You have a topic, and you know there must be some interest in it. After all, you can’t be the only person interested in your favourite pastime, can you?
That’s what keywords will allow you to discover.
A keyword is a term or phrase that captures the essence of your topic. For example, “model airplane” is a good keyword phrase. To focus more clearly on your interest, “radio controlled airplane” might be more helpful.
To start using keywords for determining the size of your market, make a list of six words that spring to mind when you think of your topic. This is a large enough list to get you started.
Whichever keyword research tool you choose to use, what you’re looking for is a particular volume of monthly searches for each keyword or phrase. Every tool will also help you develop a longer keyword list. (I’ll give you three free tools to choose from later in the article.)
The search volume you’re looking for is between 4,000 and 40,000 searches per month. Of course, that’s a broad range and there are things to consider about being at either end.
Being at – or over – 40,000 monthly searches means the market is huge. Getting into that market with the keywords you’re using means you risk being just one more voice in the crowd. You can probably get better keywords by being more specific about your topic.
From the model airplane example, “model airplane” has a monthly search volume of 135,000 and “radio controlled airplane” has a monthly volume of 6,600.
The lower the monthly search volume the more tightly niched you are in a market. Getting below 4,000 searches per month means your moving into a market that just doesn’t have enough volume to be truly profitable.
The next step is to choose a keyword research tool. There are lots available, but there are three free ones I’d like to bring to your attention. One is from Google, another is from WordTracker and the third is supplied by Howie Jacobson (author of Adwords for Dummies, 2008).
You can find the Google keyword research tool at http://adwords.google.com. It’s easiest to use when you sign in to your Google account and open an Adwords account. The account is free to open – you don’t pay anything unless you run an adwords ad.
You can find the free Wordtracker keyword tool at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com.
The tool from Howie Jacobson is at http://www.askhowie.com/freewords.
As you research those six keywords you started with, be sure to keep track of other keywords that come up with good search volumes. You’ll want a few hundred keywords when you’re ready to promote your e-book. Plus, each keyword you add starts to build a chain – a.k.a. the long-tail keywords.