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Give 'em What They Want

By: Elena Fawkner

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com

People go online for many reasons. Some "surf", just to see what's out there, but most are much more specific in their objectives. They want to know about something and they turn to the Internet to find  what they're looking for. At its most basic level, what is the ONE thing that 99% of all website visitors are looking for? You got it ... information.

That's why "information is king" is such a constant refrain, it's why e-books have become such a popular medium for both author and reader (instant sales, instant access) and it's why everyone, ANY one, has the opportunity to make money with their computers.

This is not yet another article rehashing the benefits of creating an information product (you know that already, already) and it's not YET another article regurgitating the same old marketing  principles (you know you need to get the word out about your information product and there are no end of useful resources out  there to tell you exactly how). What this article is about is what your information product should be about.

Although it's true that the Internet audience is so vast that virtually any subject matter will have a market, actually finding that market may not be so easy. Or, let's say that you know you can put words together, you have a broad base of experience to draw from or you know you can find out what you need to know about a particular  subject in order to write an information product about it.

Well, here's something to consider. Instead of following the traditional path of deciding what you're going to write about, writing it and then going about finding people who are interested in reading what you've written, how about researching the market and finding out what people want to read about BEFORE writing an information product to meet that need? The advantage of this approach is that you know your market exists before you start writing, you can find out about your market and what it is they really want to know, meaning you can write a highly relevant information product responsive to that demand and, just as important, as you will see, you know exactly where your market is and how to reach it.

Let's start at the beginning. I bought Web Position Gold a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to use it create doorway pages that would rank well with the search engines, drive traffic to my site, yada yada yada. Yeah, so? Well, most uncharacteristically, I decided to follow the instructions. The first step was to "target keywords you think people would type in the search engines to find the type of products or services you offer". Well ... DUH. But, just for the hell of it, and since I was, after all, following The Instructions, I decided to read the "Choosing Keywords" topic "for more information on choosing effective keywords!".

Here's an extract:

"Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain. Choose the right keywords, and you'll see your traffic skyrocket. Therefore, think long and hard on what keywords people are likely to use to find you. ...

"The question to ask yourself is how do you really know if you're optimizing your pages for keywords that Web surfers are looking for? There are several good techniques you can apply to determine what people might be searching for ...

"However, the best way is to stop guessing and actually SEE what people are searching for."

I followed this advice and tried the keyword generator service they recommended (see below for links).

Now, remember, at this point all I was trying to do was to come up with a list of keywords relevant to the subject matter of my site that I should target with doorway pages to drive traffic to my site. I signed up for a one-day membership with Word Tracker for something like $6. Amazingly enough, I followed the instructions there too. I ended up with hundreds of potential keywords to target, all of which were actual search terms entered by users over the past 60 days.

Although all of the keywords I expected to find were there (and well serviced by my competitors I may add), right there, at the top of the list for each search engine, were some keywords I would NEVER have thought to target and neither, it appeared, had my competitors.

Here's the stats (I'm not revealing the keywords themselves for reasons which will become obvious if they're not already):

 Keyword  Number*  Competing*
#1 238 1
#2 268 14
#3 2,399 184
#4 556 21
* The Number column represents the number of times this particular keyword has been searched for within the past 30 days. The Competing column shows the number of competing sites targeting that keyword.

Now, this information is fine and dandy for doorway page creation. Just target the keywords that are highly sought after with relatively low competition (there is a Keyword Effectiveness Index number also provided which "compares the 24 hour result with the number of competing web pages to pinpoint exactly which keywords are most effective for your campaign". The higher the KEI, the more popular the keywords are and the less competition they have), create doorway pages that target these keywords, submit them to the search engines and, assuming your pages are structured to rank well with the particular search engine involved (which is where Web Position Gold comes in), you should be able to get  a reasonable ranking.

But for me, the true revelation was discovering a subject matter sought by a significant segment of my market but which was largely being ignored by me and my competition. In other words, I had discovered an all-important niche market. The subject matter involved is very specific and narrow. It is a simple matter for me to research this subject and create an information product to meet this demand. Which, of course, I intend to do. And which, of course, is why I'm not telling you what it is!

And, once I've created my information product, how do I reach my market? Simple. I use the very same keywords that I know people are entering to find my product, create doorway pages for those keywords and voila! ... a targeted information product to a targeted niche market. My market may not number in the thousands every month, only the hundreds. But of those hundreds, a significant proportion are highly motivated to purchase my product because, as the above analysis shows, they have a need that is currently not being met. What would you rather have, 500 prospective customers, 20% of whom actually buy from you (100 sales) or 5,000 prospective customers, 1% (if that) of whom actually buy from you (50 sales)?

Targeting your niche means narrowing your focus, devoting your energies towards a smaller but more highly targeted market. What you lack in terms of sheer numbers of prospects you will more than make up for on your bottom line.

So, bringing it all together, start with a broad subject matter that you know something about or that interests you enough that you can acquire the requisite knowledge within a relatively short period of time. Follow the steps that I went through with the keyword generator and see if, like me, you can identify a niche market that is underserviced. If so, create an information product that satisfies that unmet need and promote it by targeting the very same keywords that you used to identify the niche in the first place.

Do this and, unlike the millions who have devoted their life's work to writing information products about Internet Marketing, you can actually stand a chance of making a valuable and original contribution to the body of work available on the Internet today and get paid real money for your efforts.

© 2001 Elena Fawkner

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The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.

 

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