Sunday, July 3, 2022

15 Ways to Generate Ideas for Magazine Articles and Blog Posts


Sometimes I think it would be cool to be able to pop a software program into my brain and automatically and immediately know how to cook, clean, care for kids, teach them, guide them, help them, as well as be able to calculate the exact time it will take to get this kid to soccer without being late to getting that kid to dance. Okay, so we don't all know how to do the same things. It's alright because that's what other parents are for and that's what these parenting magazines and blogs are for: your valuable advice!

Some days ideas flow out of you like money flows out of my household bank account and food is sucked out of my refrigerator. Other days you might stare at a blank page, trying to figure out something that you can write about that might be remotely interesting to editors and magazine readers. 

Half the battle of seeing an article in print is coming up with an idea editors want to publish. Set aside some time to brainstorm article and essay ideas using the list below. Then choose your best ideas and work through the 12-step process for getting published!

Keep files of ideas: I have a physical file of scraps of paper, things printed out from online, even the cliche napkin with scrawled ideas. If my idea well ever dries up, I can always hit that file. I also have a folder on my computer called ARTICLE IDEAS and it's full of half-started and barely started articles. 

  1. Eavesdrop on conversations. 
  2. Go through your old material.
  3. Read letters to the editor in your local newspaper.
  4. Restart something you've abandoned. 
  5. Read magazines you want to write for. 
  6. Write the birth stories of your kids for some inspiration. 
  7. Get out of the house.
  8. Solve a problem you have now or have had in the past. 
  9. Think about what's missing from publications you read. 
  10. Write about something you wonder about. 
  11. Write about something you know how to do. 
  12. Write the opposite of your experience with a subject.
  13. Report on a negative or positive trend.
  14. Read editorial calendars.
  15. Read writers' guidelines.

Have files of article reprints that you own but have no clue where to start reselling them? Have ideas for some fantastic new pieces but no idea who might want them? Check out my thick 441-page print book of tips, tricks, and insider information, as well as 384 paying parenting and family markets! You can order "How to Get Published (and Paid!) Writing About Your Kids" on Amazon here.


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