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Using Questions to Improve Your Writing Content

Updated on July 24, 2016
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Answers to Questions in Writing

If you've been writing articles for awhile, you've likely run into days where you just can't think of anything to write about. HubPages, a content writer's site, has a feature where members may ask a question of a person, or no one in particular. These questions can generate ideas for your articles (or hubs, on HubPages)!

Actually, answering questions is a great way to write, anyway. If you're writing a novel or just writing a thousand word article, asking questions throughout the process helps to produce legible content with good flow, and also makes it easier to formulate ideas you might not have thought of otherwise.

Because there are people asking questions all over the internet, the cache of this resource is endless. On HubPages, there are questions ranging from entertainment fluff to obscure professional inquiries, and everything in between.

The great thing about questions on HubPages is that they show up visibly on the My Account page. I've literally quickly scanned a question while on that page and was hit with an idea for a hub. The idea might not correlate exactly to the question, but still, fresh ideas aren't that easy to come by.

With questions asked and answers provided already monetized on many sites, there's no reason you shouldn't benefit from this, too. Next time you get stuck for an idea, take a look at some questions people are asking. You could get your next popular article from someone else's curiosity about a subject that never occurred to you before.

Big Questions bring Enlightening Answers

Philosophers and writers from the past often wrote in response to unanswered questions their minds created. Big questions, like, 'What is the nature of man?' and 'What will the world be like fifty years from now?' generally produce answers and even discussions that can help shed light on important issues.

For Henry David Thoreau, he favored asking questions like, 'What do I think of what I did today?' or 'How much did I make a difference today?' These important questions helped him (and his readers) grow as a human being. The answers to his important questions survived to inspire readers even today.

My Answer to the Question

On a personal level, this article itself was written in response to the question, "Do you ever use questions to give you hub ideas?", asked by HubPages member, tillsontitan.

My answer is yes, because I've used questions and forums to write many of my articles, especially those dealing with social issues.

It's never a bad idea to bounce some of your own questions and ideas around, too. I doubt I'm the only one who's been struck with a masterful concept just by reading some replies to a question I asked, or a topic I engaged with in the forums.

Many people who read this will say, "Bah, I have no need of questions to write, every resource I need is online, readily at hand." That's true. But what about the personality and human side of people that come through in their questions and answers?

Perspective. That's how I look at it. You may see a subject from a whole different angle than I do. It's apparent that even two people having a forum discussion can enlighten themselves significantly. And don't forget that people are generally experts on one topic or another. Someone who didn't impress you with their questions or answers on one topic, might blow you away with their next idea.

Applying Content Writing to Questions and Answers

Most content writers are doing so to get read and maybe earn a few bucks in the process. Article topic is the most overlooked aspect of online writing by novice internet writers. What they are writing about.

My advice to beginners is try to write about something that hasn't been done to death. Even if you think it's a good keyword and potential money maker, don't bother. The world just doesn't need more of it.

This common sense applies to writing an article from a question. Plug the question into the Google search box (in quotes, while logged out of Google) and see what comes up. This will give you an idea as to the popularity of the question and also how many quality articles have already been generated from it. If you don't think you're going to give people an answer they can't readily get from numerous sources, then you may as well look for another question to answer.

HubPages has programming that checks for duplicate questions before users ask theirs. This is hugely advantageous for users that want to answer questions that haven't already been done to death.

Look to answer questions that you're not completely unschooled on. Most online writers are aware that it's always best to write about what you know. This applies to questions, too. If you're not able to converse casually about your topic, you probably ought to do a little research before writing an article in answer to a question about it.

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    • Jason Marovich profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      I agree, DzyMsLizzy. I'm always baffled how a simple question can generate hundreds of responses. Thanks for stopping by.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Questions, and the answers that are provided often provide a great source of differing viewpoints, depending upon the topic of the original question.

      Very useful article, and always timely.

      Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • Jason Marovich profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      Thank you, katyzzz. An added advantage, on HubPages at least, is the effort people are now putting into asking quality questions, questions that people want to know the answers to.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 

      6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Well done, Jason, and very informative, I've only recently delved into the question system and I'm really enjoying some of the answers I find there, it adds human interest to the day, and as you say, it's all a matter of perspective

    • Jason Marovich profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      Thanks, Nell Rose.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      This is great, it really does remind us that even if we have writers block we can get ideas in other ways. I have asked a few questions, but not really looked to see if there is a hub in there somewhere among the other questions and answers. thanks for reminding me, rated up! cheers nell

    • Jason Marovich profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      Thanks for reading and commenting, DeborahNeyens and RTalloni. It's amazing what questions come through the HubPages feed. Some of them are perfectly suited for a longer answer framed in a hub.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Good insight into using questions to improve our writing content!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      These are very helpful tips, Jason. I loved the March Know It All contest because it made me realize the valuable resource that is the Questions section for finding topics to write about. I just need to start putting some more thought into asking my own questions. I'd love for someone to write a hub in response to one of them!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this helpful writing tool for generating content ideas. I haven't used the HP Q&A feature as much as I could, so thanks also for the reminder!

    • Jason Marovich profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      Thanks, Talullah!

      Thanks for reading, Denise Handlon. Being that I enjoy writing fantasy and creating fantasy worlds, I've used questions to further a story. When I saw the questions here on HubPages it really clicked with me. They're just a great way to get things going and keep them going, when writing about anything, really.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub to encourage other writers to answer questions. One of the reasons I loved the Know it All contest was that it encouraged people to write hubs in response to questions. I found many questions useful prompts. In fact, it really established an interest in me to continue this habit. Thanks for sharing.

    • Talullah profile image

      Talullah 

      6 years ago from SW France

      This is a great hub with some great ideas.

    • Jason Marovich profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      I find the most interesting aspect of answering questions or queries, Flora, is that I get to put my stamp on something that someone might find useful. We all have our own thoughts on what might best help someone who has asked a question - that's what makes every answer unique and helpful. Thanks for stopping by!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 

      6 years ago

      I've asked a lot of questions in the answers section, more than I have written answers to them. Some people have written hubs based upon my questions and I find it most gratifying that I have given them ideas. During this contest, I've only written one hub based upon a question.

    • Jason Marovich profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason F Marovich 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      tillsontitan - Thanks for the compliments, you asked a good question, I hope I delivered a good answer!

      Sunshine625 - Thanks, you're always so supportive.

      Lynn S. Murphy - Thanks. When I get stuck for an idea, I usually find myself scanning the Answers section on HubPages for an unanswered question.

      Curiad - With the positive changes coming on HubPages concerning questions and answers, you and I are probably among many who will find this topic of great interest. Thanks for stopping by and the vote up, I'll be sure to bounce over to your account today and have another look at your great work.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Well done Jason, I agree on the idea of using questions to spur ideas and Hubs. I actually wrote a hub about this a month ago in answer to a question. Like minds I guess!

      Voted Up!

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 

      6 years ago

      Great hub and yes, I surprised myself by actually writing a hub or several in answer to questions. In fact some of my best hubs came from answering questions. I think you're on to something here.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Excellent hub with some great ideas!! Well done!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I'm totally flattered that you wrote this great hub from my simple question! Great job full of ideas and useful information. I like your take about the human side of people that comes through in their questions. Really good hub. Voted up and SHARED.

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