How do you select great writing topics

QuestionsDefining your niche market

For many writers, the biggest obstacle to writing is selecting a worthy topic. For some, this is a fairly straightforward process while others struggle to come up with the right ideas. There are some things that may determine how a writer prepares to create new work. Interest, political leanings and even educational levels may limit a writer’s ability to find work they want.

Some writers have identified niche areas that work best for them. For example, a writer with a good grasp of law or medicine may focus on these topics exclusively. Oftentimes, education and life experience help define a niche for the writer. Here are some of the niches that these writers fill:

  • Hot news items – there are writers who are very good at targeting news topics and can often get out high quality articles in time to capitalize on the “hot news” cycle which is significantly less today due to social networking. News writing is not for everyone, but those who are good at this type of writing can do very well.
  • Entertainment – writers who enjoy reviewing books, movies or plays often find a niche in the entertainment writing areas. These writers often offer a combination of summaries of programs (or books) and interject their personal feelings about various characters on the show.
  • Politics – there are those political junkies who read, research and love writing about all things politics. These writers often have the knack of capturing not only important information about the political process but also love sharing their opinions.

Then there are those writers who do not focus on a single niche that is considered “hot” and they focus on more evergreen content. Then what?

Coming up with non-niche writing


I have a green streak about ten miles wide when it comes to writers who can write about any topic under the sun. I am a very niche writer focusing on (ironically) writing, legal topics and finance for the most part. I am not very good at going “outside my comfort zone” so I do not often venture into subjects that I am not interested in. However, I still like to explore new tools for coming up with topics for writing online. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Yahoo! Answers – What are people talking about? I admit some of the questions on Yahoo! are….well, they are flat out stupid and do not rise to the level of justifying them with a response. In fact some of them are so personal that I find myself astounded that someone would even ask them but that is a different issue. One of the best things about using this source is that you can then promote your article by responding to the question.
  • Social media – Again, what are people talking about? Check out trending topics on Twitter and see if you can capitalize on what people are seeking information about. For those who are niche writers, check out discussions using a hashtag with a specific keyword. This may provide you some inspiration.
  • Google Trends – Google’s trending topics may help you find hot topics to write about. This is a good tool if you are looking for something new to write about. This changes frequently so what you are writing about may already be “old news” when you publish it. However, this does not diminish the value.
  • Google Keyword Tool – This is a great tool regardless of what type of writing you like to do. Make yourself a list of words or phrases that focus in on what type of writing you like. For example, credit card debt, online jobs, writing online, pets and problems, etc. and simply plug them in the tool. You will get a list of what people search for using these keywords and you can target low and medium competition keywords and be on your way.
  • HubPages (of course!) – Do not overlook the value of the “Answers” section to find something to write about. Even if you do not directly answer a question, you can get some great ideas for new hubs.

These are just a few ways that you can come up with new ideas for writing topics. Every writer will find a way to target the audience they are most interested in writing for so these may not work for everyone.

About Doreen Martel

Well-rounded freelance writer who contributes to various blogs, paid to write sites and revenue sharing sites. Doreen is legally blind and has worked at home for more than 10 years. She uses the lessons learned from this experience to enhance her writing and share information with others.

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