How Trends Lead to Article and Blog Ideas . . . and More


A couple weeks ago, Business Insider published an article about Barnes & Noble’s announcement that sales of books relating to managing and coping with anxiety are up 26 percent from a year ago.

When you run across information like that, your idea light bulb should glow in anticipation. idea light bulb

Why? Editors love trends.

And this one could relate to so many audiences: from parents of children and teens to women in general, men, professionals, businesses (think management and HR magazines), entrepreneurs, athletes, and so on.

So what to do?

1. Explore the topic on search engines to see if the issue is trending beyond Barnes & Noble’s stats. If not, you have only a factoid. If so, proceed in haste.

2. Select a magazine or website you feel would be a viable market* for this, based on your knowledge of the magazine and what you’ve learned so far about the issue.

* a viable market is one that buys freelance material and pays enough to meet your requirements

3. Describe their target audience (either you already know the audience or you can get it from their website or media kit).

4. Review their past articles to see if they’ve addressed this topic in the past year – and if so the angle(s) used.

5. Do some additional quick targeted online research to pick up a few current statistics and get a better handle on the issue (any studies? journal articles?) – if you did not do this in step 1 or for this audience.

6. Contact an expert or professional in the field to get a quick overview of their take on this as a real trend. (You might even ask if they would be able to answer more questions once you have a solid assignment. You will want more experts when you do your actual research, but it will help if you can mention in your query letter that you have already lined up an expert [or experts] to interview for the story.)

7. If you’ve determined this is indeed a viable idea for this market – and have your slant in mind, query and proceed.

8. While waiting for a reply, continue exploring other markets and slants.

(See our related posts: Are You Maximizing Your Writing Inventory? and

Ask More Questions for More Article Sales)

Don’t forget the regional angles

Idea on keyboard keysAnother excerpt from Business Insider was equally interesting:

“Customers in states around the country are not equally stressed out, however. California, Michigan, and Massachusetts saw the largest increase in interest in anxiety books, while Texas, North Carolina, and Florida saw the largest decrease in interest.”

If you live in any of those states and write for local or regional publications, check out these angles. Do the experts and professionals there see this happening? Their thoughts on why. If you have the sources and stats to provide a story, line up your viable markets and begin querying.

And then there are your clients

Do you write (or ghostwrite) online articles or blog posts for business or professional clients? This trend won’t apply to every type client, but it could for those who have their own clients, patients, or customers where anxiety could be an issue – and their business or service has even a tangential connection. If you can make that connection, you might propose an article or blog post for their website or social media platforms.

What about your own content?

Do you have a blog? Do you post articles on social media or your website? Can you make a connection between trending anxiety and your target readers? Or can you relate to the topic and share your experience(s) with your readers? If so, there’s your topic for this week.

But wait, there’s still more!

Did you see this from Barnes & Noble?

“The bestselling books in the category include workbooks, toolkits, and self-help books about managing anxiety.”

Hmmm — Sounds like a good time to get out a few of those “quick and easy” adult coloring books, journals, and planners, designed especially for people needing to calm their anxieties. Possibly for different age groups if you find the trend crossing all ages.

Numerous indie publishing experts have been saying that short Kindle nonfiction books sell better than traditional 200-page books. As you gather your research and talk to the experts for articles and blog posts, have outlines for several “tips” booklets on how to recognize and manage anxiety and stress.

Then you can alleviate your own stress while waiting for editors’ replies to your queries by writing up and publishing those Kindle and CreateSpace e-books, workbooks, coloring books, and toolkits.

Up next?

Along with an uptick in anxiety-related book sales, Barnes & Noble also noted an increase in sales of books in the fantasy genre, up 10 percent, and in the Finding Happiness category, which was up 83 percent.

Should be plenty of ideas to keep you busy there!

Please do share with us below your “anxiety” articles, posts, and e-books.

(Note:  Comments are moderated, so will not appear until approved. It keeps out spammers. )

About Dana K Cassell

Hi, and welcome to our Network. I'm Dana Cassell and am the one writing most of the posts on this blog. I've been in this writing/editing business for way longer than I care to admit. My goal here is to provide you with useful insights from our professional members and from my own experience - to help you achieve your own success, grow your editorial business, and publish successful and worthy books,


  1. Makes me wish I had more time for non-fiction articles. The ideas keep coming but the time does not!

  2. Excellent word, Dana! Thanks.

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