Word lists are invaluable tools for brainstorming related ideas and also for facilitating searching through Google later on. Another type of word list is a frequency word list which is a word list with the words that appear the most in an article listed by order of frequency in a certain topic. The way to use word lists is to keep some great words, either keywords or good research terms that can be put aside in list format to help keep the important details of a topic in the forefront of your memory. Another way is to use the words in your list to help you research the topic more, and thus add even more to your word list to modify it to suit a more thorough representation of the topic.
If you get a project that you have no idea how to start, a word list can be a great way to get you going. The reason for this is that you can simply find articles already written on the topic online, and then use some online tools to check the word frequency within it. Odds are, the more frequent words are keywords or power words being used by the other marketer to generate traffic or income. So, in a way, you can get other Internet marketers to build your word list for you.
If you already know something about the topic, then you can sit down for a brainstorming session. Here you would want to start thinking about the different words that can be used within your topic. After that, you want to start combining words in different arrangements to see how they stir your creativity. After some research on other sites, you may come up with a great word list to actively Google and find relevant research being done already by other online marketers and use it to generate topics.
Basic Word Lists
This may sound very complicated, but it's not! Word lists are intuitively simple. So, let's start with a simple example.
Let's say you've been given an assignment to write about gardening. The first way to start generating topics is to free associated and brainstorm different words associated with gardening.
So a simple word list would look like this:
Anyways, you get the idea. From this simple brainstorming session, you may end up getting some great ideas for topics or for the outline to an eBook from a few minutes of using a word list creatively. But, we're not done! We're going to use a more complex word list to eventually target research and articles already written on the Internet in a very precise way. Before we create the complex word list, let's think about the case where you are faced with a blank sheet of paper and a topic that has you mystified.
Creating Wordlists from Nothing!
Don't panic! Even if you got a subject that frightens you, we will show you a ridiculously easy way to get past the initial terror that seizes you with an unfamiliar topic. All you have to do is be able to cut and paste, basically, to have the skills to generate words that go with this topic. That's because you're going to let other people build the lists for you. All, you're going to do is plug in the original topic term into the Google search engine and find relevant articles. After you've got a list of URLs with relevant topics, you can start to use them to generate a frequency word list.
A frequency word list is like a simple word list, except that it tells you how many times a word is used in a piece of text or article. This is really valuable information if you are trying to generate a word list for research purposes or to find out what keywords Internet marketers are targeting on their websites. The higher the frequency of a word, the more important it is to search engine and to the marketer. So, you can bet that some of these words that pop up the most are actually Google Keywords too, at times.
If you are in Firefox, you can facilitate this next process by using the tabs feature. You would open up a URL in one tab for a relevant article, and then in the other tab, you will open up the Build Your Word List program at http://www.buildyourwordlist.com . You can even use keyword searching tools that are available online to build a frequency word list instead of this tool. There are many different types of frequency word searchers online. They work about the same. Then, you would simply cut and paste the article text into the Build Your Word List tool and see which words are used the most. These can help you start to build word list without even knowing one thing about the subject! You just use what other people are using to get a starting point in your research.
You will find that in a lot of ways this process is even easier than brainstorming. Some of the tools, besides the Build Your Own List tool, will even give you the frequency of phrases. That way, it can help you to brainstorm combinations of words that are powerful, either because Google likes them or because the marketer has decided they attract attention. And, just because you did a little brainstorming to start finding articles doesn't mean you can't use this step too to refine your word list even further.
Advanced Word-Listing Techniques
So, we might come up with a more complex word list through the frequency word list generation strategy, or we can start combining words on our own in the brainstorming session, or both. Let's say that we are going to take the original simple word list as follows:
And, we're going to start creating a complex list for research purposes and to effectively target highly relevant articles on Google. The term "gardening" is great but too broad. It will come up with all kinds of things. So, we can't really use it effectively in Google and really get anything too specific. So, maybe we combine it with other terms in our list. So, maybe instead, we choose to combine the term "gardening" with other words on the list to put in the Google search box. Maybe we start to brainstorm a more precise list that might look like this:
gardening "drought-resistant plants"
gardening "heirloom plants"
Burpee AND "gardening equipment"
bulbs AND "soil preparation"
As you can see, now the list has become much more specific and highly targeted. In addition, we are using some Google searching techniques to refine the search results we obtain from our word list. In the case of putting words in quotes, we are telling Google that the term must appear exactly as we have it in the quotes. It's a way of saying: Return only the articles with the exact phrase. However, gardening is not in quotes, so it is a very general search term that just says we're interested in gardening articles, but also for drought-resistant plants. That means we won't get scientific articles describing the way drought-resistant plants function, but specifically how to garden with drought-resistant plants.
Maybe, we're also interested in particular companies that create gardening equipment or sell seeds. Then, you can just add their proper name in the search box. Finally, when you use the search function AND, that tells Google that you want both terms on either side of the AND function to appear on the same page.
Obviously, it's not an exact science, but you will get the hang of the different operators available to use for searching in Google the more you practice. We will even discuss this further in the next chapter. For now, this is a good way to start your word lists while keeping in mind that the ultimate aim is to get a list that helps you create topics or research them more efficiently.
Word List Research
After you have a great word list put together, always keep it handy as you are doing your research. You can use it to jog your memory too. You can even use them to do some mind mapping and within the Thesaurus to generate power words. The word lists are very versatile and are key to establishing a firm framework for your entire project. At the very least, they will help you build an outline for the projects that are informative and also attention-grabbing, both from a readership and search engine standpoint.
If you get stuck trying to find articles through the search engines or locate words for your word list this way. There are some particular areas that are great for researching topics and the associated words. Here are a few sites that you can visit to research topics and use the articles to cut and paste into the frequency word list generator.
Highbeam - You have to pay to use this site, but the quality of articles is very good. It is a research site with over 60 million articles online. The source of the articles tend to be magazines, newspapers, and trade journals. It is located at http://www.highbeam.com/.
Wikipedia - This is a site that creates content like an encyclopedia, however, the content is contributed by many people all over the Internet. For that reason, it can sometimes lack credibility and needs to be substantiated with other more reputable sites. However, for generating word lists, it can be a great source of inspiration and it's free to use. In addition, they have a links section in each of their articles that can eventually get you to more reputable articles that you can use within your research. It is located at http://www.wikipedia.com.
QueryCat - This is a large database of frequently asked questions gathered from all over the web. You do have to search with specific key phrases, so it's not as versatile as some of the other sites. It is located at http://www.querycat.com.
As you are looking for articles to use in the frequency generated list, be aware that keyword optimized articles may or may not be a good choice. If they are older articles, this will not be relevant for you because the search terms that are popular change from month to month. However, a very recent article with great targeted keywords can be a gold mine for Internet marketers and saves time in doing your own research. So, although it's not great for generating really broad and interesting word lists, it can be a way for Internet marketers to locate some terms that make sense to include in their articles to attract attention from search engines. Don't focus solely on keyword articles though, as the best way to generate a word list for research is to give it a much wider scope.