In another thread I asked the question how many articles are needed on a new site to start generating $500 per month in AdSense.
The answer wasn't straight forward, some suggested filling a new site with cheap articles, other suggested concentrating on quality articles. In the end, Shenron, who is a trusted member of NB wrote that in his opinion a new site needs at least 100 good articles if it's going to earn around $500 per month.
But, everyone who answered in the other thread said that keyword research and backlinks are critical. In this thread we're going to focus on asking the AdSense money earners, these are people who are earning at least $500 per month in AdSense from a single site, how they do their keyword research.
There are a lot of free and paid tools for doing keyword research, but to clear away the clutter and make this easy for anyone who wants to copy the big time AdSense earners, how about asking the AdSense experts if they can give some tips on how to use Google's free AdWords Tool, and Wordtracker's free Trends tool.
Both are very powerful tools when used by someone who knows how to find great keywords. Being an amateur, I use Google's tool first, I type in a keyword, phrase, or even a few keywords, and wait for Google to give me a list of related keywords, then I reorder the list based on the highest CPC (Cost per Click).
I know the CPC isn't how much I get paid as an AdSense publisher, but my reasoning is that if advertisers are prepared to pay more then Google will also pay more. I suspect I'm wrong on this, and maybe there is a better way of figuring out how much I'll get paid per click.
After that I go to Wordtrackers free tool, and one after the other I type in the keywords that have the highest CPC. This also gives me a list of related keywords, but if I click the icon next to each keyword I see two bars that can be colored red or green. Wherever possible I look for keywords with two green bars. If two green bars aren't found, then I'm happy to consider a keyword that has a green bar for competition even if the number of visitors for number one is under a hundred. I figure some traffic is better than heavy competition.
I also make a spreadsheet of all the keywords I've found, with columns for CPC, competition, and number of estimated visitors for number one.
So, this question is for the big AdSense earners, the people who earn around $500 per month from a single site, is this a good approach, or is it flawed?
In other words, can you tell us how you do it, if possible using the same tools, or mention another tool that is also free?