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Research and Freelance Writing

As a freelance writer, one of your main responsibilities will be to research the topics that you are writing about. In most cases, a client will expect you do to a bit of research on your own in order to get a better feel for the subject matter. Of course, if you only work within niches that you know a lot about, your research time will be kept to a minimum. But even then, you will have to collect some information from time to time.

When researching information for any freelance writing project, you need to keep one very important detail in mind: accuracy is important! Remember, the information that you find will be used when you begin to write. If you are relying on inaccurate information, it is safe to say that your client is not going to be satisfied with the end result. For this reason, you should only compile your research from areas that are offering accurate information.

The internet is a great place to research any freelance writing topic. In fact, this is by far the best way to find information on any topic; no matter if you are a freelance writer or not. With that being said, there is a lot of inaccurate information online. After all, anybody can start their own website and fill it with their opinions. You need to make sure that the information you are gathering comes from sources that you trust. If you have any doubt as to the accuracy of a specific source, it is time to move onto another.

Another great way to research is to conduct interviews. For instance, I am currently working on a high school sports feature article. Although there is a lot of information online, and I know quite a bit from past experience, I am still going to call a few local coaches. This will not only give me a fresh perspective, but it will also give me a few quotes to use in the piece as well.

If you are unsure of how to research a particular project or topic, there is nothing wrong with asking the client for help. You may be surprised at all of the information they can send you on the industry; this is especially true if you are working with a company. By asking for help, it is more than possible to receive all of the information that you will need without having to search far and wide.

The ability to research with success is an important trait of a successful freelance writer. With the help of the internet, as well as the ability to conduct interviews with industry personnel, you should always be able to locate plenty of reference material. 

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4 Comments »Freelance WritingApril 22nd, 2008

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