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I have been asked to write various technical and non-technical articles about computer usage, Windows usage (perhaps some Mac and *nix as well if they let me), Windows repair, and various other technology and computer centric topics. Unfortunately I have to choose the topics as well as generate the content.

I would like to write articles that are in demand and of interest, vs just pulling topics out of my butt that I think are interesting. With my background, I find that I don't (very often) necessarily think the things that others think are interesting to be very interesting or useful.

What can one do when looking into determining topics of large interest? Is Google Trends the pinnacle of available resources for such hunting & research or are there other options that will yield high value topics to create spot on market interest based content?

NOTE: The target audience are general readers of all types. It is for a periodical that is for general consumption in a mixed environment of generally less savvy consumers, but with some occasional more savvy readers. Most readers will appreciate more layman explanations to issues they may run into with general usage.

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    You write interesting articles by being part of the community that you write for and taking an interest in what goes on in that comunity. You probably know that the hot topics are in your family, because you are a part of your family and take an interest in what goes on in your family. If you want to write about X, become a part of X and take an interest in what goes on in/with X. Then write what you learn. – user5645 Oct 16 '14 at 7:02
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First, in demand and interesting is the proper goal, but it has no relationship with popular and trending. Or rather, topics that are "in demand and interesting" usually become "popular and trending" after a delay at which time they will no longer be "in demand and interesting". Just increasingly popular.

What does "in demand" mean? It means that the gaining new information in the topic would be useful to significant portion of the audience. It must relate to something the readers already do and have use for. At the same time the topic should be something the readers are not already directly familiar with. Basically, find something that readers easily could do but actually do not. If the reason they do not do it is mostly because they don't know they could or do not know how, you have found a topic with "demand".

What does "Interesting" mean? It means that seeing the title readers must recognize that it relates to their interests and that they must be able to understand the text and apply at least some of the information in practice. If you can't think of a title for the topic that readers will recognize as relating to them, it is not an interesting topic. If you can't explain the topic in the available length so that readers will understand it, it is not an interesting topic.

Obviously, this answer is not THE TRUTH, nor does it try to be. It is simply a suggestion of the direction you could start looking. With writing of this type your personal interests, expertise, and voice are a big part of the value you deliver. And remember that your actual readers will always be just a small part of the potential readers. You do not need to be in demand and interesting for everyone as long as enough people find you both.

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The first thing you need to be aware of is what your target audience is.

A professional software developer already knows how to make your PC faster by installing the right device drivers, while a home user can't get much out of reading your in-depth analysis of Clang vs. GCC. An IT manager doesn't want to know which is the best graphic card for playing Battlefield 4, while a gamer isn't interested much in your cost-benefit analysis of virtualizing Linux servers on IBM mainframes.

When you aren't sure, ask your superiors what target audience they are aiming for.

After you found out who your target audience is, you need to find out what they want to read about.

  1. What's new? Any brand-new technology your audience might want to use is always worth writing about. Tell them what it can do what their current technology can't, how to do this, and why they should (or should not) buy it.
  2. What's popular? What are the technologies your target audience uses daily? What tips can you give them about how to make more out of them? Any technical details they might be interested in?
  3. What's unpopular? Which are the main issues and annoyances your target audience faces daily and what advise can you give them about how to solve these issues?
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It depends upon the topic of your interest. Whatever topic you're writing picking up the right posts is the key to the success of your writings.

1)Join forums and message boards of your interest. 2)Engage yourself in discussions, answer question. 3)Think!! 4)Convert YouTube videos to articles; improvise and add your own thoughts. 5)How to's are trending always. People are always looking for howto's so focus mainly on Howto's. 6)Comparison and reviews will be another trending topics.

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/find-blog-topics/

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    Your answer is rather confusing. The first sentence opens a premise that doesn't go anywhere - what is different, depending on what different topics? The second sentence then contradicts the premise by pointing out there's a single thing that works. Formatting aside, your list goes from general to specific, then makes sweeping statements about what is trending without direct references. If you would like help, just shout. – Zayne S Halsall Dec 17 '14 at 5:31

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