I knew how to do it.
I would simply spend too much time on it.
An article that should take me 90 minutes to complete can take double that time if I’ve fallen down the research rabbit hole.
I’m usually genuinely interested in the stuff I write for clients, so it’s easy for me to research as if I’m writing a tell-all instead of a 1000 word blog post.
There are 2 main components to my research process:
I have to search for content that might be good, skim the content to make sure it is truly good, then take notes, establish my angle, create my blueprint…
And THEN write the article.
I want to share a method I’ve learned that helps my research and content creation process flow more smoothly than ever before.
This cheat code works the best if you use it on topics you already know.
This cheat code is also VERY powerful, and should not be used to do things like pretend to be an expert on a subject you really know nothing about.
I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I’ve trained a nation of Abignales.
“I left there and went to teach school at Brigham Young as a professor of sociology. Wasn’t difficult, read one chapter ahead of my students. They never knew the difference.”
– Frank Abignale
Here’s what you’re going to do:
1. Find a long, high-ranking blog post on your topic
2. Read the content and take great notes
3. Write long, detailed, expert-level content for your brand faster and easier than ever before
Sounds easy enough — right?
Here’s an example of the method at work:
I want to write a robust article on SEO, but I don’t want to have to look a million different places to find the foundational material I need to finish my article.
I want all my key statistics, key terms, key concepts, and relevant use cases all in one place if possible.
To start my research, I’ll Google “SEO ultimate guide” and choose from one of the top 5 search results…
The article I choose has everything I need.
I’ll skim the content to make sure the key ingredients are all there, and then I’ll start making my outline.
I already know the article is written well because it’s in the top 5 of the Google SERPS for my target keyword, and it’s published by a reputable source.
And I know it’s trustworthy for the same reasons.
So how do I know the source is reliable?
Well, this question takes us back to really already knowing your stuff.
I’m a student of SEO going on a decade plus now.
I don’t know absolutely every SEO trick known to mankind (I try to keep up with those), but I know enough to help you get found on the internet, and possibly get more customers.
The stuff I’m reading in the source material isn’t beyond me. It’s stuff I already know. I’m 100% confident that what I’m reading is REAL.
And you should always have this confidence too.
When it comes to content creation, one of the things I get bent out of shape over is HOW to teach the stuff I already know…
- What learning format is best?
- How long or short should the lesson be?
- What subtopics should I cover for the content to feel “complete”?
Well, starting with work that’s already been done for me is probably the most useful skill I’ve learned all year.
This work is the collection and organization of information that is more fact than opinion.
Facts are unoriginal ideas that aren’t penalized (and don’t penalize the author) for being unoriginal ideas.
For instance, if my blog says, “water is wet,” and your blog also says, “water is wet,” then believe it or not, we are NOT copying each other.
Water is actually and factually wet. So nobody’s stealing just because you and I communicate the same core message of the same fact.
It’s when our rephrasing, or our interpretation, of that core message matches verbatim, that one of us is stealing from the other.
It’s possible to discuss the same topic as someone else, and have your own ideas about it. It’s also possible that you may share some of the same facts that the other person does.
This is totally fine because neither you, nor that other person, own these facts.
And you cannot change them.
We can change how facts are perceived.
But we can’t actually change facts.
We can’t make water NOT wet…
We can’t make rocks NOT hard…
And we can’t make Kevin Hart funny.
Ha! Just checking to see if you’re still with me lol.
Anyways, all you’re doing with this research method is going straight to super detailed and trustworthy content (straight to the gold), taking concise notes, and then expanding those notes into your YOUR OWN opinions, educated ideas, and experiences.
Also keep in mind that you share experiences with other people.
You also share opinions with other people.
And you may share educated ideas with other people.
Possibly people that you will never ever meet.
But you don’t have to use the exact same wording as someone else just because it’s possible to unknowingly share (and publish) the same ideas sometimes.
You’re gonna take original content based on unoriginal ideas, extract those unoriginal ideas, then make your own original content using the unoriginal ideas in the extraction (your awesome notes).
I know it sounds like some kinda weird surgery, but I promise you it’s not.
This method isn’t very much unlike standard article research.
The difference with this method is that you’re not searching all over the place to find credible source material to prime your original content.
You’re gonna go straight to what’s true — to what’s obviously working for your competitor — and use that competitor’s framework to inspire your own traffic and sales-generating creation.
Besides, 9.9999 times out of 10, the competition you’re modeling modeled THEIR competition in some form.
But find what works and then make your own things based on those findings.
Don’t reinvent the wheel.
But make the wheel look cooler, last longer, and go faster.
You can do that without being a content creator douche nugget that takes other people’s stuff and profits from it.
Much of your business will involve you making old things better — especially if you’re in a niche that doesn’t change much.
Before we finish up, I want to share one more OG content creator hack that should never be forgotten:
Specifically, college textbooks.
Up-to-date college textbooks.
These resources will share modern foundational information relevant to your niche, and will also include valuable end-of-chapter summaries and exercises like end-of-chapter reflection questions and quizzes.
You can use these elements to beef up all your brand’s blog articles, and you can even use them to create digital or physical products!
Books are another great example of work that has already been done for you.
Use books to your advantage. They are polished, authoritative, and usually pretty substantive — especially if you notice them flying off the shelves.
Students pay top dollar for the information in their textbooks, and professors get paid to guide paying students along this information — only for the books to soon be obsolete.
There’s a GREATER chance that the information will be correct in these kinds of books, so you can trust it!
Use it to make money.
Everybody who’s in college right now that has either paid for, or has some kind of access to, college textbooks or a free library of some sort should be using those books to make money online.
You can use them to start earning a living before you even graduate.
I’ll leave you with this…
When you’re Googling your topic, include the words “ultimate guide” in your query.
That’s gonna get you the good stuff. The long stuff. The deep stuff. Some of the most trustworthy and most flippable (for a handsome profit) content on the internet.
Reputable brands don’t invest in writing ultimate guides unless they are REALLY into being considered an authority in their fields.
You can bet on ultimate guides to be solid foundations for your new content any time, and virtually with any topic.
Thanks so much for your time. I hope you’ve learned a lot here, and that you’re motivated to use that newfound knowledge to grow your bank account!
The world is in the palm of your hand.
If you have a working phone and or computer with a working internet connection, there is nothing stopping you from sharing your brand with millions or even billions of people in your lifetime.
And you only need a small percentage of the masses to buy from you.
Take everything I’ve taught you here and USE IT to start or grow your business right now.
Share this with other business owners who could use a boost in content confidence and productivity for their brands
And if you ever get lost and need some one-on-one help finding your way, I’m here.