Research seems easy. Do a few Google searches, ask around your company, or even pop down to the library. Armed with facts, figures, and pages upon pages of notes, you’re finally ready to call a copywriter. Unfortunately, your content is doomed. You made 3 major research mistakes and didn’t even know it…but it’s not too late! Read on to catch those mistakes before they produce copy that could harm your brand.
1. You’ll double check information.
You find a fact and double check on one other website. That’s it, right?
Wrong. Triple check it. Quadruple check it. Only lazy researchers accept two sources as fact. You never know who might be reposting the same wrong information across the internet. Also, never accept an expert’s word as fact. They’re not Gods, so they still make mistakes. Research their findings, just to be sure.
2. You’ll avoid experts.
Experts=expensive. They’ve got years, decades even, of experience, and you’ll pay a lot to exploit it. No wonder people avoid using them. Why go bust getting information that’s supposed to make money? The cheap or free option is to ask amateurs and the general public, but that’s a mistake. Without good industry knowledge, people usually cite myths and wrongful assumptions.
So how do you gain access to experts without a high price tag? Go to their hideout.
Experts must meet somewhere. It might be a business blog, a message board, an offline network, or even their own union. You’ll also find them on networking websites. Read through their discussions to hear the very latest information. Even better, they’ll include great resources they use, so you can go straight to the source.
3. You’ll use unreliable sources.
Some websites are made purely for passion. The author loves their chosen industry and wants to tell the world about it. Otherwise, a website is online to make money whether it’s offering a service, making money off adverts or affiliate marketing. There’s nothing wrong with a business owner paying their bills. The problem is, can you trust what they’re saying? Would they feel the same way if they weren’t sponsored? Who knows? That’s the risk you take with biased sources.
Aim for reputable sources, not general message boards or a hobbyist’s blog. Try websites that end with .org. They’re usually respectable institutes like universities or charities with top researchers. Avoid websites with adverts on them, and watch out for hidden/disguised money-making affiliate links.
Those are the 3 major research mistakes you’re NOT going to make. Bad research is worse than no research. Now you won’t invest hundreds or thousands into the wrong information. If you’re still worried about how accurate the information is, remember that professional writers triple check the information you provide. I always do this for facts and figures given, just in case an error slips through. Still, it’s best that you take responsibility for fact-checking, just in case you have a lazy/inexperienced writer.