Today I’m beginning a series of posts on different methods and tips for how to do research on the internet for content creation.
When you sit down to create content on a topic, you don’t always know everything you’d like to about the issue, especially if it has been assigned to you by a client. Doing research on the internet is an important way to quickly educate yourself about a topic so that you can go on to write your original content efficiently and professionally.
Doing internet research on a topic is not about copying others, and it is not about finding a way to shortcut or echo other people’s ideas. The internet contains a wealth of information about a huge variety of subjects, and it can help you understand your topic well enough to create your own original article or blog post. Educated, original content is the goal of all of the internet research methods I will be sharing.
Today, I’d like to start with my personal favorite internet research technique, which I call ‘The Brain Dump Method’. The Brain Dump is about getting as many different facts and ideas in one place as possible, and then going through the notes and writing your article. This method is very simple and has worked incredibly well for me.
Step One: Open a Blank Document. This is where you will dump all of your notes and ideas.
Step Two: Open a Browser Window. As in, ONE browser window. It’s important when doing internet research that you close all distractions, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and perhaps even email.
Step Three: Enter Search Terms Relevant to Your Topic. If I’ve been assigned a title, I often start with that. If not, I simply come up with relevant terms. For instance, if you are writing an article about dog training, you’d search ‘dog training’ or ‘dog training tips’.
Step Four: Visit Relevant Sites and Scan for Information. From the search results, quickly determine which seem the most relevant and reputable for your topic. Visit the site or article, and quickly scan for relevant information. Don’t take the time to read thoroughly at this point. Just look for relevant snippets.
Step Five: Copy and Paste to Your Open Document. This is the ‘dump’ part. Start with the URL of the site you are on (for appropriate reference if needed). Then, copy and paste any paragraphs or sentences that you think help you understand your topic or could help you create your original content.
Step Six: Repeat Steps Three – Five. Repeat steps three through five until you have a few pages of information about your topic. How much you need is dependent on how long the content you create needs to be.
Step Seven: Review Your Notes. Once your research is done, re-read the notes you’ve created in the document. Add any of your own thoughts and ideas. Save this document in case you ever need to create content on this theme again.
Step Eight: Write! With your research complete, you should have a great understanding of your topic and a really good idea where you want to go with your own content. Now is the time to put the article or post together in a separate document. Refer to your notes as often as needed.
Step Nine: Edit. Once you’ve completed your original content based on your internet research, it’s time to re-read and edit. This is also a good time to insert whatever keywords are needed to optimize your content. I find I write poorly if I try to think about keywords in the draft stage.
Step Ten: Publish. That’s it! You’ve successfully done the internet research necessary to create content and publish it. Great job!!
Not all content can be created using only internet research, especially if you need a complete bibliography. However, this type of research can go a lot farther than most people realize. There are lots of reputable sites with a ton of great information about a huge variety of issues. Internet research using the Brain Dump Method can help you create excellent, original content in no time.
Do you use internet research when you create content for blogs or other online venues? What’s your favorite method? Let me know in the comments!
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