Do You Know What to Do with an Article Idea Once You Have It?
If you’re like many writers, you turn around and pitch that idea to some editors of health and nutrition magazines.
But guess what? Editors got that same press release, as did scads of other writers who had the same idea you did.
Here’s the trick: to come up with a salable idea, you need to put your own slant on it — something that an editor hasn’t seen and that other writers haven’t already thought of.
For example, here are some ideas you can spin off the SnackSpray release:
- A profile of SnackSpray’s founder for her alumni magazine.
- An article on 10 surprising ways to bust cravings, for a health mag. (The SnackSpray would be one of the tips.)
- A roundup of gifts for the chocoholic in your life.
- A profile of the business for a local magazine in SnackSpray’s region.
- A piece for a food industry trade magazine on hot trends in diet foods.
- An article for a food industry trade magazine on food sprays (you’d need to do some research to see if others companies are doing the same thing).
- A roundup or slideshow of the wackiest food products to come out this year, for a general interest magazine or website.
That’s 7 ideas from one, and I’m sure there are many more possibilities.
How can you generate many salable ideas from a single one?
- Offer a roundup of similar products/services/people/etc.
- Localize the idea.
- Think about trade magazine possibilities for an idea that’s originally aimed at the consumer market.
- Talk to the person behind the idea and dig up more information you can turn into articles.
- Ask the source where he went to college and pitch his alma mater’s alumni magazine.
- Consider surprising markets — like a business magazine for a health-related idea, and vice versa.
- Do some research to figure out if this idea points to a trend you can write about.
You don’t have to take ideas at face value. Spend some time brainstorming ways to make a simple idea interesting and unique, and you’re more likely to land an assignment.
Do you have any insights on ideas you could spin off the SnackSpray release? Let us know in the comments below!