If you own a blog or are just starting a blog, you need to write articles. That begs the question “How to do you do research for articles?” I will show you how to research for articles and I won’t stop there. I will also show you how to write for a blog. It really is not that difficult. First keep an eye on your niche. Make sure you are an expert in the area. Find out common problems people have and solve those problems with your posts.
First thing is First
Find keywords will be the first step you want to utilize. There are several ways to do keyword research I went over many in a previous post here. I almost always start with the “google alphabet soup” method. This is where you take your main keyword and add a space then a letter starting with “a”. Google will give you terms that are searched. You keep going through the alphabet. I write down several of the ideas that I get from doing that for keywords.
I also look at sites like Yahoo Answers and EHow. When you are on those sites just type in your keyword and see subjects that come up. From there you grab additional keywords that would be long tail keywords. While you are doing this you then go into your keyword tool and input those keywords looking for keywords that have low competition. My favorite is Jaaxy but I have some others listed here that I have used. You can also use Google Alerts and Yahoo Pipes, but more on that later.
Once you find those low competition keywords that people are searching for, you then have some ammunition to start writing. If you need to do a little more research on those topics you found, that is fine. Do a search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Read some article and jot some notes down. Visit forums and do the same thing. Notice I said notes and read not copy the article.
Then what I like to do is read through those notes one last time. Put them away. Set a timer for 30 minutes. One important note, do this when you won’t be distracted. Then write like a demon until the timer goes off. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling punctuation or anything. Don’t stop to look something up. Just get it all out as fast as you can. Then save it for a day.
The next day come back to what you wrote. Now it is time to edit your work. This process normally takes an additional 15 minutes. That is okay, because, you have to make it look pretty and readable. Put the polish on the article.
Okay I mentioned Google alerts, but that was all I did is mention it. So now it is time to revisit that comment. Google Alerts is a great way to stay current within your niche. You can set all kinds of quarries to send you email notifications about your niche. This will help you keep current of the trends happening in the market. These emails will show you what is current in your niche. Then you can do a bit more research and write an article on what you found out. Again new article do not copy the article. Instead add more information from your knowledge and personalize your article. It is your work not someone else’s.
This one is a bit different than Google Alerts. While Google Alerts sends you email updates on trends, Yahoo Pipes is a RSS feed. This feed shows you current posts and such, under the system you set up. It does take a while to set up a Yahoo Pipe but once it is done it is a very useful system to get ideas. You can see my write up on how to set up Yahoo Pipes here. Once again these are to generate ideas on what to write about not to copy what someone else has or is doing.
Do not use the RSS feeds as a source of content on your website. You will quickly get penalized from Google and other search engines for duplicate content. When this happens you will lose rankings with them and your traffic will go away very, very quickly. That is the opposite of what you want to have happen.
The idea is to do your research, put it out of site and then write your content. This will ensure that your content is original. You can clean up your facts as you edit the post the following day. That is another reason I say to just write it all out and not to worry about the spelling, grammar or other aspects of the post. It will not be the final product.
I have to be honest at first I used to just try to blast through content and make it as quickly as I could. I would post it and there would be way to many errors. Give it the day. You will be happy you did. If you blast through a power writing session then immediately try to edit it you will miss so many things. The fact is you will read what you meant to say not what you actually wrote. What you meant to say and what you wrote can vary greatly. I have had friends comment on those articles I tried to do in one day without a break, saying there were errors in the post. Then I need to go back and find the errors and correct them.
So now I give that extra day to let it rest and clear my mind. When I come back to the content, edit it, and post it, I then can be comfortable that I caught most of the errors and probably will not need to edit again. That does not mean that I will never read the content again. In fact, after a few months, I go back and take a look at some of my older content. I see what questions people have been asking and then add sections to my article to answer those questions. I will have already answered those comments but it will help future readers, who may have those same questions. Eventually those comments may be buried in other’s comments. So it just makes it easier for the readers. They don’t have to search for the answer to the question it is just right there.
So that is the basics of how I research, write and rewrite articles. Please let me know how you do your research and writing of articles below; or if you have any questions or additional comments please leave them below.