December 14, 2011
Have freezer eye? You know, you stare at the computer long enough hoping to figure out which article ideas to write about only to have your eyes freeze. You ask yourself, “What do visitors want to read? What do I like writing about? What have I already written? What pertains to my website or blog? What will help sales? What will help people sign up for my newsletter?” And the main question most people ask, “What am I an expert on so I feel confident enough to write about?”, so on and so on.
Well, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert on anything for your article ideas. Yeah, that’s right.
Instead of feeling like an expert why not take a journalistic approach. Are journalists experts when they report on an event or when they conduct an interview? No, most likely not or someone would be interviewing them, right? But in many cases they have discovered a problem and are looking for a solution. It just so happens that the solution is found somewhere else.
How do you find the problems? How do you find the solutions? Well, here’s how I do it.
I. Questions People Ask Online
1. Search Engines
Plug in different questions into Google and other search engines. I would use at least 2 for each search. Play with word combinations.
– For example, there is a big market for my site’s theme on how to make dessert cupcakes. I admit cupcakes are not something I make a lot, so by no means am I an expert on cupcakes, but I have good content about the market and different niches on some of my pages. I found that many people were asking “how to deliver cupcakes” in Yahoo questions and in blogs. So after much playing with word combinations I found that, “how to transport cupcakes” wasn’t quite as competitive as, “how to deliver cupcakes”. In this case I created a written interview for another webmaster that has a website for cake and cupcake decorating. I took her answers and wrote up an article and plugged in backlinks to both our sites.
2. Your Site’s Statistics Dashboard.
What are the long tail searches people are typing in the search engines to find your site? For me many people ask “how to” questions looking for solutions: “how to send chocolate covered strawberries in mail”, “how to package chocolate covered apples for delivery”, “how to make colored chocolate lollipops”, “how to make filled chocolate candies”, etc. This is a great source of knowledge about both your current visitors and potential visitors.
3. Google Adword Tool.
Find the exact number of monthly searches for different questions. Again play with different word combinations and you will get back a big list. This is one of the best free tools for keyword and phrase searches. Type “Google adword tool” into a search engine to find it, if you haven’t ever used it.
4. Blogs and Discussion Boards.
Practically any market or niche market will have these and they provide a wealth of insight. Search for them and you will find them.
5. Q & A Page from your site. If you already have done the work why do more?
There are a few ways to find the solutions.
1) You, the expert. This is the easiest way obviously.
2) Research the answer. Search for it online or in books at the library.
3) Ask an expert. Someone will help you. Think about someone you know or just go ask someone. Send the question to someone’s website, see if they answer. Offer to give them credit in your article. Or offer to conduct a written interview that you email them like I did and give them backlinks to their site or credit if they don’t have a site.
Solutions to problems are what people look for online. This is one of the primary reasons people use the internet to begin with. And the value of a well written article or page on your site with the solutions to these problems is immense. First, do the research to see which word combinations to use which have the best possible chance of being found.
Only write about 2-3 questions per article, preferably if they are related so the search engines will be more clear about the theme of the article. Break the article into clear and concise paragraphs to make it easy to read and understand.
Would you agree that people are always looking for solutions to problems online? You probably do.
Just think of all the questions you had about creating a website, writing an article, what information to put on your site and all the everyday questions you ask regarding your health, diet, financial questions, parenting, pet care, house repair, car repair, cooking, delivery, entertainment systems, household product reviews, vacation planning, etc. Everything on the internet starts with a question. Every potential visitor to your site has questions that need answers. Find the questions and provide the answers in your articles and I promise you will never run out of article ideas.
Rick is founder of Deluxe-Sweets-and-Candy-Gifts.com a site dedicated to dessert and candy making ideas as an option for economical, edible gifts. Along the way he discovered how article marketing attracts backlinks and increases both short-term and long-term traffic to his site. His only regret is he stopped article writing a while back and should have stuck with it. http://www.deluxe-sweets-and-candy-gifts.com/article-writing.html