Feb 15, 2014

Tips for Examiner Writers: Finding Article Ideas

(Photo by Ed Yourdon)

(These tips will be helpful to all article writers, not just those who publish on Examiner)

Keeping your Examiner title(s) updated with fresh content will give a boost to the rest of your portfolio within that title, but as with any other form of writing, ideas can dry up from time to time.  You can get ahead of any dry spells by knowing where to look for new ideas on topics that you write about.  Social media sites can provide fodder for any subject, so make sure to utilize them to your advantage.


If you're on Facebook, like and follow pages on topics that you write about.  You can add each topic area to a separate interest list and refer to the feed for that list instead of having posts from those pages get buried in your regular newsfeed.  Click to see more in-depth instructions on how to create and utilize interest lists on Facebook.


Similar to Facebook, you can sort through posts on Google+ by creating circles for each topic that you have an interest in.  When you find pages that you want to follow, add them to the circle(s) that you've created for that subject matter.  Clicking to look at the circle you're concerned with at that time, you'll be able to tune out general posts that might be cluttering your page/feed.


Twitter by itself is extremely difficult to follow for anyone who is following more than a handful of people.  A third party app can sort your Twitter feed into a much more manageable tool.  I like HootSuite, where I can add names to lists, then make separate streams based on those lists, or hasthags, or any number of other parameters.  If I need an idea for an article about a particular TV show, I can refer to the feed for the list I created that might include certain actors I follow, television networks, and even hashtags associated with that particular show. Glancing through that Twitter feed is sure to spark something to write about.

I'll be writing more posts with tips for article writers, so keep an eye on this blog.  If you have any questions about writing for Examiner, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to address it in a future post.

Not writing there yet?  Click to get started writing for Examiner!

~ Marie Anne

Do you write on newsy topics?  Social media and other tools can help you find newsworthy topics to write about.


  1. These are great ideas! I get a lot of my ideas from the Facebook pages I follow.

  2. Great ideas. I would recommend RSS feeds of your favorite news sites as well.

  3. Following social media pages from companies, groups, and organizations is a great way to gather information on the topics one writes about. It's a lot more convenient than signing up for news releases to be delivered to your email.

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