Okay, you may forgive me for coming across in a completely obvious way, research is important, of course you know that.
But are you putting enough time into that pursuit? How often do you research? Do you get side-tracked by the cat pictures and the boob pictures (substitute for pectoral muscles if you are a female)?
How Research can Pay Dividends for Your Blog
Often the best posts are those that solve a rather urgent problem. You might not get much in the way of a “thank you” but at least you are getting people in front of your words consistently which is all part of the battle. If you help someone enough, they may seek to reward you. It is the rule of reciprocity, the reciprocal return of reward in exchange for help. Being helpful is a virtue, helping someone is a good thing, so you should help.
So Jackson, give me an example.
I wrote an article on Semalt because it had been plaguing me for weeks. Semalt latch onto your website and invade your stats. They are a Ukrainian organisation that are trying to borrow on the idea of popular analytic/marketing aid providers such as Optimizely and Kissmetrics (these are the bigger names, there are more). They do so in a way that annoys, and so, some people have taken it upon their big shoulders to tackle this problem. I too, created a guide, adapted from a number of guides to aid in this problem and have been surprised at the large amount of views this article has produced in 2 months.
I entitled this article:
Once you have followed the instructions, this problem dries up instantly. It is exactly what it says on the tin.
Not long after I posted the article, I received a Semalt employee on my Twitter feed informing me that all I had to do was remove myself with the “seed removal tool”. I also almost instantly received someone else laying in some anger aimed directly at Semalt. At least with my fix I could ensure that Semalt didn’t try a fast one again so I let it to stand.
The article itself has been a very positive addition to my traffic line up, outperforming many of my other posts, and being one of the highest successes from search engine results.
What you can take away
Finding an urgent need is important. I stumbled upon this scenario because it was a problem for me and I needed a good result. I found out, through the research conducted, that it was a problem for many people. There were a number of sites who’d beaten me to this answer but there was still life in this issue.
You don’t always have to be first to an answer, it’s just the way you go about presenting a solution that’s important. If you do it in an accessible way, in your own unique style, and with enough quality, it’s going to work.
Where to look?
Obviously places to look for the best information are through your search engine. You want to take the most relevant (top 5) results and pick the best bits from those top 5. If you take more than 10% of the content and spin it from any given place, you should pass back some love.
I have created a number of WordPress related guides for PHP and CSS where I’ve had to thank WPBeginner.com. Often times, the core of what that site provided was the catalyst of my success, I just improved upon what they presented and positioned my article to a specific use.
Often, you’ll find that some topics you are looking for information on, come under some form of Wiki or Codex. Forums can also provide excellent hints at very useful information. With all of these, pinches of salt must be taken as you have to make sure that your solution works before you throw it out to the audience.
Set yourself a time limit
Give yourself 50 minutes. 50 minutes is a good time because that is the rough time that you can spend concentrating on something before you start to get weary. This is why classes at school last approximately 50 minutes (5 minutes each end to get to class).
When you have a time limit, you also are likely to look more efficiently because you know you are against the clock. You will be less likely to wander off.