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
The invention of printing is an epoch making achievement in the history of human civilization. The modern age owes three fourths of its progress to printing. It has brought many blessings in its train and one of these is the newspaper which has deeply and widely influenced modern life in many ways.
A newspaper at first was nothing more than a paper which gave news. In its infancy, it had no other aim. But as it developed, it began to be used for various other purposes and served several ends. Today, it has become a tremendous force for good and evil in the world. It not only continues, as before, to give news but also comments on them, criticizes the people and the government, deals with social, political, industrial and religious questions, reviews books and periodicals, ventilates grievances and does many other things, In fact there is hardly any public activity of man which does not come within the purview of the modern newspaper. The press, of course, has now become an organ of public opinion.
But unfortunately, sometimes the press is stifled. It is prevented from carrying out its legitimate work either by the unfitness of those who manage it or by the unnecessary interference of the powers that be. It is sometimes seen that passion and not reason guides its action. A wrong cause is championed, truth is suppressed and morbid tastes are pandered by it. Dangerous as these evils are, a greater danger comes from the attempt of some irresponsible government to gag or subsidies newspapers. Often, without sufficient cause, newspapers are gagged simply because they had the guts of criticizing plainly the unjust action of government.
But when it runs or is allowed to run in a normal and rational course, a newspaper is a great public educator. More than what can be done in schools and colleges is done by it. It supplies necessary information on the burning topics of the day, tackles the principal social and political problem of a country, criticizes books and brings to light the epoch making discoveries and inventions. It benefits every class of people. But it is not only a public educator and fearless critic of a government, it is also a great social reformer. It is in the columns of the newspapers that social abuse, are ruthlessly exposed and criticized and attention of the public is drawn to the inherent evils of some customs and practices.
The press is also an effective check on the vagaries of men in power. So it is a great mentor and stands against the misuse of power and the miscarriage of justice. It brings all the questions of the day before the bar of public opinion to be approved or condemned by it, in this way it serves the nation. The press is also a very great force in the field of politics. It teaches citizens their rights and responsibilities and make them fit for citizenship. It educates public opinion and teaches people how to vote, what taxes to pay and for what purposes, it explains the significance' of the municipal laws and bylaws comments on the proceeding of the legislative council and other public' bodies and helps men to develop their civic sense.
The press is a public organ, the voice of the people and therefore the freedom of the press means the freedom of the people. In a country where there is no free press the people may be independent, but they are not free in the true sense of the word. The press in self defense, if not for any higher motive has ever the champion of political freedom. Whenever a newspaper lights for the freedom of the press, it indirectly fights for the freedom of the people. The test of a country's freedom is determined by the amount of freedom its press enjoys. To stifle the press is to stifle the nation. Milton said "as good almost kill a man as kill a good book", and the remark is also applicable to the newspapers.
Newspapers also wield a tremendous influence to break down barriers between nations and help in forming themselves into a great brotherhood of nations. It knits up the different parts of a vast continent and teaches them to feel for one another. But it not only fosters international feelings, it teaches us to embrace the whole world as out kith and kin. A sense of fraternity is fostered by the spread of knowledge through the columns of the newspaper.
As a cheap and public educator, holding up the torch in the midst of darkness, as a trenchant and impartial critic of public administration of law and justice, as a social reformer patiently reforming the abuses of a society, as the champion of freedom in a country, as the destroyer of the barriers which separate man from man, nations from nations, and lastly as a pointer to the prospect of universal liberty, equality and fraternity, the newspaper in modern times has come to exercise a tremendous influence on the public and private life of man. There is no end to its potentiality for good if it can steer clear of greed, partiality, meanness and arrogance.
That is why, it is appropriately called the 'Forth Estate'.
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