In most cases, what's most challenging about copywriting isn't writing the copy itself; it's doing the research. For most people, once the research is complete, the writing is straightforward. But to get the materials, information, and relevant ideas for the copy – that's the hard part.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the process of carrying out thorough research for your content. Take this as a framework for carrying out your research, not a hard-and-fast rule. Every excellent copywriter or copywriting service will have its process of researching topics. However, it will contain most or all the elements that will be discussed here.
Before you can begin your research, you have to figure out what it is you're going to be looking for. Without this, you'll probably spend too much time on your research. So, if a client gives you a topic to write about, be it about a product or service or something else, you’ll need to figure out what you're going to be writing about that.
There is a lot to write about any single topic. Define your angle and critical points you want to touch on. Sometimes, it's your research that will reveal this to you, but there's no harm in starting with something. Find out what your client has in mind. This is crucial because sometimes, client satisfaction is not about your writing prowess or how excellent the copy is, but about whether or not you touched on the things they wanted you to cover.
There are some occasions where your client gives you a topic to write about and nothing more, and in which you know nothing about the subject. What do you do? Dive right into the research. That's the only thing you can do. But starting from nothing means that you have to do more in research and learning than if you already knew about the topic or were given something other than a title to work with.
OK, you may not necessarily start with Google – maybe you use Bing or other search engines. That’s fine, but since more searches are carried out on Google than on all other search engines combined, it makes sense to start there.
It's also possible that your research journey begins with a book. That's fine, too. The crucial thing is that you have something to start with from which you can immediately begin gathering and shaping the information you will be writing about. But for many people, the journey begins with a digital search.
Every person who provides a terrific content writing service knows that the first few results you get on Google will, most likely, never be enough. Being a researcher means you're like a tracker dog. You keep following the scent until you get to the end of the trail.
The initial results you get from Google may or may not be good enough, but it is how your search trail starts, and will, in most cases, lead you to the next piece of the puzzle. Depending on how much and how valuable the information you’ve got at this point is, you want to start looking for trusted material. Trusted materials are simply materials from trusted sources – e-books, books, essays, videos, and articles – written by experts on the subject.
This step is essential since you don't want to join the millions of people publishing misleading information every day, on and offline. The more trustworthy the information you get, the better you can frame your angle, argument, and the entire structure of your write-up.
There's too much similar content out there, so you need to publish something that stands out. This is especially true if your content is for a website, in which case part of your research will be to study your competitors. Look at what they’re doing and differentiate yourself or your copy by providing what they are not.
Don't just do something different for the sake of being different; that's not good enough. If you have to add your voice to a critical matter, you should. But provide the value that they are not with your content and write it in such a way it is distinguishable from all others.
Very often, by the time you finish the previous step, you will have more than enough to write about. But thorough research doesn’t end without speaking to the experts on the topic.
There are several reasons why you should interview or contact experts on the subject. One of them is about getting the most current information. Some industries are developing rapidly, so staying current is what you should aim to do every time.
Experts are the ones who will be on top of the latest developments in a particular industry. They know what’s relevant and what isn’t, and will be incredibly beneficial to you when you contact them.
Researching your copywriting isn't always a straightforward thing. You may have to go forth and back the steps outline, or even carry out other steps not mentioned here. But if you only did the ones we have listed here, you will be far off.
This framework works wonders. As an established and reputable copywriting agency, we make use of it, and it delivers. True, our research methods may sometimes be industry-dependent, which means there are occasions where we go beyond what is outlined here, but the backbone is always the same:
Do this and you'll be surprised how fast you move from a total novice on a subject into one that knows so much. And, if you want someone to write your copy, we're always here for you – please get in touch with us today.