Complete mental breakdown

6 replies
It should be easy, I am a fairly good writer on forums and can articulate my words reasonably well but am having major problems coming up with articles for my mini camcorder niche, the problem lies in not knowing all that much about them beyond point and click. I know the theory; look at what questions people are asking and answer them but I do not have a clue how to get from here to having a number of articles up and running with clearly defined topics and headings...

What is your methodology for researching what you want to write about, getting your keywords picked and actually getting on with writing?

It would be so much easier if I was writing about something I actually had direct experience with lol
#breakdown #complete #mental
  • Profile picture of the author butters
    If you don't have experience with it, you got two options, pay some person to write them for you or get experience. If you choose with experience, start out at the basics and write about it and as you learn, the more detailed and in depth your articles will get. Thats what I would do but then there is always the question... Is it worth your time to learn something new? Will the ends justify it?
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulaC
    I usually check articles that others have written on the subject to see how they have gone about it. So I will browse ezine articles for instance for article topics.

    I think your problem at this point is that you don't know enough about your niche. So you are in a catch 22 situation at the moment. If you knew about it the words would just flow.

    That is going to come in time but in the meantime I would check out some of the article sites and also some consumer sites like cnet that write quite good content on these types of products.

    One tip I have always used is to start at the middle of the article. Sometimes it's hard to get started with an intro but if you just start somewhere in the middle and come back to the intro later it seems to be much easier to write.

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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Honestly, sounds boring unless you have a serious interest in them. How about review articles on specific types or brands or a comparison of features.
      Or focus on one gimmick (ok, feature) of current models and how they have improved over the years, etc.

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  • Profile picture of the author Hasan Barbary
    Originally Posted by Sparhawke View Post

    What is your methodology for researching what you want to write about, getting your keywords picked and actually getting on with writing?

    It would be so much easier if I was writing about something I actually had direct experience with lol

    I write a lot of articles on consumer electronics; but even for a gadget guy like me there's no way I can personally try out everything, even if I wanted to. So I have a few quick-n-dirty productivity tricks I use.

    1) type mini camcorders into Google but DON'T hit [Enter]. Just study the auto-complete suggestions. Usually that's worth 1 or 2 articles right there

    2) If you're writing about a product that you've never actually seen or used, how can you write a review? The FTC is rightfully cracking down on flogs, but I sidestep the issue completely using my "FOX News/Survey" technique. Basically, you go to a good review site (CNET, Amazon, etc) and paraphrase/summarize the most common good AND bad points. For fun, I'll drop in the phrase "some people say..." followed by a review excerpt. Thus the FOX reference (they became infamous for unattributed commentary with that expression during the Bush years.) Hey, it's not Pulitzer prize-winning journalism, but then again, nobody expects it to be ~ it's article marketing. If you honestly summarize the actual concerns of real reviewers, then it's no harm, no foul, IMO.

    3) finally, tell a story. My background is Creative Writing, so when I get stumped, I just let my imagination go for awhile. Often I'll just free associate ~ usually with gadgets, I see them passing by storefront windows, so I'll start there. Or opening Christmas presents, for example; that's always reminds me of the gift that was too hard to assemble for the grownups, so the kids had to read the instructions out loud & explain to them. :p Sometimes I can find a voice right there...

    So to recap: 1) pick Google's brain, 2) "Some People Say", and 3) "A funny thing happened to me at the mall yesterday... "

    When all else fails... just start banging away at the keyboard. Don't edit or censor yourself. Be loose, be silly, make it as fun as you can.

    Hope that helps,

    ~ hasan
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      For physical products, a great way to come up with topic ideas is to read the reviews at Amazon for your product(s). Some of those reviews can be quite detailed plus you will get a snapshot of what buyers like and what they do not - and what is missing that they'd like to see.

      Some random ideas off the top of my head:

      Mini camcorders vs. full size camcorders
      Taking care of your mini camcorder
      What to do if something goes wrong?
      Top 5 features that customers want
      The 5 most annoying features
      Tips for filming better videos
      3 tips on using your mini camcorder to record memories

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