One of the first questions you’ll hear when you tell people that you’re a freelance writer is “What do you write about?” No matter what your specific writing niche is, you will probably make a habit of writing about trending topics that are likely to draw in an audience and improve the readership of your blog—or catch the attention of a magazine editor in your latest pitch submission. If you’re not sure where to find the latest trending topics or you feel like you just don’t have your finger on the pulse of the subjects you care about, follow these tips to help you pick up on topics that your potential readers will want to read more about.
Tune in to the news.
Current events will always be trending, so you’ll want to make a habit of following the news. Don’t just go to one source. Follow several news sites to get the whole story and understand the audience that will be interested in any given story. Along with conventional news sources, you might also head to Medium for a look at what some leading bloggers have brought to the conversation in big current events. There, you can search for popular blogs by subject category and see what’s trending from bloggers you follow.
Scan social media.
Social media is a great way to get a snapshot of what’s happening not just in terms of news, but also in terms of lifestyle trends, celebrity gossip, politics, and just about anything else people care about. Twitter hashtags are a particularly useful glimpse into current trends, and you can see what’s trending in your circles with the Trends feature on your homepage.
Look for questions people are asking right now.
Trending topics tend to create lots of buzz, which means that there will be questions that people are asking about those topics. You can find those questions and use them as a basis for your next article or blog post by heading to Quora. Quora is free to use, and you can customize your account with topic categories that you care about. Then, you can easily see some popular questions being asked about those subjects, and you can even offer your answers on the site to help you get noticed.
When you need quick ideas, a simple solution is to just Google “trending topics in x category” or “trending hashtags in x category.” However, there is a more specialized tool available from your favorite search engine. Google Trends offers insight on what the world is searching for, and it can help you identify demographic data for specific search terms. This is especially useful because you’ll only want to cover trendy topics that appeal to the target audience of your blog or the publication you’re writing for.
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