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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!