About this workshop
Niche-hunting, Keyword selection, and Category determination is the most critical part of your book journey. Finding profitable, underserviced niches are the key to maximizing your income and turning your low-content books into consistent money makers.
You may sit here and be thinking that you know the niche you want to be in because your book is a spacecraft coloring and activity book. There might be one business killing issue with that plan. If that niche has too many strong ranking books doing a lot of sales, you might have little chance of walking in and ranking anywhere that will get you sales. Similarly, that niche may have no demand and not enough interest to support a book.
It is far from simple, but it is not rocket science and there is a method. First off, you need to research your chosen niche and the different shoulder niches. A shoulder niche would be a similar niche or subniche. Reasearch the different topics all around your topic and list them out.
You may find a better shoulder niche to start in, rank, be able to obtain top seller status and then leverage that success to move into your more competitive niche. Amazon will reward your successes with ranking you better across all of your categories. This lesson is about all of the different sites and places that you should use to explore your niche and get to know your potentuial audience.
There are many ways to uncover hot niche markets. We will go over many different sites and methods.
You may know or think you know what you want to do and or how. Is that based on your opinion or things you know for a fact? Do the numbers and facts support it? You need to decide how important creating profit is to you. If it is crucial, at the very least, qualify and quantify your ideas and make sure the actual items in that category are producing the numbers that you want.
We will review many sites and methods, but all roads lead back to Amazon since that's where we'll be publishing our low-content books. These methods work. Regardless of whether you plan to publish via Lulu.com, Etsy, or other publishing houses, you should consider using Amazon to gauge profitability and overall demand.
PRO TIP: The key to making all of this work is taking excellent notes during the next three lessons. Use the Book Research Master provided via a link at the end of the previous lesson. With each lesson, keep track of potential niches, categories, and keywords. The better your notes, the easier it will be to target the right sub-niches, build a list of multiple targets, and even create your listing later on. As we bring it all together, we will visit the book pages of the top-selling books. The structure of their listing, description, cover, and interior will help you create a snapshot to design a better listing for your book.
Take a step back for a minute and ask yourself, where would a die-hard fan find like-minded people and groups to join? There are lots of answers to that question... Facebook Groups, YouTube, Forums, influencers on Instagram, Pinterest feeds, Reddit, and many others. This is precisely how we will start our search as well.
Listed below are a few places I suggest visiting to find die-hard fans who will gladly buy low-contentbooks, (or just about anything involving their passion or interests!):
Facebook Groups - https://www.facebook.com/groups . This is, by far, one of the easiest ways to find hot niche markets. Look for groups that are very specialized and have 200 or more members. When you first arrive at a group, before joining, it will show you the number of new members and how many messages have been left in the last 30 days. This is a clear indication of group activity.
Facebook’s Audience Insights - https://www.facebook.com/ads/audience_insights You can also dig deeper into niche markets by using Facebook’s Audience Insights tool.
While Page Insights provides information about your current audience , Audience Insights helps expose information about potential audiences to target. You can expand your reach and potentially create new business with this information.
For example, let’s say that I own a French Press Coffee Pot business. I sell French Presses online. I’ve had much success targeting programmers and teachers because they consume a lot of coffee. I read an article that mentioned Amazon sellers as being quite fanatical about their coffee. I need to target Amazon sellers with my social ads. Using Audience Insights , I can find a way to target them:
If it weren’t for Audience Insights, I might not have ever known who or what any of them were to target them.
Instagram - http://www.Instagram.com Owned by and connected to FaceBook, you can quickly check popular categories on Instagram. Locate groups and influencers by searching relevant hashtags. Hashtagify.me and For Display Purposes Only are great sites to get your hashtags from.
Forums: https://www.boardreader.com This was our social media before FaceBook and is still a fantastic source for many, many categories. Board Reader is a forum search engine and can point you in the direction of forums that serve your audience. HINT: Forums are a great source of high value targeted audiences. The right forum can have 100k die-hard members. Influencer marketing online got its start in the forums.
Subreddits : https://www.reddit.com/subreddits/ Subreddit Search: https://www.reddit.com/subreddits/search This is a great way to identify subniches with people who may be a viable audience for your books. Redditors are different from your average social media user. Studies show that most Reddit users are not on other social media channels. Subreddits are niche-based communities. Browsing subreddits can provide you with an instant snapshot of hot topics and trends.
Reddit Enhancement Suite: http://redditenhancementsuite.com/features It’s a free tool that makes it easy to filter out irrelevant keywords and older posts.
PRO TIP: Are you a shiny object chaser? Use all of these to monitor trending groups. What will be tomorrow's new cult classic? Trending groups, subreddits, etc are a great way to get a good idea of something that might be worth creating something for.
Etsy : http://www.Etsy.com Etsy is a great place to find hot products and markets. Etsy has a 10% review rate. Identify hot products by multiplying the review count by 10 to give you an idea of the type of sales they could be doing. You can also quickly pick out popular printables being sold and create journals around those in-demand templates.
Google : http://www.Google.com You can use Google’s search bar in the same way that you use Amazon’s. In addition to the actual search results, Google provides other areas on the results page that contain additional valuable information.
Auto-Suggest: You get information from the auto-suggest dropdown as you type in your search. The search volume numbers that you see are from a free chrome extension called Surfer SEO .
People Also Ask: This is your target audience telling you precisely what is essential to them.
Searches Related To...: This represents semantically similar searches that Google is aware of.
Google Trends: https://trends.google.com/trends If you want to be notified when specific search terms are used so you can figure out how popular a keyword phrase is, Google Trends is your tool.
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com YouTube is another excellent place to investigate your niches as well as do some marketing yourself. For example, let's say you are creating a journal with writing prompts for teenage girls. You haven't niched it down further yet because this is your template. Search YouTube to see if there are videos about writing journals with prompts for teenage girls.
If so, great, how many views, subscribers, etc... If not, it is an excellent opportunity for you to connect with your potential audience. I'd consider creating multiple videos about it with possibly some examples of types of prompts and/or examples of some of the things they can write about. Of course, I would have a younger woman do the videos, someone they could relate to, etc...
Talkwalker Alerts: https://www.talkwalker.com/alerts Talkwalker Alerts are free and are similar to Google Alerts on steroids. Monitor the web, social media, forums, and now Twitter(new) for keyword mentions, brand mentions, competitor mentions, or articles. There are many ways to use this. I am very aware of people who base their entire marketing strategy solely on alerts and are extremely wealthy from the business generated.
Answer the Public: https://answerthepublic.com/ Answer The Public leverages and scrapes Google search data from the 'Auto-Suggest', 'People Also Ask', and 'Searches Related To' sections from the search results, as shown above in the Google search image.
They provide it in a graphical format, as shown in the image. If you would prefer a list, click the word 'Data' as indicated by the green arrow. Either way, a full file can be downloaded as a CSV.
Pinterest : http://www.Pinterest.com A favorite hot spot for niche research and keywords based on popular tags, similar to Instagram! You can start by entering your primary keyword phrase and see where it takes you, but the better way is by browsing the categories and niching down from there. Pinterest will populate your screen with the most popular searches, providing you with better insight as to what people are interested in.
InstaFreebie : http://www.InstaFreebie.com This tool is used to run giveaways and build your tribe of readers if you are into giving up your margins. A better use is it to research potential low-content niches! To find potential niches, look at the weekly giveaways. Look for popular book trends and then think about ways you could create covers geared towards those genres.
Don’t infringe on anyone’s trademark! Instead of using an illustration featuring James Bond 007 (that’s a definite no-no), you could create a journal cover for fans of spies and thrillers. Then either use regular lined-interior pages or customize them to include some cool quotes about 007 like "Shaken Not Stirred." Did you think I was going to get all cliche and say, Harry Potter?
As you can see by now, there are many places where for ideas and clues of what is popular and has potential. If you visited the sites on this page as you read through this and took notes, the amount of info you now have might be a substantial.
By the time we are done with these lessons, you should have enough information for all of the different additional niches to target with your base template.
Next, we begin to delve deeper into keywords. I must assume you are beginning to see where you are going with your book, but if not, continue and watch as it unfolds in front of you.
Finding the best keywords for your book doesn't have to take much time. The goal is to uncover 10-15 keyword strings commonly used by potential readers and then use them within your book listing and other areas that all work towards triggering Amazon's algorithms.
To start, Amazon allows you to include up to 7 keywords for every book you publish. These keywords are entered when you create your book listing via your KDP dashboard. Without targeted keywords, no one will find your books, and without proper category placement, no one will understand your brand.
Keywords are often underutilized or misused by authors, just like on the product side, which results in their books not being seen by readers. Just like .com, you have frontend and backend keywords.
Publisher Rocket and KDspy are both paid research software that is very effective and produce results. Publisher Rocket runs roughly 100$ for a lifetime license, and Kdspy is $47. In my opinion, either is well worth the expense if you plan on launching more than a couple of books and continuing.
For those that want to research without software, we will go through the manual method here. Honestly, regardless of using software or not, we typically will verify any information provided by the software to double-check the results.
Before we jump into this, I want to show you something that I came across. The first part of the examples below will use a search for journaling for weight loss. Last week when I ran it I got the following as the top 5 results: 1. 100 MORE Days of Weight Loss: Giving You the Power to Be Successful on Any Diet Plan by Linda Spangle | Apr 12, 2018
2. Breaking Free: 90 Day Weight Loss Journal for Christians by Tracie Rollins and Bible Journaling Ministries | Jun 13, 2019
3. Start Where You Are Weight Loss Playbook by Shelli Johnson | Jan 1, 2020
4. 100 Days of Weight Loss: The Secret to Being Successful on Any Diet Plan by Linda Spangle | Sep 2, 2007
5. Hello New Me: A Daily Food and Exercise Journal to Help You Become the Best Version of Yourself, (90 Days Meal and Activity Tracker) by Happy Books Hub | Feb 24, 2018This week, those books were in the results, but they didn't start until #15. The first 14 books were all variations of:
1. Keto Journal: Green Blue Yellow Leaves Food & Fitness Journaling, Weight Loss, Diet and Exercise, Daily Activity and Motivation Log Book (Keto Diet Journals) by Health Management Publications | May 27, 2020
2. Keto Journal: Pink Green Cactus Succulent Food & Fitness Journaling, Weight Loss, Diet and Exercise, Daily Activity and Motivation Log Book (Keto Diet Journals) by Health Management Publications | May 27, 2020
3. Keto Journal: Pastel Blue Pink Flowers Food & Fitness Journaling, Weight Loss, Diet and Exercise, Daily Activity and Motivation Log Book (Keto Diet Journals) by Health Management Publications | May 28, 2020
4. Keto Journal: Pastel Pink Blue Roses Flowers Food & Fitness Journaling, Weight Loss, Diet and Exercise, Daily Activity and Motivation Log Book (Keto Diet Journals) by Health Management Publications | May 28, 2020
5. Keto Journal: Green Pink Leaves Palms Food & Fitness Journaling, Weight Loss, Diet and Exercise, Daily Activity and Motivation Log Book (Keto Diet Journals) by Health Management Publications | May 27, 2020
A total of 14 variations of the same book? The only differences were the covers, the prices, and the colors listed in the titles. Why am I pointing this out? All of these books target the same niche, category, and keywords. Whom are they competing against? Themselves, how lame is that?
How should these books be positioned not to become a waste of time?Keto Journal for Busy New MomsKeto Journal for Active Business WomenKeto Journal for MompreneursKeto Journal for When You Think You Are Too Busy To Journal
While these books may still appear in some searches, choosing high search volume niched audiences will guarantee that they will also each cater to a particular group.
Some books are $1 more than others, yet there is no difference from one to the next, including the inside pages and descriptions. Why are they ranking at the top of the search results? The infamous 'honeymoon period'. The honeymoon period refers to the time before Amazon understands what your product is, what it should rank for etc.
In this case Amazon ranked it because the exact words (journaling, weight, loss) I searched are in every title and you will notice on last weeks search, journaling is not in any title. Journal is a noun, journaling is a verb.
Too keep it simple, recap, and provide clarity...Target 14 different niches with 14 books, not 1 niche with 14 books!
Keywords depend on the genre you choose to publish in.
PRO TIP: NEVER PUT THE WORD "KINDLE" INTO YOUR BACK OFFICE. Amazon will email you to take it out.
The results of what I found with the increased focus on the words journaling led me to a dead end. These terms go nowhere because they are all saturated. No, that doesn't mean that there is no use in pursuing books; it means we have to be smarter than most of them.
What is it that you do in Ecommerce? What is the vision for your business? I'd hope it is some variation of providing solutions to people with a specific need for help with an issue. The primary phrases being they need help, you provide answers. So let's turn this into results. Daily nutrition journal for adults with dyslexia. Meal planner and tracker for kids with dyslexia. Dyslexia has been linked to nutrition and diet.
The term 'help for', returns many different unsaturated niches and has fantastic search volumes. The same goes with 'how to', if we apply that to our niche research if changes everything and finding high volume low competition niches become easier.
The money in Amazon publishing is in the niches. Let us use an example of a Nutrition Book. If it is only targeted at nutrition, you can expect a long, slow ride to the top, similar to driving from Los Angeles to Oregon and stopping in Florida. The riches are in the nitches. If you want to do well, you must drill down much further, target a specific audience, and provide overwhelming value.
Consider this formula: Book Type + Audience + USP or Specific Issue
This formula combines with your keywords, is rock solid and a great way to combine all of the research that you are doing into targetable niches in demand. In an upcoming lesson when we take all of your research and tie it together. I wanted to come back and drop in some information about it to help you understand where we will go with this.
I'm sure those of you that sell products have your preferred keyword tools. The issue is that KDP is just a little different in how you apply them to the account, but gathering keywords is gathering keywords. Many of you might use Helium10 or Junglescout, or who knows what paid tool. I don't, sorry. I use a lot of tools but I use the free versions of all but 1.
Amazon is a sales channel , not the sales channel , so we do not only rely on it for all of our keyword targeting. We use many tools as part of the discovery process and then aggregate everything, evaluate, and assign importance. The only Amazon-specific paid tool that I use and would ever use or recommend is scientificseller.com .
There is a file available on the site called stuffwordswhitepaper.pdf. It explains how to use the site, but it is also a rock-solid method of discovering your keywords for the listing and back end. I recommend any seller to read it and know that it works if you follow it. I use a variation of it myself.
I use many keyword sites. My preference is to start with 20k keyword phrases, but that is another workshop. For this workshop, I started a search on Scientificseller for 'journaling for' as well as on a site called keywordsheeter.com. They both will run overnight, and tomorrow I will have a beyond solid keyword list to add to the other methods here.
I will use that list to check search volume on Google as well as look at which terms are used for google ads. Of those, which are the most profitable? I will specifically look at all of the related terms that have been overlooked and are not bid on. I almost always find high volume terms that produce sales and have been missed, even by Amazon itself.
So what is the result of the process above? For starters, I got over 975 phrases from Scientific Seller . There are multiple ways that I can use these. I can plug them into Helium10 or Publisher Rocket to get search volume and check the competition in the book store. I can build my backend keywords based on keyword frequency on the list.
I think this list is as good as it gets on Amazon, and I rely heavily on results from this tool. I have used and recommended this tool countless times to people that have had excellent results following the process outlined on the site.
Scientific Seller does not provide actual keyword volume. Is this an issue? For me, not at all because I trust the accuracy of Scientific Seller much more than I do software that I know is using stale data and mashing numbers to provide you with results.
Keyword volume does not prove actual clicks to pages and it can be a very elusive number. Some sites like Google present volume as a 12 month rolling average. Some Amazon tools actually use Google volume data and not Amazon data.
Using the BSR calculator and volume wherever you get it from, as a guide and approx. range is the best bet. If a book has a decent BSR, you know it sells. Remember though, BSR is the most manipulated metric on Amazon buy both Sellers and Amazon itself.
I know many sellers use Helium10 and swear by it. It is great software, their data is not real time though and it is very difficult for them to keep all of the code working and up to date with all of the changes on Amazon.
Ahrefs is one of the most reputable web data providers there is. They now provide Amazon volume. Id trust their numbers before even considering trusting V iral Launch, Sonar , H10 or any of the others. But that is personal opinion. Ahrefs is a paid tool but you can get volume for free or take a 7 day trial.
Keywordsheeter - This is a tool that I use to find the opportunity to drive off Amazon traffic to a product or lead magnet. I got a list back of over 15k phrases for my searches performed here. After eliminating all of the phrases that do not apply, I'm left with approx. 35%. I usually get 80% left over for product searches.
From there, I run the list through Google Keyword Planner to get historical search volumes. It also tells me if anyone is currently bidding on Google Ads for these terms. I remove any term presently being bid on and set them aside.
Of the terms left, I have 2 with up to 10k searches a month, 16 with up to 1000 searches a month, 81 with up to 100 searches a month and over 5500 with up to 10 searches a month. I can take these, put them into a Google Ads campaign, bid one or two cents for the phrase, and drive traffic all day long to a list building lead magnet for the book.
I just described the true power and benefit of using long tail targeting. I will use this list to create anticipation before publishing and to drive ranking after publishing at a minimal cost. The power of the longtail is real!
The more information that you build for yourself and data collected, the better positioned you will be to make the best decisions. Listed below is a method that I use with products that enabled me to narrow down some choices quickly. Work smarter, not harder! It is free in the Google Chrome Store. Search the Chrome Extension Store for Asin Seed. I can't post the URL here because it has Chinese lettering in it. When you are on the page of an item, press the icon for the extension. You get what you see in the image below. The results that you get are all of the keyword phrases plus search volume. If you just click copy to clipboard, you won't get the search volume, which defeats the purpose.
Instead, click anywhere in the Asin Seed window, click Control+A, then click Control+C. Next, go to the Book Research Master, Open a new tab. Insert the cursor in cell A2 and press Control+V. Poof Keywords plus search volumes. I use these volume numbers as a guide, I dont trust them as gospel.
The key is to do this for books that are top sellers and are the same as yours or remarkably similar. I would put the title and Asin in cell A1, so you know where the info came from. I decided to research books about creating a prelaunch marketing journal for Amazon sellers.
Something like a 90-day journal leading up to launch day which includes a different 1 hour task everyday that builds out a solid, rebateless launch. So I looked at the small offering of Amazon and FBA books. Running Asin Seed on 3 of them produced the list below.
the first 90 days
top selling items on amazon
first 90 days
make money online
first 90 days book
how to sell on amazon
sell on amazon
how to make money
how to make your money last
question based selling
how to sell on amazon for beginners
business books best sellers 2019
starting a business for dummies 2020
amazon jobs from home
sell on amazon for beginners
These search volume numbers represent searches on Amazon, not just the book area. That ius one reason why I use them as a guide abnd not set in stone gospel.
I would also need to make sure these terms are not saturated with competitors. If they are both clear, I could create a rough draft title like The First 90 Days, Make Money Online, Sell On Amazon FBA In 2020, Step By Step PreLaunch Marketing Plan, Launch with Momentum, and A Bottom Line.
Since the keywords are in the title, I would have a much better chance of ranking for them. For now, I copy them onto the Research Master and continue.
We will cover these other methods in the next few lessons. Have your Book Research sheet handy as you go through the lessons to record the different things that you uncover.
Certain categories on Amazon require certain specific keywords in order to rank in them. If you don't know this and do not use the keyword, you cannot rank in the category at all. I have already mentioned that Amazon is very strict about the children's category keywords. See the table below.
As you can see, I'm not kidding. If you create a journal for 10 year old superman lovers, you will need very specific keywords to rank or be recognized as applying to those topics.
Can you pick out the keywords required? You will need preteen to rank for 9-12 year olds. You will also need superhero, action and/or adventure to rank in the action and adventure or superhero categories.
I speak with book sellers often with children's books that cannot understand why they cannot rank for kids.
The easiest way to find these keyword lists on Amazon is usiing Google. Go to Google search and type in site:kdp.amazon.com categoryname keywords To find the list for children i typed in site:kdp.amazon.com children keywords Notice the space between the words.
I'm instructing Google to only look on the site kdp.amazon.com and find pages containing both the words children and keywords. Not all categories have this requirement, but you should check anyway.
Using my example of a book for FBA sellers yeilded nothing for FBA or marketing, but for site:kdp.amazon.com business keywords , I got the following result on Google Search.
Clicking on it brought me to this table for business and money. Do you see any categories or keywords I might use? I see only one Entrepreneurship & Business/Startups. If I ultimately decide I want to be in this category, I must include the word startup or startups.
Cover your butt by checking out the broader categories and sub categories as described above when you get to the decision stage. Did you try any of your potential categories in search yet? If so add the keywords to your data sheet and the categories they align with as well.
PRO TIP: Amazon only allows 7 keywords in the backend of KDP. A comma separates each keyword phrase . Amazon allows 350 characters in the keyword field. Arrange your keywords into longtail keyword phrases. Separate them with a comma but use up as much of the 350 characters as possible. Expect to see this in product search in the not to distant future.
Amazon has specific keywords to avoid and general guidelines you should use when filling out the seven keyword metadata slots for your books. The following list is keywords that will cause delays in your listing process and possibly get your listing suppressed:
You have completed the keyword section. This is a lot of work, I understand. The effort you make now will give back in terms of ongoing sales in the future. Is a bit of work, extra work, worth it to ensure ongoing future sales with little effort needed at that time? That is something that ony you can decide.
Next up is the category research. This is different from the niche research. Category selection can make or break your book sales. Remember selling books is about visability. You need to be able to rank in low competition categories so that you appear on best selling book lists which increases visibility.
The reason for that is your niche may be too competitive to rank in at the broader level, right off the bat. We will use ranking at the granular level of the easier niched down sub-sub categories to drive visability which in turn drives sales and ranking in our broader more relevant categories.
As sales increase, we will use the ranking gains to then break into the ranks of the broader, harder to rank categories. You will research the low competition categories and position your book in them at launch to drive visibility.
Sales velocity is even more important for books than it is for products. Category selection directly impacts sales velocity.
Im assuming that you are starting to get the hint about how important this is to get right. The proper keyword and category choices are how you appear in the results of the right, relevant queries queries.
Amazon now allows you the ability to create and sell all types of books and publishable materials. Many people have done very well in publishing all types of stories and books on the platform. There are many ways to make money.
Print on demand is as cool as it gets. You can upload your material and within a few hours have a book finished. Anyone in the world can order your book within a couple of hours. Amazon handles all printing and splits the profit with you in your favor. Low content books take print on demand to a new level creating what could be a very solid passive income moving forward
First off, understand that we will keep your first book uncomplicated. Low content books can be very easy. However, like anything else, if you get carried away, it can get complicated very fast. The easiest way to help you understand how low content publishing works is to send you to Amazon and look at some examples.
A key component of launching your book successfully if having a mailing list. This lesson walks you through setting up a simple webpage designed to help you build your mailing list starting today.
It is time to get serious! This lesson will be where we create a template from scratch. If you have Powerpoint or Google Slides and follow along, you will have a completed template in about 45 minutes.
Niche-hunting, Keyword selection, and Category determination is the most critical part of your book journey. Finding profitable, underserviced niches are the key to maximizing your income and turning your low-content books into consistent money makers.
We will review many sites and methods, but all roads lead back to Amazon. The goal of this lesson as well as the others in this group are the development of and discovery of all of the details needed to list your book as best possible and set it up for success. This includes positioning it so it receives the most visibility on the platform, provides the best first impression, and makes the potential reader want to read and purchase your creation.
Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t include a full listing of all the categories it offers, so you’ll have to do some digging to find the best categories to list in. It is not a matter of finding the perfectly relevant category at first because the perfect category may be far too competitive for you to have a chance at first.
"To be the best, you have to beat the best" Ric Flair Regardless of whether or not you know who Ric Flair is or anything about him, this statement holds true in sports, business, and a variety of other subjects. The point is if you want to be the best, you must understand exactly what you must beat. The only way to know this is to study your competition.
This lesson will review how to find the right categories to rank in at launch and how to mine your competitor's information for the best categories to rank in as well as other gems.
Does Your Title Say, "Buy Me?" Or "Good Bye"?
Your title is one of the essential things in selling your book. You can have a fantastic book, but if the title doesn't hook people and make people want to buy it, then you'll have a tough time trying to sell it. Your title can make or break your book!
The niches to launch authoritative guides in are wide open. I will show you a bunch of different choices to consider, each in their unique sub-niche. (With very little competition.) These books are all concise: two, four, and six pages.
Choose a niche that interests you and create your guide. You can use a best-selling small book as your example. You can directly 'clone' a bestseller. Alternatively, you can create your original small book. I will explain each method. First things first. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE
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