Building a Profitable Website – Finding Hot Topics in Your Niche

In the last lesson of Building a Profitable Website, I focused on identifying profitable website niches.  Throughout the lesson I illustrated how to examine website topics, analyze those topics potential for profitability, select relevant keyword terms and develop long-tail search phrases.

I had also asked that you examine several topics of interest and develop 15 – 20 long-tail search phrases that would be profitable and allow our sites to rank well in the search engines.

Like you, I have also done my homework and have selected my own topic for building another profitable website.  That’s the nice thing about these series of articles – I am putting into practice everything that I talk about to make this as meaningful and informative as possible.

For my newest profitable website I’ve selected a fairly competitive and mature subject matter in the medical field – Alzheimer’s.

Why Alzheimer’s?  I recently met an amazing person who is dealing with how this disease is affecting her parents.  Seeing how this slowly destroys the relationships that families have built over a lifetime is saddening and my thoughts were simple.  If I could design a website that would help one person or one family, the entire effort would be worth it.

Google shows about 3.5 million results for a search on Alzheimer’s while Bing shows 8.84 million search results.  It is a fairly competitive niche but from my initial examination of some long-tail keyword phrases it appears to be profitable and presents an opportunity to generate some additional revenue as part of my web portfolio.

For my long-tail keyword selections I have come up with the following:

Search Phrase

CPC

Competition

Search Frequency

Google Results

Bing Results

Alzheimer disease information

$5.38

High

880

7.6 m

10.4 m

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

$5.25

High

2,900

3.0 m

3.7 m

Alzheimer’s disease treatment

$4.67

High

1,000

36.4 m

5.6 m

Difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia

$4.62

Average

2,900

1.5 m

0.5 m

Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease

$3.95

High

590

4.1 m

6.5 m

Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis

$3.78

High

1,300

2.6 m

2.8 m

Prevent Alzheimer’s disease

$3.69

High

720

2.5 m

2.5 m

Alzheimer’s clinical trials

$3.60

Average

1,000

1.6 m

1.95 m

Alzheimer’s caregiver support

$3.41

Average

720

1.7 m

1.0 m

Alzheimer’s support groups Canada

$3.33

High

1,600

1.85 m

0.6 m

Alzheimer’s support Groups America

$3.33

High

2,200

1.9 m

1.1 m

Definition of Alzheimer’s

$3.32

Average

880

1.85 m

0.85 m

Early onset Alzheimer’s

$3.07

High

2,900

0.5 m

1.1 m

Alzheimer’s prevention

$2.97

High

5,400

5.4 m

3.3 m

Living with Alzheimer’s

$2.69

Average

590

2.1 m

7.0 m

With my long-tail search phrases and keyword areas that I want to target I have to determine how to strategically leverage these search terms into content that I will develop.  The topic itself will generate searches.  Google Trends clearly indicates this as shown in the following graph.

Alzheimer's Traffic Trends

What I want to capitalize on in this lesson is how to capture and leverage some of the trending topics occurring in your niche.  This lesson in Building a Profitable Website will cover how to use find hot topics of interest in your selected niche and how to use these topics to attract traffic to your website.

One of the quickest ways to check for hot topics and current topics of interest for your niche is to visit Google News and do a search.  This will produce a listing of news and news related stories containing your major search term.

For example, I searched Google News for the term “Alzheimer’s” and it returned 7,466 news related stories.  From just a glance I saw the following:

Alzheimer's Topics

The first two news stories already contained relevant information that would allow me to use two of my long-tail keyword searches in content that I created.  The story on Alzheimer’s drug trials directly relates to my keyword phrase “Alzheimer Clinical Trials” and the story on the Alzheimer’s group relates directly to my long-tail keyword phrase “Alzheimer Disease Information”.

These news stories can become sources for content which I will later relate and publish on my new website.  Plus, it may indicate sources for potential links and other references to help build a flow of traffic to my new website.

Another source that I use for determining what people within my selected niche are talking about is Google Groups.  Google Groups allows users to discuss a variety of topics.  Reading what users are saying provides some insights into the types of information they are seeking or questions that they are asking.

Yahoo Answers is another great source for information people are seeking.  Here users post direct questions and want answers.  You can leverage this to construct content around common questions that are relevant to your niche and your long-tail search phrases.

Another area to explore is the many discussion forums pertaining to your topic.  Discussion forums are generally filled with users who have an interest in the topic.  They participate in discussions, post questions, share information and interact with others in the community.  Finding an active forum and reading through the many topics of interest driven by those people who you seek to target with your content provides you powerful knowledge.

Read through the forum posts and pay attention to what users are commenting on and the topics that are of interest, especially those with large numbers of “views” and large numbers or “replies”.  This could provide you with a topic for your new website and be a driver for traffic, especially if the topic is controversial.

For example, on one Alzheimer forum I saw a topic posted just 3-days earlier titled “Do I tell Mom she has dementia”.  Obviously many people have struggled with this same topic given the number of views in such a short period of time.  With this knowledge I could easily write an article that could contain information for two long-tail search terms in my list – Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support and Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Use the search engines to identify some blogs in your niche.  Blogging has become one of the more popular ways for experts, advocates and the community as a whole to voice opinions and provide information on a topic.  Quite often these will provide insight into the most relevant and current issues as seen by people with a direct interest (and involvement) in the chosen niche.

Another site I check is eZineArticles.com.  This allows me to get a feel for what may already be written in my topic area.

Just from a quick search it’s easy for me to realize that there are many topic areas that I can leverage that directly relate to my long-tail search terms.  It also provides me with additional ideas and sources that I can exploit throughout the life of my website.

Alzheimer's Ezine Articles

There are many resources for information such as this that will allow you to obtain ideas for developing content, promote your website and attract traffic.  The ones shown are just examples and with a bit of creative searching in Google and Bing you will find more areas and topics that will be relevant to your long-tail keyword phrases.

Take some time and identify what you see as major issues.  Make some notes and examine how you can use these issues in conjunction with your long-tail keyword phrases.

It is important to develop an understanding of the topic and this is one of the reasons I like to select topics that interest me.  It makes the work part of building profitable websites a little more enjoyable and a whole lot easier to tolerate especially if you are developing several sites as part of a portfolio.

Using Google News I have identified two issues that will be developed into content articles on my new site.  The first involves clinical trials of an Alzheimer’s drug called “dimebon” and another involves Alzheimer’s caregiver support.  These will tie in nicely with 3 – 4 of my long-tail keyword phrases.

This phase in building a profitable website will become the driving force behind making your website a success.  The more issues and topics of interest that you can identify relating to your market niche, the easier it will be to develop relevant content that will attract a readership and rank well in the search engines.

Homework

Your homework for this portion of Building a Profitable Website will take you a couple of days.

Using Google News and eZineArticles.com identify several issues that other people are writing about in your niche.  Examine the articles and develop and understanding of how these can be utilized in developing content around your long-tail keyword phrases.

Using Google and Bing, identify several discussion forums and blogs in your niche.  Browse through the topics being discussed by members and develop and understanding of what information they are seeking.  Pay careful attention to questions they are asking as these will be used to develop more content later in the process.

Next Lesson

Building a Profitable Website – Registering a Domain Name

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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