We have too much choice for pretty much everything we buy. In fact, there are curation business models that capitalize on this.
What I mean is that there are online and brick and mortar stores that carefully choose products in a product line that they believe are the best and only sell those.
The problem they solve for us is too many options. We’re faced with too many options all the time. Think about the last time you were shopping for some electronic gadget or small appliance on Amazon. The number of choices is endless.
It gets ridiculous with some stuff like shoes and apparel. Where do you start?
I’m a big fan of stores that curate for me. I’d much rather be faced with 3 options than 30, assuming I can trust that the curator chooses decent stuff.
As content publishers, we have a similar problem, which is choosing topics to publish about. What products should you review? What listicle topics should you cover? What overarching topic should you cover next?
There are so many to choose from in any niche that it’s ridiculous.
If you’re like me, you want to cover them all by tomorrow. But that’s not possible.
My list of topics to cover grows faster than I can cover them.
While I’m not going to curate topics for you (I don’t know your niche), I will give you some ways to help choose topics to focus on or cover next. Here they are.
1. Write about what interests you
If you actually like your niche, write about and cover what interests you. This will result in superior content and you’ll have fun doing.
TIP: Any time you can make something fun, do it. That’s my motto.
What if you aren’t interested in your niche? Or, you are interested in everything about your niche?
Narrow it down via the following methods.
2. Give ’em what they want
Which topics do your website visitors like? It takes a while to get this data, but once you have traffic, look at time-on-site for various articles. Which topics get shared more on social media? Which topics get the most comments.
3. Google Love
This is one of my favorite ways to choose topics and that is choosing based on similar topics that I tend to rank well for in Google search. This is a no-brainer. If Google likes your site for various topics, go after them like a hungry Grizzly after a river of salmon. Scoop up all that traffic as fast as you can.
The other Google Love consideration is the “Low hanging fruit” approach. If you find keywords that have decent traffic and are seemingly easy to rank for, this can be a no-brainer too. I’ve done this for years and continue doing it. After all, why struggle when you can take the easy way?
4. Trending – instant rankings
I seldom go after trending/timely topics but it can be a great website model or one-off traffic grab. If you like to cover trending topics, keep your ear to the ground and strive to be the first to cover whatever is trending in your niche.
One time I discovered a new trend, as in very brand new and so I cranked out a quick article on it for one of my sites. I ranked for that trending topic almost instantly and cleaned-up traffic-wise for a few days. Eventually, many other sites jumped on it, but I was able to make a good chunk of change by jumping on a trend quickly. Sadly, the trend faded and the party ended, but it does work.
5. Knowledge & Expertise
If you have expertise on certain topics, that can result in better content so you might as well cover that first. Erring on better quality is always a good approach these days.
6. Maximize Revenue
I save the “maximize revenue” approach for last because it’s not one I’ve focused on over the years, but it’s something I’m trying right now.
Last week, I discovered one topic that was out-earning others by several multiples. I have one url that earns $150 per 1,000 visitors, which is an insanely high amount for a content site. It’s a topic I cover reasonably well but there’s a ton of potential. 3 months ago I set it up and it’s been wildly successful. It’s time to capitalize on this little win.
FYI, it’s affiliate content (not display ads) so don’t think I’m some sort of display ad magician. I’d be pretty nervous earning that kind of revenue from display ads because AdSense would probably investigate such unusually high rev and might consider it a problem.
That said, $150 per 1,000 visitors is quite high for affiliate revenue as well, so it has huge potential. The best part is I’m not even scratching the surface for potential traffic. I spent the better part of yesterday doing keyword research and planning out the next 25 articles to tackle this topic.
The “maximize revenue” approach isn’t always available because maybe you don’t have any hyper-profitable content. But if you do and if you like to earn revenue, going after profitable topics can be a good approach.
If you do affiliate promotions, take a look at your affiliate revenue to see if you can find some 80/20 situation where perhaps 20% of your content is producing 80% of the revenue. Often this is the case. If you have such a situation, that could be a very good opportunity for you.
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Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.