Narrow Down Your Potential Topics

Now that you've created a list of potential topics for your site, it's time to narrow them down and decide where you will focus.

narrow down choicesYou can go a few directions here:

  • The most popular topic: more audience, more competition
  • The least popular topic: less audience, less competition

These are generalizations, but they're true to a degree.

So, while we are about to check out the popularity of your potential topics, this exercise is more to give you a peek at the potential, since you can make it work either way.

Start by going to Google and searching for your first potential topic with quotation marks around the words.

Google topic search query

You can see in this example that Google has about 1,220,000 results for “science fiction books”.

That's an awfully big audience, but it's also one that breaks out into a variety of sub-categories.

So, if this were me, I'd think about the genre, author, or some other thing I prefer, to make it more focused.

Let's say I go with “science fiction books for kids”.

Google topic search query 2

That cuts down the results dramatically. Now we're at about 161,000 results in Google.

Repeat this process with each of your topic ideas, and then pick one.

What would I suggest? Go with the topic that appeals to you the most.

And then you have to move on to Chapter 3: How to Create Content.


  1. Shawn,

    Please keep this coming…I’m looking forward to learning from a master….

    Thanks in advance

  2. Mike McNabb says

    Excellent reading Shawn and you don’t need to chase away the experienced either. There’s always something to learn or reinforce no matter who you are.

  3. Shawn,

    Can you offer a Feedburner subscription to this blog? I love this and want to stay updated but I don’t often check my RSS Feeds.

  4. Oops … I didn’t mean FeedBurner. I meant an email subscription. I like to read my news in my email inbox. Do you have an email list?


  5. Cool! Thanks!

  6. Shawn,

    This month I began my IM journey and I’m very glad you chose to share your experiences in this blog. As a beginner, the timing could not be better. Many thanks ahead, for the great examples and learning tools.

  7. Just reading the first chapter on the site, gave me more re-assurance on working towards my gaols of becoming a great and successful affiliate marketer. Started in 2007 built a few website and spend a great deal of my time creating landing pages for the merchants I promote. Towards the latter part of 2010 I began looking at niche marketing. I publish a site on affiliate marketing niche. This has been a fun and exciting journey just to explore all what there is to learn about affiliate marketing online . I will be looking forward to the other chapters as soon as they are publish. Thanks

  8. adrienne says

    Hi Shawn
    When searching out keywords what number is a good number that doesn’t have too big of results? In your example above was a great example showing how to narrow the audience but what number would you suggest we keep in mind?
    Thanks Adrienne

    • Hi Adrienne –

      There isn’t a black and white answer – would you be willing to share the overall topic, and then I could help you decide whether you should focus there or get into something more specific?

      • adrienne says

        Just really in the beginning stages. I have learned from research how to really break down a topic but no idea what a good number should be. One said for writing articles you want less then 20,000 searches. Not that I will be writing articles only. But confusing in knowing what a good overall number should approx be. Thanks. Adrienne

        • Hi Adrienne –

          I would place more significance on a topic that interests you over the search volume.

          It sounds like the advice you mentioned is about writing a one-time article on a subject.

          When you create a site about the subject, you’ll have far more ability to get well indexed well, as you’ll be creating a constant stream of new content.

  9. If we talk about niches it comes to the same thing. Broader the category we have chosen more general our website will be. The deeper we go with particular aspects more specialized we will be and our website will be looked up for expert advice.

  10. Shawn
    Thanks for sharing the information. You are obviously successful and this is a great tool. However, more visual examples wold be great. For example, of this is the way you set up “all” of your blogs/sites can you list 10, 20, etc. of them so we can actually see how yours are set up. Show us the real sites? It would be so much more helpful.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Debbie –

      I will be mentioning some sites here and there, but I am not going to list all of my sites here. That’s not going to help anybody – you should focus on topics that interest you and write about them in your voice.

      Good luck,

  11. Steve Siegwalt says

    Great advice, my challenge has always been, which of the 45 domain names to I start with first!! 

  12. Really good advice. Affiliate marketing is great on blogs, but online societies and advertising should also be considered with affiliate marketing. It can be a lot less time consuming. Money from blogging is BIG but the key is building the audience. Traffic is king with Amazon or any other type of offers.

  13. CowboyTim says

    Hmm, this isn’t very good advice.

    Do not look at the total search results, that doesn’t matter at all. What matters is the top 10 in Google. Look at these websites and find out how strong these pages are. Can you beat them?

    It is all about beating the top 10. No matter there are 1000 results or 1000000 results. If the top 10 is super strong, you can probably forget it.

    • Thanks for your opinion – it’s simply a measure of the popularity of a given topic.

      Your advice is for a different area than I am covering here. Of course, you want to conquer the SERPs, but you have to get started first.

  14. I have created a website to make money from Amazon, I see that my site is not perfected as you said in your book. I will refer some useful tips from your book to make my site better.


  1. […] III. Chapter 2 Now that you’ve figured out which topic you want to cover, you’ve got to start generating unique and useful […]

  2. […] where you come in. You’re the expert on the topic you’ll be blogging about (or you will be […]

  3. […] Do that right now, and then we’ll move on to the next step where you will narrow down your potential topics. […]

  4. […] I discuss this topic in chapter one of Extra Money Answer, my free online book for getting started as an affiliate: Narrow Down Your Potential Topics. […]

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