I came across a great article the other day on freelanceswitch.com about how freelance writers can develop article ideas.

The article, entitled 50 Ways for Writers to find Article Ideas, by Susan Johnston, outlines a way for writers to keep a steady stream of writing ideas flowing.

At Helium, we’re constantly working on new topic ideas and ways to motivate new and existing writers.  For all of our writers, wannabe Helium writers and any writers who are unaffiliated with Helium, I encourage you to give this article a read. It is chock-full of great ideas for articles to titles that may already exist on Helium or may give you food for thought before you submit new titles to write to.

From evaluating all manner of national trends, subscribing to newsletters and blogs that interest you, or playing the tourist in your home town for Local Guides titles, there are ideas that would work for everyone.

As for me, I may just follow idea #8 and go for a walk to let my mind wander. I think I feel some good article ideas coming on…

“Hyperlocal” seems to be the buzzword these days. Everyone wants information about what’s going on in their neck of the woods, and they want it to be professionally reported and crowdsourced (community provided).

And why not? Many local papers don’t provide nearly enough information that’s usable or it’s “gated” and buried on their site. Their small newsrooms can only gather and publish a finite amount of information. Larger websites that are better at providing this often have information pertaining only to big cities, which doesn’t help folks who live way out in the ‘burbs or in remote areas.

With writers from around the globe from communities big and small, Helium is happy to help where we can. Check out our Local Guide channels for information about your community, such as the best places for a first date in Boston or where to find the best burgers in Chicago. We cover a number of large American cities and are on the cusp of expanding to smaller communities as well.

If you don’t see your town, shoot us a line about where you live and suggest at least 10 titles that would interest folks in your neck of the woods. If we can get them up, you can spread the word to other people in your community and they can also write what they know. Imagine a place where the average Joe can finally share his or her expertise about what’s going on, where to find it or how to do it. And get paid for doing it!