The most important choice you’ll make about anything you write is choosing the topic.
First we’re going to look at four ways to find a topic you want to write about. Then, as a bonus, we’ll take a look at the Evergreen concept.
The easiest way to find a topic is to look at what you do every day. Whether you’re a plumber, accountant or forest ranger, you have knowledge other people don’t. That makes your knowledge valuable.
You might think the knowledge for your profession is too routine or boring to be worth writing about. After all, who wants to know about working on an assembly line or being a mail clerk?
A recent search for “personal organization” showed 19.6 million related web pages. You can see how working on an assembly line or in a mail room require the person doing it to be well organized, and to pay attention to detail.
Sometimes it takes just a little imagination to see the knowledge you have that other people want, too.
A similar place to find a topic to write about is what you do for recreation.
As you explore your own hobby, you may be surprised by how many variations exist. Let’s take riding a bike as an example.
You could write about how to have a picnic with bicycles. Do you live in an area with a lot of cycling trails? Are there trails through town and through the woods or countryside?
Lots of people want to put their bicycles on their car and explore another town by bike. This translates to writing about travel destinations, how to transport a bike, and even how to choose bikes and vehicle bike racks.
While you’re thinking about all the things you know from work or from pleasure, take a moment to think about some of the things you don’t know but want to.
This is the third place to look for a topic to write about. As an example of how effective this can be, let me share the story of Jerry Buchanan’s first information product. It was about how to get rid of gophers.
Jerry Buchanan’s first information product was a result of his quest to get rid of the gophers that were destroying his gardens. He had a problem, but no solution. Jerry made his own solution by visiting other farmers and golf course groundskeepers who did have solutions. He interviewed experts.
When he had collected their answers, it occurred to Jerry that other people might have the same problem and be in need of the solutions he had found. That led to Jerry writing his first information product.
Do you think one or two of the things you’d like to know are popular enough for you to turn into an information product? Well, after we look at the fourth source for topics, I’ll show you how to find out.
The fourth source for topics is writing about something that has been around for a while and putting a new twist on it. The best example of this might be the highly successful Chicken Soup series of books.
Motivational books and Thought-for-the-Day books have been around for years. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen developed the chicken Soup for the Soul phenomenon by writing in a new direction.
Your new direction might be to collect and compile scattered bits of information that fill an information gap. Maybe you would like to write about the ten best sources for investment information. This could include newsletters, investment clubs, online trading, and traditional banking establishments.
The last thing to touch on is the Evergreen Concept.
Jerry Buchanan’s first topic was evergreen. Evergreen means that people will always want information about that topic. People still need to get rid of lawn vermin. A later product Jerry produced, titled Profitable Self Publishing, is almost ideally evergreen.
What makes a topic evergreen is its ongoing relevance to an audience through several generations. For example, everyone wants to know how to invest their money wisely, but investment advice changes because of new regulations, new investment products and changing market conditions.
That a topic is evergreen means you will have a lasting audience for your information products. Your audience will demand a supply of updated, current information. You can meet that demand, and increase your revenues, by supplying updated, expanded editions of your e-book.
Put it all together – something you want to write about (from work, pastime or desire to know) with a good monthly keyword search volume and you’ll have a winning topic for your e-book. Finding a topic that’s evergreen will give you the gold at the end of the rainbow.