Knowing how to research a writing topic thoroughly is key to producing quality content. Companies use content to build their reputation as an authority in their field, which requires you to become an authority, as well.
With thorough research, you can quickly develop content that has significant value to the reader (i.e., prospects, leads, and customers). Content littered with opinions and un-backed claims is rarely more valuable than social media rant and does not withstand the test of time in most cases. Hence, the trick to becoming a valuable writer in your niche (and building a client list that sticks) is to thoroughly research your topic before you begin your Cannabis copywriting project.
How to Research a Writing Topic
Before you can delve very deeply into your topic, you must understand it. As such, it is essential to research your topic before you start writing. To begin, simply copy the document title then paste it in your favorite search engine. Open up a word document and start taking notes.
As you collect your notes, build an outline with the information you gather. Pay special attention to the issues most commonly addressed using this search term then use these items as sub-headers for each point on your outline. Include detailed information, including reference links under each point on which you will elaborate later.
After this preliminary round of research, step away for a few minutes. Think about the information you just learned. Next, ask yourself if there are any unanswered questions you should address, as well. This is a crucial component on how to research a writing topic as it is these unanswered questions that set your content apart from competitor sites. Remember, readers want value, and if your content has more value than the rest, readers (and clients) will continue to come to you for information.
Cite Appropriate Sources
Citing credible sources is important, but it is just as essential to ensure that they do not come from competitor sites. For example, if you are writing a piece for a cannabis seed bank, do not reference another seed bank in your document. Instead, locate the original source of the claim (you can often do so by following links from the source until you find the original) then include this link as your source, instead. If the information is accurate, you should be able to find a non-competitive source with a little extra effort.
Know Your Terms
No matter how much research you do, if you mix up important cannabis terms, your information could be widely inaccurate. For example, hemp and marijuana both come from the genus, Cannabis, but their distinction largely determines the legality of each. Whereas hemp is a type of Cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, marijuana contains anything above that. THC is the primary psychoactive component of Cannabis. As such, its presence (or lack thereof) determines whether or not the user will feel high. More importantly, the THC content in Cannabis also determines its legality. As such, confusing the two terms can have significant legal repercussions.
Another example of important terms to know is the difference between “hemp” and “CBD.” As discussed, hemp is a type of Cannabis with negligible THC levels. CBD, on the other hand, is a component of hemp (and marijuana) called a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are chemicals that interact with endocannabinoid receptors, whereas hemp is the plant that produces the chemicals.
As you research your topic, ensure you understand exactly what each term means and double-check them against a dictionary if there is any doubt. This is not to say that you should use a lot of jargon. Rather, make sure your content is easy to understand and elaborate on the jargon when necessary.
Final Thoughts on How to Research a Writing Topic
As a paid cannabis writer, it is crucial that you know your stuff. Regardless of how long you’ve been writing or researching cannabis, it is imperative that you research each topic thoroughly. When you know how to research a writing topic, the whole process becomes so much easier. Not only that, but your worth as a marijuana copywriter will increase, as well!
Do you have tips on how to research a writing topic? We’d love to hear it.