Learning to perform the research behind a post for a blog — and then creating the post — can intimidate some people, especially if have just begun your blog. That being said, for a lot of people, doing research is required. Any post with factual claims, statistics, or other outside info beyond what is just common knowledge requires careful and thorough research of the topic.
The following are 4 key steps to doing the research behind a post on a blog, from beginning to end:
1. Plan Your Post
Each blog post begins as by being just an idea. The idea for the post is typically defined through its title or headline.
As a result, the best method to begin your post’s research is to come up with a powerful idea for a headline or some variations of this headline idea.
The next step is to choose the type of blog post that you aim to write. There’s only a few types of informative blog posts that yield results and are appealing to people online, which includes the following:
- Tutorials and how-tos
- List posts
- Case studies
- Interviews and expert roundups
Choose which of these post types goes best with your idea and has the best possibility of engaging your reader.
2. Evaluate Your Idea
As you perform the research, remember the following important question: Who is the target audience for your post, and why is this post important to that audience?
This goal is not to produce a feel-good answer to the question. The goal is instead to look for the real answer to the question on the internet.
Begin by typing your headline into Google and searching for the posts that already exist for the topic of your post idea. Gauge the audience for these already-existing posts, and take note of how many shares and comments these posts have gained. This info will be useful to you in shaping your post. Be specific when you define the audience of your post, and determine the level of interest for the topic. This can also inform you of what your readers might get out of reading your post.
3. Looking for Sources
After determine your headline and audience, the next step is to start writing the post.
First, think of the key parts needed to back up the claims you are making in the post. Some common methods of backing up claims are the following:
- Stats via reputable sources
- Trending articles with the same theme
- Expert quotes
- Excerpts from authoritative sites
You can find all of these things on Google to back up your posts. Make good notes on each thing that will back up your claims, including making note of the source to attribute the pieces of evidence for your claims.
It’s good to begin by making an outline at this point. In your outline, include each sub-point as well as any support from data, comments, or quotes below it. Then, as you type up your post, you can fill in the blanks going from subhead to subhead.
If you are looking for expert quotes, but you can’t find any then nothing beats sending an email. Just ask the expert, with respect, to send a quote to you.
4. Finish the Outline
The outline of your post doesn’t need to be massive. What it needs to include, however, is a list of each of the main subheads as well as supporting data and the sources of the data (as explained above).
Your goal is to have a clear, logical structure that is easy to follow while typing up the post. The more organization you include in the outline, the better the outline will be.
With your outline in hand and the sources included, you’re halfway to making an amazing post. As you write the post, your goal is to make each part between the subheads contain about the same amount of content because this will enhance readability. Finally, schedule the post after it’s complete.