The first place to look for freelance writing topics is within. Your personal experiences can make great fodder for article ideas. Nearly every magazine has a personal essay section, and more of them have an opinion page as well. Your local newspaper may welcome a guest column on a subject that is both timely and from the perspective of someone who has personal knowledge of the subject matter.
Weekday morning shows such as The Today Show and Good Morning America can give you some ideas for freelance writing topics. While they’re both focused primarily on national or international issues, most can be localized if you are trying to get published in a local magazine or newspaper, or on a local Web site.
Networking is crucial to freelance writing. Your friends and colleagues can offer ideas as well as personal experiences that may give you some idea on things to write. One local writer recently sold a story to the local newspaper as a result of a problem she had paying a local appliance dealer for a refrigerator that never arrived. After five weeks of wrangling for a refrigerator and then finally for a refund she finally learned that the company owner was a city council member and vice mayor of her hometown. That led to a great piece on the ethics of local elected officials.
Blogs are great for brainstorming ideas. You can be a part of the conversation or sit back and listen to others. Most newspapers now have blogs, both by and for their reporters as well as the general public. You should be very careful, however, that you don’t put your story idea into the mind of a reporter who will then take the story from you.
The Internet is an absolute gold mine of freelance writing ideas. A quick keyword search on just about anything will bring up a wealth of articles, sites and blogs on the subject from many different perspectives. All you will have to do is find a way to create a different slant on the topic and you’ll have a great freelance writing idea.
If you get really stuck why not consider hiring a freelance writer [http://www.jvmembers.com]. Some great places to look are elance.com and scriptlance.com. Make sure you get the writers to send you a broad cross section of their work, so that you can assess their writing skills before you award the contract.