(Video transcript is below, in case you prefer reading to watching video.)
Hi everyone. It’s Avery. So, this week’s question has been in my inbox for a while and I thought it’s time I addressed it because it’s a huge question and it’s enormously important. What the question is is how do research an article when you don’t know anything about the topic?
Here’s what I do
What I do, number one, I go to Google. Google is your friend. Now, I know a big problem with Google is that you can’t always trust the information you find on random websites. One of the trickiest things to figure out when you’re researching is whether or not the information you’re finding is actually true. The last thing you want is to send a client an article with information that’s not factually correct, right? Here’s how I avoid that.
Look for websites run by professional organizations in that niche
First of all, if you’re ever writing an article for a professional, that’s health care related, for example, often there’s professional organizations that have websites full of information for consumers and much of the time, that’s exactly the information you’ll need to write the article. For example, let’s say you’re writing an article for a dentist’s website and it’s on something you know nothing about. This happen to me once. I had to write an article about dental implants, which I have no clue about. What I did is I looked for websites for The Canadian Dental Association, The American Dental Association. I looked to see if there was a similar website in the U.K. and Australia because I figured between those countries their guidelines are probably going to be pretty similar, so I should be able to get a good sense of what I could write about when it comes to dental implants and be secure in the knowledge that what I’m saying is correct. That’s the kind of thing you can do for many medical type articles, for example.
What to do when there aren’t any professional organizations to be found
On the other hand, let’s say you get an article for an exterminator. I’ve done a ton of those in my day. In that case, you’re not always going to be able to find a professional organization that oversees all of the exterminators and can give you information that’s factually correct. So, instead what I’ll do is I’ll go and I’ll look at the websites of a whole bunch of exterminators because my thinking is … Let’s say I’m going to write an article on how to get rid of raccoons, if 10 separate exterminators all say the same thing about how best to get rid of them, odds are that information is correct. On the other hand, if I come across a little tid bit that seems like gold that no one else talks about, well then I’m taking a risk if I use that in my article because maybe the person who wrote that didn’t actually know what they’re talking about.
So, that’s my advice to you. When you’re doing your research, try to find information that appears in multiple sources. The more sources you can find that information on, the more likely it is to be true. Additionally, whenever possible look for professional organizations or look for websites where the person who owns the website has a vested interest in being really accurate. That’s my advice for this week. So, don’t be scared about writing articles on things you don’t know anything about. You can do this, you just got to do a little research and try to vet your sources as best you can and trust me, you’ll be just fine.
So, the next thing is guys, if you want to have more questions answered, please send me your questions. You can either use the contact form on my website, hit the reply button if you receive this video by email, or just put your request in the comments below this video. I promise to read every comment, every email I get. I won’t be able to reply to everybody’s individual questions because I get too many of them, but I will pick the most common questions to answer via video. See you guys next week.