One of the things that I spend a lot of time doing is research. This is basically a requirement when completing a doctorate. That, and writing. Research is something that can really help to add more value to your content production and enlighten your life and inspire you at the same time.
As you are reading this article, you are on one of the most helpful sites, where you can start your research > DirJournal!
Here is a step-by-step process of researching the term ‘fashion’ with DirJournal:
- Visit http://www.DirJournal.com and scroll down to the “Browse” section. You can stop at the top and pick one of the popular topics. You can also select your country from the right side of the top of that home page.
- From the “Browse Categories” section, choose the general topic that most closely matches your topic. In this case, it is fashion, so we will choose, “Arts and Humanities.” If you are in doubt, you can click on a few categories until you find the right one.
- Within the “Humanities” category, we have several sub-categories, or topics, to choose from for our next selection. Since our topic is ‘fashion,’ it seems obvious to select that one.
- Within this section of DirJournal.com, you will see the sub-categories, in this case, “Consumer Information,” and “Magazines” like the featured listing, Elle Magazine, and other listings (everything that does not fit into Consumer Information or Magazines sub-category).
Other Resources for Research
Pinterest and Instagram
A great place to get inspiration for your niche research is to visit http://www.Pinterest.com. All you need to do is spend some time browsing and it isn’t difficult to get inspired (or distracted!) on Pinterest. Once you find a board that you like, that relates to your niche, you can follow some of the re-pins back to other boards. You can follow these pinners, to keep them in your Pinterest feed, or even bookmark their boards to return back later. If you want to get really creative, use some recipes at IFTT to get notifications of updated pins in your niche. All you need is the Pinterest RSS feed and modify your recipe and you are all set! Don’t worry, IFTTT walks you through finding that feed. Here is an IFTTT recipe that sends the pinterest pin (from a designated user or designated board) to an Evernote document: Pinterest RSS to Evernote.
Similar to Pinterest, you can perform searches on instagram and follow people who are experts in their field in the same niche. Create lists so that it is easy to find their content when you need it. A handy site, to help manage your instagram from the desktop, is iconosquare.com.
Twitter Lists, Facebook Groups, and G+ Communities
In the same way as discussed, above, for Instagram, create lists of those who specialize in “fashion” on Twitter. Put them in a special Twitter list so that you can isolate their content, specifically. You can make this list private, if you don’t want anyone to know about the list. On the other hand, by making it public, you have a chance that others will also follow the list, which may allow more exposure for your content, as well.
There are many opportunities to join G+ Communities and Facebook Groups related to your niche. You will be able to meet others who are interested in the same niche and opportunities for joint venture and group projects/interviews, etc.
Meddle.it, Scoop.it, Paper.li, Snip.ly
These are tools that are great for content curation, but they are also helpful in getting inspiration, as well as content ideas, quotes, and links. You will definitely want to bookmark them and use them for your research. For more information on these tools, check out these DirJournal articles:
Pulling it All Together in Trello
I organize many of my thoughts and research in Trello. I also create a column/list called “Swipe File.” In that list, I enter cards that include ideas that come to me randomly, as well as sites I have found interesting, related to the topic I am researching. So, for the niche, “fashion and beauty,” (yes, I actually have a blog I manage that relates to this, so the research is real research I’ve done), I would have a list of sites that I find helpful for fashion, and in this case, beauty inspiration. Under my “resources” list, I include those for fashion trends, makeup reviews, and other interesting sites (many of which I have found through Pinterest research).
By going through this process, repeatedly, I add to my Trello list of resources and when I am ready to write an article for this particular niche, I have resources to use for interviews, for topic ideas, and for quoting. Your research database, whether it is stored on Trello, or somewhere else, becomes your go to place for information that you need to create your own personalized content for your niche.