What To Write About

In a recent survey, one of the obstacles that some expert authors identified that was preventing them from writing more articles was not knowing what specifically to write about? Today, you’re going to discover six quick ideas on how to choose an article topic.

One core theme in today’s tip:

“Write what the market wants to read and not what you want to write”

  1. Long tail keyword research. Use any keyword research tool or website that can help you identify relevant topics that readers in your niche are currently searching for. Word tracker, Keyword Discovery, Goodkeywords are popular keyword research tools.
  2. Review the last 3 months of questions your clients have sent you via email or over the phone. Write articles that answers their questions (without disclosing any personal information about your client).
  3. Survey your audience or clients via email. Identify the top 20 concerns or areas of interest for them and write a set of articles that addresses each of their top concerns or interests.
  4. Run a free teleseminar for your clients, prospects or ideal market audience. Use it to give of your expertise while polling them for ideas and feedback as to what they want to learn more about relating to your expertise. You should be able to extract 100 or more article topic ideas from this strategy alone, not to mention using your teleseminar transcript for article content (with some editing to create small 400 word chunks of tips).
  5. Call your top ideal clients and ask them to help you identify what area of your expertise they perceive as being the most valuable. Write sets of articles that leverage the skillset that your top clients say you have.
  6. Setup email alerts (or subscribe to RSS feeds) when new articles are available in your niche. Use these for inspiration only; keeping tabs on the competition while making sure you have content coverage within every angle of your niche.

Do you have any other article idea generating tips to share based on today’s theme of finding topics to write articles about that leverages market feedback to help choose the topics?

20 Comments »


1
Jeff Herring writes:

Hi Chris

Great tips all – thank you!

If you write in the relationship/self improvement niche, a great place to do market research is standing in line at the grocery or other similar store. While standing there in line you are surrounded by popular magazines with titles about topics in your niche.

These magazines have spent hundreds and thousands of dollars discovering what their market wants to read.

Benefit from their research. Write from a different angle than the author of the article, put your own touch on it, or simply just do a better job.

Hmmmm, I feel an article coming on………..

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 1:22 PM

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2

Wow Chris! I have noticed a lot of long tail activity with my webpages lately. I never thought of researching long tail keyword phrased to come up with ideas and titles for article marketing.

I had inadvertently focused on this as a result of a SEO tool that I use and am finding my web pages all over the search engines. Now I know why.

What a great idea!

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 1:45 PM

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3

Jeff,

Great point! I had heard that one before but forgot to add it. Thanks for reminding us all. :)

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 1:55 PM

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4

Hi Chris!

I guess you covered the most important and smarter ways through which an article writer can find a good subject to develop in his article. If nothing seems to work however, he can try to find a curiosity in his field, something not so common, that will keep his readers’ interest. Thanks to the Search Engines he won’t even need to go to a library in order to read several books until he’ll discover something different to write about. He must read everything he can about a subject and then make a summary with the most important and interesting points about it for his readers, adding his comments. People don’t like to read too much. They prefer to read a little bit about something and feel they already learned everything they needed to. So, the article writer’s job is to prepare the best summary he can.

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 4:15 PM

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5
Edward Weiss writes:

Here’s another great way to come up with topics. Go to amazon.com. Type in a subject similar to yours and up comes hundreds if not thousands of titles that can be rewritten to fit your business.

I do this to write piano releated articles. For example, if I want to get some titles on creativity, I’ll type in watercolor. Up come thousands of titles that I never would have thought of in a million years. I simply tweak them to fit what I want to write about it and that’s that.

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 6:20 PM

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6

Edward,

Not a bad idea if you’re using it for content ideas.

This is not a recommended idea if you’re looking for article title’s because we’re seeing growing pressure from book authors and publishers who have registered the trademark of their book titles and don’t take kindly to others who use their brand in their article title.

Example: “FOR DUMMIES” is a key phrase that we don’t accept in article title’s.

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 6:33 PM

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7
Zac Hawkins writes:

Chris,

Great article as always.

Generating traffic to any article is the #1 goal.

Zac

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 6:45 PM

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8
Thad Ferguson writes:

Hey Chris would a title with “For Most Dummies” be okay

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 8:47 PM

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9
Dianne McLay writes:

Look at the websites that have published your articles from EzineArticles and you’ll find lots of inspiration. For example, one of my small business articles was re-published on a site for women in business. The issues raised by members of this website include: work-life balance, giving back to the community, using your passions in business…all good topics for new articles.

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 9:54 PM

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10
Lance Winslow writes:

I absolutely agree with this advice.

Comment provided March 23, 2007 at 1:42 AM

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11
Alyssa Johnson writes:

Hey Chris,

Thanks for the idea about trascribing your teleseminars!!! I held my first one Tuesday night.

Thanks to you, I just suddenly realized I’ve got at least 4 articles just sitting there!

Well, I’m off to write!

Comment provided March 23, 2007 at 7:05 AM

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12
Jeff Herring writes:

Hi Dianne

That is a really good idea!

Jeff

Comment provided March 23, 2007 at 8:24 AM

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13

Thanks to Connie for blogging about this topic:
http://todayswriter.blogspot.com/2007/03/generating-article-ideas.html

She shared 3 of her favorite tools (Google Alerts, Firefox with Google Toolbar, and Google Reader).

Comment provided March 23, 2007 at 12:36 PM

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14
Gary Micheloni writes:

Here’s the ultimate “What to write about” question from me: What about topics for which you have no categories? I write extensively on the subject of construction project management and leadership, am published in four print trade magazines and have a print and an e-book out on the subject. I would like to know if it is worth it to write articles on this subject if there is no category for it.

Comments?

Gary Micheloni
AUTHOR: “Get Paid for a Change! The Contractor’s Blueprint for Turning Extra Work into Extra Money–through Change Orders”
COLUMNIST: “Full Contact Project Management”
gary.micheloni@usa.net

Comment provided March 30, 2007 at 2:57 PM

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15

Gary,

Your question has a false assumption: That the category has any impact on how much traffic you can attract with your article.

The truth is that it’s almost completely meaningless and the ONLY reason we have 371 categories today is because no one believes me when I tell them that the category almost barely doesn’t matter at all.

Yes, that’s right. We have added more categories PRIMARILY because we’re addressing the PERCEIVED needs of our members and not any actual technical need for the outcome that our members think they want. Who are we to argue with the market? I’ve always believed the market is right, even in this case if the stats based on tens of millions of datapoints proves the market wrong…doesn’t matter. What matters is what the market believes is true. :)

CONCLUSION: Don’t worry about finding the perfect category. Submit your articles in the best category you can find and know that the category they are in has a very very very low impact as to how effective they will produce for you.

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 10:32 AM

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16
Lance Winslow writes:

Greetings to Gary Micheloni,

One thing I have found in your situation is to break up the articles into multiple categories. For construction there are many categories really. In the Business Section there is now a;

Industrial and Mechanical Category

This was added last year and gets a lot of play. But then there are category for Property Management, lots of real-estate categories, Entrepreneurial category etc. I think that there are very good ways to break up that content and put it all around. Also in doing so things are in many places and there is no way for someone to piece together your eBook, as it is broken into so many different places. Anyway these are some of my thoughts.

In fact I had the very same concern early on because I had a bunch of articles on UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles and they did not really fit into aviation. But some did fit in “Future Concepts” and other types of categories. Still they get plenty of hits and drive me a ton of traffic.

Now with 11,111 articles online you can imagine how many straddled categories when posting or had no specific categories, I use to drive Chris nuts with emails suggesting categories, in the end I finally discovered that it did not matter much, I still got a ton of traffic. I think I am over 4 million article views now with 112,000 ezine editor pick-up hits on that page too. Its all Good really.

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 4:13 PM

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17
Gary Micheloni writes:

Christopher & Lance–

Thanks for the nice notes. I will heed your advice, and begin posting some articles.

Gary

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 4:24 PM

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18

I was reading Bonnie Jo Davis’s blog this AM and she offered a few more ideas for what to write about:
http://articlesthatsell.blogspot.com/2007/04/more-than-simple-article-what-to-write.html

Excerpt:
Terminology Of A Particular Subject
Recipes
Interviews
Shopping Advice
Travel Guide
Instructions On How To Use A Device (microwave, computer, etc.)
Survey Results

Comment provided April 5, 2007 at 8:24 AM

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19
deck tiles writes:

Thanks for the nice notes. I will heed your advice, and begin posting some articles for you.

Comment provided March 12, 2010 at 3:56 AM

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20
deck tiles writes:

If you write in the relationship/self improvement niche, a great place to do market research is standing in line at the grocery or other similar store. While standing there in line you are surrounded by popular magazines with titles about topics in your niche.

Comment provided March 12, 2010 at 3:57 AM

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