Brainstorming for keywords is the process of generating seed keyword ideas. These seed keywords are what you will plug into keyword research tools to generate additional ideas and eventually select an single keyword to target for your niche site.
So, today I will focus exclusively on the brainstorming process. I will NOT focus on how to select an individual keyword to target or how to use software tools to generate additional ideas, this will be covered in the future (on the Niche Websites Hub).
Think of this process as where to get those initial ideas that you can then branch out of and find those hidden gem keywords. Below are 15 ways that can give your brain a “jumpstart” when it just feels like you can’t come up with anything on your own. After that, I talk about using tools to help you brainstorm.
How To Brainstorm For Keyword Ideas
There are millions of different ways to that range from the mundane to the inspirational. However, in order to help you develop more of a system that can be followed when you are having a “mental block”, I have made a list of ways to generate root keyword ideas.
- Look Around You. The items you see on your desk, in your room, or anything else within view can often be great root keyword ideas.
- Watch TV. Write down the names of TV shows, products sold during commercials, or even the items you see during the TV show. All of these items can be used as seed keywords.
- Go Shopping. Wal-mart (and other stores) holds hundreds of thousands of items, and all of these could technically be a root keyword. When you are looking at items don’t just write down the exact name of the item, like “Nike AirMax Lebron VII” (although that’s good to write down also); you should also write down the generic item or similar keywords – like “shoes”, “sneakers”, “basketball shoes”, “AirMax”, “Lebron”. Notice how this one item turned into 6 potential root keywords and could be more.
- Use Google Trends. If you just can’t think of anything, head on over to Google Hot Trends and see what people are searching for on Google right now.
- Use Amazon Products, Categories, Descriptions, and best sellers. Amazon has millions of items, and hence millions of root keyword items. Don’t just look at product names, also use categories and the words you see within the descriptions to spark new ideas. To see the top selling items, browse through the Amazon bestsellers of all the categories.
- Use eBay Products and Categories. Obviously you can browse individual items; however, I have also found categories to be helpful. If you go to this categories listings page on eBay, you will see many more categories than usual. Also, if you click “See All … Categories” you will see much more details. For example, here is the “See All Collectibles Categories” page. Hundreds (maybe thousands?) of root keywords right there. Also, you can use eBay Pulse to see the top selling and other hot items.
- Use Affiliate Networks. If you are stuck for ideas, simply log into any number of affiliate networks and browse the products and READ the other keywords that are used in descriptions of those products. A few affiliate networks that I have used are: Clickbank, Commission Junction, Neverblue Ads, Clickbooth, Linkshare, and many others.
- Go to the Library. Book titles are a GREAT way to find niche ideas. In fact, even the most obscure section in the library probably is a pretty big niche online. The library just doesn’t have room to include all the tiny niches that can be found online. So walk down the isles of the library and this could keep you busy for months (or years?) with keyword ideas.
- Use Google Instant. I’m personally not a huge fan of Google Instant (because it often makes me forget what I was going to type in because of all the random ideas it throws up); however, it can be great way to generate some root keyword ideas. If you are just not thinking of keyword ideas on your own, simply type in a few letters into Google and check out some of the results. Try starting with just random letters or type in any word that pops into your mind; the suggestions given can lead your mind into some great niches.
- Try Wikipedia. Okay, for Wikipedia you probably need to start with some basic query before anything pulls up, but once you start reading ANY article on Wikipedia, you can find lots of great root keyword ideas within the text.
- Read Forums.Go to your favorite forum, or visit Big Boards to browse through all of the biggest forums online. You can find thousands of forums that people have a passion for – which usually also makes a great niche. If you actually read some of the posts, you can find some excellent root keywords.
- Pick up a Newspaper or Magazine. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Get the juices flowing by simply writing down what you are seeing on the page.
- Look at Online Ads. I have used this a few times. When I am browsing other websites, I will take note of what is being advertised on the site and the specific keywords that are in the ads. This can very often lead me to think about niches that I probably wouldn’t have thought of on my own.
- Copy other Niche Websites. This is a hidden gem that I have used many times. Often when I am doing research or simply browsing other niche websites, I will find that a site owner is linking to lots of other niche websites ( which they most likely own and operate as well). Once I find a network of niche websites, I will try to discover the keywords they are targeting and use these as root keywords. You can sometimes also find a network of interlinked niche websites by using the Yahoo Site Explorer to see who is linking to whom. I have found some low competition niches using this method.
- Ask Someone. When all else fails, ask your friends, wife, family, or other for ideas. If your brain is stuck for ideas, try someone else’s brain for a little bit.
Using Tools To Help You Brainstorm Keywords
So using one of the 15 methods above, you have a few keyword ideas. Now it’s time to use technology to our advantage.
For this, we’re going to be using a keyword research tool (check out Brady’s article on the best keyword research tools).
Let’s say that I went shopping with my wife and we went through the furniture section of the mall. I saw a bunch of different couches, and I thought up the keyword idea “house decor ideas”.
You can use your keyword for this. Whatever you come up with, go to your favorite keyword research tool and plug it in. I’m going to be using Long Tail Pro.
I typed in “house decor ideas” and here’s what I get:
You can see that I have a ton of awesome keywords here! “best home decor ideas”, “best interior design ideas”, “bedroom design ideas”. And I have 397 more keywords like that.
So if you can come up with the seed keywords, a keyword research tool can go a long way in helping you flesh your ideas out. They might cost a little, but can be huge helps when it comes to building new ideas.
Conclusion and Your Thoughts
So there you have it, 15 great ways to get your mind ticking so that you can find root keywords. Now once you have these seed keywords you will want to expand that list by using the Google Adwords Keyword tool or other software to generate additional keyword ideas. As mentioned, I will be discussing how to expand your keyword list with software and other tools in a future post.
Generating root ideas is a critical step to building successful niche websites. If you are able to start with a large list of diverse root keywords, you greatly improve your chances of finding a low competition niche that you can dominate.
So, what other methods have you used to generate root keyword ideas? Let me know below! If you have any other comments or questions, I would love to hear them as well.