Part 06: How to Find a Topic for a Website/blog?
If you have decided to go ahead and set up a website/blog then this is where the rubber will meet the road. In this case study I will be setting up a website/blog that will generate income as an Amazon Affiliate and also use the Google Adsense advertising programme.
In the longer term I will also start to build a list with the aim of selling my own information product about some coffee related material. This is not a mandatory element to do, but it can add a valuable source of revenue in the longer term.
It is always best to focus on building the Amazon Affiliate website first. If you have decided that is what you want to do, then the remainder of this case study will help you through that process. The website that I will be building is theperfectgrind.co.uk.
Tips & Recommendations for Picking a Good Topic
The key purpose of your website/blog is to helps your readers and visitors to find answers to problems in a chosen market niche. (Topic)
To build a successful website/blog that will earn you money, there are certain characteristics that your new website should have. I have listed these below and will then go on to explain them in more detail.
- Evergreen topic
- In a buying market
- There is a lot to write about
- Plenty of high rated and good selling products on Amazon
- Helpful Information that solves problems
- Opportunity to expand the website with content & extra revenue opportunities
If your topic choice includes all of the above, then you improve the chances for success. Let’s have a look at each in more detail.
When you build a website you want it to be able to make sales all year round. Some people build Christmas websites, Halloween websites, Valentine’s Day websites etc. However they will only make sales at certain times during the year. It is better to have a website that is not seasonal and that means you can get good sales all year round.
Your website should be in a buyer’s market. You could build websites about any topic but for an Amazon Affiliate website, it will only work if people are buying products related to the topic and the market.
A blogger needs to be able to write and publish articles to the website on a regular basis. Therefore whichever topic you decide on needs to have enough material to write about. If you make your topic choice too narrow, then there is a risk of running out of subjects to write about.
Products on Amazon
We are looking for a buyer’s market and we want to be able to recommend products and product choices to the website visitors. You therefore need to be sure that there are plenty of products that sell really well. Those products also need to have good ratings as that will help encourage visitors to make a purchase.
A good website/blog is not just about recommending products. Your website should also help your visitors and provide them with useful and informative information. This type of helpful information will bring people to your website.
They may even share this information with other people which helps get more visitors to your website. They may also then find something they like and make a purchase. In essence you are writing unique and compelling content that helps answer customer searches and offers solutions to their problems.
You also want a topic that can easily be developed. Initially you can build our website around a topic, but that topic should allow you to add other related information to your website. That way your website has the capability of growth.
Please bear in mind the above points. Pick a topic that you like and one that is not seasonal. Make sure there is a lot to write about and that will be a mixture of helpful informational articles and product reviews. You should also remember that whichever topic you select can be expanded upon for future growth.
It needs to be in a market where people buy products, and of course there needs to be a lot of available products on Amazon, with good ratings that sell well.
How to Narrow Down a Good Topic
Understanding Markets, Niches and Sub-Niches
Before you decide on a topic for a blog, it is good to understand a little about markets, niches and sub-niches. We have discussed that the best place to start is to build a blog around a particular interest that you have and will enjoy writing about.
That was covered in the article about the skills a blogger should have. So with that in mind it is then important to place that topic into a market or a niche.
A market is the broad term for a topic of interest and some examples would be golf, toys, cooking and cars. As you can see these are broad terms that capture a very large marketplace. It would be unwise to try and rank a website for a broad term like this as it is dominated by the bigger and more powerful corporate style companies.
It is better to take a section of the market which is referred to as a niche. In the table below I have shown some markets, and then shown some specific niches within those markets.
Now building a website around one of these smaller niches would give you a much better chance of ranking your website/blog. Sometimes though, you may even have to dig a little further down to come up with a sub-niche.
I have shown some examples of these sub-niches in the table below.
The best way to think about this is to focus on a smaller sub-niche where your website/blog can become the “go to authority” to find the best information. The website/blog that I shall be building uses this exact approach.
For the website that I am building, the market was coffee, the niche element of that was coffee beans and the sub-niche was about roasting and grinding coffee beans to make a great cup of tasty coffee.
I have an interest in coffee which is very important but I could never compete with the very big coffee websites. However if I can focus on one or two specific elements of that, then I can specialise in those areas.
That will make my website primarily about helping people to make very good coffee, with the main product on Amazon being coffee grinders. I will then want to make my site the best website to find out that type of information.
What Topic Should You Blog About?
The most important consideration should always be if you have a genuine interest in the topic. A topic in most cases should be a sub-niche as I have explained above. The niche or sub-niche should however be big enough to make sure you have plenty to write about. Avoid making your niche too small and too narrow.
For example left handed golf clubs would be a great sub-niche where as left handed golf drivers would be much too small. If you picked left handed golf drivers, there would only be a limited amount of products available, and you could only write so much about that topic. With clubs there are a lot more available and a lot more to write about.
As you are also building a website/blog that will eventually sell products on Amazon, you need to be “certain” that there are enough products to promote. At the end of the day there is no point building an Amazon Affiliate website/blog if Amazon do not stock a number of well rated products.
You could for example have a real interest in “lizards” but over at Amazon you will find there are only some toy lizards and a few books to promote. In this case you would be better off building a website about lizards and maybe selling an information product on how to care for them and have a few adverts on it.
How to Brainstorm Ideas for an Amazon Affilate Website?
One of the best ways to come up with ideas is to start with a list of ideas that you have a genuine interest in. Simply get a pen and paper and write down a list of ideas, hobbies or passions that you may have. When I did this I came up with the following ideas:
- Playing the guitar (badly)
- DIY in the Home
- Red Wine
- Building websites
- Wireless technology for the home (I worked in that area)
- Home fitness (I hate gyms)
So with that list I then started to place these into sub-niche markets and then checked to see what products, if any, were available on Amazon?
By brainstorming like this you can come up with a range of potential opportunities. The next stage is to find the niches which have a good range of highly rated products at Amazon.
Amazon Product Availability
As we are building a website/blog to make money, the only way to achieve that is to include products on your website. You therefore need to make sure that when you build out your website, there are enough products, and that the products you select are well rated by buyers and are of a high enough value.
You want to be promoting products that have the following attributes over at Amazon:
- 4 star rating and above
- Over 100 reviews
- Price point of £20+ average
That will ensure that you have high quality products that are selling really well. Amazon pays a percentage commission on a sale, so the higher value products will earn you more money. I explain later in the case study why £20 is the minimum value. For now though, when deciding on your topic, I would advise sticking to the above guidelines.
You should now follow this process to come up with your own topic. From my list above I would then eliminate the following topics from my list.
- Acoustic Guitars – Not enough products and I would not be expert enough to try and teach on my website, or offer any really helpful advice
- Building websites – not enough products and the products are too cheap
- Red wine – there are some products such as wine racks, wine coolers but not enough and not selling enough on a regular basis
The remainder of the topics all look good in terms of having enough products. Then it is time to make a final decision. My main interest is coffee and that is why I decided on that one.
There are over 200 coffee grinders at Amazon of various types at good prices and selling regularly as you can see from the screen shot below. I have circled some of the products that I would be keen to promote.
Overall they have a good value, a good rating and over 100 buyer reviews.
I could also promote coffee beans, and some coffee machines that have a built-in grinder known as bean to cup machines. It is also good that these are higher priced items.
I will now match my choice of a website/blog to the criteria I mentioned at the beginning.
- Evergreen topic – yes people buy coffee related products all year round
- In a buying market – you can tell from the number of reviews that this is a buying market
- There is a lot to write about – I can write about coffee beans, the various ways of roasting and grinding them, what their options are, coffee grinder product reviews, coffee machines, and anything coffee related
- Plenty of high rated and good selling products on Amazon – I have highlighted those in the screen shots so plenty of products and good ratings
- Helpful Information – I will be able to advise people how to pick good beans, the roasting process, what the different types of grinds are, how to use the products and again anything coffee related
- Growth Potential – It would be easy to include other coffee related information to this website such as coffee pots, stove top makers, other types of coffee machines, explanations of the many coffee drinks etc In addition to that it is possible to create a very good eBook on coffee should I want to build a list and have that as an item they could buy.
So when you have your own list of topics that you have an interest in, go through them as I have done and remove any which do not meet the above criteria. That will help narrow down the list and leave you with a few choices. Then you need to pick one.
If you discover that there are no topics on your list that meet the criteria then go back to the start and repeat the process. You want to get to a position where you have a few topics on your list as we also need to do further testing, to make sure that your website has a strong chance of success.
If you have decided that you also want to build an Amazon Affiliate website then the best way to do that is to write about a topic that you have a genuine interest in. You can use the brainstorming ideas shown in this article.
When you have created your list of potential topics then check them against the key criteria and make sure that they pass those tests. If none of your topics pass the test, then go back and come up with some more ideas for a topic.
Try to come up with 2-3 topics that we can then test out in the next section, in terms of market research, keyword research, competition analysis and then to see if they meet your financial goals.
At the end of this exercise you want to have at least 2-3 general topics that you would consider building a website around.