Mine Long Tail Topics for Traffic-Driven Content

Some topics are SO overdone, like “tips for a family summer vacation” — and totally driven by marketing goals. The accompanying writing is lame, too, lackluster, boring and how could most writers produce anything but, unless they are given reign to get a bit off-the-wall creative. And I have to admit that I’ve been there, too, but even though I still write primarily marketing driven content, I am willing to boast that I’ve dispensed with some of the worst habits–exclamation points, and exaggerated hard sells that rarely are well done.

Example: “Secret,” such as “best kept secrets,” “secrets of X,” “here’s a secret….”–it’s a big, unwieldy keyword that is intended to tickle a reader’s intrigue: “aha, I’m going to find something out that few people know…” Probably not, but when the term innately grows out of a bit of content, it’s a beautiful thing and can sell.

Tips for mining quality niche topics:

  • Research broad topic areas where little of anything really good has been written–untapped.
  • Drill down into relatively untapped micro-topics in larger and more over-done subject areas.
  • If you blog, make sure your stats utility returns the search terms used to find your post (WordPress does; it’s hands-down the best built-in blog stats going). I cannot stress the value of this data. Use those terms to your advantage. These may well be long-tail keywords and just malleable enough to shape into compelling and in-demand content.

Keywords–that term is over-used, the real words with which everyday folks are identifying and describing the products, services, and news items they want to find on the Internet. These taxonomies are critical to modern content, especially content that is driven by online traffic.

Realize the avenues available online for tapping topics, both popular and scarce: bookmarking sites (Digg, Del.icio.us), trend tools (Google Trends, Yahoo! Buzz), keyword tools (Overture, WordTracker) and more. Think outside the box.

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