The prelude to a great piece of writing is always thorough research. Read on to see how the pros at Word Hatter do it.
Writing is a lot of fun. The simple act of putting words to paper (or word docs) can fill you with a joy like no other. However, there are many steps between the ideas in your head and the words you write. One of those steps is vital to the final product, and that is research. Research is key when you need to fill in the gaps of your writing. It helps eliminate flaws and mistakes that your readers might find, it helps support your message, it helps you write with confidence and it lends credibility to your work.
Consider a simple blog post. 500-1000 words. Let’s look at how to research for blog posts. Before we start, it’s important to remember that just the act of researching isn’t enough. You need to do the right research. It needs to be relevant to your topic, add an air of expertise and backup any facts or claims you have made.
Any post you write that includes factual claims, relies on information outside of common knowledge or makes use of statistics, requires thoughtful and thorough research.
Here are some steps to guide you on how to research for blog posts.
The Idea and Shape of Your Post
This is the core of your blog. It’s what you will build your entire piece on. You could either have an idea or topic shared with you (by a client or your boss), or you could have a list of topics ready to be written. Either way, the idea is pretty abstract in the beginning. You need to see its potential. How far you can stretch it? What shape the blog will take? These factors help determine the type of research required.
Research-based blogs typically attract readers through the following titles: Guides, reviews, comparisons, listicles, interviews and expert roundups, case studies tutorials and how-to’s. Depending on which of these forms you choose, you can start to plan your research. Start by decided which form matches the topic, and which will engage the reader. A listicle is excellent for working professionals and a younger audience who may not have the time or attention span to read through a long post. It also means that your research doesn’t need to go too deeply into the topic.
The Ratio of Research
Research can lead you to many places. Some confusing, some contradictory and some complex. Knowing how to research for a blog post, depends a great deal how focussed you are. For instance, as you research keeping asking (or reminding) yourself who this blog is for, why would they care, and what do you want to say to them. Questions like these can keep you focussed on the kind of research you want to include in your blog. It’s so easy to get side tracked or dismayed by the sheer amount of information available. Asking those questions helps cut the clutter and can illuminate what facts you need to add, and what information is irrelevant to your piece. Remember, everyone appreciates meaningful research. No one enjoys paragraph after paragraph of dry, bland or unnecessary facts.
Once you have your idea, the form of the post and your audience, the next step of a well-researched blog is the elements that support your claims. These can include:
- Data and facts from reputed sources
- Well-ranked popular and recent articles about the same topic,
- Quotes from experts in the field or authorised sites.
All three of these options are easily available through a google search. Take down notes for each fact you need to support, and save the sources so that you can include them later on.
You can start outlining your blog post now. For each section, you can include supporting data, comments or quotes next to each section. This will help you in the writing process later, as you won’t need to research each section separately.
If your sources lie outside the internet, write to them, requesting their opinion, or a quote or if they have any suggestions on good reading material. Preparing your research and outline in advance saves you from last minute scrambling. It also shows you how viable your topic is, or if you need to tweak and adjust your idea according to what you find.
Right Research, Right Writing
You have your outline, you have your research, here comes the fun part – it’s time to write. With all of your background work done, you can easily weave together a well-researched and confident post. Try to include relevant keywords, have the blog proofread and then run it through a plagiarism scanner online to make sure you’ve treated your research with respect. Which is to say, you’ve absorbed the facts from the research, instead of blindly copying it.
There you have it! 4 key steps that guide you on how to research for blog posts. Well researched blogs or writing in general can build a sense of trust with your audience. It can introduce you to different perspectives on the same subject. It gives you a sense of confidence when writing (and posting) and you may learn something new and interesting in the course of your research!
At Word Hatter, research the right to research is baked into our bones. We consider it our duty to check, question and back up everything we write. Our team comprises of research experts who dive deep to find and interpret the relevant information for us. It’s how we can confidently claim that we know our stuff. If you’re interested in writing or research, contact us through the details given on our website.