Tips for Freelance Writers Who Need to Research Many Topics Quickly
Freelance writers need to have the ability to research a lot of topics very quickly if they want to succeed in a competitive marketplace. The following tips should help streamline the process.
Keep Search Terms Broad
Try to open multiple search engines when researching a diverse range of topics. This way, you can track the different things that you need to cover throughout your article. And make sure that you use broad search terms, at first, and narrow them down to more specific ones.
For example, if you are writing about installing stereo speakers into a specific type of car, instead of searching for exact directions for that particular speaker set and that car, search for a term like “installing car stereo speakers.” Once you’ve found some information, expand out to words like “installing Sony radio into a 2012 Hyundai Tucson.”
Utilize Many Research Tools
When seeking different topics for freelance writing, you must branch out beyond a traditional search engine. Yes, Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo, and other engines are compelling. However, there are many different engines that you can use to find more specific types of information. Library search engines are often among the most potent types that you can find.
Try to keep these different search options available for different types of research projects. For example, find a site that allows you to search car speaker serial numbers to identify the makes and models where they can be installed. Keep this site saved in a “search” folder in your bookmarks to streamline your search and keep it running smoothly.
Pay Attention to the Site's Authority
Your clients want you to link to sites that are authoritative. They also don’t want you to link to competitors or to obvious spam. In your rush to research, you may end up finding websites that don’t quite qualify as high-quality. You may, for example, link to a blog that directly gets its information from a competitor site, which can make this source less useful, and it may even get your submission rejected.
Instead, it would help if you made sure that your sites are trustworthy. Quickly read through the data to get an idea of what they are saying. Are they pushing a specific agenda, or are they more objective? Try to find sites that have a .edu or .gov suffix to enhance your authority here.
Create a Broad Save File for Data
The toughest part about doing a lot of research quickly may be knowing where to save all of this information. We suggest that you create a notepad file or something similar that you use to paste all of your research. This pasting should include the full links that you used, the name of the site, the name of the article, the type of information, and why you got it.
Create headers within your research and simple explanations that you can use if you have to get back to an article at a later point. Without these labels, you may come back to your research data later in confusion and have no idea what to do with it. By keeping your information carefully arranged, you can avoid any complications and keep your articles going smoothly.
Know Search Engine Tricks and Techniques
We already discussed how you can type “.edu” or “.gov” into a search to find more specific and informative sites. However, you can use many other techniques to find better information quickly. If you have a quote and you can’t figure out where it originated, type it in quotation marks into your search engine.
Other steps include typing “or” between terms to search for both or a hyphen to eliminate words you don’t want in a search site. Be sure to follow that with the address to seek terms only within that specific site. That method combined with country codes lets you search for locations in particular regions.
Getting Expert Help
As you can see, researching many topics quickly doesn’t have to be a significant challenge if you’re ready to work hard and pay attention to your clients’ needs. Follow these steps, and you should have no difficulty writing content that your clients love. But don’t hesitate to get expert help if you’re struggling here. Professional research assistance can ensure that you always have data that is as up-to-date as possible for your needs.
National Archives – Online Research Tools and Aids
University of Michigan Flint – Research Tips and Techniques
North Central University – Research Tips for College Students
FCIT – Research Tools
Georgetown University Library – 15 Steps to Good Research