In addition, there is a Pinterest compiled board called 1,001+ ideas about personal finance. This one page alone is enough to fill my notebook with dozens of great ideas.
There are two ways to use Pinterest to explore a market.
- Type the keywords related to your market into search bar and you’ll see hundreds of images related to interesting pieces of content. From there, you can click on the items that grab your attention and get more information on the specific topics.
- Follow top Pinners in your market and check out what they regularly post. (A simple way to find them is to type “best Pinterest” + “your market” into Google to find blog posts that have compiled the top authorities in your niche.
To keep things easy, I typed in the phrase “best Pinterest save money” into Google and found a few pages that listed the top-rated Pinners who regularly write about living the frugal lifestyle. Here are just a few that I found:
- Good financial habits to build
- How to grocery shop for free
- DIY products you can create yourself
- Free printables
- 15-minute healthy (and cheap) meals to make
- Coupon hacks for people with limited time
- DIY discount wedding planning
- The ultimate shopping hack guide for all major stores (Trader Joes, Walmart, Gap, Target, and Whole Foods)
8. Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is fairly intuitive. You enter a few phrases related to your topic and tool will generate two types of results:
- Ad group ideas that show phrases related to your original search (this is a goldmine for generating book ideas).
- Keyword ideas which shows the amount of times that exact phrase was entered into Google. The larger the number, the more demand there is for this topic.
I started with a quick search using “how to save money” (49,500) exact searches) and “coupon” (450,000). These searches produced additional ideas, like “budgeting tips” (4,400 searches) and “online deals” (5,400 searches.) When I ran another search for all these phrases, I found a wide-range of ad group ideas that could lead to quality book ides.
- Finding the best restaurant coupons (49,410 searches)
- How to save money on food (1,000 searches)
- How to save money on a house (1,600 searches)
- How to save money every month (880 searches)
Also…keep in mind that these are exact searches. Almost always, there are dozens of phrases and long-tail keywords that relate to each search term. So even if you find that there are only 880 searches for a phrase, the demand is probably much bigger because there are dozens of related phrases that are typed into Google every month.
9. Long-Tail Pro
Read Related: 71 Insanely Useful Book Marketing Ideas For Self-Publishers
On the surface, this strategy might not seem immediately applicable to self-publishing, but think of it this way…
Your goal as an author is to build a long-term business.
A long-term business doesn’t rely on one channel for its success.
Instead, you need to create multiple opportunities find your books (and not rely just on the good graces of Amazon.)
One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to build an authority site filled with quality content that ranks well for book-related search terms, which directs people to your page.
Now, there are a lot of keyword tools available in the market. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. My keyword tool of choice is Long-Tail Pro because it can generate thousands of keywords and also uses a simple metric (called “Keyword Competitiveness) that shows you how hard it will be to get at top 10 ranking in Google.
Unfortunately, SEO (search engine optimization) is a very difficult process to explain (and I’m definitely not an expert on this topic.) So the simplest explanation of how to best use Long-Tail Pro is to look for keywords that get between a 10 to 30 KC count. Typically these phrases only get a handful of searches per month, but if you create a series of articles that each target a low competition keyword, you can build a nice level of traffic to your blog and ultimately your books.
Now, another advantage of a tool like Long-Tail Pro is it can identify potential book topics that you might not have discovered using any other resources mentioned in this article. Sure, you might not be able to rank an idea in Google, but you can easily find a phrase that has a lot of keyword searches and write a book that sells well on Amazon and other book platforms.
Using simple phrases like “save money,” “online deals,” “budgeting tips,” and “frugal living,” I was able to generate 2,700 related keywords. Within these results, I looked for ideas in the 440 to 4,400 exact searches range because this shows good demand for specific information, not large generalized searches like “save money.”
For instance, here are a few of the terms that I found using this tool:
Yet again, these results a similar to the ideas we discovered from other sites, but I love seeing this kind of stuff because it shows that people want information about this topic on a consistent basis. That means if I could rank a piece of content on my site for these phrases and send visitors to one of my books, then I’d have a long-term source of attention that doesn’t depend on Amazon.
Now, the keyword competition for most of the results are ridiculously hard — hard as in “if-your-last-name-isn’t-Cutts-then-don’t-even-bother-with-trying-to-rank-for-it” hard.
But I found two results that were very interesting: “how to save money for a house” (KC: 32) and “how to save money for a car” (KC: 36). This means it would be challenging to rank a piece of content for these phrases, but not impossible.
Okay, that’s as far as I’ll go down the rabbit hole of SEO. If you want to learn more about this topic, then I’d recommend checking out the Niche Site Project 3.0 series on NichePursuits.com hosted by Spencer Haws, Perrin Carrell, and Jake Cain or the entire Authority Hacker website run by Gael Breton and Mark Webster. Both are my go-to websites for getting a crash course on building a long-term website—without having to spend hours on Moz on a daily basis.
10. Niche Specific Blogs
It’s not hard to find niche specific blog. Simply type “your market” + “blog” into Google to find a wide variety of options.
The trick here is to find blogs with quality information. One way to do this is to install the MozBar Toolbar Chome extension and look for sites with a Domain Authority (DA) of 30 or above. This usually means the site probably has good content that’s worth checking out. (I’ll admit this isn’t an exact science, but it’s a decent starting point.)
From there, you should poke around the site, check out content that’s similar to topics that are personally interesting, and find opportunities for that next book idea.
A simple search for “frugal living blog,” led to a wide number of excellent websites. You can see here that there were blogs with a DA range of 30 to 52 in the top results:
(I chose to ignore the DA 92 rank because it’s derived from high ranking of the Blogspot.com website.)
To be honest, it was hard to find the “best of” content on the sites that showed up in the top results. However, the #5 result (Thrifty Frugal Mom) has a number of excellent series that might work as book ideas:
- Saving at the grocery store
- Saving while planning meals
- Canning and freezing items to save money
- How to save money on your baby
- Save money on activities for each season (spring, summer, autumn and winter.)
- Gift ideas for kids/spouse/friends for under $50
BuzzSumo is an interesting tool because it lists the number of social shares for a piece of content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus. The logic here? The more shares an article gets, the more it’s probably something that people love.
There are two ways you can use BuzzSumo:
- Enter the URL of one of the top sites in your industry and see which piece of their content gets shared the most.
- Enter a keyword phrase to find the most shared posts for that search term.
Using the website example from before (TheFrugalMom.com), a search on BuzzSumo generates a few book topics that might work:
Sure, the first one is pretty niche, but a whole series on canning vegetables could work (if that’s related to your passion or personal interest).
To be honest, I was a little disappointed by the results from BuzzSumo, so I decided to run another search using the term “frugal living,” which also generated limited results.
What I found to be interesting was the #4 result—an article titled “Top 25 Frugal Living Pinners on Pinterest” on BusyBudgeter (Sidenote: I love the site that Rosemarie put together and the excellent Pinterest advice that she gave in a podcast interview with my buddy Nick Loper.) Anyway, the cool thing about this article is it links out to the top Pinterest experts you can check out to generate even more ideas for your content.
12. Niche Specific Forums
It’s really simple to find a forum. Simply go to Google and enter “your market” + “forum.”
My recommendation is to quickly scan the search results until you find a forum that has thousands of threads and replies from members.
Once you discover a great forum, click on the categories related to your market and then sort the results by the most views. This will generate a list of the top articles that are interesting to members. Sure, there is a little bit of schadenfreude when it comes to certain topics (i.e. people are more likely to click on a thread like “My husband moved out…and I want him back,” than they would for a bland question), but generally speaking, if a topic has lots of views, it’s probably interesting to folks in that market.
A quick search of “frugal living forum” generated a few results like:
To be honest, it was hard to find many book ideas on this site because there’s too much information on it. With hundreds of individual forums and thousands of threads, it was kind of hard to know where to start, but I was able to find a number of compelling ideas:
- How to stockpile food and store it in your home
- Money management tools (and reviews)
- Envelope budgeting system
- Affordable places to live outside the United States (i.e. the ex-pat lifestyle)
- Hacks for saving money on your utility bill
- Secondhand clothes shopping hacks
- How to plan the perfect staycation
13. Facebook Groups
It’s not hard to find a Facebook group that fits your needs. Simply type a market-related phrase into Facebook’s search bar and then click the “see all the results for [keyword]” link at the bottom of the results.
From there, you should look for a group that has at least a few thousand members and then submit a request to join. (Usually, it takes a day or so to get accepted.) Once you’re a member, you should look at: questions asked, recommend resources, and any complaints/frustrations posted by members.
I’ll admit that it’s not easy to find a lot of useful data with Facebook groups, but it’s a great place for having organic one-on-one conversation with people interested in your topic. So it’s a great tool to build those long-term connections that are important for your book-based business.
With two quick keyword searches (“frugal living” and “save money”), I came across a few great groups related to our core topic. I won’t post images of specific treads because that violates the privacy of individual members. However, a search through Facebook groups did spark a few book ideas.
Specifically, I found a bunch of groups interested in getting bargains in their local area. I know these pages are a great resource for saving money because my wife uses them all the time. For instance, there is a group in my area called Bergen County Bargains where members exchange and sell items for rock-bottom prices.
Write a book like: “How to use Facebook groups to get extreme bargains.”
I think it would be a winner because most people don’t know about these groups and if you know how to leverage them (like my wife does), you can save hundreds (even thousands) of dollars. I guarantee this would totally work as a book topic.
This post is a bit of monster.
Originally, my notes included over 20 websites that I’ve used to discover book ideas, but 5,000 words later, I realized that there was no way I could include every website in a single post.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the comment box below, tell me if you’ve used any of these tools to identify book ideas. Or do you have a favorite tool that wasn’t mentioned? If so, I’d love to hear about it.