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How to do excellent Content Research in 3 easy steps?

By Amrita Mishra|18th May 2020
The first step of content creation in 3 easy steps for beginners and experts.
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When it comes to content ideas, where can we find our inspiration from? Sometimes, it is also possible that we have a broad topic but no content ideas. What if we know the topic we have no idea about the content that we need to create? How to fulfill such requirements? By Content Research, of course!


What comes to your mind first when you think of the term "Content Research"? Googling the topics, talking to experts? Or you listen to your audience through the forums? I recently posted three posts on LinkedIn about Content Research and I got a lot of new insights along with my own ideas.

Here are three easy steps for newbies as well as experts when it comes to researching content:

GOOGLE IT!

Where do you find the best content? Google, of course! While a lot of content producers are racing for top rankings on Search Engine Research Page (SERP) on Google, millions of others are consuming for top-notch information. Here are the steps you can follow when you are doing your content research via Google:


- Google the topic you are writing

- Read as many blogs as you can about that topic (don't take too long, you have a client deadline to meet!)

- Prepare notes for the points you think are important, and write your own ideas on those points (Creativity is the key!).


Apart from the content on Google, you can also use the articles from authentic sites like Towards Data Science, Feedspot, The Startup etc (and their competitive sites too). Another place get inspiration for great content is YouTube and Facebook.


Books (E-books or otherwise) also give amazing content ideas.


Tip: Don't forget to add your own insights, views, opinions to your content. It gives your content a unique touch and adds value to the consumers.

TALK TO PEOPLE! (ESPECIALLY ON LINKEDIN)

It is one of the best feelings to have a meaningful conversation, especially with someone having a good knowledge and experience in the field. Discussing an idea with someone gives you more clarity on the subject.


- See if you can find someone you already know with whom you can get insights - your parents, children, partner, colleagues, friends or any acquaintances etc. If you don't know anyone, go for LinkedIn and drop a message to the subject-matter-expert.

(PS: You'll definitely find "the one" for your content on LinkedIn)


Tip: Some professionals do not have enough time. Make sure you are prepared with your questions beforehand.


- Talk to them about the sub-headings you have thought of and get their views on how you can provide value to and really help your target audience. (Really listen to them! They'll have a lot more to offer than you could even think)


- Jot down the relevant stuff that can be a part of your content (and brainstorm later!)


- Thank them genuinely after you are done discussing, don't forget to offer help whenever they need it (Being humble and grateful is the key to successful professional relationships). Mention them in your content, if possible. Also, take their consent before publishing their contribution to the content (if you are intending to).

FORUMS! (PREACHING QUORA & REDDIT)

Quora & Reddit are the two most commonly used (yet underrated) platforms used by people to look for answers.


If you want to connect with your audience and/or looking for a community to share and discuss, both Quora & Reddit are amazing platforms. (If you are a tech person, StackOverflow is a must)


Surprisingly, sometimes what you don't find on Google, you might find on the forums!


- Type in your topic and find a broad range of answers. If your answer doesn't exist, feel free to ask a question.

- Go through what's relevant

- Don't forget to upvote if you like the answer and add something in the comments if you can provide a little value. In short, don't forget to engage.


Apart from Quora and Reddit, you can be a part of communities of like-minded people on different social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and LinkedIn. Some well-known communities are: The Writing Community, English.stackexchange, substack, codeburst etc.

Conclusion

Apart from these three methods, a lot of other tools like Ubersuggest, Buzzsumo, Ahrefs etc. that help in keyword ideas as well as content research. Content ideas can also be found in keeping yourselves updated with things going around the world, especially within your industry.


After you are done with your content research, it's time to create! Give a structure to your content. If it is a blog-post, you can get ideas for points and sub-points to be included.


After creating content, re-iterate through your content multiple times before you finally hit that publish button to avoid misleading information. Going thoroughly through your content gives you new insights that can give you more content ideas! (Its a never-ending loop, truly).


I am really grateful to everyone for their insights on my LinkedIn posts. It helped me understand "Content Research" even better and draft this blog.

I hope this one was useful for all the readers. :)

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