Studies show that original content in blog posts keeps readers coming back for more. Here are two handy ways to generate ideas:
1. Set up Google Alerts or Yahoo Alerts for your topic area.
For Google Alerts, enter your search term, your e-mail address, and how often you want to receive updates (as-it-happens, daily, or weekly). Then specify the places you want Google to monitor: News, Blogs, Web, Video, Groups, or Comprehensive.
Yahoo Alerts works in a similar fashion.
Want to track where your name is appearing in cyberspace?
Of course you do! When you input your name as the search term, put quotation marks around your name, like this: “Laura Christianson.”
Keep in mind that a search term for a multi-faceted word such as “adoption” will turn up all sorts of irrelevant articles about the topic.
My “adoption” updates include links to articles about people adoption, pet adoption, highway adoption, technology adoption — anything and everything with the word “adoption” in it.
But it only takes a sec to sift through the headlines and pick out a couple of intriguing articles. I gather tons of great research and inspiration for fresh articles through Google Alerts.
2. Use an RSS feed reader.
Quickly scan the latest industry news by subscribing to blog/website feeds and viewing updates via a feed reader. Most browsers come with a built-in feed reader. Or use a Web-based one such as Google Reader, or download one such as Feedreader3.
Feed readers, unlike Google Alerts, allow you to finely tune which sites you subscribe to, increasing your chances of finding pertinent information. I recommend doing both. You never know where the next gem will turn up!
How to organize your research
Create a system for organizing the articles you collect:
- Categorize articles by topic and track them on a spreadsheet or in a word processing program. If you get most of your articles off the Internet, you can copy and paste the entire article directly into your word processing program.
- Print or clip articles and stuff them in color-coded file folders. Invest in a file cabinet or a file folder holder so you can keep all your research close at hand.
- If you’re a binder person, get a heavy-duty 3-hole punch, a 2-inch binder, and some index tabs. Separate articles by topic.
How do you organize?
Please share your best blog organization tip in the Comments.