Associated Content Tip of the Day 31 Oct 2007: More on Topic Focus


The Associated Content Tip of the Day for 18 Oct 2007 was Topic Focus.  There I suggested that contributors to AC need to slice their topics into finer and finer details.  Doing so will prevent the dreaded “topic to general” rejection from AC.  Since writing that, several have asked me privately for more examples of “topic slicing.”

The first thing that came to mind was to send them over to ST’s page at Associated Content.   ST has been around the block with AC since joining back in July 2006.  He’s an ex-lawyer (thank God for the ex part) and now a full-time freelance writer.  More over ST is the king of topic slicing.  He has mastered the skill of devolving a generalized topic into articles that focus on one, tight aspect.  This is what AC is looking for and ST has figured out how to sell it to them.

Take the topic of horses.  Seems pretty hum-drum and not dollar-worthy until you start thinking about all the different things you have to know when you own a horse.  Obviously, riding comes to mind first, but when you start slicing care, feeding, training, buying, selling, and other horse-related necessities, a plethora of articles fall out.

Here’s a sample of what ST did with his horse sense.

  1. Equine Escape Artists: How to Keep Your Horse Contained
  2. Deworming Your Horse
  3. 7 Time-Saving Tips for Horse Shows
  4. Tips for Buying a Horse on the Internet
  5. Top Five Horse Breeds for Jumping
  6. Tips for Selling Your Horse on the Internet
  7. Trail Riding Safety: How to Enjoy Horses Safely on Vacation
  8. Horse Owner Tips: How to Choose a Dressage Saddle
  9. Tips for Traveling with Your Horse in the Summer
  10. Horses & ATV Safety: Riding on a Shared Trail
  11. Stable Management Tips: How to Reduce Dust at the Barn
  12. Is Your Horse Trailer Road-Worthy?
  13. How to Find a Quality Barn & Breakfast
  14. Horse Care Tips – Returning a Broodmare to Work After Foaling
  15. Should You Let Friends and Family Members Ride Your Horse?
  16. Horseback Riding Students: How You Can Get Credit for High School P.E. Classes
  17. What’s Your Horse Saying? – Interpreting Horse Language
  18. Teaching Your Horse “Whoa”: How to Stop Your Horse on a Dime
  19. Tips for Riding Your Horse on the Street
  20. Stable Maintenance Tips: Win the Battle Against Summer Stable Flies
  21. Why Horses Kick
  22. How to Safely Pasture-Board Your Horse During the Summer
  23. You Can Lead a Horse to Water – Perfect and Easy Equestrian Drink
  24. How to Store Hay for the Winter
  25. Tips on Developing Proper Head Carriage in the Green Horse
  26. Why Does Your Horse Have a Sore Back?
  27. Equestrian Sports Guide: Preparing for Your First Combined Training Event
  28. Is Your Senior Horse at Risk for Heaves?
  29. Night Rides: Trusting Your Horse’s Night Vision
  30. Understanding Your Horse’s Hearing
  31. How to Disinfect a Foaling Stall
  32. How to Handle Horse Head Injuries
  33. Alternative Healthcare for Horses
  34. How to Wrap Your Horse’s Hoof
  35. Does Your Horse Need Horseshoes?
  36. Equine Insurance: How Valuable is Your Horse?
  37. Keeping Your Horse’s Coat White
  38. How to Get Your Horse Used to Clippers
  39. How to Stop Your Horse from Rearing
  40. How to Care for Your Horse’s Abscessed Hoof
  41. How Race Horses Are Trained
  42. Top Five Horse Breeds for Children
  43. Does Your Child Need a Pony or a Horse?
  44. When You Should Call the Vet for Your Horse
  45. Guide to Colic Surgery for Horses
  46. Turn Your Love of Horses into a Career
  47. How to Improve Your Horse’s Style Over Fences
  48. Improve Your Horse’s Balance with Counter Canter
  49. Caring for Your Horse’s Boots & Wraps
  50. Leg Protection Options for Young Horses
  51. Does Your Horse Need a Chiropractor?
  52. Recognizing Learning Ability in Horses
  53. Tips for Medicating Your Horse
  54. How to Choose Hay for Your Horse
  55. Top Horse Stables in Houston, Texas
  56. How to Desensitize Your Horse
  57. Does Your Horse Need a Martingale or Tie-Down?
  58. Teach Your Horse to Bow, Paw and Perform Other Cool Tricks
  59. Does Your Horse Cross-Fire?
  60. How to Properly Clean a Horse’s Stall
  61. Does Your Horse Sweat Enough?
  62. How to Handle a Stallion
  63. How to Catch a Horse in the Pasture
  64. Should You Board Your Horse or Build Your Own Barn?
  65. Tips for Riding Your Horse Bareback
  66. How to Increase Your Horse’s Agility
  67. How to Choose a Bit for Your Energetic Horse
  68. How to Lunge Your Horse
  69. How Much Should You Pay for Horse Training?
  70. How to Keep Your Child Safe for Horseback Riding Lessons
  71. Introduction to Endurance Horseback Riding

That’s 71 articles all centered around horses, but each with it’s own very tightly focused theme.  Why is this important?

  • You only have 400-800 words to really get your point across.  More than 1,000 and you’ll probably lose your reader.  Staying on target with a tight theme will wrap up your article quickly.
  • With the keywords in your title, you’re going to be picked up in more searches. It is unlikely that someone goes to Google and types “horse.”  It is likely that they type “horse stable clean” or “cleaning horse stables”.
  • AC can place ads more easily when you have tight topics.  It gives AC the ability to put not only ads for horse care, but horse equipment, training, veterinary services, etc.  If AC can’t place ads, therefore not make money with your article, they won’t pay you for it.

I hope this example shows the importance of mincing your ideas down to tiny bits.  Once you have pieces, it is easy to assemble a article that AC will pony up the bucks for.  (yes, you may groan at the pun).

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5 Comments

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  1. Steve Thompson (ST) October 30, 2007 — 13:13

    Thanks for the plug! Of course, I have to give my daughter credit for a large portion of those article ideas. She’d the equine expert in our family, and also my muse.

    It’s really great that you take time out of your day to write tips for us CPs. And this one is quite timely, considering the latest discussions in the forums. Hope it helps someone make more money.

  2. That’s a lot of minced horsemeat!

  3. Hello
    I’ve just registered at the forum. This is my first message.
    Please don’t become angry about me.
    Thank you.

  4. What is the best CMS to choose?

  5. This is the perfect way to break down this intromafion.

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