A Simple Guide to Content Research

Stephanie Harper
Stephanie Harper
March 8, 2021
A Simple Guide to Content Research

(Updated 2023)

Broaden your Google Search

First things first, let's broaden your Google search. Anyone can Google something online, but what makes your search effective in finding relevant articles and sources to pull from? Make sure to use all the categories in the Google search toolbar, including web, videos, news, and more. This will allow you to access tons of information from different media types. It's so easy to miss this feature when you're going down the Google search rabbit hole, one article at a time. So, keep your eyes peeled for those categories!

Next up, you should set up Google Alerts to keep a running tab of your key searches. If you scroll to the bottom of Google search results, you can create alerts that will allow you to save all the wonderful key words and phrases you just spent hours plopping into Google. For some odd reason, we all knew this function existed, but I'm guessing some of us are so used to not reading past the fifth article that we fail to see it. The alerts function is great because it sends you an email every time one of your saved key phrases or words comes up in recent media on the internet. While you can easily begin to heavily rely on this seamless catch-all of content, it is definitely an appreciated addition to your search toolbox. GoatCloud has a great guide on setting up alerts and how they help with generating weekly blog content.

Make a Mind Map or Idea Cloud

Now, let's make a mind map or idea cloud. Yes, there are things we learned in our childhood that we can use in our adult life, and one of those countless routines we remember drawing over and over (then erasing in frustration because the circles weren't big enough to hold our gigantic writing) is the mind map or the modern-day idea cloud. It is timeless and genius in so many ways. For one, you can draw many of them and branch off several additional ideas, which then lead to additional search words or phrases. You can even use colors like Tony Buzan, the originator of the technique, suggests. By drawing and writing the words in this way, we are tapping into our natural creative thinking, plus who wouldn't enjoy this ode to elementary school English class?

Write your Headlines Before you Curate your Content

Here's something that might sound crazy, but hear us out: write your headlines before you curate your content. It might sound like a backwards approach, but writing out your headlines can be the jumpstart to your content search. You're already trained to edit your headlines after you've created them, and by doing this first, you're now coming up with new ideas too. This process can be interchangeable, but somehow writing your headline first opens up another world of content that searching on Google can't. We love Portent's Content Idea Generator, which not only whips up quirky headlines, but it can also end up being your blog or content headline end game at the same time. Using unique versions of your headline can also help you generate new content ideas that you may not have thought of otherwise. So, take the time to craft a catchy and attention-grabbing headline, and then use it as a springboard to find new and exciting content to share with your audience.

Another great way to find new content is by subscribing to newsletters and blogs related to your industry. These sources can provide you with a wealth of information and insights that you may not be able to find through a simple Google search. Plus, many bloggers and content creators will often share their own tips and strategies for finding great content, which can be invaluable for anyone looking to up their content game.

Subscribe to Newsletters & Blogs; Don't Forget Resources & Links

Finally, don't forget about resources and links. Many websites have dedicated pages that provide links to other useful resources, such as whitepapers, case studies, and other valuable content. By exploring these pages and following the links, you can discover a wealth of new content that can help you create more engaging and informative posts.

In conclusion, finding great content is a crucial part of any content marketing strategy, but it can also be a time-consuming and frustrating process. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, however, you can streamline your content search process and discover new and exciting ideas that will keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. So, the next time you're feeling stuck or uninspired, give these techniques a try and see how they can help you take your content to the next level.

- Stephanie Harper

Written By
Stephanie Harper
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