally or locally, I have a seemingly unlimited choice of instant news services from which to choose. Even my old mobile phone grants me immediate internet access, meaning keeping up with the Jones's has never been easier.
So why do we still have newspapers? Everyone knows that circulation is plummeting, but a few of us die-hards believe there will always be print. Why? Because it is comfortable. The Y-Gens are still buying their magazines and books because they also enjoy that relaxing slump on the couch with a drink, snacks and an engaging read. The operative word here of course is engaging!
Newspaper magnates are scrambling madly like a flock of geese in hunting season, desperately seeking new ideas from pricy consultants to engage their disparate audiences as subscription and print-ad revenues nose dive. The really big end of town is buckling under its own ancient weight, stunned in the headlights of a much faster moving information superhighway. The choice is change or die.
But change for these guys is tough. They are often fourth or fifth generation family moguls who know little else beyond the print world. "Ok, we've built our website...now what?" The smart players are restructuring their offices in information-centric floor plans where a byte of news travels simultaneously to each media team where it is chopped, shaved, spiced and uploaded to the net, print production, radio, TV, mobile etc. The not-so-smart are sacking staff and closing shop, or even worse shaking their heads, holding their nose, closing their eyes and hoping the naughty internet thingy will just go away.
So the stage is set for a media revolution, where only the smart and nimble will triumph. Such a scenario has opened the door for the smaller players, who were previously excluded from the game owing to costly entrance fees and ruthless incumbents. Now however, powerful publishing software is extremely affordable, putting everything up for grabs. The little guys are redefining an archaic industry.
Over the past five years thousands of localised 'news' websites have sprouted around the world. Some with significant venture capital funding, some dabbling off-shoots of the big companies, others simply built by community minded individuals. The spin on these sites tends to be user-generated content, or 'citizen journalism', whereby locals tell their own stories, report on events that might otherwise be overlooked by mainstream media, or simply weigh in with an opinion or rebuff.
In 2004 'The Word' newspaper was launched in Canberra, Australia. At the time this was the first tabloid in the world to be written entirely by its readers, circulating 35000 gloss covered copies monthly to 900 sites across Australia's capital city. The beauty about this model was not only that content was free, but that it evoked immediate loyalty. Anyone who got an article published in print, or knew someone else who got published, inevitably showed friends.
But could we really call this a newspaper? Was it more like a magazine? A newszine? A yarnpaper? A plog (printed blog)? Whatever it was, it carried $30,000 of advertising in every issue and another $1000 p/m of online ads! It engaged its readers. As the adage proclaims, get your content and distribution right and the advertisers will follow.
So we come back to content, the 'news' in newspapers. With the eruption of online commerce we are witnessing a turning point for content. Earning money online is all about 'eyeballs' - getting traffic to your site. Unfortunately the very same freedoms we cherish about the internet also drown us in spam and crap content. Waving a flag above the dumping grounds of useless and tedious content is becoming quite an art, a trade to which professional and novice authors are gravitating in droves.
Content will soon be entirely free! Already the industry is filling with content conduits, like Ezine Articles, Squidoo, Wordpress, Twitter and plenty more. Authors upload their articles, as I will do with this article, to these newly forming content kings. These kings then push the content to relevant members who have flagged certain interests in membership profiles. These members then publish that content into their own websites or publications.
But where is the money in all this? Well the conduits charge for premium privileges for both authors and publishers and the authors charge for...hmmm...that's right, nothing! And that is why this is so beautiful - there really is something in it for the author - reputation. Prolific and intelligent authors can now get their message out there faster than ever and gain hundreds of thousands of readers overnight, which translates to hundreds of thousands of eyeballs back at the author's website wanting more. Another name for this phenomenon is 'content marketing', whereby the author creates positive, informed conversations around products or services.
Pulling together these clues, tomorrow's newspaper is looking more like a hybrid of blogs, magazines, newspapers, forums and books. It is a disposable, stylish freebie, with likely a gloss cover and smaller than a tabloid so that it can be folded into the back pocket. It survives entirely on advertising and addresses in one sweep a bunch of interest sets that are beyond news. The stories are the neighborly conversations over the back fence. Opinions are rife from front cover to the last page. Articles inform the evermore discerning readers of the pros and cons of a wide range of products and services, toward generating trust first, not the sale. If you want the latest news, open your iPhone. If you want a bunch of stories, pictures and meanderings, pick up your local musepaper!
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