A little known but nifty tool is Google Wonder Wheel. Quite simply, if you’re a blogger or any writer for that matter, the tool will give you variations on a search term and alongside it articles with that phrase. These can be helpful in sparking story ideas. Also, you may discard your great story idea because you find that someone else just wrote about it. Here’s how Wonder Wheel works:
1- Enter a term in Google search. For illustration, I’ll use the term “social media.” Type in the search term and hit enter.
2- Scroll down the left side of the page. On the left side of the page under “All Results” you’ll see “Wonder wheel.”
3- Click on Wonder wheel. A circle with “social media” will appear with spokes leading to other variations. These are among eight that I received: social media blog, social media optimization and social media websites. In the right hand column you will see a list of searches with the term. Trusty Wikipedia appeared with its definition of social media, further down was a link to the social media news and business strategies blog, and then a simple “what is social media?” Social media as a topic is simply too broad so I decided to do a deeper dive.
4- Click on one of the variations. I clicked on the “new media” spoke and up came eight new variations including “new media strategist.” Now I was getting somewhere. A lot of people would like to know what these people do, and I think I’d like to write about that. The searches on the right included “Who Isn’t a New Media Strategist?” I also discovered there is a New Media Professionals Association where I’m sure I can get a lot of good information.
It’s as simple as that. Let Google come up the ideas and basic research for you. Then you can start writing.