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researching for writing articles

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by mbaldwin, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. #1
    Hi,
    I was wondering what techniques people used for doing research on articles to write. I am going to start writing my own articles, because the article writing services I have purchased on DP just suck.
    I didn't know if there was a website, or software that would assist in gathering information for the articles or not.

    Thanks,
    Michael
    SEMrush
     
    mbaldwin, Nov 28, 2011 IP
    SEMrush
  2. prep

    prep Peon

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    #2
    Hi Michael,

    With so many cheap article services started these days, it is extremely hard to find good writers. But without an exception I can say that there are still good/great writers here. You might need to research a little more before finalizing someone to write for you. I would suggest to select few and then save it in your armory :D .. I understand it may take quite some time to select those few; but once selected you do not have to worry (you may contact them everytime in future)...

    Thanks-
    Prep
     
    prep, Nov 28, 2011 IP
  3. Louise84

    Louise84 Peon

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    #3
    Hi Micheal, I am a freelance writer, and I must say that I agree with Prep, it is hard to come by 'quality' writers. There are many of my clients who came to me initially after outsourcing work to cheap writers that in turn needed to be re-written completely. Suppose it goes to show that you get what you pay for in some cases.

    Anyway, back to your original question on tips on how to research :)

    I am usually given a topic, or in some cases an article title, or keyword to focus on. From there I basically start by using search engines, such as Google. I explore the topic, other relevant articles online, as well as news on that topic - and compile notes, sort of how you would when writing an essay in university etc.

    Once I have that information, I simply write my own article from scratch. I never copy an article as it is just damaging to the hard earned reputation I have built up, I also stay well away from spinning articles, that's just my preference, as I prefer to write them myself from scratch - that way the quality is higher.

    If you are new to writing, there are many resources online, and guides on how to write different types of content such as articles, blogs and press releases etc. Maybe that is a good starting point?

    Good Luck, hope this helps a little
     
    Louise84, Nov 28, 2011 IP
  4. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #4
    Please don't give up on all writers because of your experiences here. There are many talented writers on DP. You'll most likely have to increase your budget to find the quality of writing you seek.

    How do I research?

    I often start with Wikipedia. It's a great place to get background information on just about any topic. It tells you key players, dates, industry terms and often provides inspiration for article ideas. That said, I consider it only a starting point and not a primary source.

    Now that I have dates, names and terminology on the topic, I start Googling. It's getting harder to do but I try to find primary sources rather than articles other folks have written. I never use EZine Articles, EHow or About as all of those are secondary or even tertiary sources. And besides, all of those sources have approaches and topics that have already been done. I try to find an angle that hasn't been done to death.

    It varies where I go from there. Depending on the topic, I try trade journals, professional forums and websites, newspapers, etc.

    I start writing without looking at my notes. That helps to ensure the piece will be unique and I don't accidentally use long phrases from someone else's work. Then I go back and fill in facts and make corrections. I then edit the piece, shift things around, write some more and check the facts again. Edit, write some more, add some more facts. I love being able to cut and paste and move things around. I did a variation of that when writing term papers in school, long before word processors. It's just so much easier to do now that cutting and pasting no longer involves a scissors, tape and a lot of retyping. ;)
     
    YMC, Nov 29, 2011 IP
  5. godofwindnstorm

    godofwindnstorm Greenhorn

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    #5
    wikipedia is the best way to start.
    i will get the valid facts and important elements such like the history and developments of my chosen topic.

    also, i think you will get your own 200words of unique content after reading one wikipedia article. wikipedia is very inspiring
     
    godofwindnstorm, Nov 29, 2011 IP
  6. m_v_s

    m_v_s Active Member

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    #6
    Mike..
    One cannot blame on the quality of services available here as there are takers for all levels of services available here. Actually DP has become more of a fish market where one has to actually spend some good time to find what they are actually looking for. Many services providers in CC section are selling writing services at $2/500 words, I mean who does that, even in third world countries, the conversion rates won't pay for the Internet charges + Electrcity Connection + Snacks ( that one gobbles while writing ) and let alone making a living out of these dirt cheap rates. What these people are doing is they are just some how managing to churn out minimum 5 articles of 500 words per hour at these rates and try to make up. They are not concerned about Customer Loaylty or Customer Satisfaction.
    Simple thing, Buy What You Want to Buy...Look for Quality, Test it Once and Choose it.

    Don't let your budget be a Constraint, Else do What one of my customers did to me once.
    I had written this deeply technical article of 500 words for which I got paid $15. It got me more work from the same client. Then 20 days later this client paid me a $25 Bonus since my content was able to generate quality traffic and sales for him...

    When you are a Buyer, don't be a freelance employer, try to retain quality talent...
     
    m_v_s, Nov 29, 2011 IP
  7. UK_writer

    UK_writer Peon

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    #7
    Don't give up on finding talented writers. We are out here. Try communicating with the writers a little first - it doesn't take long to gauge whether or not someone is actually a native English speaker.

    Make sure to ask for samples of their work and if you're happy with them, put an agreement in place that should the articles you receive not meet the standard of the samples provided you won't buy/pay for them.
     
    UK_writer, Nov 29, 2011 IP
  8. sweetcrabhoney18

    sweetcrabhoney18 Guest

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    #8
    Hi.

    As you can tell from the postings above... there are a ton of wonderful high quality writers on this forum. You just have to be willing to pay for quality and you will find it.

    When it comes to writing your own articles the more sources of information you have the better it will be. Take your time writing your article by reading each resource twice then using them to build a nice outline. Finally once you have an outline you can start writing. You can also read books on SEO article writing and copy writing to help you with your writing skills. I also recommend reading vocabulary and formatting books to also guide you to a certain style. I wish you the best of luck in your search for a high quality freelance writer and also on writing them yourself.

    Chimica
     
    sweetcrabhoney18, Nov 29, 2011 IP
  9. mbaldwin

    mbaldwin Active Member

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    #9
    Hi,
    Thanks to those that have given some good information on researching for articles. It has been helpful.

    Generally, I do agree you get what you pay for, I have paid as little as $2.50 for 500 words, and as much as $10.00 for 500 words. I have had some $2.50 for 500 word articles turn out better than higher priced articles. I think pore quality can be had at all price points.

    Instead of taking a gamble, I have decided to start writing some of my own articles. It is nobody's fault but mine if they do not turn out.

    I will still use some writers on here, but I can not afford to be paying for junk and have it rewritten, or take the time to rewrite it myself. I might contact a few of you via PM as well. I need to try to get some money back before I can hire any more writers.

    I can not afford to pay $15.00 for a 500 word article. that would be 450 a month to keep a blog updated daily. The site would need to be bringing in $1000.00 or better per month before I spent that much.

    Thanks to all for your tips.
    Michael
     
    mbaldwin, Nov 30, 2011 IP
  10. YMC

    YMC Well-Known Member

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    #10
    At the price points that you are mentioning, you might be better off trying to find guest bloggers.
     
    YMC, Nov 30, 2011 IP
  11. UK_writer

    UK_writer Peon

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    #11
    Why don't you do a bit of both? Write some of your own articles and have some written by 'professionals'? Then you can pay a bit more for quality without having to spend $450 a month, and free up more time as you're not writing everything yourself.

    And as I said before, just put an agreement in place with the writer (beforehand) that you can send the article back and not pay anything should it not be up to scratch. Make sure to keep copies of any communications and you shouldn't be taking any sort of gamble.
     
    UK_writer, Nov 30, 2011 IP
  12. 913imer

    913imer Member

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    #12
    I agree write some yourself and pay someone to write the rest. If you are only going to pay dirt cheap prices then you are only going to get garbage work. Spend more for quality and do a little writing yourself.

     
    913imer, Dec 1, 2011 IP
  13. Sam Gilmore

    Sam Gilmore Peon

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    #13
    Some people may write articles very quickly. This can be done only if the writer has already written about the particular topic or if the writer is a specialist in that particular field and is an expert. The other reason for a writer finishing an article very quickly may be because the article is of very poor quality. These are the extremes. For a normal writer, though, it takes about an hour or more to write a really well researched article.

    Researching for an article has become very easy with the increased number of pages and articles on a variety of topics on the internet. In spite of this, there many writers do not know the proper methods of research for articles to be written.

    1. Website: The research for an article depends on the website that you search in. There are so many websites that have content, but most of these sites are having the content only for the sake of monetizing with Google Adsense. In spite of this, there are still many websites that offer good and correct information on various topics. These can be used for gathering ideas, researching and also writing articles.

    2. Books: There are various books that are available either online for purchase or can be purchased from a book store. Books are the traditional source of information. They are a virtual mine of information. These are the best tools for researching on specific topics. Reading books on varied topics can help the individual to gather ideas and also research for writing articles on a variety of topics

    3. Ezines: With the increased use of Internet around the world, Ezines have started becoming a very important part of knowledge transmission. There are various Ezines now available on the internet. These are usually packed with information. Some specific Ezines can help increase the knowledge on specific topics. These can also help the writer to get new ideas for writing and also act as a research tool.

    4. Talking to experts: Writing a good article that needs many expert opinions can be done by talking to an expert in the particular field. These experts can be quoted in the article. This will help to add value to the article. This can also form the basis of a future article and also expert opinions in articles are highly valued by readers. This will increase the value of the article itself.
     
    Sam Gilmore, Mar 27, 2012 IP
  14. axxil

    axxil Member

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    #14
    As far as research is concerned, I think of this one thing only: offline. Yes it takes extra time, but the payoff in terms of visitor retention and Google love will make it worth the extra trouble. Everyone else will be using Google. Going offline will give your writing the added interest that readers will be fast to spot, and appreciate.

    I am assuming that you have certain principal interests/specialisms. Then you just get a bunch of books on the subject. And believe me it's a lot of fun getting ahold of stuff you know no-one else will be using. And feel free to give the author credit. Your readers will appreciate this evidence of your research.

    It's actually simpler than all this sounds in many instances. For subjects I'm most passionate about, I have for years been collecting a whole bunch of low-priced but excellent paperback books on the subject from thrift stores/junk shops/charity emporia/ordinary second-hand stores. Hope this helps friend.
     
    axxil, Mar 20, 2013 IP