More Idea Generation and Brainstorming Worksheets


Worksheet 2: Brainstorming Ideas Using Keyword Tools


The idea here is to use a keyword tool (such as WordTracker) to uncover topics (or even niches) that never really thought about before. The bonus of using a keyword tool for idea generation is that you’ll also get an idea of how popular that topic is, based on how many searches it gets.


So, let’s get started. First, grab your favorite keyword tool. Then work through the following lists of searches, and write down all the topic ideas you uncover.


TIP: If you want to do these searches within a particular niche, then add the broadest keywords related to that niche (e.g., “gardening”). You can also run these searches without niche keywords just to see what niches and topics pop up.


1. First, if you do you have a niche, then write down all the top searches that come up when you search for your broad keywords (such as “dog training”).


Note: it’s a good idea to search for similar terms just to get as many ideas as possible. In most cases, your keyword tool will deliver these similar terms to you. If not, you’ll want to start this process by brainstorming similar terms.


For example:


· If you wanted to search for weight loss, you might also search for: lose weight, fat loss, lose fat, diet, and similar terms.


· If you wanted to search for house training, you might search for: house training a dog, housebreaking a dog, house training a puppy, puppy pad training, crate training, potty training a dog, and similar.


Next…


2. List all the topic ideas that catch your eye when you type in the following terms. Write down how many searches they get for later reference, so that you know which ideas are popular.


How to:

Tips for:

Secrets of:

Get rid of:

Eliminate:

Information:

Instructions:

Directions:

Easy way to:

Fast way to:

Quick way to:

Best way to:

Ways to:

Cheap way to:

Problem:

I don’t know how to:

Repair:

Fix:

How to make:

How to build:

How to create:

Homemade:

DIY:

Do it yourself:

Save money:

Save time:

Pain:


Again, take note – as you’re working through these searches, a good keyword tool will deliver “suggested” or “related” search terms to you. Be sure to follow through on these related searches, as it will help you to uncover even more ideas.


Worksheet 3: Brainstorming Ideas by Doing Market Research


Doing market research is a great way to uncover potential ideas for your course. The benefit of doing this sort of research is that you can simultaneously start to validate your idea. That’s why you’ll want to pay particular attention to those topics that seem quite popular as you work through the following steps.


NOTE: For this worksheet, we’ll exclude ideas we’ve already covered in other worksheets, such as using keyword tools.


Let’s get started…


1. Survey your market.


The key here is asking open-ended questions so as not to limit answers in any way. You’re looking to generate ideas at this stage, not necessarily to validate them.


Here are examples of potential questions to ask:


· What is your biggest problem [in the niche]?

· What solutions have you tried?

· What are the weaknesses of these solutions?

· What are the strengths of these solutions?

· If you could read the perfect guide to [getting some result], what all topics would it include?

· What [niche] topics would you like to know more about?


You can ask these questions individually, such as by having people email you their answers. Alternatively, you can ask these sorts of questions in group settings, such as in a Facebook group.


NOTE: When you do a survey, it’s a good idea to collect basic demographic information, such as age and gender.


Next…


2. Check relevant marketplaces.


For this step, you’ll search for your niche keywords in a variety of marketplaces such as Amazon.com, ClickBank.com and JVZoo.com. For each of these marketplaces, answer the following questions:


What are the bestselling products in your niche in this marketplace?


For which topics do you see multiple competitors? (Hint: this is part of the validation, as it lets you know which topics have a lot of demand.)


Now look through the tables of contents of these top products. Write down any topics (e.g., chapter or subsections) that catch your eye.


What do customers say about the top products in your niche? Specifically:


· What topics/sections of the book do they like the most?

· What topics do they wish the product had included?


Write down anything else you see noteworthy about these topics.


3. Run a Google search.


Now search Google for your niche keywords (such as “organic gardening”). Be sure to look at both the top sites as well as the sponsored results. Write down the following:


What information products are the top sites in your niche selling?


Where applicable, review the table of contents for these top-selling products. Write down any topics that interest you.


Look at the bullet points on sales letters. Write down any topics that interest you.


Where applicable, search the site’s blog and/or forums to uncover popular topics. Take note of which ones tend to generate a lot of discussion and other interactivity.


4. Do a Facebook search.


Here you search your niche’s broad keywords (such as “bodybuilding”) into Facebook’s search box. Then check out the following and take notes:


  • What groups are popular in your niche?

  • What topics are popular within these groups?

  • What pages are popular in your niche?

  • What topics are popular within these pages?

  • What trending topics are popular in your niche?


5. Browse popular blogs in the niche.


Next, now go to the popular blogs in your niche and take note of the following:


  • Which topics tend to come up repeatedly on these blogs?

  • Which topics get a lot of comments?

  • Which topics tend to get a lot of social media love? (Likes and shares.)

  • Which topics are popular according to the blog’s “top posts” rankings or word cloud?


6. Check article directories.


Article directories have lost favor over the past 10 years, especially as a tool for marketers to get love from the search engines. However, you can still use these directories to generate ideas. Simply go to a site like EzineArticles.com, and browse your niche category to get plenty of new ideas.


7. Go to video-sharing sites.


This includes the video course site Udemy.com, as well as general video-sharing sites such YouTube.com and Vimeo.com. Run a search for your niche keywords, and then take note of the following:


What are the most popular videos (or courses) in your niche?

Which ones get a lot of comments?

Which topics catch your eye?

Which topics seem to crop up repeatedly over time?


8. Search SlideShare.net.


As the name suggests, this is a site where people can upload their slide shows. You can search this site to get a sense for what is popular. There are two ways to do this:


1. Browse the front page, which shows you today’s top slide shares. You’ll be able to see how many people have viewed and “liked” the slide share.


2. Search for your niche keywords. Again, you can look at clues such as the number of likes to determine what is popular in your niche.


So first off, write down all the slide shares from the front page whose topic interests you. Be sure to also list the views/like data (interaction) so you know what’s popular later on when you do market research.


Secondly, search for your niche keywords, and write down the topics that catch your eye. Again, be sure to note the interaction numbers for later reference.


Now that you’ve generated a big list of potential topics, your next step is to sort through your list and pull out the ideas that really appeal to you. These are the ones that you’ll validate in the next worksheet.