This article came to me while writing Where To Get Ideas For Writing Blogs?. If a person is having difficulty finding a topic to write about, they might have trouble researching the topic.
There are no Google Hacks in this article. OK, one. Read this book:
This article may not tell you anything new, especially if you are younger.
Modern search engines are for use by normal people. Technical people tend to use very specific search terms. Their keywords are very tense. For example, they might search for “elephantiasis”.
The average person searches more like “what is elephantiasis”.
Google knows how to handle most questions with what if, how to, etc.
I have a friend who I call the Google Whisperer. He told me to “how to” instead of “how do I”. I actually get better search results following his advice.
Sometimes using the keyword approach works well, especially for software programming information. For example, I might blog something like “PHP searching a string” when making software. Most other topics I write something like “how to get blog ideas”.
Spelling and Grammar
When it comes to blogging, I google a fair bit to find useful information, to check the spelling of certain words or if a word is being used correctly.
If I need to find the spelling of a word, I typically type the word with as close to the spelling as I can get it. Google is used to bad spelling, and it will often correct it to find relevant search results.
I might also run the word through dictionary.com.
If I need a synonym, thesaurus.com is good. I keep forgetting how to spell thesaurus, so I usually go to dictionary.com and click on its Thesaurus.com tab.
When I have an idea of what I want to say, the following is my goto thesaurus. Roget’s International Thesaurus is cannot be beaten. Unfortunately, I cannot find an online version of it so hardcover edition it is.
Fact-Checking and Research
I also fact-check myself. Some mistakes will make it through but I try to minimize them. I want this website to be a reliable source of information.
Wikipedia is generally a good source of information. There is even a The Missing Manual book for it. Of course, it is not without its issues.
The way I look at Wikipedia is this. I am giving advice, not building a nuclear power plant. (Maybe that will be next year’s project?) It is no Encyclopedia Britannica, but it is good for a free site.
Here is how I composed the last paragraph.
The way I look at Wikipedia is this. I am giving advice, not building a nuclear power plant. (Maybe that will be next year’s project?) It is no Encyclopedia Britannica, but it is good for a free site.Example of Using Google, Amazon, and Wikipedia
First, I wrote the words.
The way I look at Wikipedia is this. I am giving advice, not building a nuclear power plant. (Maybe that will be next year’s project?) It is no Encyclopedia Britannica, but it is good for a free site.Just the words
Then I looked up Wikipedia and inserted its link. I made a reference to Encyclopedia Britannica and wondered…does Amazon sell it?
A search on Amazon found a page with a picture of the encyclopedia, which took me this:
It was a simple matter of inserting the text link.
Why all the links to Amazon? I want to arouse enough curiosity that the reader will click on a link. Remember, if someone goes to Amazon via your link, you get a commission on any Amazon products they purchase in the next 24 hours. I don’t care what they click on, as long as it takes them to Amazon and they get my precious affiliate cookie.
The nuclear power plant was a little hyperbole and the next year’s project was a joke, obviously. I try to inject humour where I can.
Then I thought. Wasn’t there a boy who built a working nuclear reactor in his garage? So I searched Google.
Clicking on the link for Taylor Wilson lead to this National Geographic article.
The link for David Hahn gave me this Wikipedia article.
So? There were two teenagers who did this independently! David Hahn and Taylor Wilson.
A quick search at Amazon revealed two books, one for each young man. I could resist adding those links. Fascinating stuff!
I used to be a voracious reader. I used to constantly have my nose stuck in a book. Bookworms had nothing on me!
One side effect of my mental illness is I have lost my ability to do math and to read.
I used to do fairly complex math operations in my head. Now, I cannot figure out bus fare without a calculator.
I used to read almost 24/7. It was nothing for me to spend hours absorbed in a book. Now my mind gets tired and wants to sleep after about 5-15 minutes. Maybe half an hour.
The article, Where To Get Ideas For Writing Blogs?, there is a section “Google For Blog Ideas with several links to other webpages. It was 3AM and I was dead tired but wanted to finish the article. How did I select them?
I googled “blog ideas” and looked at the links that looked promising. I did not read them; I skimmed them.
Usually, the most important sentence in a paragraph is the first one. Typically, the first sentence tells what the paragraph is about. The rest of the paragraph goes into what the first sentence discusses in more detail.
The first sentence n a paragraph tells you if you need to know more. If you do, then read the entire paragraph.
Only reading the first sentence in each paragraph is a quick way to get the gist of the article. That is now to skim an article properly.
I skimmed the articles using the method above and picked the links that were promising.
I normally end an article is a recommended product to buy, but this time I will simply remind you that Google, Wikipedia and Amazon are great places to do research.