First of all, the eBook is finally live, so I have a real link for you. 🙂 For those who want to check out the eBook, you can find it here.
Additionally, I wanted to discuss topics. No really, the topic is topics. I know, it’s confusing. Let me explain.
When you write articles to submit to places like Constant Content, Yahoo! Voices, or even to pitch to magazines in query letters, it’s often hard to know what topics will sell. There’s not exactly a website that outlines all the trending topics for freelance writers at a given time – although I’m sure we’d all love that. But I have, over the course of my experience as a freelancer, found that you can often narrow down some pretty good ideas of what topics are trending if you know how various sites work.
Even if you’re not looking for work on Elance, browse through their available orders. Just because the clients on Elance don’t always pay the highest prices doesn’t mean they don’t know a thing or two about trending topics. If you see a listing for someone’s web content, that doesn’t really count. That just means someone has a new website. But if you browse the Blogs and eBooks section and look at what people are asking for eBooks on, that can give you a great idea of what’s selling. Why? Think about it. If you’re a client and you’re going to pay $250 for an eBook to be written (even though those are really low prices), would you give up that money if you didn’t know there was a market for it? Of course not. The people asking for those projects expect them to sell, or they wouldn’t be asking for them. Most of the time these people are writing eBooks for other clients (who, by the way, are probably paying them several times what they’re willing to part with) and looking to outsource the work. These are great places to find topics.
If people are looking for content with certain keywords, it’s likely those keywords are creating income for someone. Just because clients aren’t looking for quality writing and are looking for keyword stuffed articles doesn’t mean they are ignorant about the topics that are selling. Keyword stuffing isn’t a great technique for SEO, but if someone is seeking content (particularly in large volume) on a set of keywords, it’s logical to assume those keywords are selling.
Constant content is also a great way to find out what people are searching for. On the Account Status page, you can scroll down to view the recent keywords – which is pretty much a real time list of what people are searching for – and a popular list – what has been trending over the last 3 months. Pay attention to both, find topics you like, and write on them. Obviously this is particularly helpful if you’re submitting content to Constant Content, but you can use it for other outlets, as well.
All of The Above
Always pay attention to what is trending overall. If you notice that 20 articles are available on Textbroker for home improvement articles, and Constant Content has a popular keyword of “water damage restoration” (that is continually searched for, by the way), and someone on Elance is asking for an eBook about repairing homes after a flood or deck building, you can be pretty sure that home improvement is hot.
Social media is also a great way to find out what’s trending, and keyword research tools, like those from Google, are also helpful. But just because people in general are talking about a topic doesn’t always mean people looking for content need articles on that subject. So scan the subjects across all the writing outlets you have and see what’s being asked for repeatedly or in high volume, and then write on that.
Also, think about things that people are always doing. For instance:
- getting married
- trying to lose weight
- paying bills
- buying homes
- selling homes
- listening to music
- having kids
Write about subjects that fall into some of these categories and you’ll usually be able to sell it. With magazines it’s obviously a bit different, since there are a million factors that play into the decision an editor makes to include or not include your idea that don’t have anything to do with sites like Constant Content, but for general content meant for catalogs, eBooks, and so on, evergreen content will almost always sell.
Hopefully this helps you out!
Until next time – happy writing!