There seems to be two camps of people when it comes to choosing a topic when creating a product. There are those who already have a topic in mind and really don’t want to stop to do any digging or research beforehand—they’re sure their idea is a good one. Then, there are those who research, research, research. They stew over this topic idea and that topic idea and are ultimately unsure of which to go with.
I’m going to make an argument that you should be somewhere in the middle. The problem with those who get an idea in mind and just run with that topic is that they most likely won’t know if it’s truly a great, profitable topic. You might spend all this time working on a product only to find that it’s not a good topic at all.
Just because you’re interested in a topic or idea doesn’t mean other people are. And, even if they are interested in learning more about the topic, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to pay for information about it.
So, of course it’s a good idea to do some digging and research. The problem comes in when you stew over the decision and feel lost. You feel paralyzed and aren’t sure which way to go. You ask yourself too many questions. You stay stuck in the decision making process without moving forward to the actual product creation part of the process.
What if you move forward and the idea isn’t profitable after all? What if you move forward and another idea would have been more profitable?
You can’t live life that way. If we had a crystal ball, we could say with absolute certainty whether something would be profitable or whether one topic would be a winner over another. We don’t have a crystal ball, though, so we have to go with our best guess.
Stay away from analysis paralysis. Stay away from not doing any research at all. Find that happy medium.
Choosing the Right Topic
If you choose the wrong topic, you might not get any interest in your product or make money. That would be a huge waste of time.
You also have to make sure you choose a topic you’re passionate enough about to work on. I think you’ll be a lot more likely to follow through and actually create the product if it’s something you’re drawn to and knowledgeable about yourself. If you aren’t already knowledgeable about the topic, it should be something you’re drawn to research for one reason or another.
I’ll assume that you’re into product creation for the long haul. You don’t plan to just create this one product and be done with it. You’ll create many products over time. That’s another reason why I believe you should choose a topic you actually care about.
Make sure it’s profitable, popular, and that you can find a unique angle to tackle with your product. Not only that, but make sure there are other product ideas you can tackle under the same general niche.
Do Your Homework
I’ll assume you’ve chosen a general niche at this point. Do some preliminary brainstorming as to which specific topic you can go with.
Write down all of your ideas. At this point, you aren’t going to censor yourself much, if at all. Just write down any topics that come to mind—you might be surprised about what you come up with.
Remember—don’t just go with these brainstormed ideas. It’s definitely important to do some research after this brainstorming stage.
Follow The Leader
One of the best things you can do to shortcut your own success is to investigate what’s already out on the market that’s doing well. Find the bestselling products in your niche.
What are the common themes and patterns? There are peaks and valleys when it comes to sub-niches within more general niches. Sometimes subtopic A will be ‘hot’ and sometimes subtopic B will be ‘hot.’ Figure out what’s hot right now. Figure out what’s more evergreen and is always in demand.
This kind of research is valuable in multiple ways. It’s valuable because you get to see what’s selling well and make sure you know the current landscape of your niche. It’s also valuable because you’ll get a sense of the marketplaces for your niche. You have to know your audience and know where they shop, in addition to knowing what other product creators have out on the market.
Checking For Interest
Check to make sure there’s interest in the subtopic you think you’re going to go with. I mention ‘subtopic’ because you’ll generally want to go with a narrower topic rather than a general topic. That’s something we’ll go more in depth about later.
Is there buzz about the topic on social media? Are people talking about it on forums? How about private groups on the web?
Buzz is a good thing. Questions are a good thing. People should be chatting about the topic, debating about the topic, and asking questions about the topic. Wherever lots of people in the niche are ‘hanging out’ on the web, that topic should be a big point of discussion.
Checking For Profitability
It’s not enough that the topic is popular, it should also be profitable. Go back to the marketplaces you’ve been digging through. What’s selling? You can often get a feel for this by looking at the bestseller lists.
People have to be spending money on products related to a topic. If they aren’t already spending money on related products, they probably won’t spend money on the product you’re thinking of creating. Make sure the money is there before you commit to creating a product.
Finding a Unique Angle
You’ve done some investigating into existing products. You know what’s hot. Is there something the other products are missing? You can fill that gap.
It’s always important to stand out. You don’t want your product to look the same as all the other products out there. Make it stand out by taking a unique angle or presenting it in a new way. Brainstorm a unique angle to take that will still capture interest and you think has a really solid chance of selling well.
Broad or Narrow?
When you consider your exact topic and the unique angle you’ll take with that product, you have some decisions to make. Will you go broad with that topic or break it down even further to go narrow?
This decision depends on what the market wants and will bear. It also depends on how big of a product you want to create.
If you’re writing a report or shorter ebook, then you’ll want to go very narrow. That means choosing a very specific subtopic or even a subtopic within that subtopic. The one-problem, one-solution model works well for this.
If you want to create a more extensive, blockbuster of a product, you’ll go broader. Still, you can typically stand out more if you’re more exact and specific in targeting a subset of a niche with your topic idea.
Choose a Great Topic and Win
After you’ve chosen your topic, it’s important to move forward with it. You can’t always be sure, but you’ve done what you can to ensure you’ve chosen a great topic for your product. Do this research and be smart about choosing a topic. You’ll win out over those who move forward without investigating their idea first. As a product creator, you want to maximize your time and your profits and this definitely helps you do that.