Associated Content is an amazing opportunity to make money writing articles. The combination of upfront payments and life-time performance payments will give you the potential to earn hundreds of dollars, if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, making money with Associated Content is more complicated than just writing an article.

In a perfect world, you would be able to sit down and write about the first thing that pops into your head, publish it on Associated Content, and watch as millions of people view your article each month and your earnings pile up. But since we don’t live in a perfect world; you are going to have to learn how to write articles that will draw in readers in the thousands and make you money.

The most important thing to understand with working with sites such as Associated Content is that traffic = money, no traffic = no money. That may sound like common sense, but I’m amazed at how people totally ignore the most basic premise when writing articles for money.

I see talented writers who put together absolutely beautiful articles. I’m talking about the type of quality that you will find in high end magazines. Their words flow effortlessly, they are witty, funny, intelligent. Their articles are crafted with solid content and not just fluff. They are personable, likable. Their articles are almost the definition of perfection. But somehow their articles only get a few visitors, which translates to little to only a few pennies in income.

How is that possible you wonder? Well I’m glad you asked.

They haven’t fully comprehended the simple principal that will allow them to be successful on Associated Content: traffic = money. Yes, they did write their articles with the readers in mind. They strive to make their articles as pleasurable a read as possible for their audience, but still they aren’t fully grasping the most fundamental principal: traffic = money. Yes, I will keep repeating it until I drive the point home, being able to understand that truth is what will determine your success on Associated Content.

Traffic = Money. Traffic = Money. Traffic = Money.

So now we come upon a difficult decision that every writer must make. Are you writing for an audience, or are you writing for traffic. When I first began writing, I only had the audience in mind. I quickly realized that writing for an audience and writing for traffic are two totally different things.

When you write for an audience, you only see individual faces. You want to please your readers. That is all fine and dandy and something that every writer should strive for, but it is not necessarily profitable. You have to decide whether you are a writer or if you are writing for money. If you are writing articles to make money, then you should see your audience not as individuals but as groups. You shouldn’t see faces but numbers. It may sound harsh, but it is irrelevant whether or not your readers enjoy your article or not. What is relevant is that they visited in the first place because traffic = money.

Now, I’m not encouraging you to completely forget about trying to please your readers. I’m just trying to get you into the mindset of how to make money writing articles for money. If you are so focused on the quality of your articles then you are still missing the point. Again, I’m not saying quality isn’t important. But the formula is not quality article = money, its traffic = money. So try to broaden your horizon. Try to see more than just what you are writing. Stop analyzing you’re writing and analyzing people. Why? Because traffic equals money, thus people equal money. So instead of asking yourself “How can I write the best possible article,” you should be asking yourself “How can I get the most amount of people to view my article.”

How do you get the most amounts of people to view your article? Great question.

It’s actually quite simple. So simple in fact that it’s amazing more people don’t realize it. The best way to get people to visit your article (because people = traffic = money), is on topics that most people are interested in. Ta da! There is no secret hypnotizing trick. The stars don’t have to be perfectly aligned. You just have to write on a topic that people find interesting. The more people who like the topic, the more chances you have of people potential viewing your article.

So let’s break it down even more with an example just to drive the point home. Karl is an amazingly talented writer, but he has always been fascinated by giant soft-shelled turtles. So he spends all his time writing just fabulous articles that all devoted on the topic of majestic giant soft-shelled turtles. Ben is an average writer. His Associated Content series on football and the world cup is not going to win any literary awards any time soon. Karl, although his articles are technically superior, makes far less money on Associated Content.

Why is that? Because there are only a couple thousand people (I’m assuming) who are truly passionate about giant soft-shelled turtles. However, there are millions and millions of die hard football fans all over the world. So as you can clearly see, because more people are interested in football, the potential of money you can generate is significantly higher.

So now we finally we get to the main point of this article: how to pick an article topic that will be profitable. How to pick an article topic that will have loads of traffic. How to pick an article topic that will people will be interested in.

How can you know what people are interested in? There are a few techniques that I use.

Search engine traffic is probably the easiest way to gauge which topics you should invest in. Why would people search for something they aren’t interested in? The more monthly searches a keyword gets, the more people are interested in that topic. And the word you should be focused on when writing for Associated Content is “potential.” The more people are interested, the more “potential” your site will have to get traffic.

Google is by far the largest search engine so you can pretty much use their results to gauge what would be a good topic or not. I’d advise you to sign up for a Google Adwords account just so you can use their free keyword tracking tools. It allows you to search for keywords and can see the how much traffic many times it is searched for each month.

Another method I use to find topics that people are interested in is looking at billboards and television commercials. If you think about it, these are marketing campaigns that companies are spending billions of dollars on, so they must people that some people are interested in it. These companies spend loads of money each year researching things that will be attractive to their targeted traffic. Why don’t you take advantage of all that research and use it for your articles?
There are many other ways to find popular topics to write articles on: eBay, Amazon, Magazines, etc. But, I’ll let you figure out some ways that work best for you. Cause I haven’t really been completely honest with you. Yes, traffic equal money; however you still need to factor in competition. So when you are looking for a topic to write on, the equation should look something like this: Traffic – Competition = Potential Income. (T – C = PT).

What is completion exactly? Competition is the other web pages and articles that will steal some of that traffic.

So let us look at Karl and Ben again. Karl wrote on giant soft-shelled turtles which isn’t really a popular subject, but he has so few competition that he can be confident that he can get around 60% of the traffic which that keyword generates. Ben on the other wrote articles on football, but there are thousands of other writers who are writing on the same subject. So although football generates millions in traffic each month, Ben can only expect to get less than a full percent of that traffic.

So now picking an article topic has gotten more complex. It is not enough just to pick a topic that is interesting; you have to pick a topic that you can be sure you can take a sizable portion of the traffic stream.

How do you find your competitors? How do you know how you are competing against? Search for your topic in Google and the results on the first page are going to be your major competition that you will have to beat out. If some of the sites have a lot of reputation and branding power such as CNN or an online magazine, then you should stay away from that topic. You need to pick a topic that you can be sure that you will be able to compete against your competitors for a portion of the traffic stream.

If there was such a thing as the “perfect topic,” what would it look like?

1.    It will be on something that is relevant and interesting that people will want to read
2.    It won’t have a lot of big name competitors who will soak up a huge majority of the traffic

But there is one final aspect that you need to take into consideration when choosing a topic to write an article on for Associated Content: longevity. What makes Associated Content special is that they pay you for the lifetime of your article. So when you are picking a topic to write on, you shouldn’t focus only on the now but also on the future.

You may find a topic that is popular and does not have heavy competition, but will people honestly still be interested in it tomorrow, a week down the road, in a year? The ideal article should continue to generate traffic for at least five years down the road. Many topics last much longer than that.

The secret to being successful on Associated Content is to generate high quality articles that pull in a lot of traffic for many years down the road. The more of those articles you write, the more your revenue will grow. The potential is limitless.

Chances are you won’t be able to find the “perfect” topic. But that is alright. As the saying goes, “if you shoot for the moon, you’ll land among the stars.”


Next in Series:
Associated Content - Tips for Writing Articles that People Will Read
How Much Money Can You Make Writing Articles for Associated Content
Associated Content – How to Win an Upfront Payment for Your Article