I’ve been a freelance writer for over 19 years. I have published over 600 articles. Some, luckily, were assigned, but others I had to find for articles. Here is a primer of where to look for subject matter for your writing career.
You can find a subject, and then you can do your own research on it. You can take a different slant than the original factual article. If it is a service, you can interview people who might have used the service. For instance, if you are doing an article on a local farmers’ market, you should find some vendors at the market and talk to some of the customers to find out why they shop there. You used the original article as a source, but you went deeper for your article.
This little bit of advice has brought me to many interesting stories. People like to talk about community items, and you can get a great deal of subject matter by just listening. Human interest stories are great reads for local papers.
Use your own life as a catalyst
If you are in a quandary about something happening in your community, dig further and write an opinion article on the subject. Be sure and check the facts for these articles and cite your sources.
Check out small towns
If you live in a community, surrounded by smaller ones, check out the small towns. You can do some research on how they got their name and who founded them, etc. These are wonderful for the newspaper, and the neighboring town will value the information. You can go to the local Senior Citizens Center and there you will find a wealth of information for your article.
Check with the local newspaper and see if there are any stories that they would like written, but their staff might not have the time to track down. You can sell these on a per story basis.
Freelancers have to make their own way, by finding stories, sources, and places to sell their idea.
The Internet is a wonderful place to sell your ideas. Some sites offer assignments to those who qualify, and others let you take free rein with topics. The beauty of this situation is most sites offer assignment suggestions. You can use these suggestions to develop an idea of your own.
Freelancers who find a story that will sell and get “hits” on the Internet have hit “pay dirt.” Check out the various sites and see what is selling. This careful research will pay off in the end when your bonus check comes in at the end of the month.
Another way to profit from writing is to contact small businesses in your town. They might not be able to afford sending out a newsletter for their products. You could offer to make a newsletter on a regular basis, or even an advertising hand out for their business.
Ingenuity is the secret to selling your work. Make the title lure the reader in. Find a title that will appeal to readers.