I’ve been your reader for the past few years. I want to know how the writers always get ideas for new content at MakeUseOf.
One of the ways I find things to write about is to review my google search history. If I was interested in something chances are others are also.
I usually think about what projects or tech work I need to accomplish and what tasks might go into the project what would make for an interest article. When that fails, I might search the open source communities for cool projects. I also spend a great deal of time sifting through news releases, so I'll often spot new tech apps to cover that way too. Seems like the world is filled with far more to write about than there's ever enough time for.
your articles are an inspirational for a blogger like me.. even your writing and things you describe.. If i keep reading your articles perhaps i would become a better tech and review writer..
Yup I like your blog posts man. They are easy to read, and makes you want to read whole posts.
I usually start out by taking a look at my own applications folder. Did any new applications recently join file? And if so, do they merit a MUO article?
Similarly for How-To's. Did I encounter anything interesting? Often my How-To's stem from problems I faced myself, and the solution I came to.
If I haven't encountered anything worthwhile, didn't get interesting ideas from friends or other websites, it's time to start brainstorming. Write down a number of keywords related to computer use and start thinking about the angle you want to take. What bugs you? How could it be made better? There's a good chance an application like that already exists; try to find it. Is there an interesting way to use an application that was otherwise intended, or to combine the uses of several applications? Work out the details.
That's how most of my articles are born. Brainstorm, research and follow your nose when you think you've found something. Reiterate until the article outline starts taking shape in your head.
The simple answer? From everywhere. The mainstream news, newspapers, magazines, reader comments, reader questions, trending topics etc. I absorb as much as possible and then use that knowledge to write original content. Spending 12 hours a day, 6 days a week on the Web helps too :)
Like James said, being "plugged in" is what really does it. What am I using that I can write about? What's something I've used in the past that I can write about? What's new that people are talking about at the moment?
I have a pile of links and notes of things I can potentially write about -- here and elsewhere -- that I regularly dip into for inspiration. When I get an idea or see something that inspires me, I make a note of it.
Mostly though, I write for a living so I just have to have ideas. Having no ideas is not an option. If I have to spend hours brainstorming and Googling around, that's what I'll do.
I read about 500 items of tech news from around the blogosphere. I have a few computers that I play around on and use to test out various things. Mostly, I write about stuff *I'm* making use of.