One of the best ways to increase your views and potential earnings exponentially is to start getting in the habit of doing keyword research on all of the topics you decide to write about. There is a ton of things that go into keyword research and that's why many people are intimidated by it and would rather just write naturally.
Keyword research can sometimes give you a headache, but it's always well worth it in the end. I don't claim to be an expert, but I have definitely spent many moons studying this topic and I am confident that I know more than most people (except jcmayer777). Without making this too technical of a read, I will help you on your way to increasing your InfoBarrel earnings by using simple techniques that you may not have thought of, as well as clear up some of the common misconceptions there are out there.
Choosing a Topic
Before you do anything, you obviously need to choose a topic. The great thing about InfoBarrel is that you can write about anything you want, just so long as it's appropriate of course. As an easy example for me to explain since I just wrote about it, let's say YOU wanted to write about BBQ grills.
After deciding on your topic, in this case, BBQ grills, now comes the fun part. Google has this wonderful tool called the Keyword Tool External. This free and easy tool is made for advertisers who use AdWords to run advertising campaigns, the same ones you earn money off of when someone clicks on them through your article. However, you can also use this keyword tool to your advantage by finding out exactly what people are searching for.
UPDATE: The Google Keyword Tool External has changed since writing this article. However, you can still get back to the old interface by clicking on the link in the top-right area of the new Keyword Tool page. The old one, in my opinion, is better for content producers like us. The new one is probably best for advertisers.
Doing Keyword Research
Go to the keyword tool and simply type in "BBQ grills" and the security code and hit the "Get Keyword Ideas" button. Now you should see a huge list of words along with columns of numbers and bars. All those words are search queries that are used by people just like you, that are related to the term "BBQ grills".
You should also see 2 drop down menus. On the drop-down menu towards the top you will want to scroll down to "Show Estimated Average CPC". On the lower one you will need to select "Exact". It's important that you do this every time you go to do keyword research. The exact option is crucial to finding to best keywords for your topic.
The first column displays the list of related and similar keywords. The second column displays the average cost per click for each ad that is triggered by that set of keywords, the third column shows advertiser competition for that set of keywords, while the last 2 columns show monthly search volumes from all Google-powered search boxes on any website.
The key to finding the best keywords for your topic is to look for ones that have a Global Monthly Search Volume of anywhere from 300-1000. If you know how to use SEO techniques, then you could probably get away with looking in the range of 1000-2000. These are good options because there probably isn't very much competition for them from other websites, making it easier for you to rank high on search results for those keywords.
Checking the Competition
Now for the competition. After finding a keyword in the range of 300-1000 searches/per month, you'll need to see if it's worth your time by checking out how much competition it has. This is where a very common misconception starts to come in. Many people will tell you that you need to look at the bars on the Keyword Tool to determine your competition. While this does work in many cases, it's not fool-proof, and here's why.
That column is actually for the advertisers who are bidding on these keywords to display their ads on either Google search results or ad units like here on InfoBarrel. Those bars are not there for article writers like ourselves - all they do is show the competition of other advertisers.
A low bar means that there will only be a few relevant ads on your AdSense unit because there will only be 2-6 different companies bidding on that set of keywords, while a more full bar will represent upwards of 10-20+ different companies fighting to be displayed on your ad unit or on Google Sponsored Search Results. Nevertheless, you as an article writer do not need to pay too much attention to this column as it is really only for advertisers. However in many cases a low bar will be a good one to check out since it's so unappealing to everyone else.
If you really want to check your competition, you need to go to Google.com and perform a special type of search. So let's say you scrolled down the Keyword Tool and noticed the keyword phrase "BBQ grills for sale". It has a Global Search Volume of 1300, which is a little high if you don't write with SEO, but we'll use it anyway.
After getting on Google you're going to do what's called an allintitle: search. These are searches that only retrieve content that have, whatever words you want, in the title. So for this example you would type in "allintitle:"bbq grills for sale". You will see (at least at the time of writing this) around 533 results. This is a great set of keywords for you to use, as anything below 1,000 results means you have relatively low competition and a high chance of ranking on the first 2 or 3 pages right away for that specific set of keywords. So now you can still write about BBQ grills, but you would make your title and theme "BBQ Grills For Sale".
More Keyword Research
Now you could stop there and just write your heart out about BBQ grills for sale and still rank pretty well for that keyword phrase, or you could take it a step further and type in "BBQ grills for sale" on the Keyword Tool External and see what other kinds of words you can add in your article to pull in more traffic.
Additionally, or optionally, you could just use the Google search box. If you type that keyword phrase in quotes on the Google search box, it will automatically give you a drop-down menu of popular related versions of "BBQ grills for sale". For this example you will see quite a few, like "used BBQ grills for sale", and "charcoal", "custom", "engine", and so on. If you want to pull in traffic from people searching THOSE terms, then you simply need to add those extra words into your article a few times.
There are plenty of other things that go into keyword research, but implementing these simple strategies will get you awesome results as it is. The best part is, as InfoBarrel continues to grow, you will be able to start aiming for keywords that have higher monthly search volumes and competition because InfoBarrel will have more authority on the search engines.