[Advanced Tips] How to Pick a Topic

Suffering from writer's block? Not sure what topics people are interested in? We've got your back

We often get the bug to write (or have a deadline to meet) but just aren't sure what to write about. Even if we have a general topic in mind (Call of Duty), it's still hard to know what to write about within that selection (Call of Duty Cheats? The 10 Coolest Call of Duty Weapons? Why Call of Duty is the Best Game Ever Made? How Call of Duty Sales Can Be Accurately Predicted By Mountain Dew Sales?)

For the casual contributor who's goal is simply to share a specific opinion or review, this information is slightly less relevant (but still useful if you want to maximize the number of people who will check out your post).

For advanced contributors who are keen on increasing audience size, practicing their research skills and knowing how to capture new reader interest, this stuff is critical.

In this video Kevin and I join forces to talk about:

 

Selecting a Topic

What Should I Write About?

Choosing what to write about or create a video on can be challenging, but when you have an idea, asking yourself these two questions can help you create something that will appeal to a wide audience.

Who is going to read this?

Make the answer to this as specific as possible. Know whether your reader is a 13 year old playing Call of Duty, or a mom playing Words with Friends.

Why will they want to read this?

  • Does it solve a problem?
  • Is it funny?
  • Does it teach the reader something?
  • Is it a secret, exclusive, or breaking news?

Those are things that tend to gain attention from an audience. Focus on creating something that fulfills one of those (or even better, several!) and you'll be well positioned to grabbing your audience by the eyeballs. 

(Figuratively speaking, of course.)

Want to get a little more specific and make sure there's an audience for the article you're about to write? It's time to do some research.

 

How to Find a Topic:

Does Anyone Care About This Topic?

Okay, so you think know who you're writing for, and why... but does that person actually exist? And do they have the question you think they do?

Tough question; thankfully, there's a tool that can help answer it.

Visit the Google Keywords tool and enter your writing idea into the form. Once you've passed their mind-bendingly long and capricious captcha, the results will show you 2 really important things:

  1. How many people are interested in the topic
  2. What specific related topics to write about

 

How to Estimate Interest:

Will Anyone Still Care Next Week?

Now you've chosen your topic and you're feeling pretty confident that it will appeal to more people than you, your mom, and your best friend. It's a good feeling. Ready to take the next step?

Crack open a new tab and pull up Google Trends and enter the core idea of your article into the form to the left. For instance, if your article is a review for "Minecraft" you can check to see whether there's growing interest in the game, or if it's on the decline. Suggestion: Google Trends lets you compare multiple trends, so when you're exploring a new topic add it alongside a popular game that gets a decent amount of interest to get a picture of how big the audience actually is. 

Declining interest

Searched "World of Warcraft"

Increasing interest

Searched "Minecraft"

Spiking Interest

Searched "Animal Crossing"

Let's Compare

This is what it looks like when you compare all three of these searches together. It also demonstrates why you may want to use a single search term to compare your other searches as a benchmark.

 

Have questions?

Have a question I didn't answer here? Comment below, we're here to help!

Former Editor in Chief

Former Editor in Chief at GameSkinny. I am the Gray Fox. Questions, comments, feedback? Bring it. Amy.White (at) GameSkinny.com

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Published Aug. 1st 2013

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