Tricky topics and AWOL blogs

A Way With Words - Blog - Researching content

I missed last week’s blog. I’m as guilty as charged. It’s not that I for­got or that I did­n’t care. It’s that I had a seri­ous of tricky top­ics to write about and that took up all of my brain­pow­er (come on, there’s not a lot.) 

As a con­tent writer whose spe­cial­ism is being able to write about any­thing, I get involved with top­ics of all sorts. From how to colour your hair and what this sea­son’s fash­ion trends are to the grow­ing Fin­Tech indus­try and how to imple­ment the fly­wheel effect.

One of the most com­mon ques­tions I’m asked is, how? How do I write about a top­ic I know noth­ing about and, even bet­ter, make that copy engag­ing and inter­est­ing to an audi­ence that does know about it?

Five steps:

1. Research

First, I give myself a broad under­stand­ing of the top­ic by car­ry­ing out inter­net research. It’s impor­tant to under­stand the top­ic as a whole before delv­ing into the detail.

2. Research

Once I under­stand the over­all top­ic, I delve a lit­tle deep­er into the sub-top­ic. For exam­ple, when writ­ing about how to imple­ment the fly­wheel effect in an eCom­merce busi­ness, first it’s impor­tant to learn what the fly­wheel effect is and why busi­ness­es should use it. Then it’s nec­es­sary to research and under­stand how to imple­ment the fly­wheel effect.

3. Research

The next step is, you guessed it, more research. Under­stand­ing the top­ic and sub-top­ic isn’t enough. You must under­stand the con­se­quen­tial top­ics. For exam­ple, when imple­ment­ing the fly­wheel effect, what prob­lems, chal­lenges and con­sid­er­a­tions might arise? Is the fly­wheel effect the only way of run­ning an eCom­merce busi­ness? What alter­na­tive busi­ness mod­els are there? And so on.

4. Research

Deja vu? After research­ing and under­stand­ing the con­se­quen­tial top­ics, it’s impor­tant to research what con­tent is already out there. If there’s a blog already on imple­ment­ing the fly­wheel effect, what is it miss­ing? How can you approach the top­ic from a unique angle? How can you bet­ter solve the prob­lem for your audience?

5. Research

And my final step in under­stand­ing a new top­ic? Yes, it’s research again. This time it’s research­ing the audi­ence’s cur­rent lev­el of knowl­edge so that you can pitch the con­tent right. If your audi­ence knows lit­tle about the top­ic, you’ll need to go back to basics. If the audi­ence knows a lot about the top­ic, then you need to delve deeper.

My goal is to always increase my knowl­edge of the sub­ject beyond that of the audience’s.

Only then am I ready to put my fin­ger to the keys and start typing.


If you’d like to see my research skills in action, get in touch today about A Way With Word’s blog writ­ing service.

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