Most bloggers aim to write encouraging content that boosts brand awareness. However, many bloggers still fail to give justice to certain topics because they lack comprehensive data or information to back up their articles.
One thing that plays a crucial role in blogging is imbibing the research skills that serve as a strong foundation in any blog.
By doing comprehensive research on your topic, you will be able to explore the different perspectives regarding the topic you are going to discuss. Not only you get to expand your understanding of the topic, but you also get to draw inspiration from other blog posts gathered by researching.
Developing your research skills for your blog strengthens the vision you have for your blog posts. Consequently, your brand will be known as a reputable resource in your niche and even beyond.
How do you improve your research skills for blogging? Here are some tips to help you out.
Master Your Niche
Mastering your niche paves the way for ensuring effective research skills. You can only do so much and you want to exhaust all possible ways for a niche before trying to conquer a bigger arena.
Studying all about your niche will lead you to get a better understanding of your target readers, content gaps, and even the writing style most suitable to your niche.
Most readers nowadays are very keen on the posts they bookmark, websites they subscribe to, and even people they follow. They will know right away if you know what you are talking about.
Check the Authority of Your Sources
Quality is always better than quantity. Always remember that the authority of your source affects the trustability of your blog articles.
Trusted sources used in the blog boost trust among target readers or customers. By means of researching thoroughly, you can check whether the authority of the source is established.
Examining the credentials and affiliations of the author, scrutinizing more sources the author has written, looking for the contact information of the author, and assessing several other authors are some of the ways you can take to make sure that you pose credible sources on your blog.
The sources you have considered in your blog must be written by a trustworthy author. In addition, researching for accurate and up-to-date sources to be used in your blog is a must.
Distinguish Relevant Resources
As a blog enthusiast, determining several factors such as relevance, accuracy, appropriateness, and coverage must be considered in making a blog post.
Find resources that are relevant to the content idea that you are building. Once you find a resource that is relevant in the sense that it is related to the topic you are trying to discuss, examine the people behind it. The viewpoints posited on each source you have used must be objective and are further supported by evidence.
These sources must be appropriate to your niche and that it is able to address the needs of your target readers.
Lastly, there has to be a wide coverage of data that can support your topic. This is why you must consider other alternatives for a resource just in case the first one does not fit the criteria you have in mind.
After carefully evaluating your sources using the points mentioned above, you can now do the sorting according to the criteria. You can also make use of checklists, Likert scales, rubrics, and other evaluation tools to make sure the qualities of reliable sources are emphasized in researching.
Verify Information From Multiple Sources
Examining different pieces of information in varied sources can strengthen your viewpoints or invalidate them. Now, this is a critical step to undertake as not a lot of bloggers want to be invalidated which is why you need to gather more than one source and weigh their inputs.
This research skill doesn’t serve as an additional embellishment to your blog, but as a strong foundation to your content especially that you did thorough research on your topic based on multiple sources.
In doing research among multiple sources, you can easily verify whether the information you are about to share has some truth or sense in it. This step also requires you to keep an open mind. Researching, after all, is about making sure that you are a fully informed blogger.
The Internet displays an almost infinite number of information. However, it doesn’t mean that you have tons of sources readily available, the one that effectively supports your topic. Remember, effective research skill entails looking at the quality of the content rather than the quantity of the content.
Organize the Data Gathered
Gathering ample data through research effectively supports your blog.
However, having these data will not automatically mean that you can use the tidbits of information gathered without organizing them first. As a blogger, it’s good that you add data in your blog, but it’s better when you organize what you gather. The utilization of pie, bar, or line graphs and different forms of infographics can present your data better. But before taking care of the presentation, consider these tips from the University of Cambridge:
- Use folders
- Adhere to existing procedures
- Name folders appropriately
- Be consistent
- Structure folders hierarchically
- Separate ongoing and completed work
- Try to keep your ‘My Documents’ folder for files you are actively working on
- Back up
- Review records
Indeed, researching does not end with gathering data. You have to make sure that such data can actually be of great and easy use.
Look For Research Reports
Research projects will determine if results are proven and tested based on a certain theory emphasized and different factors isolated on different conditions. To put it simply, accessing research reports can lead you to studies that are scientifically processed.
Research reports can make your blog post become even more detail-oriented which is what most readers are looking for.
When looking for research reports, always consider if such a report is put together by a reputable entity, or published in an academic journal. Not all reports are actually factual. You have to scrutinize where they are coming from and how they are intended for use.
It’s a no-no to plagiarise. When you research, you need to make sure that you are not copying the entire content or statement as it is.
There are ways to avoid plagiarism but still relay information as presented on your sources. Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Paraphrasing the text
- Quoting from your sources
- Crediting the original author
- Using plagiarism checker tools or software
Avoiding plagiarism also means avoiding getting penalized by Google.
If you want to keep your content online, avoid any sort of direct copying.