I just read an old article that I had in my files by someone else that said that someday “all research would be done online but all fiction would have to be bought at the book stores.” I laugh after thinking about my book loving 74 year old mother, who now uses an Amazon Kindle. And then I realized that I got some of my best article ideas while looking in the non-fiction aisle and the magazine racks at my local book store. It doesn’t hurt that they also have a great coffee shop in the book store. How can you get relevant content ideas from your local book store, too?
The first place I browse at the book store is in the new releases section. If I find several books all written about the same subject, I know that an executive somewhere realized that this subject was worth investing a portion of his career into the subject. Just a quick look at the back covers should give you some great ideas. As you look at each book try to apply if to your own online business. Make sure that you have a note pap with you to keep track of your ideas and thoughts.
The next area I look is in the business section. What I am looking for here is a little different. I look to see what books look like they have been thumbed through a lot but not bought by anyone. This will tell you one of two things. The book was priced too high for the value that it provided to a lot of interested people. Or it could be that the author was very close to what a lot of people were looking for but did not hit the subject on the head. As you look at it ask yourself what promise the title made. Did the book appear to fulfill this promise? What should he have given the reader? Or did it just not have an answer that was worth the price of the book? This will give you a direction to go with the content that you are going to provide.
A word of caution, before we go any further, books stores have to sell inventory. Do not look for the biggest display of a title of books because it may just be marketing hype to sell a book that did not do as well as expected. Be cautious into reading too much into any inventory level.
Next, I look at books that have cangura been in the best seller list for a longer period of time than the average best seller. It can be about any topic, all you have to do is relate that topic to your business. Yes you can relate literally any topic back to your business. I even use Dr. Seuss as a trainer for my business.
Go to the magazine aisle next to find hot topics. These topics will normally be what has been hot in the last week. Again do not just focus on business and niche titles. Currently the price of fuel is a huge topic. How can I relate that to my online business? I should have a lot more prospects of people who want to work from home because they have taken a pay cut from the pump. It may be the fact that the economy is on a roller coaster and people are looking to save money. Whatever it maybe you can turn the headlines into marketing ideas for you business no matter what you do.
The last place I look is at the coffee shop in the book store. I quickly glance and see what other people are reading while they a enjoying their favorite brewed hot beverage. I tend to skip the ones drinking ice coffee, there is a lot to be said for taste and I don’t know if I could work with an iced coffee drinker. Then I look to see what magazines have been left behind. Again looking at the value question or if it didn’t supply the answer question to decide. All the time taking notes as I buy a cup of coffee. I will also ask the cashier or barista what magazines and books everyone is buying today.