Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ways to dream up topics for financial articles

Sometimes you run out of ideas for your financial writing or blogging. Maybe it's time to brainstorm using approaches offered by freelance writer Susan Johnston in "50 Ways for Writers to Find Article Ideas."

I've selected several ideas from her list of 50
"3. Think about seasonal topics like holidays or national awareness months." The April 15 tax deadline is a classic hook for financial articles. But you can branch out. For example, Veteran's Day could inspire an article about benefits for those in the military service.
"7. Take a local story and figure out how to make it relevant to a national audience." The Madoff scandal may have affected only high net worth investors, but it has implications for everybody.
"24. Follow a forum to see what people are buzzing about." For example, AARP's Online Community or the personal finance and wealth management "Answers" section of LinkedIn.
"34. Fill in the blank: '10 Secrets of _______,' '8 Places to ____' or '5 Ways to __________.' " This reminds me of the MadLibs game, but some candidates include "10 Secrets of Saving for Retirement, "Eight Places to Find a Bargain on Insurance," and "Five Ways to Save for College."
"46. Take a myth and turn it on its head." For example, U.S. Treasuries are a safe investment.

Do you have tricks that you use to come up with fresh ideas? Please share them.

Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.
Copyright 2009 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved


  1. Another great place to find topic ideas is by looking at headlines from magazines not in your niche (Copyblogger suggests this all the time!) For example, look at a headline from Lucky magazine: 254 Ways to Update Your Look for Spring...then turn it into "254 Ways to Diversify Your Portfolio."

  2. Yes, great idea!
    One day at the gym I looked at women's magazines covers and turned their headlines into financial stories. It was fun!


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