By Sarah Rexman*, Guest Author (Read Terms ) Networks like Associated Content and Hub Pages give freelance writers and bloggers the chance...
By Sarah Rexman*, Guest Author (Read Terms)
Networks like Associated Content and Hub Pages give freelance writers and bloggers the chance to make an additional income while also getting some exposure. However, networks like these pay according to performance, meaning that writers are paid by how many page views their articles get or how many click-throughs there are on the ads accompanying their articles.
Choosing topics that "sell" is key to finding success on these sites. The customers in this case are the potential readers, and the content has to be sellable in the sense that it must provide information that it is demand to generate the most traffic and the most exposure for ads. Here are a few tips for finding topics that sell to find success on freelance writing sites like Associated Content and Hub Pages:
Pay Attention to What People are Talking About
The easiest place to start looking for topics that sell is to listen to what the people around you are talking about. What's the water cooler discussion at your office? What does your best friend share with you in excitement when she calls? This could be the latest celebrity gossip or political story, or it could also be your co-worker Bob's divorce or your friend's success at losing 10 pounds. OK maybe not Bob's divorce, specifically, but divorce in general, or how it's on the rise, or how difficult it is to get one in Montana -- whatever the case may be. Tune in to what people are interested in and what holds their attention.
Check Out the Top Sellers
If you want to know what topics are selling, look at what people are buying. Check out the New York Times non-fiction bestseller lists, scan the top sellers in book and DVD categories on Amazon, and look at other product review sites for the highest rated and most viewed products. You will get a sense for what people are interested in, what they want to know more about, and what problems they need solved.
Message boards and other online forums are a great place to see what people are talking about and to find out what information they are seeking. A majority of message boards involve people asking questions to try to find solutions to their problems. Write articles that answer these questions, and you are sure to draw in the traffic that you need.
Look for Trending Topics
Search engines and social networks all have great tools to figure out what people are talking about the most right now. Hashtags identify trending topics on Twitter, and those can change from day to day. Google keyword research will show you what people are searching for the most. Sites like Reddit and Stumble Upon will show you what topics are going viral. All these sources will give you an idea of what people what to know about and learn about now.
Picasso said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Even if you're not creating famous Cubist art, this still rings true. If you see a great idea for a topic, steal it. Write your own article about the same topic or idea. There is no copyright on ideas, but there is on writing. So you can steal the idea, but just make sure you write the article yourself and don't just rewrite or tweak it.
Good content helps readers to solve a problem. How-to articles and tutorials are a great way that writers meet this need, but it's not the only way. Identify what people are interested in and the problems for which they need solutions, and you will have plenty of topics that sell.
About the author:
Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for www.bedbugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a master’s degree in environmental science.