If you are anything like many ebook authors, you will go about choosing your ebook subject completely back to front. And if you do that, then you will get exactly the same results as those ebook authors… poor sales.
The “back to front” way to go about choosing your subject, is to pick something you are interested in, or you know a lot about, write the ebook, then hope that it sells well. Chances are, it won’t, unless you strike it lucky.
Anyone who does this, has set themselves up for failure, right from the start. I’ve seen some great ebooks that deserve to do well, fail miserably, simply because the author just assumed that people would want to read about their particular subject. No research done to back up that assumption, they got the result they deserved!, whereas IF you choose a subject that people are actually looking for you are much closer to achieving success.
Personally, whenever I get a great result from a successful ebook launch I have to have something tangible as a reminder that will drive me onto future successes. I get my personal motivation by ordering a glass award for myself, that i then proudly display at home for all to see….does this keep me focused….you bet!.
Give people what they want
You are going to have a much better chance of success if you write about a subject that people really want to know about. That sounds simplistic, but how do you actually know what people want? That can be very different that what they might need.
For example, some people might need to lose weight. But what they actually want, is a way to make themselves appear slimmer.
Okay, so that’s just a made up example, I haven’t actually researched it. But you get the idea.
How to research an ebook topic
There are two things you need to do, before you settle on your final ebook topic.
- know what subjects you are an expert in, or can research well enough to write about, and….
- know what people want to read about, and will pay money for
1. What do you know most about?
Everybody is good at something. Whether they realize it or not. For some people, the topic will be obvious…. but for others, it won’t be.
Write down everything that you either know a lot about, or that you are particularly interested in. For me, that would be things like web and graphic design, html and css, sales page copywriting, etc. And with my offline hobbies, I could list things like fly fishing, golf, fast cars and roses.
If you get stuck with this list, ask you family what they think you are good at. Ask the kids, parents and friends: you might be surprised what they come up with. They might even give you suggestions like “you make the worlds best home made pizza” or “you are really good with young children”.
2. What do people actually want?
Here’s the important part, matching up what you can write about, with what people want to read. Firstly, what subjects sell? In general, “how to” subjects, ones that empower people to reach a goal.
That goal might be to make money (always a popluar one!), lose weight, learn a new skill, do XYZ more efficiently, etc etc.
So, the first stop is WordTracker to find out what people are actually searching for. You get to do a couple of searches before Word Tracker asks you to create an account. I highly recommend you do that, the information you get from here will be invaluable later on.
What we want to find out, is what people are actually searching for. So for a start, type intutorial and do a search on that word. Don’t add in anything else, we want as broad a search as possible.
Hey, over 27,000 daily searches for some type of tutorials. Actually, there will be far more than that, as we are using the free version of word tracker, we only get to see the top 100 results. The true number could easily be double that, or even more.
So, we now have a list of tutorials that we know for sure people want to read. That’s better than just making assumptions, don’t you think? But just this information isn’t really enough.
We also need to get an idea of the competition for each subject that we might be interested in. So lets take an example…“knot tying tutorial”, which when I checked had around 120 daily searches. That’s more than enough demand to make a productive ebook subject.
Do a Google search for knot tying tutorial , and see what comes up. Guess what, not a lot of competition, and no PDF’s on the first page. The results returned was only 735,000 which I consider low (I regularly win keywords with returned numbers in the millions). Check out the quality of the websites returned. Do you think you could compete with them? No high Page Rank sites, no .edu sites in there, so it looks wide open to me.
A little bit of research like this will pay you in spades later, when it comes time to market your ebook. Give people what they actually want, not what you think they want, and you are almost guaranteed to do well. Perhaps not, but at least you have a solid subject for your ebook.
Don’t limit your search to just tutorial. Try “how to” and learn to”, etc. You just never know what nuggets you are going to uncover.
This is just a very quick and easy way to discover worthwhile subjects. And it costs nothing but a little time. There are other ways to dig deeper into profitable keywords, but that would be a topic for another page 😉