Takeaways from This Article
The Starting Point: Blogging and the Power of Interviews
When Linda Dessau of SteamFeed first asked me to share my expertise in researching, I thought an interview would be helpful in starting a relationship an influential author.
I realized how kind and helpful professional writers are, and I boosted my network by connecting with them.
Most importantly, I clarified my research strategies, and continued thinking about how and what I do when I write.
What Research Does for Your Blog
Many entrepreneurs are confident and independent, leading some to believe that outside research sources are no better than their own thinking.
Many times this is true, but I would remind business bloggers and leaders that no matter how important they are, their message will be more potent with research. The minutes or hours you spend will add validity and credibility to what you say, and research will make you more knowledgeable and influential in your field.
Lack of research is almost always seen as a lack of power, effort, knowledge and diversity.
Use research to empower your influence and professional image, because relying on your merits or influence detracts from the face you direct toward the public.
When I start a post, I see research as an act of communication, and not just with my audience, but with writers who have gone before me. I know that others have already written about the topic in some form, and I feel obligated to read at least some of that information.
In-depth reading and citations show your readers that you have done your homework, you thoroughly understand the topic, and you are writing something new in the context of the existing information.
Research provides bloggers with data, information, and credibility; and documented sources instill trust in readers. Additional resources also allow you to explore your ideas more deeply.
How to vet the sources you find for credibility
Be sure to use sources that provide relevant and specific information for your readers and teach you more about the topic. You need to find sources that are valid and help you to establish credibility with your readers. Since anyone can publish on the internet, some sources are credible and others are junk. Your readers will know the difference between the two.
Think of sites like Wikipedia or Brainy Quotes as the starting point for your own research, rather than a source of quotes or links to include in your post. For example, check out the reference materials at the end of each Wikipedia article. Look for sites that end in .gov or .edu. These add a lot of credibility to your writing because they are from the government or a university.
To simplify here are six areas you can focus on with every site you use:
How to manage massive sources
As researchers and bloggers, we tend to move towards the fastest and easiest searches, but even if we just focus on Google, they provide a lot of tools for serious searchers.
For example make use of maps in your posts, when appropriate, adding visual power to location and place. Upload the maps you need directly to Google Drive to easily access and share when you need them.
The drive is integrated with tons of free apps in the Chrome Webstore, saving you a load of time if you maximize your use of the drive and apps you need. Very smooth.
Google Scholar is a whole academic search empire. If you are a researching blogger, you belong with academics in using the most current and valid sources available online.
Scholar takes you to sources that university professors and scholars of all kinds use to read, research, and write their own scholarly papers. These are the same papers that savvy bloggers use in their research to establish authority and credibility.
The value of scholarly papers is that they are peer reviewed most of the time, meaning that a group of top scholars in the field reviewed the paper and found it valid, truthful, and up to date. They reject the papers that professors submit if they do not meet their standards.
The purpose of scholarly papers is to provide you with current, researched, well written, and error free writing that you can use in spreading powerful information to your readers. You will become a much more sophisticated blogger if you use Scholar regularly. Take a look at the engine below:
You and I write in different topic areas probably. I have developed a process that moves you forward quickly and powerfully in a blog post, while creating great content with research. Consider how these apply to your blog topic:
Scholar provides you with advanced searching tools so that you can find the best articles to build your authority.
In collecting source material and writing, I have found that the easiest method is to use a system of notebooks in Evernote. Without this tool you are writing and researching in the stone age.
More than likely you are familiar with Evernote, which is available for every platform and every device so that you can work anywhere.
In the image below, I show you my own Evernote account so that I can talk about just a few of the many advantages of this tool. If you find it hard to read, a light box should pop up:
How to Use Evernote to Supercharge the Research and Writing of the Post
Why Research Is Essential to Your Blogging
So if you use Evernote in the way it's described in the image, writing a researched post is a breeze. Simply collect all of your research in separate notes within the notebook and stack you have chosen.
Evernote will keep track of your URLs for documentation, and it will also help you organize as you get more familiar with the tool.
The next step is to start a new note and begin writing your post and synthesizing your sources and documenting with hyperlinks.
Research keeps you up to date and on the cutting edge of your field. This will make you a lifelong reader. You always want to be a step ahead of your reader, without being condescending in your writing.
The strongest writers are familiar with the ideas of others, including those with opposing views, and their research empowers the persuasive tone of their writing.
Great leaders read, write, maintain an open mind, and embrace new truths as they encounter them. Sharing these innovative ideas will make you a powerhouse in your industry.
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