Brainstorming Article Ideas: Using Stock Photos to Generate Content

Every writer suffers from “oh, man, I am so out of ideas to write about!” syndrome occasionally. It just happens sometimes that no matter how seasoned a writer you are, your brain just can not possibly come up with even one coherent thought about a fresh article. Have you tried a brainstorming session, using stock photos to generate article ideas?

Not only does this stock photo brainstorming session help you generate content article ideas, but at the same time, you can bookmark or save the photo and artist credit information in a file titled “Article Ideas”, along with a slew of article ideas on the subject. You then already have the photo components, and that takes a piece of work off your shoulders when you are ready (and eager!) to get your materials published.

Let’s look at an example:

I head over to Stock Exchange at http://www.sxc.hu and choose to do an Advanced Search from the menu bar toward the top of the page. I want a cool photo of something recognizable as Australian tourism, so I enter Sydney and Opera in the search terms, and make sure to select NO under the drop down menu selection ‘Restrictions OK’. In a short second, the search program comes up with 21 images of the very recognizable Sydney Opera House, all 21 photos with absolutely no restrictions on use. I see a night photo of the Sydney Opera House all lit up and still very recognizable. That’s the one!

The next step is to attach the artist’s name to the .jpg photo by adding the name to the photo name before saving it. That way, you won’t have to go back searching through, trying to remember exactly where you got the photo.

Open the photo on your desktop. Open a WORD or other document processing program, and then let flow! Every thought or part of a thought can be an article idea. Set a timer for three minutes. Ready, Set, GO!

PHOTO – Sydney Opera House

1. Finding Bargain Airfare to Australia
2. Australian Domestic Air Travel
3. Night Activities in Sydney
4. Cultural Events in Sydney
5. An Evening Excursion on the Sydney Waterfront
6. Didgeridoos – Musical Instruments of the Aborigine
7. Aboriginal Rock Art
8. What’s a Walkabout?
9. The All Asia Air Pass from Cathay Pacific
10. Opal Mines of Coober Pedy
11. Aborigine Adoptions in the 1940’s
12. Exploring The Great Barrier Reef
13. Venomous Sea Snakes of the Great Barrier Reef
14. The Poisonous Creatures Lurking in the Great Barrier Reef
15. Diving the Great Barrier Reef
16. Boating off the Coast of Australia
17. Typhoon Season in the Sumatra Strait
18. Modern Day Pirates of the South Pacific
19. Walkabout Through Time- Exploring Aboriginal History
20. Women in Aboriginal History
21. Convict History
22. Darwin’s Crocodile Hunters
23. The Cowboys of Alice Springs
24. Going to School by Radio
25. Freak Weather Conditions of the Outback
26. Camels in the Deserts of Australia
27. Riding the Ghan – Train Travel Across Australia
28. Marsupials and Other Oddities of the Australian Continent

Time’s up!

Ok, so in three minutes, I came up with 28 articles ideas, all generated by that one very cool, very FREE, and very unrestricted photo.

Now, set aside your list from this brainstorming session, and let it ‘rest’ for a while. Come back to it, in a day or two, fresh and ready to write! I will admit that the Australia theme articles were a piece of cake for me, but you can use the same techniques with any photo, from any stock photo source.

One way that I found works for me, is to do a brainstorming session at least once a day, for three minutes. Using stock photos to generate article content ideas makes the process nearly painless. After brainstorming a few pages of article ideas, then simply choose which of the articles you are going to do first. Research as much as necessary. Build a file of article content ideas, so that you always have something to pull from and write about, even when your brain hurts and your eyes cross from looking at the screen all day.

And, remember�have fun and enjoy being a creative, prolific writer!

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