5 Ways Reading Can Help Generate Content Ideas

Out of Ideas? Start Reading!

Every day we are constantly reading. We read emails, text messages, news articles, street signs, product packages … the list is endless! In all of the reading we do, we can use it to our benefit to see things from a new angle and write about what we read.

Recently we published a blog post titled, ‘5 Ways Reading Can Encourage Better Writing Techniques.’ The blog post discussed the value of reading in order to improve your techniques as a writer. In this post, we are going to cover ways that reading can help you generate ideas for your article writing.

Use the strategies below to help you develop new and interesting content for your readers.

Reading for Ideas

  1. Play the Opposite Game: While reading material in your everyday routine, make a conscious effort to take note of the message or point in what you read. Next, consider how you could switch up the angle. If something you read discussed which tools you should use, write an article in your niche that includes which tools to avoid. If you read tips to succeed, your next article could cover areas that are blocking success in your niche.
  2. Brainstorm Reading: Challenge yourself to complete a book, magazine, or an article and write down an article idea after each paragraph, page, or chapter. The idea can be anything. It can be based on the events, feelings, struggles, or successes discussed in what you just read. The point is to jot down a quick idea and continue reading. When you’re finished reading, you will have a large variety of ideas at your fingertips.
  3. Critique the Critic: There are thousands, if not millions of critics on every subject matter. They spend their time glued to screens, testing countless products and writing reviews about each and every experience in order to deliver the most honest and effective review for their audiences. Read reviews from all different sources and learn how their content is formed. Take notes on what was done right, then think about how you can use those strategies in your future articles!
  4. Scour the Headlines: Go to your favorite print or electronic news outlet and read the headlines. Look for descriptive verbs and nouns that could be written about from the perspective of your niche. For example, a headline reading, “A Crisis in a Small Town,” could generate an idea to write about a crisis from the angle of your niche. Or, you could write about how your niche fits in to small town life. Get creative!
  5. Tell a Backstory: Next time you’re reading, think of the story behind what you read. With just a bit of research you can discuss the way something came to be as it is today. Share the history of a product, brand, or cultural occurrence. Think beyond what you read and write a piece for somebody who wants to know more about the backstory. P.S. If you enjoy storytelling, I suggest checking out our Tell Your Story Article Template Package for great storytelling ideas. You can find it at the bottom of the page here.

Reading benefits our skills as a writer in more ways than we realize. Next time you’re reading, whether for pleasure or simply in your daily routine, take a step back and consider how you can turn a piece of content into an article of your own.

Ideas are everywhere!

Do you have any strategies to generate new content ideas? Please share in the comments below!

42 Comments »


1
arundhathi writes:

Thank you for the article writing ideas. Truly stated that reading articles online will pave the way for developing new article ideas, with different perspective and then the article is published for another set of readers. So this cycle of ideas is ever-reigning encouraging article writers to stay inspired with the reading online articles.

Comment provided November 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM

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2

Very nice prespective, it gives me a new way of looking at what I’m reading.

Comment provided November 7, 2014 at 10:42 AM

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3
David Croucher writes:

Thanks! Great ideas!

Comment provided November 7, 2014 at 10:57 AM

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Joseph Lacey writes:

What a great article. Thanks for the resource. Ordered 4 packages!

Comment provided November 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM

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Thanks Joseph!

Your purchase of 4 packages (or 60 article templates) should provide you with lots of writing ideas!

Let us know if you have any questions or feedback about the templates.

Happy article writing!

-Courtney

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5
Keith Miller writes:

very interesting approach to generate templates to help write articles

Comment provided November 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

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6
Larry Icabandi Nabiong writes:

Well, this reminds me of p4p or power-4 principle: know, change, create @ share. Reading is an art of knowing anything of interest, doing tweaks and twists to creating your own wisdom through a genre suited to your taste/intention/situation– and sharing it to the world.

Comment provided November 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

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Larry,

You make some excellent points. Thanks for sharing!

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7

Useful tips for generating new articles. Even the sign boards, roadside ads and hoardings provide new ideas for good content-writing. The day-to-day events in life form a wealth of ideas.

Comment provided November 7, 2014 at 11:27 PM

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Mohan,

Yes, ideas are everywhere! Always keep your eyes open for your next article idea. :)

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8
Bryan McDonald writes:

Thanks for useful tips! I still read book everyday to seek new ideas.

Comment provided November 8, 2014 at 8:20 AM

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9
Alex Abramov writes:

Very simple and very useful! Great!

Comment provided November 9, 2014 at 2:23 AM

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10
Jason Hiep writes:

A great idea.
It helped me a lot orientation

Comment provided November 9, 2014 at 7:34 PM

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11
GuruKpo Deepesh writes:

Your tips sounds very effective, as I realised most of the times we gets an idea after reading something. we can process what we read, we can question what we are reading and we can write answers for our self developed quesions. Thanx for this valuable article.

Comment provided November 9, 2014 at 9:55 PM

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12
Soni Kumari writes:

Great post indeed. I want to share my personal feeling here. Actually i want to share some good articles or blogs, my motive is to provide such a good information to the audience, but when i start writing on a particular topic, ideas cease to come in my mind. This particular post is really relevant to the people like me. I came to know that how to read and generate good ideas through this post. I will like to say “Thanks” to the author.

Comment provided November 10, 2014 at 4:57 AM

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Soni,

You are very welcome! I recommend taking notes on your ideas so you have them available when you begin writing. Prewriting is also a great way to get started. I recommend this blog post titled, Make Writing Easy with Prewriting.

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Soni Kumari writes:

Thank-you very much. The link you provided is really good to know how to start writing contents. I appreciate your effort.

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13
Sheila LyonHall writes:

Courtney …

This article is wonderfully instructive. “Critique the Critic” is of particular interest to me because I’ve not incorporated this in my approach to article writing. Actually, my first series of articles has been approved so I’m basking in the after-glow that all Newbies feel when we complete one lap around the track. :) I’ve got miles to go before I sleep and “Critique the Critic” will help me expand my repertoire. Thank you for that. Shalom!

Comment provided November 11, 2014 at 11:38 PM

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14

Invention of ideas in mind, can provide you new ideas. I’m really agree with the conversion part.

Comment provided November 12, 2014 at 11:13 AM

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15
R. Sundaram writes:

A good piece of advice. I have been following this practice for long. Whenever I read something while grasping what is said, my mind will automatically store the “presentation style”. This way I have learnt a lot of new words and angles and I use them from my mind-store whenever needed. Particularly for us, Indian writers, the usage of words by English native writers gets familiarized this way and are very useful to write our thoughts in their style. Thanks for the advice.

Comment provided November 13, 2014 at 7:52 AM

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David Croucher writes:

A good comment, R. Sundaram. But don’t denigrate Indian English! It’s a proper version of the language, and Indians who grow up with it from birth are always fluent in it. Those who only learned it from secondary education onwards, or who picked it up informally, are at a disadvantage, of course. But native English (or, more likely, bilingual) speakers in India should be proud of this Indian language and defend it fiercely. There’s no need to try to be American, or British, or Australian! Use you English correctly, but do it the Indian way.

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Well said, David!

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R. Sundaram writes:

Thank You Sir! I feel honored. But it is my experience as a certified Expert Author at Ezine that my usage of English words when the necessity arises for expressing my thoughts about some Indian customs and traditions, I have been pointed out by the Editing Team that those words are “wrong” or “incorrect.”…hahahah….I can dare say my English is no way inferior than that of the so called native writers (having the basic of M.A. English literature and an experience of writing more than 9000 articles, blogs, press releases and web contents like that); and it reminds me – the usage of “having” is looked down upon by my American clients as if a substandard use of “their English”. My point is the psychological feeling of superiority prevalent among my English, British or Australian counterparts as if they are born for writing English correctly prevents them from accepting Indian English. But you are a gleeful exception. Thanks again Sir!

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David Croucher writes:

Thank you for your reply. Your English is indeed exceptionally erudite.

It is perfectly possible to correct the Editors! I have done this myself as a native of British usage, and had my correction accepted – after all, Editors are fallible, and mainly expert in American usage. But they will need to be convinced that your own usage is correct and not just a personal idiom or error, not compatible with general rules (even Indian English rules). Just as an example, you have just used ‘honored’, a spelling which I have always regarded as North American today, with some acceptance in Australia. In the UK (and, I think, India) ‘honoured’ has been preferred for the last two and a half centuries.

Certainly, though, if you are writing articles for an Indian readership, you will want them to feel this and not think that you are an American writer! I generally write here for a world-wide acceptance, and find it difficult to avoid using American practices. It is an unfortunate fact that most people with the income to buy my goods and services are in the USA, so I am prudent to address them most – and my experience is that Americans typically are intolerant of differences from their own way (as we British used to be). So when writing generally, I usually ‘speak American’, while on my sales website I use British English (with the Union Jack flying shamelessly at the top.) Americans tell me that they find using a British website ‘amusing’ and ‘quaint’ – and will buy. Stereotypes can be annoying – but they ARE based on an underlying reality!

So, as you will see here in other help articles, aim your writing to attract the readership you have selected as a target, writing in an idiom that pleases them. Your aim is to attract people to read the whole of your article, not to read a few sentences, then click away.

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R. Sundaram writes:

Oh…thank you very much for your detailed reply to assuage my feelings Sir! First I should accept that my Indian English has got adulterated (shall I say corrupted?) by the frequent usage of the word “honoured” as “honored” in American accent….hahaha. Possibly because of changing language usage frequently between U.K. and American clients online, I often take the easy route of omitting the “u” in words of this category, since I am a freelance writer contributing web contents for assorted clients. Writing is my passion. I feel elated by the compliments received from such a great scholar like you in my English usage. I will fondly cherish your advices (see the computer machine instantly draws a red underline in this noun form of the word, we the students of British English in India have been taught) for future guidance. This is a pleasant experience for me to exchange views with a great man! Thank You Sir!

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16
Sheila LyonHall writes:

This article is wonderfully instructive. “Critique the Critic” is of particular interest to me because I’ve not used this approach to generate ideas for writing articles. Actually, I just submitted my first series of articles and am basking in the after-glow that all Newbies feel when we complete our first lap around the track. :) I’ve got miles to go before I sleep and “Critique the Critic” will help me expand my repertoire. Thank you for that, Courtney. Shalom!

Comment provided November 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM

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Sheila,

You’re very welcome! We look forward to more of your submissions. Happy article writing!

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17

Thanks for sharing about writing ideas. It helps a lot for me.

Comment provided November 19, 2014 at 4:29 AM

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18
Mariaandreson writes:

Not doubt that reading is one of the useful factor which provide us new and most innovative ideas. Your shared post is really useful for new article writers.

Comment provided November 20, 2014 at 3:33 AM

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Dick Dickens writes:

You are right on Mariaandreson. I am new to EzineArticles and I find this post to be very motivational.

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19
Andrey writes:

Thank you for sharing great ideas!

Comment provided November 20, 2014 at 9:48 AM

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20

Excellent write – up and educative. I agree with you 100%; the more one stores information up there, the more he or she will produce. Because one can never give what he or she does not have.
Nice piece keep it up.

Comment provided December 4, 2014 at 3:41 AM

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21
Sneha Singhvi writes:

First, I would like to say “Thanks”. Content writing is not an easy task, because it means a lot and needs great skills, after reading through this post, i got some necessary tips how to create ideas before writing an article. Because to have relevant ideas is the most important aspect behind any successful writing. Thanks for putting your precious thoughts before all of us, nice to read about, keep going….

Comment provided December 15, 2014 at 4:00 AM

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22
Aysha Sahar writes:

Very informative article. It is the easiest way to jingle up your mind to create new ideas. I am new to EzineArticles ; hope to get positive response on positive performance.

Comment provided December 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM

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23
william watt writes:

I like to read this nice article. I am also new to EzineArticles ; i need to get some tips how to present ideas before writing an article to become useful information for reader.

Comment provided December 18, 2014 at 12:09 AM

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Watt, one does not need to be hemmingway to do this. Trial and Error with consistent practice makes improvement. Article writing is about knowing the problem people face in life and presenting the way out.
If you have ever been in a situation that left you frustrated but the solution came at last; then, that situation with the solution is a great article that will help someone out there to greater height.
Firstly, what really causes such situation
Secondly, list few steps on how to avoid it or ways to solve it when it occurs.
So, you have something up there that someone out there needs to know.
To Your Success.

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william watt writes:

What great advise Herbert. I am really appreciate it. Yes I have ever been in a situation that left me frustrated and you are correct that the solution came at last as long we are not gave up and intent to help others. Wish you all the best!

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I appreciate; we all have one information or another to offer to those coming behind us. The more ideas are shared; the more knowledge increases.

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24

Thank you so much for giving me something else to think about while reading. This will help me in my future for me to improve in my life.

Comment provided December 22, 2014 at 9:07 AM

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Pratul Mishra writes:

This seems a nice and exhaustive list of ideas. They say ‘A good listener is a good orator’ and I believe ‘Only a good reader can be a good writer’.

Comment provided December 28, 2014 at 8:49 AM

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26
Shahsi Bansal writes:

Very nice article!
it helped me a lot to make my efforts move ahead in right way

Comment provided February 17, 2015 at 11:26 PM

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27
bowo writes:

yes graet ideas

Comment provided May 11, 2015 at 6:36 AM

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