Have you ever sat down at your computer, ready to write your next marketing article, and then wasted thirty minutes or more trying to come up with something to write about? If so, then you know a few uninspired days can make article marketing seem like a huge burden, taking up way too much of your time.

After you implement article marketing as a strategy for generating new leads in your business and then written several articles, coming up with fresh ideas can get tricky. But if you really want article marketing to bring you a steady stream of new clients, then you need to produce a steady stream of articles. That means running out of article ideas is out of the question.

To ensure you never waste another minute wondering what to write about, use the following seven tips to generate an endless supply of article ideas.

1. Maintain an Idea List
Article ideas can strike at any time, so make sure you're ready to capture them when they come. Keep an article idea list or journal that you can refer to later when you sit down to write. This way, the next time you need to write an article, all you need to do is pick something from your list and start writing.

2. Give Yourself an Assignment
Every time you finish an article, give yourself an assignment for next time by choosing another article topic and key points. Then you won't have to wrestle with a blank screen or go searching for ideas next time. You'll have an assignment waiting for you, so all you'll have to do is finish it up.

3. See What Your Competitors and Colleagues Are Writing About
Searching online is an easy way to find new article ideas. One of the best places to look is at the other articles in your category on sites like ezinearticles.com and selfgrowth.com. See what your competitors are writing about, and chime in with your own take on the subject.

4. Look through Your Past Articles
If you've got a database of articles you've already written, use it to your advantage by updating or adding something new to a topic you've covered before. For example, if you wrote an article about winter gardening basics a few months ago, you could write a new one about advanced winter gardening strategies.

5. Look through Your Book
If you have a book, you have an article idea goldmine. One option is to pull sections directly from your book and edit into a stand-alone article. Another option is to choose a topic from your book and form a unique article that explores it in a different way. And yet another way to use your book for article ideas is to pick and choose pieces from different chapters to create an article that presents your same information in a new way. These strategies work well because the articles will preview your book and help lead to a sale.

6. Survey Your Clients
Not sure what kind of information your readers want from you? All you have to do is ask. You can use surveymonkey.com to create a survey for your current and past clients, web site visitors, or anyone else you can access from your ideal audience. Ask what topics matter most to them, and your articles will definitely be crowd pleasers.

7. Set Up News Alerts for Your Keywords
One of the easiest ways to keep up with what's going on in your market is using news alerts like Google News and Yahoo News for the keywords you use. If you're not familiar with news alerts, you basically set these services to send you an e-mail of all the new places your keywords were mentioned every da. So if someone writes a blog post with your keyword phrase in it, you'll get a link to that post in your e-mail. This is a great way to find newsworthy and trendy article topics.

Your Next Article Idea
When article marketing starts taking up too much time, it's easy to put writing off until inspiration strikes. But to get the best results, you need to write articles regularly, even when you don't feel inspired. These seven strategies will make finding article topics and getting your articles written much easier and less time-consuming.

Author's Bio: 

Melinda Copp helps speakers, coaches, consultants, and self-employed professionals write and publish to establish expertise, build relationships with their clients and prospects, and make more money. For a free copy of "Write to Grow Richer; The 7 Secrets of Writing to Sell Your Services," go to http://www.WritersSherpaPrograms.com.