long_tail_topics_vs_long_tail_keywordsUnderstanding the essentials of long tail marketing is essential for anyone interested in starting an affiliate site.

One of the major sources of confusion surrounding this topic is the difference between long tail topics and long tail keywords. Many new affiliates confuse the two concepts when selecting a niche and beginning to write their first posts.

Topics Are Ideas, Keywords Are Items

The first distinction to make is that topics are ideas while keywords represent specific items.

One way to understand this difference is to think of a long tail topic as a specific content area, rather than a specific post. Long tail keywords, on the other hand, are keywords or phrases that would work well as the title of a single blog post.

A Long Tail Topic is a Group of Long Tail Keywords

If you’re unsure whether your site idea falls into the category of a topic or a keyword, try to think about what, specifically, you might write on.

A good rule of thumb is that long tail topic areas represent a group of long tail keywords for that topic. If you can brainstorm more than 3-5 possible sub-keywords that result from your idea, chances are you’re dealing with a topic, and not a specific keyword.

In general, most people have more trouble narrowing their topic to a manageable size than picking a topic that provides enough content opportunities. The truth is that few niches are too small for a targeted affiliate site, while it is easy to pick a niche that is too large.

For a few examples, see the free niche ideas provided, which are a good reference of how to narrow a broad topic down to a long tail topic, and then read up on how to find good keywords to understand how to narrow your niche topic into a set of relevant blog posts.

You can also click here for more comprehensive free affiliate training.