As a content writer, one of the skills you need to tap into on a daily basis is research. If you don’t get this part right then you will struggle to get your content written in a timely and effective manner. People read what you have written for two main reasons –
- Entertainment – they want to spend their time doing something they enjoy
- Information – they want to learn something from what you have written
The first one comes from your writing style and tone of voice. If you get these right for the client (and don’t forget you will need a separate tone of voice for each client) then point one is covered.
But that leaves the second point – information.
And the question is – how do you get across information?
The answer lies in research. The more research you do, the better you will be able to inform others. Now if this is a subject that you already know a great deal about then this becomes far easier. For instance, if I am writing about retail or estate agency then this is second nature to me. I have worked extensively in both industries and know them inside out.
Other subjects need to spend a lot more time on as they just aren’t within my normal sphere of experience.
How Do You Carry Out Research For Your Content?
If you need to research to write for yourself or others then there are some ways of making sure this works as well for you as possible. Here are our top tips for researching your content –
- Use more than one source. If you rely on only one reference then you can end up just repeating what they have to say or not adding anything to the debate. The web is overfilled with content already so just writing a new piece of content without saying something new doesn’t achieve a lot.
- Split your screen. I really find that the split screen on my laptop changes the way I research. It means that I can do this while I am writing rather than as a separate discipline. This works really well as there isn’t any time lost clicking between one and the other.
- Don’t get hung up. If you get stuck on a particular point then don’t stop there. Move on to something else and then come back to it. In the meantime you might stumble across the right thing when researching something else or the mental block will clear when you are concentrating on something else.
- Know how to use Google. This feels like the most important part to me. If you don’t know how to ask the right questions of Google then you are not going to get the right answers. If the first search doesn’t give you any answers then think about a different way of asking the same question. That will really help you speed up the research.
- Ask others. Many websites have a search facility or chat box. Don’t be afraid to ask the question. If you want to know the answer, then just ask the question! These facilities are there to help – if you feel like you are taking up some of their time then give them some credit when you write the piece.
If research is holding you back then don’t let it! Think about these techniques above and put yourself on the right track to effectively research and turn this into quality content.