Friday, June 8, 2012

7 Tips To Cut Research Time

7 Tips To Cut Research Time

As copy writers we have to learn a lot of stuff, from quonset hut fabrication to urology to the biases of the Japanese university system, and that means a lot of research. Innate curiosity goes with the job’s territory, but research time costs money and we’re in the business of learning stuff fast, writing about it and cashing the check.

Here’s how to cut research time down to size.

1. Google the heck out of it. Don’t just use primary keywords, conduct searches using secondary key words and key words SE users enter into query boxes.

2. Use industry specific search engines. We all know Google, Yahoo and Bing but there are more than 4,000 search engines crawling the web. To find the latest on “smart doors” use a construction industry search engine. A good place to start is

3. Use local search for local businesses. If your client has a service area of 25 square kilometers, enter your search term and the zip (postal) code where the client is located. You’ll see the competition, local news, local attractions and features of Westport 06880. 

4. Skip the academic treatises, white papers and in-depth analyses. Someone has already read them and synthesized key content into a 1,000-word piece. Find the breakdown piece and save time.

5. Use forums. There’s a forum for everything. Need to know the latest on Caribbean vacations? Here’s the link to a forum: Forums are sources for quick information and highly-specific info. Post a question and get a few dozen answers in a few hours. And the FAQ sections are up-to-date with the most current topics.

6. Read. Learn the language of the trade or industry so you use it in your writing. Every industry has insider jargon. Reading a lot of short articles also provides a list of what insiders are talking about. Join a LinkedIn group associated with your research topic and get up-to-the-minute information on what’s happening.

7. Spin it. Spinning has a bad reputation but, let’s face it, we all spin content. We have to. How much can you say about pre-fab concrete? And the news isn’t all that exciting in the cement sector, either.

Learn the basics, learn the concerns, learn the jargon, and you not only become a better copy writer, you know stuff that you can sell again without a lot of research time.

Anyone want to know the eight advantages of pre-fabricated metal buildings? Drop me a line at