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Saturday
Nov262011

Using Google for Article Ideas

Stumped for some ideas on what to write about? One way to tackle that sort of block is to generate ideas randomly. The trouble with random idea generators, however, is that they are usually either outlandish (for example “mobile fish typewriter”), boring, or repetitive. That’s because they’re too random. Also, you have to dance to someone else’s tune: there’s no input from you whatsoever.

Believe it or not, if you’re looking for a random idea generator in which you have a little bit of say in the results, you probably have it right there in your web browser. Google recently implemented an auto-complete function, by which as you start typing into the search box it will try to predict what your search term will be. That may or may not suit you as far as searching on the internet is concerned, but it can be pretty handy for a writer bereft of inspiration. Just start typing a phrase into the box, and see what happens.

Use Google's autocomplete to help you generate ideas

In the search shown here, for example, I entered “authors don’t”, and I can use the suggestions from Google to spark off some articles, such as:

  • How to earn money from writing books
  • 10 self-promotion tactics for the shy freelance writer
  • Is an author the same as a writer?
  • 6 reasons that writers need to read all the time

Try this out with a phrase of your own, and let me know how you get on.

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