The importance of good research
Carrying out thorough research ensures that you have an accurate blog post and the content is interesting and useful to the reader. The more facts, statistics and new information you can offer compared to competitors, the more likely you are to win a bigger readership.
Even if you know your subject inside out, it pays to research facts and figures to make sure the information you give is up to date and correct. If you misquote a source or give incorrect information, you could open yourself up to problems. Depending on your industry, you could be breaking industry regulations or compliance. If you have written something about someone that is false and perceived as damaging to their reputation, you could be accused of defamation and get caught up on libel charges.
Top tips for carrying out research effectively
Plan your research before you start
Ask yourself what questions you want answering. Having a clear plan for the information you need to find will help you keep your research on track.
Magazines and books
Magazines and books around your chosen subjects provide a wealth of information. You can pick the most relevant sections and use the information for your blog.
Online searches are a quick and easy way to get the information you need. Just be wary of the sources as not everything on the internet is true. If you aren’t using a reputable source then check your findings against other sites to make sure your information is correct.
Government websites are reputable sources of information. If you need to research laws and legislation then government websites are a great place to start.
There are a wealth of academic research papers and reports available to draw information from for your blog posts. You can use Google Scholar to search published papers.
Conduct interviews with experts on the subject you are writing about. They can provide unique insights and add extra credibility to your blog post.
Other people’s research and studies
You can use papers and research findings from other companies if you reference your source. The easiest way to do this is to include a hyperlink back to the original source.
Stay on track
It can be very easy to get distracted when researching. If you come across interesting materials that aren’t related to the subject you are writing about, bookmark them and go back to them at a later stage. Don’t let yourself go off on a tangent with your research otherwise, you may spend hours reading and be no closer to writing your post. If you want to research effectively you need to stay on track.
How to use your research effectively
Present information clearly
Put information in a way that makes sense and that is accessible to your target audience. If your subject is complex and you are trying to simplify it for your audience then use concise language. Analogies can also be an effective way of explaining something.
Make sure it is accurate
Check your facts before you publish. There are several websites that allow you to check your information is accurate:
Link to sources when necessary
If you are using other people’s research or quoting a source then you should attribute correctly. Hyperlinks are the easiest way to reference your source as the reader can click straight through.
How to cite sources & not steal people’s content on the internet by Hubspot, goes into more detail on how to correctly cite sources.
Make your blog post unique
Don’t just rehash information you have found. Present it in a new and interesting way. Put your own spin on the topic or get experts to give their views and insights.
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