Thank you, Atish, for this wonderful opportunity to share my thoughts with your readers on TechTricksWorld – I’m very grateful.
Beginning Bloggers sometimes have trouble researching for a topic to use as content – and even those of us who have been in the business for years can get in a rut of using the same methods to research for new and informational topics and content for the meat of the topics.
The Internet is always changing and so are the methods you can use to delve into different ways and means of researching.
Research needs to look like a “family tree” in your mind – the trunk of the tree being the topic heading and the branches and leaves are the content that flows in a creative way.
Plan on spending some quality time in your research for reliable content. Without putting in the time and effort, you’ll come up with drivel which will be scanned and forgotten. You want visitors to your site to stay and read the content to learn something (the topic should pinpoint what they’re going to read).
Billions of web pages are published online each year, but most aren’t worth the time it took to write them. Your research should cover what your topic choice says it will and give the reader a reason to hang around your site – and convert. That means going far beyond “Wikipedia” and the first sites that are offered in your keyword searches.
Here are some valuable tips that you can begin with if you’re new to blogging. It won’t hurt the old-timers to re-visit the steps for effective research either – we do tend to think we know it all sometimes.
- Hard vs. Soft research – Hard research on your part is appropriate if you’re going to be dealing with proven facts and statistics. You’ll need hard evidence to be credible with your readers. Soft research can be used for subjective topics such as “Dieting for Weight Loss.” Readers will be less judgmental if the topic is subjective.
- Use a wide variety of keywords and search engines – Keywords should be from 3 to 5 words in succession to narrow down the subject as much as you can. Keep changing them around to see what different results you get – and if there are several pages of results, go through them patiently to find what you want.
Search engines also vary, so you should try various ones. Google and Ask.com can provide you with a deep pool of resources you can use for your topic/content research.
Select a web browser that’s conducive to easy and excellent research. You’ll want a browser which lets you open several tab pages at a time and one in which you can go backward. The browser also needs to be fast.
- Look for future content – You may think it’s taking forever to pour through all the research your keywords and search engines reveal, but you can make it worthwhile by taking note of research ideas you may use in the future for blog posts and website content.
You can use the method of bookmarking or copy and paste into a file designated for research on a certain topic. You’ll be searching for credible information that can shorten your research time in the future.
- Decide which research is relevant – and which is garbage – This is the most tedious part of research because you’ll have to read and examine the content and then filter it for value.
While this task in researching is tiring, it’s also the most important part because you’ve got to make sure your findings are reliable and can stand up to close scrutiny by your readers.
- Be ready to change your mind as you research – Prepare to have your opinion changed as you research for a topic for your content. You may learn something that makes you want to point the content in a different direction and which will offer your readers better information.
It may be as simple as wanting to change the title of your article or blog post – or you may want to take a different path altogether.
- Never plagiarize and always site your resources – Simply copying and pasting for your content is never a good idea. You can lose all the credibility that you’ve worked so hard to establish.And never publish another blogger’s content without their permission. If this happens to you, here’s how to stop thieves dead in their tracks.
When you use direct quotes from a resource, be sure and give that resource credit for the information you’re providing.
Some considerations you should keep in mind when conducting research on the ‘Net are:
- When you run into a source which is low quality, be aware that it may also contain non-quality information.
- Be skeptical of rave reviews. The consumer, commercial sites sometimes use the best reviews on their websites. Use them as a resource, but not as your only source.
- Beware of “informational” pages that are full of advertisements for particular products which match the content and are there for you to purchase rather than inform.
- Backlinks may also be useful in researching a topic. If you see a backlink in an article you’re reading, you can click on it to see a related web page or blog post to reveal additional information.
The methods for researching with a purpose (for content) may seem boring sometimes and tedious at other times, and you may think you’ll never find what you need – but keep a positive attitude and consider it a “learning” process. Enjoy the process and you’ll find exactly what you need for awesome content for your site.
Let me know your thoughts below.
~ Carol Amato