Let’s be blunt here for a second. You can waste tons of time researching your content. In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone to spend twice as much time researching for their content than writing it. That’s precious time. Time you could be spending doing something much more fun and interesting.
#1 Write First, Research Later
One common suggestion is to write your content first. Write what you know and say what you want to say. As you’re writing your content, whenever you come to a point where you want to insert a statistic or share data, highlight it. Continue writing.
Once you’ve finished the piece, then hit the search engines and find those key data points you want to share. This helps you save time because instead of looking for random information, you know exactly what information you need to search for. You’ll spend a few minutes researching instead of a few hours.
#2 Find and Bookmark Key Resources
Depending on your niche, there are likely a few reputable resources you can turn to. For example, if you’re in the nutrition industry, then you might turn to Harvard’s Health Letter for information. If you’re in the dog niche, then perhaps you turn to the American Veterinary Association or Cesar Millan. Identify your key sources and bookmark them. This makes it very easy for you to locate information from trusted resources.
#3 Use a Search Friendly Browser
Some web browsing tools are easier to use than others. When you’re researching online try a few tools. For example, if you often use Chrome, then try Bing or Firefox. Use a browser that allows you to open multiple tabs. This makes it easy to find, and keep, the information you need.
#4 Note Taking Software and Applications
Do you have a system for organizing your research? Consider using a tool like EverNote, https://evernote.com/ , or Microsoft’s One Note, http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/. These tools make note taking and research easy. You can also use them in combination with your topic brainstorming sessions.
For example, as you’re making your list of content topics for the month, you can also identify key sites for information and even outline your content in the note taking application. Technology can make the content creation process streamlined and efficient.
#5 Source Your Information
Always give credit where credit is due. For example, as you’re writing your article on puppy care, if you use data from the American Veterinary Association, then source it and let your readers know where you found your information.
As you’re researching for your content, take notes on the relevant and useful information and don’t forget to note where you found the information. Then, you can be sure you’re linking to the appropriate website or person and it makes it easier to go back to verify the information.
Research doesn’t have to take long. In fact, ideally it should only take a minute or two per content piece. Organize your favorite sites, document your sources, and research only the information you know you need to save the most time. Speaking of organization, your systems are an important element of success.