I’ve talked before about how content ideas are all around you, and that’s true. But sometimes you need a new content idea that’s even closer, like right at your fingertips. Here are five tools I use to generate new, interesting content ideas on the fly.

LinkedIn Pulse

I love LinkedIn. And I really love the new Pulse feature, which allows you to post unique, useful content that can gain tremendous traction. You’ll find the link to Pulse by logging into your LinkedIn account and clicking the dropdown menu “Interests.” I wrote another post recently about usingLinkedIn Pulse for better exposure and more qualified leads–you can read it over here.

Google Alerts

Free, simple, quick. That’s why I like Google Alerts. Pick a few of your top keyword phrases and set up an alert. You can set them up to auto send in real-time, once a day or just once a week — and you’ll get an email with a list of articles about topics your readers will be interested in reading. Set up alerts for some of your competitors, too, so you can keep an eye on what kind of topics they’re producing. You should be able to get lots of great ideas from Google Alerts.

Twitter

Keyword search. It’s that easy. Log in to Twitter and do some keyword and hashtag searches for top keywords. This will produce a list of potential article ideas written by your peers and competitors. Take a great topic, write it better than what’s out there, put your own spin on it, and Bob’s your uncle!

Brainspace

This tool lets you find, collect and share information. Just enter in your topics of interest and Brainspace will spit out related articles and information. Super easy, super fast. Lots of great content ideas right at your fingertips.

Prismatic

Prismatic is kind of like Brainspace-meets-Twitter. Just follow the people and publishers that interest you most (remember to look for your keywords). Prismatic will scour the web to find top-performing content–the most recommended and most-shared. You can also share your own articles with different communities, comment on other posts and generally engage with a new audience. It’s a pretty cool tool.

Hopefully some of these tools will help you find new, timely content ideas. If you have another tool to share with us, please leave a comment below, we’d love to hear about it!