Does research matter to your web content?

Research gives your web content the edgeOne of the reasons why I write one weekly blog post rather than writing several per week or one every day is research.

Research takes time.  But I believe it is time well spent, and this why I’ve opted for a happy medium: fewer posts that contain well researched material.

I regularly carry out research both before and during my blog post writing, and research also goes hand in hand with my other (web) writing work.

But, you may be thinking that there is no need to do any research if you write about a topic that you know well or about something that you do for a living, right?  Wrong.

Why research is important

There are a few reasons why research is important – regardless of your knowledge of the topic you are writing about – and why it matters to your web content:

  • there is always something new to learn
  • adds objectivity – forcing you to look at other viewpoints
  • can add more quality and make your content more rounded – such as an opinion piece from a niche area professional – e.g. in the form of an interview on a hot topic)
  • challenges your own ideas about what you know – or think you know
  • helps to promote you as someone who is knowledgeable about your niche – rather than someone who has static knowledge only
  • makes your website a highly desirable go-to resource for useful/new information about your specialist area
  • can add a flurry of interest in the related goods or services you offer

Yes research is a skill, because you have to know where to draw the line when gathering information and checking your sources.   This is something that you will gain with experience.

I once worked with someone who spent so much time gathering as much information and as many details that she could find that she never actually got around to delivering any work; it was a painful process to watch.

Not everyone will fall into the same information-gathering trap as my former colleague, but it’s a cautionary tale worth heeding.

Get someone to do your content research for you

Research also gives you some great skills that you can apply to your business (as well as adding weight to your content) – for example the ability to use and understand unfamiliar information or jargon.

I have written for legal publications for a number of years, and can now read through legislation with relative ease and get to the crux of the issue for articles or other content I need to write.

Research is a skill that you can develop over time but if it isn’t your forte or you don’t have the time for it, investing in someone who can deliver that researched material for you could be well worth it.

If you’d like help with your research, why not share some details now?

Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 8 July 2011.