How to do research for a blog post

There are a lot of different methods and efficiency tools for doing research before you write a blog post. To give an overview of how to do research for a blog post:

  1. Figuring out where to start
  2. Efficiency tools (Airstory, Evernote and more)
  3. Find a story or problem
  4. Starting the blog post research process
  5. Organize your research notes

Tutorial Presented live on Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 (Updates made August 3rd, 2020)

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You can do 2 primary things with research: you can support a story, or you can find a story. In this tutorial, Joanna Wiebe shows you how she does online research to write share-worthy blog posts.

Special guest, Bree Weber smiles into the camera as she prepares to deliver a presentation on writing effective and ethical cold pitch emails


Introduction [0:00]

Joanna Wiebe: Hello everybody, Joanna here from Copyhackers. I am joined by Sarah, Ms. Sarah Dlin on camera today. So awesome. We have people filing in right now. Thank you for joining us. 

We’re going to dive right in today. I know, Tod’s like, Sarah. Yes Sarah’s actually on camera. I know. Promised last time that she would be, and we made that happen. 

Okay, so … Alright. We are talking today about how to do research for really awesome content.

Last week we talked about the formulae for authority building blog posts and a big part of that was research and studies. Like, well, research and studies are the same thing, essentially. Not always though. But, really just collecting as much supporting material as you can and using that to write really solid blog posts.

So we’re going to talk today about the research side of that and how you can actually make sure that you’re getting to a place where you can fill in all of those parts of the, like, formulae that we showed you last tutorial Tuesday. 

Okay, but before we dive in there, quick housekeeping. We are recording this session. It will be available online afterward. So, we’ll likely chat over the link to that as we go to the space where you can find all of our past tutorials online. So you can see them. Most of them have transcripts as well, so you can read through and quickly go to the part that you want to get to.

Okay. We’re seeing people are already chatting. Lots of chatting. That’s awesome. If you do chat, and you want everybody to see it, then you can make sure that you switch it from the chat going to the panelist, to going to everyone. And then everyone can see and say hi back to and see where you’re chatting in from. So chat is good if you just want to get our attention, or people’s attention in a nice way during the tutorial itself. If you have a question that comes up that you want answered, please use the Q&A area and I will take that at the end of the tutorial, which should be 20 minutes or less today, I think. Someone’s saying 20 minutes are fewer. We can have a discussion about that another time. But … Don’t roll your eyes Sarah. You’re on camera. I can see you. I can see. You don’t get to roll your eyes at me no more.

Okay. So, cool. So, we’re going to dive in and talk about research. I’m going to share my screen. I just want to see what’s being chatted out here. So all these people from Seattle, Lana’s in Calgary. So are Sarah and I. We’re both in Calgary too. Austin, Romania, New Port Beach, Hamlin, Brisbane, Osoyoos, cool. Barcelona, Houston, Toronto. Wow. I don’t know how to say Peoria. Croatia, Brazil, New York, this is amazing. I love it when people do this. I just love it. I love it. It’s so cool. There’re so many different people here from so many places. Small town [inaudible 00:03:04] of Calgary, cool. Awesome guys. Okay, well I won’t just spend the whole time reading those, although I want to. We’re going to dive in. Okay.

Where To Start [3:13]

So, researching a blog post. It’s time for you to … I just saw a note about the flames and I’m not going to comment on it. 

Okay. It is time for you to research a blog post. You want to make it a really good blog post. Let’s say you want to build authority on the subject or you just really want to tackle a subject in a way that might not have been before. 

What do you do? 

Okay. So, we’re going to show you because this is why we built Airstory, like, for this exact purpose. It does other things but this is like the core of why we created Airstory at all. So I’m going to show you what … So you should be able to see my screen now. So I’m just going to send that back over there, cool. Yeah, so … Oh, I’m supposed to be muting all of my notifications and it is not. So just don’t worry about those.

Recommended Efficiency Tools [4:04]

Airstory Extension for Chrome

Okay, so this is Airstory writing space. It’s a normal writing space just like anywhere else. Like if you’re using Google Talks or Word or whatever, you can collaborate and write an extract, cool.

What’s really awesome, what we’re tackling today it’s, Airstory is all about taking research and using it in your writing. 

So, if you are going to do research for a post that you’re writing, or an email, or whatever that thing is that you’re writing, the first thing I want you to do, if you’re using Airstory, and it’s free, so like, why not, is install the Airstory Researcher for Chrome. That’s this little beauty up here. And I’m going to show you how we go through and do research with this and why this is the way we do research.

Evernote with Airstory [4:46]

Now if you use Evernote, you can still keep using Evernote’s clip board too, because Airstory lets you import notes from Evernote. 

When you go into your note library you can see that you can just click this little Evernote icon and then start importing your notes from Evernote. So, that’s good too. 

Find a story, or find a problem [5:04]

I am going to show you how to use Airstory Research to do research today, but, two things I want to bring up before we really get into it. That is, that research is great for lots of things but two key things. 

The first one is to find a story, or find a problem. 

The second one is to support a story or support something that has, that’s been said, something, an argument that you’re making. So sometimes you want to find the story in our research and other times we just want to support a story with our research. 

Now I used the word story, not as like a novel or a fiction piece, but like the story that you’re trying to tell in the blog post or in the argument that you’re making with.

Say, the problem that you’re digging into and trying to like get to the bottom of. So you want to find a story sometimes, or you want to support a story. 

Most of the time when you’re already writing a blog post, you’re not looking to find a story. You’ve already got the story. You know what you’re trying to tell. You know what you’re trying to get across. 

Other times when you’re writing, you might find yourself just distracted by things like most of us do. We’re doing some research or we’re doing some writing and some new idea comes to mind. And that’s important to. 

So I want to talk about like, not just focusing on the thing that you’re writing in the moment you’re writing it, but to always be in a state of researching as a writer. So you’re always collecting information.

DeepDyve [6:27]

So what does that really look like? Okay. So let’s say you’ve installed Airstory Researcher for Chrome. You’re using Evernote or whatever it is that you’re doing to collect research. 

First, where do you go? Okay, so there’s lots of places, and this is again where I go when I’m doing my research for any of the posts that we’ve done on Copyhackers or on other spaces. 

I am a big fan of DeepDyve. DeepDyve is showing here on the screen right now. Dyve has a Y instead of an I. It’s fantastic for reading things. Tragically though, they do not let you highlight or clip anything. No matter what. So I can, when I’m going through and reading anything on this. I have a paid pro account. I have selected it as a project that I want to … I’ve opened it for reading so it’s going to count towards the credits that I have with DeepDyve. And even still, I can’t do any highlighting no matter what. It’s tragic. It’s tragic. They need you to download the pdf.

So what I use DeepDyve for, is if I’m reading something and I like what I’m seeing, like currently there are over 190,000,000 million digital shoppers in the United States alone, that’s an interesting data point.

I’ll open up Airstory Researcher. I’ll say start highlighting. Then I will just skip past done. And this is just how I make notes as I go. So I can say here, over 190,000,000 digital shoppers in the United States alone. Okay, I’ve got that, and I can send that to anywhere I want to send that. Let’s say if I was doing a post on purchase intention, which this is all about, I might already have a project inside Airstory where I would send this note to directly to, but instead, I don’t have that and so if you’re ever out there reading something and you just know that you have a note that you think is interesting, send it to unassigned, and then when you go into Airstory you can just go into your unassigned library. We’re going to tag it, data point because we like data points. You’ll look at some details.

Starting the Blog Post Research Process [8:37]

Taking Notes During Research Phase

Now this is the important part. 

This is why I want to take the note right on the page. Airstory is going to capture that source material and that’s a huge part of researching. 

When you’re doing your research, you have to capture source material as you go. If you’re doing research manually by like, copying and pasting things into notepad or whatever that might be that you’re using, you will have to manually copy and paste this stuff over. 

Airstory is going to scrape what it can off the page and if you want it to fill in other things, you could. But the best thing about this is that you go the URL. So when you’re doing the writing of the blog post, you can go back and reference to just say who were the authors on that, because in most academic papers, there’re at least like a bazillion authors, and like everybody is involved. So, you don’t have to capture that right now. 

But the point is, capture the source material every time and make sure you put it in a place where you’ll be able to find it later.

And again, the unassigned library in Airstory is where notes go to be found later when you have a project you want to send them to. Use a good tag, so you know what to do, or you know what to look for. 

Okay, so let’s say we’re going to save that. So that’s one way to capture research. It’s not just to clip it, but as you’re reading something you want to make notes on that thing, just open up the research and do it that way.

Other places, so we’ve looked at DeepDyve, Google Scholar is another place, but, between DeepDyve and Google Scholar, Google Scholar does require still, that you have access to these journals, which sucks. 

So DeepDyve you can spend like 30 bucks a month and get access to the journals but you can’t clip anything tragically. But if you go and use Google Scholar, sometimes you can access free academic papers, but of the time you can’t. 

Using the abstract of a research paper [10:19]

Right, like you get this. You get an abstract. 

Now the abstract is actually something that you can do a lot with when you’re researching for a blog post. So we’re not researching as academics, we’re talking about this. 

This is all about content that you’re creating to help you build your authority to mark your business, whatever it might be. 

Usually the abstract is actually enough for us to, like to take what the high level learning is and use that. 

So I can go through and read an abstract and see, okay, the results demonstrate that a trade-off between perceived price and perceived quality, leads to perceived value and perceived value is a primary factor influencing purchase intention. 

Okay, that’s a bunch of like blah blah blah.

But, the point is, if I was paying attention, not talking while doing it, I could then go and clip this, which I’m going to do. Save that text. 

This is another data point that I can use in a post, again if I was doing purchase intention, I’ve now got this as another data point. I’m going to turn it into an Airstory card. I’m going to call it a data point like I did the last one. I might want to say purchase intention because I’m starting to gather an idea of what I want to write a post about, and then I can see of course that the details are still here as well, so I can report back to that later. I’m going to send it to unassigned and go.

Organize your research notes [11:35]

Okay, so we’ve seen that you should take notes as you read through things. That you should clip whatever important points you can. What I want to point out here is also that when you are doing research, I strongly recommend that you only clip a single data point at a time. 

So, and a data point I mean you make a note or a point out of a quote, a standalone. A single point like we just saw there. A single stat. A single testimonial. A single piece of information. Don’t stack up. 

Airstory Researcher will let you go through and highlight as many points as you want to, and that’s perfectly fine. Except that when it comes time for you to actually use that in your blog post, now you have to break all of those pieces up. Instead, just go through them one by one. Make cards as you can see. 

You don’t have to open the researcher every time. You can just go highlight what’s interesting to you at that moment and then save text to Airstory and then put this ribbon into a single card.

Keep Research as Bite Sized Reusable Pieces [10:32]

So that’s an important point, is to keep all of your research in byte sized re-usable pieces. 

Because research is a re-usable thing. You might be researching purchase intention today because you want to do a post on how consumers make decisions online, and a big section of that is purchase intention. But you might want to re-use that later for single small infographic let’s say on purchase intention. 

So you will want to re-use your research the more you go through and try to build your authority and do awesome content marketing. 

It’s never just a one-time thing. So keep those data points separate, so you can re-use them whenever you want to. 

Tagging Your Research [13:07]

Use good tags as well. 

Now, I made notes on tags because tagging is a hard thing. Like tagging, getting tagging right, this is why like a masters in library sciences is so hard to get and so kind of in demand because, you have to be like a librarian level to really get how to organize information. Not that it’s impossible, but don’t go into tagging your research expecting to do it perfect later, as a starting point. Just don’t. Do the best you can.

What I like to do is try to when I’m tagging my research, I try to just do a summary that I’m likely to get. 

As that, for purchase intention, it’s a phrase that I know. It’s a phrase that I would use very, like easily when talking about marketing online. So I’ll just use purchase intention as a tag. 

If that’s not a phrase that you would ever come up with, don’t use that. Use the thing that you’re going to be able to understand later, because you’re communicating with yourself right. 

You’re not here to share research with the world necessarily. You’re just trying to collect research that you can find it later and then use it. 

Using a Swipe File [14:11]

Other things about tagging, when you are doing research, tags that I find myself using are swipe or swipe file. So we’re not talking today about creating a swipe file, but as you’re going through and doing research, if you come across something that’s interesting, or anytime that you’re just reading thing online, and you come across like a really good example of a great email, or whatever it might be that is interesting to you at that moment, save it as a single note and tag it, swipe file.

Then when the time comes for you to go write a post about an email and you need an example, you go into Airstory, you go to your swipe file and you can then, of course I’m, not going to walk you through it, but you can go swipe file, and all of your notes. 

So you’ve got a different place that you can put it but you go to all notes, swipe file, and then go through and see all the things that you tagged swipe file, and now you’ve got that swipe file handy. 

Now that’s … A swipe file is a separate discussion from research for a single post, but keep that in mind with tagging. Swipe file, another tag that’s good is quote. Another tag is data. Another is academic study. 

I like to separate those because you don’t always need an academic study in order to have a really convincing post, but good Lord does it help. It helps a lot. Anecdote, things like that.

So, those sorts of tags I use repeatedly. That way when I want to … Story is another one. When I want to find a story, then I can just go into my tag, hit story, see if I’ve got anything. 

Okay, The Better Story comes up. Blah blah blah. Revenge Story, The Better Story, other things, but nonetheless, go through and find things that are tech story of anecdote. 

Here is a story on the Viral Texts Project at Northeastern University. Something about in the 1800s. So you can go through and just collect research as it shows itself to you.

Other Tools of the Trade [16:08]

Okay, so we’ve looked at DeepDyve. We’ve looked at Google Scholar and how to just use the abstract. 

Buzzsumo is another one that people recommend often for doing research. It’s good. It’s rather pricey in my opinion. So, if your organization has budget, it can be a great place to go to see what the most popular posts generally articles are on a subject. 

It’s not as beautiful as you want it to be. And I know people there are going awesome, but when I do the story about purchase intention, the number one result story is a letter of intent to purchase iron ore. 

So it’s not quite the search engine that you might want it to be, but it can be a good place to go. 

I continue to use Google. I know Google. Everybody uses it. But for me, for researching a post, I find it stronger. Sorry to the Buzzsumo team but this point for the price, I do, I just go to Google and see what comes up there.

I know that when you have to dig deep on things, there are lots of good reasons to use Buzzsumo. So I’m definitely not saying don’t use it. Just expect that you’ll also just have to go to good old fashioned Google. 

Okay, so those are the core places to go find your research. 

We talked about tagging it. 

We talked about capturing the stores. 

Make sure you use reliable sources of course. And Google’s pretty good at telling you if a source is reliable or not. So that’s again another reason to trust Google, like anybody needs another reason to go to Google. But, yeah. 

Always be researching and make sure that you do keep those data points as single points, so that when the time comes for you to write, you can now easily organize your notes on the page.

Questions from Live Viewers [17:51] 

It’s 18 minutes after the hour, and I have like 20 more minutes worth of stuff that I wanted to show you. But we are going to stop there and I will see what questions there are. Yeah. I think I’ve covered everything. Do make sure that you always keep your source material directly connected to the clip that you have or the data pointing to the research that you’ve done. You want to sight everything, and when the time comes, we need to actually write that blog post.

“Can you make [Airstory] a Safari extension pretty please?” [18:18]

Okay, so now, let’s see. I’m going to stop sharing. I can always re-share if things come up. 

Okay. Nachama asking, “Can you make a Safari extension pretty please?” 

For now, we are focused on Chrome. We’re going to get the Chrome one really right. Which includes just adding just a place to just quickly add a note instead of having to do the thing that I showed you where you skip past the part where you clip, but yes. 

That’s on the horizon. It’s just not on the immediate horizon. Chrome is awesome. We love Google products. Including Google Docs. 

Airstory is complementary to Google Docs. So, yeah. We’re still in Chrome ourselves. I don’t use Safari that much, but I totally get what you’re saying and I loved the pretty please as well.

“Has pricing changed? I remember it being really expensive at one point like 60 bucks a month then last week I saw it was free, so just checking in.” [19:08]

Okay, Rachael says, “Has pricing changed? I remember it being really expensive at one point like 60 bucks a month then last week I saw it was free, so just checking in.” 

Yes. Airstory is now super-duper free for the vast majority of the world. 

If you’re on a huge team and you’re adding lots of images and like heavy stuff to Airstory, or if you want to upgrade to like, then pay like, personal one-on-one support, that kind of thing, that’s an option there. But for basically everybody else, probably you, I would say, 100% yeah. 

It’s free. So yeah go ahead and use it now for all of your research and writing.

“DeepDyve is expensive. Are there any other research tools?” [19:44]

Okay. Jenny says, “DeepDyve is expensive. Are there any other research tools?”

Yeah. I showed you a couple, so I think this question came in before I showed you those. 

But remember that this is part of your content creation process. So 30 bucks a month isn’t expensive.

 If it is expensive, I think that the value, you might be missing the value. And I get that there’re places where that’s expensive, like I totally understand the value of a dollar. But, I want to really remind you of like, I know that, for some people who haven’t seen what great content can do, they can be like, do I really need to like get, to pay 30 bucks a month for something where I’ll only look up an academic study once a month. 

Well, that one thing, when you look at some of the people who have made in credible content businesses out of just taking like, other people’s data points and turning them into large books, Cialdini. 

When you see what could come of that, then it doesn’t seem quite as expensive. Plus it’s month to month.

So give it a shot for a month. Do your free trial. See what you can find on there. Subscribe to the right journals. 

I forgot to mention that during this. But go into DeepDyve and subscribe to the journals that are most likely to matter for you. So if it’s like for us, the journal of consumer research, is a no brainer because we’re always talking about optimizing to get more sales. 

So, understanding how consumers think and behave, is a big part of that and it’s really high value. 

If you’re working on something else like modern trends in technology, or in health. Then look up those journals. Subscribe to those alone and you can actually be perceived as more of an authority on the subject simply because you’re the first person to talk about that new study that just came up that nobody’s even heard about, because it’s published in Singapore by some like, unknown group of people who are super smart but they’re not marketers so you’re going take that information and you’re going to be the one to talk about it in a place that could really help you build your authority.

So, if you go to let’s say, Inc, or Fortune, or Forbes or something like that and say, “Hey. I have this brand new post that includes this brand new study result, do you want to publish it?” 

And you have a little bit of relationship with them already, that’s the kind of stuff that you can then leverage better than just saying, “Hey, I have a post on ‘Six Ways to Use Quinoa in Your Salad,” or something. Right, like it’s not as good as saying here’s the study on Quinoa and what it can really do for you, et cetera, et cetera. 

Okay, so that’s just me, and I don’t have, I’m not an affiliate for DeepDyve. 

I don’t get anything out of it. I just recommend it.

“So what I see in the right hand menu in your story, is all that exists as most popular so that …” [22:23]

Okay, someone else said thanks. You’re welcome. That may have been for Sarah. Andrew says, “So what I see in the right hand menu in your story, is all that exists as most popular so that …” 

Oh. No. Not for a story. So what I see in the right hand menu is all that exists.

Sorry Andrew. Don’t know what that’s in reference to. If you just want to like follow up on that. I don’t know if that’s for Buzzsumo. I’m not sure what part you’re talking about. Okay.

Sarah Dlin: Sorry Jo, Sorry Jo, that was just for the replays, I do believe.

Joanna Wiebe: Oh, okay. Sorry. Sarah’s got, okay thanks.

Sarah Dlin: Yeah.

“Is there a workflow for highlighting to Airstory cards on iOS or Android?” [23:00]

Joanna Wiebe: Okay. Thanks. Okay. Rahab says, “Is there a workflow for highlighting to Airstory cards on iOS or Android?” 

So Airstory works on your, like the actual app works on your phone, on your iPad. You can do all your writing and dragging and dropping in there, so it was responsibly built as an app. So that’s awesome. 

We don’t yet have a native app. We are building one. It’s on our road map, where you can capture notes or anything that you do on your phone, you’ll just use the share extension, like if you take a picture of something and you want to send it to Airstory to use later, which is really good for like field research and more like the education and academic side of people use Airstory, you can then just like take anything that you have captured on your phone and share it back to your Airstory project or to the unassigned library as you saw today. 

So, I don’t know if that helps you, but the actual clipping, we don’t have a clipboard for Safari so we don’t have anything that you can do on your iPhone at this point.

Android, no. I don’t think so either. I don’t use Android. So I’m going to go with a no on that for now, but this is all like we’re capturing this. We’re thinking about this stuff and thanks for chatting that over. We’ll definitely consider where that could fit on our road map.

“You used to hyphenate your tags. Is that no longer required?” [24:15]

Meg says, “You used to hyphenate your tags. Is that no longer required?” 

Yeah. The tags end up adding a hyphen automatically to them. So when I type in purchase intention, Airstory will add that hyphen automatically to keep it together. Cool. 

Hi Meg. Okay. Every time I see her name I’m just reminded of when Sarah and I were kids and we were watching your show. You’re amazing. We love you.

“How can I save content from emails or an email in its entirety into Airstory?” [24:36]

Okay. Val says, “How can I save content from emails or an email in its entirety into Airstory?” Love it. 

Okay. This is part of the 20 minutes that I didn’t get to cover today. But that is using Zapier. 

So we don’t yet have, and we will be building this. You don’t even know how many ideas we have for what’s to come. We want to build a native way for you to just go email. So like, forward any email you have to your Airstory address have it go into your unassigned library at that point. 

That’s not ready yet. What is ready is our Zapier integration. 

So, if you use Zapier, which I know it sounds like, oh it’s hard, but it’s really just creating like, if then rules. 

So you can make your apps like talk to each other better. We have a really cool Zapier integration where you can start and email in Gmail, as soon as you hit it with a star, you’ll send it straight to Airstory unassigned library. So you can turn any email you have into a note just by hitting start on it.

Now you just have to go to Zapier and set up that integration. 

I think there are clear directions on how to do that, which Sarah can chat over, like put it on our on, what it is called, our knowledge base basically. 

Yay. That’s awesome Val. That’s awesome. So if you want to go check that out, then yeah. It’s really good. 

Especially if you work in a team and you get like your boss sending you like, “Oh, here’s a new testimonial that we just got in. Make sure you use that later.” 

Don’t lose that. Put that into a note, star that thing, send it off, it becomes a note, you can take your testimonials all fund and good. Data points you might get from the analytics guy, in you know, the next room over, or wherever it might be. You can turn all those emails into more useful notes.

“Where and how does Google tell whether a source is reliable?” [26:20]

Okay. Awesome. Sheryl says, “Where and how does Google tell whether a source is reliable?” 

Okay. It doesn’t. But, Google’s algorithm is a billion times smarter than any other algorithm on the planet. 

People could argue with me that it is not. Fine. But in my opinion, when I search purchase intention on Google and I come up with more, like clear obvious information about purchase intention and what’s starting to actually get into academic research, which is a reliable thing, versus, again, we love people at Buzzsumo, or you can’t see my screen. 

I just realized you can’t see my screen as I’m clicking through. But you can see on Buzzsumo, things that come up, are not as strong a fit. So, I believe I will drink the Google Kool-Aid and believe that the stuff that they’re serving us is because it’s in their best interests for it to be the best content on a subject. 

So that’s why. But if you don’t like it, I understand. I just use and I have not been led astray so far.

“Would it make sense to put templates in the swipe file?” [27:28]

Okay. Troy says, “Would it make sense to put templates in the swipe file?” 

Yeah. So a swipe file for templates, we do have. So when I’m inside Airstory and I search swipe file in my like, all notes library, when I go to all notes and search swipe file, generally I also, anything tagged swipe file, or a lot of things tagged swipe file, are also tagged template. 

Because an email that I might want to put in my swipe file, I might also call that a template because I just want to re-use it. 

So yeah. If you feel good about that, cool. If that doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it. 

Again, you’re not tagging for anybody but yourself. Can you help yourself find your research later. That’s all that matters. If you can’t, it’s not going to help. Don’t do it. If it is going to help, do it. It’s all for you.

“Installing Airstory, as just an add-on works with Mozilla Firefox.” [28:17]

Leah says, “Installing Airstory, as just an add-on works with Mozilla Firefox.” 

So the Airstory app itself, are like When you’re in there, it’s on any browser. The Airstory Researcher is for Chrome. Okay.

“Excited to dive into Airstory. My only concern is using it with all of my clients who may not be used to it.” [28:34]

Rachael says, “Thanks Jo.” You’re welcome. Oh, wow, thanks. Lots of nice things. “Excited to dive into Airstory. My only concern is using it with all of my clients who may not be used to it.” 

I totally get it. So you can invite them to Airstory. The best reasons to invite a client to Airstory is if you want them to help you do some research. 

So if you’re like, “Hey client. You have a lot of good ideas here. Can you go into this project and just create different notes on this different points.” 

If that’s a thing that they want to do, like, oh, here’s a value proposition for you Rachael or here’s a product spec sheet or something and then upload that as a new tab for you. Whatever that is. If you want them to collaborate with you on the thinking part of it, not just on the writing part of it, that’s a great reason to invite people to an Airstory project. 

But I get that it’s a different look and feel. It is of course 100% free to do so.

But what you can also do, like if you’re like my clients, just not ready for this yet, they’ll look at it. They won’t understand that this is a thing. 

Or if you want to say like, “Hey, now this is a tool for advanced professional writers. This isn’t for my client.” 

That’s understandable too. I can totally appreciate that. Export to Google Docs. Export to Word. Export to any of those other things. 

You can just hit the publish button off to the right in Airstory interface. Choose the tab that you want to actually export. 

And again it just says publish with a drop down. When you hit that, you’ll see that you can publish to Google Drive or to Word, or whatever other thing that you might want to publish to. And then you can invite them to that. So you don’t have to invite people to Airstory to collaborate. 

We do have a very cool track-changes feature coming up in March and you will want to, at that point. It will make your life so much easier as somebody who works with clients.

“Are Quora or Tumblr et cetera, good places to look for research?” [30:20]

Okay. Anonymous says, “Are Quora or Tumblr et cetera, good places to look for research?” 

Yes. The reason why I didn’t go into those is because I wanted to spend more time on the Google search results and that’s where I’ve done any research, I really do … Once I’m done with DeepDyve once I’ve got like a study or two under my belt, I go straight over to Google and I just search that thing and I open like in new tabs every result I get for whatever that key word phrase is. 

I just keep opening those in new tabs and then I go through them one by one. Very often, very often Quora comes up in those search results. Tumblr doesn’t often come up for me. I don’t know that I have ever quoted anything on Tumblr. We’ll use that as research, but Quora I absolutely have. 

Last week I talked about the post I wrote on how to demo SaaS. And so many points in that came from Quora discussions. So yeah. Quora’s still a great place to go. Yeah. Absolutely.

“JW, I’m wondering if keyword search takes place later in your process.” [31:20]

Okay. Robert Kennedy. Hello you. “JW, I’m wondering if keyword search takes place later in your process.” 

So you mean keyword search as in SEO stuff? 

I am not an SEO pro. I’ll admit that. I have been lucky that Google continues to prioritize natural language, and so when I do optimize for search engines, I am happy to keep using natural language and Google for the most part has rewarded me for that. 

But I don’t sit down and do keyword research and I know the SEOs in the room are like, “What. You have to.” I don’t. “Where does it fit in your process?” It doesn’t occur in mine. 

I tend to write what things that are interesting to me at that moment, and sometimes nobody else cares and sometimes people care. So, there’re better ways to do it, but we’re not talking about how to find the topic. We’re talking about how to research the topic. I conveniently skipped over how to find a topic.

“Can you do a tutorial Tuesday on how to get great guest post outlets?” [32:25]

Okay. Rachael says, “Can you do a tutorial Tuesday on how to get great guest post outlets?” 

Yes. We talked about this in my program, the 10X Freelance Copywriter. So, down the road we’ve got the next, we’ve got all the way to the end of April booked up for tutorial Tuesdays already planned out. But I can try to get that in, more toward the summer time. Absolutely.

“Are there specific protocols for setting learn, learned, journals or do you apply a personal style?” [32:50]

Okay. Rachael says, “Are there specific protocols for setting learn, learned, journals or do you apply a personal style?” 

So, when we’re talking about this research we’re talking about to create content. Not to put together your own academic piece. 

So, sure. There are certain ways to cite that stuff, [inaudible 00:33:12] like, any of us think back to like undergrad or grad school, there are awful rules that we all hated following on MLP, APA, all of these styles that you have to follow. 

Nobody likes it. There are like paid apps to do that work for you, for a good reason. So, I just make sure I’m linked to the original. So say like, when I’m talking about research, linked to the source like, as doctor so-and-so at university of whatever found, and then I link that part as doctor so and so at university of whatever found, comma, and then I go into what that person found. 

But just link that out to that original source that I mentioned you want to capture as you’re doing that research.

You don’t have to go into the date or any of that stuff. That’s, you’re writing a blog post. You’re writing an E-book. You don’t have to go into those details because there’s no professor looking over your shoulder saying you have to. So don’t. You get to just stop doing those things, yay.

“How soon do you throw in the research data in your post? Aren’t people tired of seeing top ten…?” [34:13]

Anonymous says, “How soon do you throw in the research data in your post? Aren’t people tired of seeing top ten…?” 

Yeah. People hate top ten lists. Unless it’s like top ten ways to do something that really matters to you in that moment. 

This research is, research is there, again, you want to find a story in research or you want to support something in research. It’s not there to say like, here are ten ways to persuade people. 

Or you let go and you say, you clip one way, you clip another way, and you clip another way, and you put those into a post.

If you refer back to our blog post from, sorry, our tutorial Tuesday from last week, where we talked about the formulae for authority building content. It’s not about a top ten list. It’s about supporting a better story and that story is usually something that like, is coming from your perspective or your unique point of view. 

So top ten lists, everybody rarely uses that bullshit. But top ten ways that you have done X, or ten terrible lessons you learned while trying to do Y, might be an interesting post to read, and then you want to make sure you’re not just telling your story, but you’re supporting it with other examples, and that’s where the research comes in. So hopefully that helps out there.

Jenny, “Good advice I’ll give [inaudible 00:35:29] to have a try, awesome. Cool.” And again, try the free trial if you don’t like it then you can just cancel and it’s really, really easy. If you do like it, then they deserve your money.

“Is the integration with WordPress free or paid Airstory thing?” [35:37]

Emily says, “Is the integration with WordPress free or paid Airstory thing?”

It’s free. Our integration are all free. Zapier’s free. The Researcher’s free. WordPress plugin is free. Are all free. Yay. Aren’t we awesome. We’re so awesome.

Okay. Meg smiled.

“What’s the name of the book you keep mentioning and who is the author?” [35:52]

Okay. Anonymous says, “What’s the name of the book you keep mentioning and who is the author?” I think I’ve been mentioning Influence by Robert Cialdini. I don’t see a copy on my book shelf, where it should be. 

So, yeah. It’s called Influence. It’s by Robert Cialdini. He wrote a second one on like The Seventh Persuasion Principle recently. But just Google that. Cialdini is spelt C-I-A-L-D-I-N-I, Cialdini. Okay.

“What is the Airstory app title right now? Airstory it’s a health …” [36:24]

Christine. Hi. Christine says, “What is the Airstory app title right now? Airstory it’s a health …” 

No. Airstory doesn’t have an app in like the app store, if that’s what you’re looking for. If there’s a health and fitness app called Airstory, well done them. 

No. We do not have one. Although we used to have one for a very old version of Airstory and we will have one later. But we currently do not have a mobile app. Okay.

“Can you quote an entire article like Evernote or just piece?” [36:53]

Bronko asked “Can you quote an entire article like Evernote or just piece?” 

No. Just pieces. The point of our Airstory Researcher is to help you move through the piece. Not just like click something like we use, I use pocket to keep track of like posts that I want to read later. 

When I actually read that post, then I turn on the Airstory Researcher and go through it and click the important data points turning them each into their own note.

Okay. So, that’s the point of the Researcher. It’s not just like a way to collect articles or things that you want to look at later. But once you’ve found the thing you want to read, now you use the Researcher to go in and actually do something with it.

“When is the new 10X opening?” [37:33]

Anonymous says “When is the new 10X opening?” 

If that’s the 10X Freelance Copywriter possibly in July. If we don’t open it in July, it won’t be open again until next December. But Copy School is opening very soon. Okay.

“If I work with an editor, do they need a paid version of Airstory? Can they access it without a login?” [37:47]

And Bronko asks, the last question here. Thanks everyone for hanging on, those who were able to. Bronko asks, “If I work with an editor, do they need a paid version of Airstory? Can they access it without a login?” 

They can access it. Right now they’ll have to create a login. It’s free. 

But we have something called frictionless coming out very soon. And that means that as soon as you share a link with anybody, they can then go in and access it without having to create and Airstory account. So it’s not until they want to submit any changes or comments or feedback to you on that, that they would need to sign in because we need to recognize like, who are you, that you’re sending this information back to this person who invited you to it. 

So, that’s coming out very soon. You can go over to in the footer is our road map. So you can always see what’s coming up next for Airstory and that one is called frictionless, sign up. And it should be coming very, very soon. But just keep in mind that inviting anybody to Airstory is free. You can have as many people on your team. You can add guests. Whatever you want to do. That is free as well.

Key Takeaways on Doing Blog Post Research [38:51]

Okay. So, that was a bit more than … On research on how to research and what to think about. I want to … Just keep in mind that when you’re doing this research you’re often thinking about doing research to support what we’re trying to say and that’s great. But never forget that once you do a bunch of research, you can review that and find new stories and angles inside your research. So do … Once you’ve collected a whole bunch of information on a topic, do take some time to go through it, read through it and look for the story inside of it.

Wrapping Things Up [39:22]

Okay. Best of luck with your research. Next week is a major epic 16 minute tutorial Tuesday where we are sharing a template, a premium template for an ultimate guide. This template will sell on Airstory market for about 20 dollars. You will get it free when you show up here and attend our tutorial Tuesday. Again, we’re not selling you on anything, we’re just coaching you on how to create an ultimate guide. It’s a lot to take in, in 16 minutes. So, do show up right on time. We’re share up the link to the template immediately at the beginning of the tutorial and Sarah, will share it as we go. But you want to dig in right at the start of the session so that you don’t miss anything, because we’re going to move through the template and fill it out as we go. So make sure you show up on time.

Okay. And thanks everybody for sticking around, for asking such great questions and chatting with everybody. Thanks Sarah for answering questions, and being on camera today.

Sarah Dlin: Wow. Yay.

Joanna Wiebe: Okay. And listen in guys next Tuesday. Have a good week everyone. Bye.

Sarah Dlin: Bye.

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