Following the news has always presented itself as a challenge in my life. First, I was too young and thus ignorant. Through high school and college, I just had ?too much to do?. Then I got married and had children. I refused to watch the news with my kids around (if it gave me the creeps, what would it do to them?), and reading the paper with little ones has always been a challenge. Occasionally I would resolve to change ? such as when, on 9/11, I happily made business calls until someone told me to turn on the television ? but these never lasted.
Things in my life haven't changed. I'm still a stay-at-home mom to three kids under 5, who refuse to give me more than 30 seconds to myself. I am still working part time, while trying to simultaneously build up my freelance writing career and our joint wiring business. I still get not enough sleep at night. And I would still rather read a good book than a gore-filled newspaper. But thanks to my new attack on newspapers (and a little help from my good friend, Tivo), I have turned reading the news into a profitable endeavor for both careers.
As I breeze through the papers, a few business and news magazines, and skim past the commercials to actually view the nightly news, I keep a notebook by my side. When I see an article on a subject that might interest me, I write down a brief description of the feature, as well as where it might best be used. At present, I pen two newsletters ? one for health, and one for small businesses ? as well as a local blog. I also keep a sharp eye on newspaper features or pieces that might have more meat (or a different direction) to submit to magazines as a freelance writer. And I submit every article I write for either locale to an online article distribution site in order to (hopefully) gain a wider audience for my freelance writing. When I am really fortunate, I might find some overlap in the different types of writing and write several articles in various ways.
Reading through the news (paper and magazine) today alone has provided me with:
* Two possible contacts for our wiring business; in one case, a franchise is requiring its small business owners to renovate and include WiFi and plasma televisions in its formerly plastic state. Someone has to do the work in our area; why not Redd Infinity?
* The answer to my small business question about Google and its advertising (and a possible business article once I research the subject some more)
* Meat for three different articles (two business, one health-related) for my newsletters
* The idea to write this article for my blog!
And I haven't even turned on the television yet!
As a writer, I look for more than the headlines and front page stories; instead, I prefer to delve through the Metro and Living section. As a business owner, I am keeping my eyes open for any possible placement we might be able to wring a customer out of, or a blog or editorial I might be interested in reading more of. Last week, I saw a fantastic advertisement and told my husband, that is good marketing. I clipped it so that when we begin to run ads, we have a good example before us.
Of course, we should read the news to keep up with what is going on in the world. But it can also be a great source to tap into for business owners and freelance writers.
Nola Redd is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Fiction Writing. She authors a small business blog and newsletter for Redd Infinity, which does low voltage wiring in the Atlanta area. She would love to help your business prepare a newsletter for your clients to help increase your profits.