Freelance Writing - Where do you do your Research?

10 replies
Hi Warriors

Clients want articles written on all type of topics, some of these we have hardly any knowledge about. Thorough research in such cases is extremely important in order to write content that you feel happy to send of to your client.

However I am interested to know how you guys go about researching your assignments?

Personally I use Google to seek out authority type websites and see what the general info being given is. Additionally for opinion based information I like to browse around in niche related forums and Yahoo answers. Having said that I am very selective about which sources I actually value, for example I would never consider anything from a thing MFA site.

I am also trying to integrate ezines into my process.

Martin
#freelance #research #writing
  • Profile picture of the author imgeek2727
    I have found in the past that Wikipedia is an unreliable option because anyone can edit it and you get a lot of people who like to post up bad information because they get a kick out of it. So I prefer to use Encyclopedia Britanica, you can visit their website here Britannica Online Encyclopedia the information is all very reliable and well established.
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      I research articles in my dreams... seriously.

      I only write 500 words for a client. I've found that for articles of these lengths it's not hugely important to gather hundreds of facts (of course it depends on which topic).

      I'd rather just take about 5 facts (again depending on which topic) and spend the majority of my time trying to craft an article the readers will love and be engaged with. I spend more time editing than researching.

      I think I'm quite lucky though. The articles I write are for guest posts that need to get accepted and read, so I don't have to conform to SEO or anything like that. I just get an email saying, "10 articles on blogging tips" for example.
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  • Profile picture of the author pamon
    When writing on general topics, I generally look at a bunch of different sites to get a general interest on the topic and go from there. For more specialty topics like medical or legal, I usually pinpoint it on specifics and make sure I know the topic "very" well. I did a plastic surgery piece where I cross referenced about 10 different medical journals for the piece. Depends on the topic. The more advanced the writer, the more buckets they have to do the research. And usually, the .01/word writers won't do that.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by Marianne Gonne View Post


      Public Libraries. In addition to the stacks of references on site, membership allows free access to private databases including Proquest, Health and medical sites, Law, Technology, History, Newspaper/magazine archives.
      This right here is my staple in doing research.

      Although I do research at authority sites on line as well, I always like to check and double check the facts I find at my library.

      Our librarian and myself have been on a first name basis for quite a while now and she'll even allow me to call ahead and she'll get me requested material in advance. She is totally intrigued with the work I do and sometimes even will send a client to me from time to time.

      Terra
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Pupke
        Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post


        Our librarian and myself have been on a first name basis for quite a while now and she'll even allow me to call ahead and she'll get me requested material in advance. She is totally intrigued with the work I do and sometimes even will send a client to me from time to time.

        Terra
        Sounds like a nice lady, when I ask my local librarian for anything I get a monotone 5 word answer and a blank stare.
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  • Profile picture of the author abbs
    Since I am still a college student, I have access to some great academic resources free of cost.

    Jstor is a fantastic college of scholarly journals, on pretty much any topic you can think of. The information can be a bit difficult to understand at first, but if you put some time in, you can produce unique content that will leave your clients extremely pleased.

    The local library might be a good place to start. When most people write their articles, they just do a quick Google search and start writing. Books still have immense amounts of information that the internet simply doesn't, so if the topic permits, you can visit the library and do some offline research.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Google is my favourite tool.
    I look for the info I need and find 4-6 sites that have what I want.
    I also look for free ebooks if I need tons of info.

    Then I read what I find and write my articles. I have written over 4000 articles that way and it works well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Pupke
    Thanks Marianne, that is a very useful list of resources, however I wish it was as simple as good research skills = high paying gigs. I would like to think I have very good research skills, but cannot get any work of decent pay. However I have only been at this for about a week so I must continue to be patient.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Schuman
    Search Automator Force is a great free download that helps you research in multi media sources. I use it all of the time for research on my own content and for customers.
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