How to Use Current Events for Content
Are you wondering what on earth you can write about today?
Look no further than the news. No matter what niche you’re in, there’s nearly always something happening in the world that can serve as the inspiration for an article.
Here are some ideas.
When reading the news, look for topics that:
- Might be controversial to your audience: For example, in my niche, firearms are a hot topic. I can post a video or excerpt an article about gun control and the hits are destined to roll in.
- That your audience can aspire to: Sometimes, I write about people who have overcome great odds, survived a dangerous situation, or built self-reliant homesteads on their own. People love to be inspired by others who may be just like them.
- Affect your audience and your major topic: For my audience, issues of self-reliance are hot topics. When a lady in Florida got evicted from her own home for not tying into the grid or a family in Missouri watched their front yard garden get ripped out by the city, people were both enraged and inspired to improve their own strategies so they wouldn’t be subject to such measures.
- Tell of mistakes or situations your audience can learn from: When a family was stranded in the Nevada mountains during a snowstorm, they managed to survive unharmed because of the survival skills of the dad. Alternatively, in Georgia a few years back, traffic was at a standstill due to a couple of inches of snow and many people were stranded in their cars overnight without the basic supplies they needed to stay fed and comfortable.
- Concern new laws or disputed laws that could affect your audience: If a law might be passed or overturned that affects the way your audience does business, products that they regularly use, or hobbies they engage in, this is a topic in which they’ll be interested.
- Relate to hobbies practiced by a lot of people in your audience: If your audience was into, say, archery, they would probably be into an article about how a movie star trained for a new film in which they use a bow and arrow, or one about an artisan that crafts those things by hand.
- Help your audience relate to a famous person in a way that ties into your niche: My article titled Martha Stewart Will Definitely Survive the Zombie Apocalypse was a huge hit and had the added bonus of being something I could send out to her editors as well.
- Can be the launching point for a DIY: When commercial dog food recalls began to run wild here in the US, I wrote a very successful how-to article for making your own dog food.
You get the idea. Anything you can tie into your niche or that your audience cares about is good fodder for interesting content.
Where to find the articles
If you’re a news junkie like I am, you have a giant file of these articles on Evernote, just sitting there waiting for a slow day. But if you don’t generally spend much time reading/watching the news, there are a few places that can serve as inspiration.
- Google News Feeds: I’ve set up a Google News Feed with a variety of topics that might be of interest to my audience, and you can easily customize your own. I have topics like survival, food recalls, organic, Monsanto, FDA, EPA, whatever the current pandemic concern is, weather, etc.
- News outlets you hate: That may sound like a total contradiction, but I’ve found that some news outlets I hate write articles mocking things that I think are awesome. So I grit my teeth and dive into them every couple of days looking for inspiration.
- Twitter/Facebook: If you follow other people in your niche on social media, you’re bound to find a consistent stream of fodder there.
- News Websites: Keep a folder in your bookmarks bar with links to favorite news sites. I often find that even the tabloid-esque news sites have the basics I need for a good article if I follow the links back to the original sources.
You’ll never run out of content if you use current events for your jumping off point. Something is happening somewhere that will interest your audience.
What are your favorite sources for current events in your field?
Whatever your niche, there are good places to find related content. Share your favorites in the comments below.