Tomorrow’s newspaper in California 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 California ? 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
It's hard to imagine a time before television news and radio news, not to mention news on the Internet, but during the Civil War, citizens had to rely on two major sources of news - word of mouth and newspapers.
Although word of mouth was the most expedient source of news about the war, newspapers provided citizens and soldiers alike with the most detailed accounts of war that that had ever been published in America or in any other country for that matter. New printing technologies allowed newspapers and magazines alike to publish another new technology - photographs. The advent of the telegraph made news from the front lines of the war available to the press room in minutes rather than days or weeks. Newspapers provided a tangible account of a war that developed by the day.
By the time the Civil War began in 1860, newspapers had expanded from the large cities in the northeast to almost all major cities throughout the United States, and even into some smaller towns, where an enterprising publisher could set up a press.
However, at the outset of the war, most newspapers were still yet unequipped to cover the war. Not only was the Civil War one of the most geographically large wars fought to the time, but the sheer numbers of those involved made the task mind-boggling. Although most of the larger papers, such as The New York Herald, The New York Times and Harper's Weekly had Washington correspondents, few had ever employed correspondents for the wide expanse of country the war encompassed. Thus a new position in the American newspaper office was born - the war correspondent.
War correspondents were sent out to the front lines, along with special artists, who until photographs became widely used toward the end of the war, sketched the action. These brave writers and artists experienced the same harsh conditions of life in a military camp as the soldiers did.
The ability of newspapers to get information from the front lines was often troubling for officers and others in positions of authority during the war. At various times, newspapers were censored for fear that the news they reported would be used by the enemy to advance their cause. This was more a problem in the North than in the South for obvious reasons - the South had had fewer major newspapers before the war, and blockades had resulted in such a shortage of paper, ink, and other supplies necessary that many papers shut down, never to reopen. But in the North, the threat of the press was taken in hand; Lincoln himself feared the repercussions of newspapers that were either opposed to the war or sympathetic to the Confederate cause, and suppressed many of these papers.
But Lincoln's courting of editors that supported his cause sometimes came back to haunt him, as is the case of his supporter Horace Greeley, of the New York Tribune, whom, in an effort to stir up support for the Union, undoubtedly contributed to the battles at Bull Run, which were both notorious losses for the Federal Army.
By far the most popular newspaper during the Civil War era was Harper's Weekly. Harper's was one of the more even-handed newspapers, due mostly to its popularity in the South. Although the paper supported Lincoln and the Union, it still reported with disinterest, and remained a mainstay of the Southern household during the war.
Aside from its impartiality, Harper's circulation of more than 200,000 during the Civil War era is attributable to the fact that the paper employed some of the most distinguished writers and artists of the time. Political cartoonist Thomas Nast was a mainstay of Harper's, as was artist Winslow Homer. Other notable artists who contributed to Harper's during the Civil War era include Theodore R. Davis, Henry Mosler, and the brothers Alfred Waud and William Waud.
Newspapers were the most reliable source of news during Civil War America. While newspapers served the citizens of the time well, they are also an invaluable resource for historians who study the war, providing insight not only into the actions of the war, but into the popular opinion of the war, as well.
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