Google Alerts – Google alerts will send you an email as often as you would like about topics that you incher into their search bar.

So if you’re interested in purple unicorns… every time someone mentions purple unicorns on their blog, website or press release or whatever else they may do to publicize purple unicorns, you’re going to get an email saying that someone’s talking about unicorns.

Other Blogs – make sure you read other blogs in your industry and look for stuff that you can snipe.  Regurgitating news is okay, so long as you add your opinion to it.  So if you think Justin Bieber’s being a douche bag, say so.

Blog Search Engines – there are couple of search engines that will let you search directly for topics within blocks.  Technorati is one of these services and so is the Google search for blogs.

Technorati –

Google Blog Search –

Social Tags – when people publish blog post to social media sites, they usually add tags of some sort to identify what the subject matter is about.  On StumbleUpon and delicious, you can search by tags to reveal sites that are related to those terms.

Stumbleupon –

Delicious –

News Stories – News stories are great way to find content for your blogs.  The faster you can get the information out there the better.  The Google news search is a great way to find stories related to just about any topic.

There are other sites such as Techmeme for tech news and Memeorandum for political news.

POPURLS – This site shows you everything that is trending. They give you everything ready to go.

Google Trends is another great place to find what’s hot on the Internet.  Google Trends will not only show you what’s trending right now, but show you a graph of how popular it has been over the past several months and years.

Mining Topics – Mind Reader

Here’s a great little exercise to help you come up with topics to write about.  Take out a sheet of paper.  Draw a line vertically down the middle.  On the left side I want you to list out all of the problems that your audience currently has or might have in the future.  On the right side, fill in all of the possible solutions to those problems, even if you currently don’t possess knowledge on the solutions.  This list will resonate with your readers.  When you write about these topics, they will think you are a mind reader.

Mining Topics – Ask Your Audience

Don’t forget that your audience is your biggest asset.  If you please them, they will come back for more, piss them off and you might be blogging to an audience of one.

You could do a sidebar survey that asks your readers what they want to hear about.  Make it multiple choice so it’s nice and easy, but you could give them a space to fill in any other requests as well.

Often times they will tell you in the comment section without you ever asking.

When it comes to comments, here are a few tips…

1. Leave them open so people can communicate many-to-many (readers to readers) rather than one-to-many (you to your readers).

2. You want to make it as simple as possible for people to make comments.  If people need to make a new account, you might as well ask someone to get you a beer from a popsicle truck, because it’s probably not going to happen.

When you install a WordPress blog on NicheBuilder, you have a comment engine included that allows comments from Facebook, Twitter, Disqus and Facebook all in one module.

It used to be that you would have to pass commenters through a captcha image to prove they are real.  My suggestion would be to just approve all comments before they are posted live on your site.

That wraps it for getting topics.  You can either go ahead and put these strategies in play, or continue on to our next video where we’ll tell you how to Get the Word Out about your new blog.