If there’s one thing that’s clear from more than a decade of eBook publishing, topics tend to go in trends. One moment motivational topics might be all the rage, then a year or so later it completely dies down. Then eBooks about online options trading take off. That might die down a little, then all of a sudden a whole slew of “How to Start an E-commerce Website” eBooks hit the market and make millions.
Finding popular eBook topics is a great way to jump in front of an emerging trend. Instead of trying to come up with an idea that people might like, you can figure out what people do like right now instead.
So how do you find popular eBook topics? Here are a few different tactics you can use.
Using CB Engine for Clickbank Products
Clickbank is the largest eBook repository on the internet, second only to eReader bookstores (like the Kindle store.) It’s a great place to look for eBook ideas. It’s also a great place to feel out potential new trends.
Unfortunately, Clickbank’s marketplace is quite a poor research tool. You can sort by popularity or gravity – And that’s it. It doesn’t give you much data.
Instead of using Clickbank’s native marketplace, many internet marketers choose to use websites that aggregate data from Clickbank instead. There are a few of them around. CB Engine is one of the most popular ones, with most of its features available for free.
Begin by going to “CB Best Gain” in the left hand side column. This shows you the Clickbank products that have improved in rankings the fastest recently. This is a much more useful statistic than gravity or popularity, because you want to look for new ideas that are catching on rather than products that have already been popular for months.
Here’s what the screen looks like:
You can change the criteria you’re searching by along the top. You can look at high momentum products, products moving up, products that are gaining steadily, products that are getting more popular and have big payouts and so on.
If you click on a product, you’ll be taken to that product’s data page. Here you’ll see all the vital stats you need to know about the product.
Click “Graph” along the top to see a visual representation of the product’s gravity trend, as well as its previous gravity stats by date.
This technique can help you find new eBooks as they’re taking off, but before the market gets saturated. Look for trends, look for big jumpers, look for multiple eBooks on the same topic that are taking off at the same time. Look for things that seem to indicate a new opportunity.
Doing Keyword Research
Another way to look for potential popular topics is to do keyword research.
Begin by jotting down a bunch of different potential ideas for your book. For instance, let’s say you’re in the weight loss industry. You might jot down ideas like:
- Weight loss for people who’ve just had a baby
- Weight loss for video gamers who don’t get exercise
- Weight loss for vegetarians
- Weight loss for people who love chocolate
Come up with as many ideas as you can. Then head over to the Google Keyword Tool, then type in some of the ideas you’re thinking of using, one at a time.
Google will tell you about how many people search for your keyword every month. Below the keyword you typed in, Google will also tell you the search volume for a number of related keywords.
In this case, you can see that the general topic gets about 40,000 searches a month. Smaller sub-topics get quite a few searches a month as well. So you might put a check mark next to that idea as having strong potential.
Do the same with your next topic. For instance, let’s look at post pregnancy weight loss.
In this case, it seems that vegetarian weight loss is about three times as popular as post pregnancy weight loss.
One important thing to notice is that the keyword “pregnancy weight loss” does get 90,000 searches a month. But if you type it into Google, you’ll find that this search phrase encompasses people who want to lose weight during pregnancy, people who are losing weight during pregnancy and are worried, among a myriad of other topics, including weight loss after pregnancy.
It’s less clear cut because of that one keyword, but it still seems vegetarian weight loss generally has more demand than post-pregnancy weight loss, based on the numbers.
Rinse and repeat this process for all your ideas to get a sense for how many people are looking for the solution you’re thinking of providing.
The Amazon bookstore can be another great way to come up with popular book ideas. Start by heading over to the Editor’s Picks section. You can choose other sections, too. Look through these different lists to see what kind of books are doing well.
You can also sort the category further by going to a more specific subcategory. That’ll really help you get a sense for what’s doing well in your specific niche.
Count Forum Questions
Another way you can find problems that people are eager to solve is to go to internet forums and look for common questions.
For example, if you’re in the fishing niche, you might head over to a fishing message board and spend some time looking around. What kinds of questions are people asking? Is there an abnormally high amount of questions around certain topics? Are there new questions you haven’t heard before? Are there questions being asked that seem to have no good answers?
You can also conduct a search for terms like “how to” or “how do I” or “question.”
This brings up exactly the kind of person you’re looking for: People who came to the forum looking for help. Again, look for patterns in the questions people are asking. The more people asking about it, the better your chances of success with an eBook on that topic.
These are four different ways you can find popular eBook topics. Do your research before you start writing and make sure you’re jumping into a market that’s positioned for success.