Staying on top of trends can be a great way to increase your exposure. The more people that see your work, the more chances it will go viral. Not all trends will take off as expected but many will do so. This article describes some great ways to keep up-to-date on trends.
Google trends is a great starting point to monitor current trends. The main interface gives you trends based on keywords that you enter. It will show you a graph of the prior months on the popularity of the keyword, for any period that you specify. It can also estimate where it believes the trend will be for the near future. You can also compare against other keywords to see patterns with your keywords.
It’s also worthwhile to scan Google News. This displays what it feels are the most current stories from a wide variety of categories. You can access it by going to http://news.google.com. Bing has a similar feature that you can access at http://bing.com/news. Both Google News and Bing News can have custom categories added.
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Trendspottr.com is another way to keep track of trends. Although it is a premium subscription (tiered) it does let you set one free alert for a category of your choice. There is a 14-day trial without needing to enter credit card information.
Use BuzzSumo.com to find out the influencers that are currently trending. This website tracks what these influencers are sharing and which social media platforms they are sharing. It has both a free version and a premium version. The premium version returns more results.
AllTop.com is another great resource to find out what is trending out on the web. It is a massive directory of current items from all over. If your website or blog is deemed worthy to the AllTop staff, you can submit it for inclusion. This can drive some great traffic to your site.
After gathering trend data, the next step is to write content based on it. This is a great way to get people to follow that content which increases the chances of it going viral. The biggest downside to this method is that it is not evergreen, meaning that in a couple of weeks when the story goes stale, the content you created will follow suit. This is going to require you to constantly keep up with the trends and create continuous content around it. The upside is when it takes off, it has the chance to go extremely viral.