Last week, I listed 7 different sources of feature story ideas which I use to brainstorm ideas for feature articles. Here are more ways in which I find story ideas that editors might be interested in.
Personal experiences
I’m a fan of using my parenting experiences to write articles but not comfortable sharing extremely personal things. So if you don’t mind sharing your experiences, there are some good magazines especially online that you can write for, like Daily Life or a weekly print magazine that shares people’s experiences – like I lost 80kg in 2 months.
At my last job, I experienced some situations that led to this article for Women’s Agenda:
Blurred lines: When should you add a work colleague as a friend on Facebook?
Local newspapers/magazines
Do you read your local area newspaper? If you do, then keep an eye for stories or profiles of people that can have national appeal. Sometimes people have unique businesses or hobbies which make a good roundup article for a national magazine.
Organisation newsletters
If you’re thinking of writing for health related publications, newsletters from research organisations are a goldmine for cutting-edge ideas that haven’t made it into mainstream media yet. Or bookmark their research/publications page and visit them frequently to see what’s happening and if there’s an idea that would appeal to health or food magazines for example .
Custom magazines
Just yesterday I noticed that shops like Chemist Warehouse are now publishing their own health newspapers with tie-ins to their products. These can be a good source of income if you’re interested in this area as usually they need seasonal ideas like how to get ready for summer etc.
Lateral thinking/multiple angles
If you have a great idea to write on a certain topic, think about what other niches/magazines would be interested. For example, if you’ve found latest research for adults addicted to sugar, check if there’s research for children addicted to sugar for a parenting publication.
If you listen to talk back radio or podcasts often conversations can provide a good springboard for a feature story idea. I recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and listening to channels you wouldn’t normally pick to spark some great ideas that can be turned into interesting feature articles.
Journal articles
Constant research is being done in various fields and it can be hard to stay on top of everything – I wouldn’t get anything done if I sat down to read all of it.
So I tackle this in one of two ways – signing up to get alerts (I use another email address to avoid being submerged) or I use an app like Pocket or Evernote to bookmark links to read later.
These are some of my sources for feature story ideas, this list is by no means exhaustive. So add your own to this list and never run out of ideas.