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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Researching InformationTo Develop Your Unique Content

We live in a sea of information. And information overload is an increasingly common complaint. Part of the complaint arises because we get hit with different headlines that point to the same content. So we waste time on things that have no added value. Bummer.

When you email your list or put up content on your site, and assuming you want to generate loyalty, it's necessary that you have content others haven't seen a dozen times elsewhere.

If this makes sense to you, here are some ideas you can use to EASILY generate fresh content with a minimal amount of time and effort.

First of all, think about a subject in which you are interested. Let's say it's horticulture. Now if you're not aware of it, let me put you in the picture. Most people do web searches from Google's home page and stop there. Not at all creative. Not at all digging for information from which to develop original content.

So let's go exploring...

1 - Google has lots of tools besides just web searches. They let you check the news. (http://news.google.com/) As of this writing, there are 1,680 news items listed by Google on the word horticulture. Bet you could easily do a summary of some of these articles and create your own content. But let's not stop there.

2 - Google also has "groups." (http://groups.google.com/) These are folks who like to discuss *your* subject. So now you can go even farther. Look up horticulture in their groups. Now this information is potentially gold. Why? Because you can see what it is about horticulture that lots of folks are interested in.

Think you might be able to do a little research and come up with a free or even a for-profit report that gives them what they want?

Check out Google's other tools, too. You can even get research info from universities through Google. Start here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/

3 - Next method: Do this search (keeping in the punctuation as written):

+horticulture +free +filetype:pdf

As of this writing, Google shows 196,000 hits for this query. What you get here are free downloads in pdf format about your subject.

Now you can't simply copy and use it as your own information. You have to create your writing in your own words. But there's no law that says you can't summarize what you find in other people's works. To make the point, you could even call your work something like: "Survey Report: Latest from the Horticulture Front!"

4 - Go to Alexa.com. Do a search on your subject, in this example, horticulture. It provides the exact same results as Google because it's powered by Google. So why bother, right? Wrong. Because Alexa *does* provide value added information.

When you do the search, you don't want to click the link that takes you to the listed site. Instead you want to follow the link that says "Site info." When you do this, you'll find a section called: "People who visit this page also visit." This can be very valuable because it potentially shows *what the marketplace is interested in.* This can enable you to tailor your information product to what people want.

These are just some of the easy ways to branch out your explorations and find gold to weave into golden braids.

Golden searching... :)



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