How to Find Topic Ideas for Your Forum
If you are not running a general forum, you will likely reach a point where you are having a hard time coming up with topics relating to your niche. Never fear though! There are many resources on the world wide web that you can use to your advantage. In this article I will share some ideal sources to help you generate ideas for topics.
Keep up-to-date With the Latest News
Whatever niche you are in, there is likely to be some form of news regarding the topics which you discuss. It is important to use a search engine to find out about this news. Enter into the search engine the niche of your forum, followed by the word 'news'. This will likely link you to several news outlets that focus on this topic. If you use Google, feel free to just type in the niche and click on the news tab at the top of the header.
The latest news can easily be shared on your forum, along with your opinion on the news topic. News is something which can easily create a hot topic, due to the fact that most members will likely have differing opinions on the news, thus allowing a form of debate to start. This is a great form of content when you want a quick topic to start, usually because there will always be something you can write about.
See What Niche Related Social Networks Are Up To
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ are home to thousands of communities built for your niche. Be sure to tap into user created content here, in terms of seeing what is being posted about on these networks. There will likely be some form of discussion happening there, and taking that discussion to your forum can prove popular, because members will have a better format to write detailed and compelling discussion points.
News and opinions tend to break first on social networks nowadays, so be sure to actively watch the key social accounts, and post up any threads relating to the content shared on there, which you think might be of use.
Don't be Afraid to Look at the Competition!
If you are really stuck for creating threads but are trying to create a certain amount per day in order to keep members coming back, then don't be afraid to check in on some competitors forums for topic ideas. Don't just copy and paste the content, but feel free to look at the general basics of each topic, and work out your own based on the overall discussion. There may be something on that forum which you have never thought about, or a topic that went unnoticed there, but might possibly see a larger response on your forum.
As long as you do not copy the entire topic word for word, the occasional topic idea from a competitors site is nothing to worry about.
Using Other Websites
This section is sort of just an 'extra places to look' idea. Two websites I like to use a lot when it comes to getting topic ideas is Answers.com (or a similar question and answer website) and Reddit. There are likely various Reddit communities based on your niche, which may hold interesting conversations, in which you can use to post a thread on your forum. With Answers.com there are always people asking niche related questions, which you can then either go on to ask on your own forum, or produce a sort of answer on your forum with the needed information in a topic. This idea also gives you the possibility of linking your answer on your forum, back to the question posted on the site, which can give you some good link backs and niche related traffic.
I am sure I have missed other sources of great topic ideas, so feel free to leave further suggestions in the comments.