13 Tips to Research Topic Ideas for Articles
[toc]When you are writing articles, you often must research topic ideas. This is essential if you are going to come up with interesting and informative topics for your readers, based on what people are looking for and what problems need to be solve, you can’t just go out and write whatever you feel like ( I mean you can, but you shouldn’t if you want to achieve success with your content) . Where do you get ideas for articles? What are the best places to do research? These are important questions if you want to consistently create high quality articles.
The following are 13 research topic ideas you can start using right away.
1. Google Trends
This is one of the easiest places to find great research topic ideas. Whether you are writing content for your website or an article for your online newsletter, it’s good to be up to date with popular ideas and topics. Google Trends can help you do this.
Google Trends has a search function, similar to the regular Google search engine. You will also see hot trends listed on the home page, which may or may not be relevant to your niche. It’s a good idea to check out Google Trends at least once per day. This can give you current ideas for articles, and it will show your readers that you are on top of things.
2. Yahoo! Answers (and other answer sites)
Yahoo! Answers has a search function where you can seek topics that are relevant to you. If you’re trying to find popular topics, you can look for questions that have gotten lots of attention.
Other answer sites include Answerbag, WikiAnswers and Askville (which is owned by Amazon). It’s also good to participate on these sites. Once you’ve written an article, you can seek out relevant questions and refer people to the article.
3. Discussion Forums
Forums can give you insight into what issues people are currently discussing. If a particular subject is getting hundreds of replies, there’s a good chance an article on this topic would also be popular.
Subjects on forums that generate controversy or even flame wars can be good material for articles. When people are passionate about a topic, it’s something worth writing about.
This site isn’t only good for finding books and other products in which you’re interested. It contains a wealth of research topic ideas. Amazon not only sells just about everything, it ranks them and posts reviews as well.
When you are seeking article topics, find out what books in that field are currently popular. Look up bestsellers in both the print book and Kindle sections. Book titles alone can give you many ideas for topics.
Reviews can also give you some valuable information. You don’t necessarily care whether books get good or bad reviews. What you should look for is books that get a large number of reviews. This indicates a widespread interest in the topic.
5. News Stories and Alerts
Keeping up with the news can help give you research topic ideas. You can filter the news by doing searches on sites like Google News. You can also sign up for Google and Yahoo! news alerts on particular topics.
This is another way to get ideas that are extremely topical. If, for example, you write about health topics, wouldn’t it be great to be immediately informed if a new drug or medical procedure was announced? This can enable you to be among the first to write about it.
6. Pinterest and Other Image Sites
The internet is increasingly focused on images. You can use this to give you ideas for articles. If you’re not a member of Pinterest, it’s a good idea to join and subscribe to some boards. Choose boards relevant to your industry or niche.
See what people are pinning to their boards. This often reflects current trends, and it can help you think of article topics. Pinterest has thousands of categories, so you can find boards on all kinds of topics, including ones you probably never thought about before.
7. Interview an Expert
If you can’t think of a good topic for an article, why not seek out an expert in the field? Interviews always make for interesting articles. When you do an interview, all of the heavy lifting is done by the interviewee. Well, you do have to think of some good questions. However, you can let the expert provide the answers.
Interviews can be conducted in a number of ways. You can interview the person on Skype and record it. You could send him or her questions via email or instant message. Email type interviews are good for high profile experts who are in demand. People who might not want to take the time to actually talk to you for half an hour might be willing to answer some questions you send to their inbox.
Photo Credit: fractalznet
8. Get Readers to Suggest Topics
If you have a website or email newsletter, you can ask your readers for help. This is actually one of the best ways to research topic ideas, because it gets your readers and website visitors involved in the process.
It’s always good to encourage your readers to be interactive, as this reminds them of your site or newsletter and gets them motivated to participate. When you ask for feedback, you are also collecting valuable data by finding out what your readers care about.
You can simply ask for ideas, or you could create a contest that rewards the chosen answer with a prize. You could run such a contest every month. You only have to think of fun prizes that people will enjoy winning. If you sell products or services, you could give people something of your own. Otherwise, you could purchase coupons or gift cards and use these as rewards.Photo Credit: Union Gospel Mission
9. Go to the Library
While many people do all their research online these days, don’t forget about brick and mortar libraries. Both pubic and university libraries can be great places to do research. If your are an alumnus of a college, you can usually use its library. Otherwise, it’s often possible to purchase a library card from a nearby college so you can do research at its library. Public libraries, of course, are free.
At the library you can find older books as well as journals and magazines that can help you find good ideas. It can be refreshing to get a break from the internet and look through physical books and publications.
“A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life”.-Norman Cousins
10. Case Studies
These are always popular, as they illustrate how something can be accomplished. If you’ve done something in the past, whether published a book, lost 25 pounds or started a vegetable garden, you can write a case study about it.
You can also ask permission to write about a case study that someone else has carried out. Either way, it can be an instructive article that your readers will appreciate.
Photo Credit: YEMAC_UNDP
11. Trade or Hobby Publications
You can find publications dedicated to almost every type of business or hobby. Whether you subscribe to the print or online version, this will give you access to lots of great information that you can use in articles.
12. Study Your Competition
No matter what you’re writing about, you surely have competition. Check out other websites and newsletters in your niche and find out what they are up to.
It’s best to study the most successful competitors in your field. Browse the authority websites and largest newsletters. This can give you ideas for articles.
“Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs”.-Henry Ford
Photo Credit: the|G|™
13. Review Products or Services
Your readers are always interested in finding out which products or services are worth purchasing –and which they should avoid. Many online reviews are simply one or two sentences that don’t give much useful information.
A thorough review of a product can be very helpful to your audience. Take the time to explain why you like or don’t like a certain product or service.
Be Creative to Find Research Topic Ideas
The world is full of places from which you can mine great ideas. The internet gives you instant access to the latest news, trends and products. You should also not neglect offline resources such as libraries and print magazines.
There are all kinds of places where you can do research. The above should give you a good starting point, but you should always keep your eyes and ears open so you can spot new sources of information.
if you want to research topic ideas, you can also see the process of choosing a topic and identifying resources that may be useful in your research.
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