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You may have heard of ‘trend-jacking’ which is the art or practice of hitching a ride on a current hot item, story or trend to sell a product or boost your social media and blog posts.

While this undoubtedly works short-term, I’m a bigger fan of spotting the kind of trends that will evolve into long-term fixtures in our lives and doing so ahead of time so that I can capitalize on them.

This works whether you’re developing digital or physical products, promoting other people’s products or simply seeking to boost your online presence as you will know what’s about to become hot before that heat really builds…

A resource I especially like to help me do this is Cool Hunting, a brilliant site that ‘that uncovers the latest in design, technology, style, travel, art and culture.’

Be warned – it’s addictive:

Another site I often recommend for particular articles or tutorials is Mashable but if you hit the front page and start digging around in the various sections, including Social Media, Lifestyle, Business and Tech, you will uncover all kinds of stuff that is hot or becoming so:

To give you an example besides the more obvious tech stories, here’s a piece on stress-soothing wedding day yoga poses…if that’s your niche, there’s a new angle!

While one of the rising stories in the Marketing section is on the growing trend for doing social good and how it should be an integral part of your marketing strategy – important not just for anyone trying to build a brand online but also for those of you consulting to those businesses aiming to do so:

Talking of businesses, if you’re looking for fresh inspiration for a new business or just want to see what other people are coming up with then Cool Business Ideas is for you:

Trendwatching does a stellar job of spotting consumer trends (and so they should!) – you can download their freebie publications here:

Of course, to profit from a trend you have to know who is buying into it and why. Here are the predictions for 2015 and beyond:

Other great places to spot trends include the news, social media and trade publications although the latter tend to be pricey. What they contain, however, is often reported along with statistics.

Consumer wants and needs, along with the internet, are always evolving. Stay ahead of that curve and you stand a much greater chance of success.

On that note, here’s an excellent TED talk on Megatrends and how to spot them: