Want to master any topic? You’re already on track…
The Internet is an incredibly powerful tool for research.
Affiliate marketers know it’s vital to build authority within a market and industry.
The only true way to do so is by being part of the culture surrounding a topic.
The marketer must learn and participate in the topic to truly form an expert opinion for their work.
A little bit of knowledge goes a long way.
We’d like to share how to research (and master) any topic while using the Internet …
So you can venture out into new markets and industries with your affiliate business.
Step 1: Set a specific topic
Don’t set out to learn it all.
Find a single topic that you’d like to understand and make that your main focus.
You could start off by trying to learn ‘Internet Marketing’ but this is a very broad arena so instead you should focus on one of the sub-items in this category such as article marketing for traffic; it’s specific enough that you can condense information without being overloaded.
Approach the topic as if it were a single chapter in a textbook. Plan to cover as much information you can about a particular skill, hobby, topic, interest, but without going too far out of its boundaries.
Step 2: Learn the Google basics
Google search is a powerful, complex tool for finding just about anything and everything on the Web. Your basic usage of the search engine may be limited so understanding of the advanced search parameters will aid in your quest to find the best and brightest information for the topics you plan to research and learn.
The following video will explain those advanced methods of Google search:
Spend 30 minutes to a full hour to dig around with these advanced search features to submit them to memory so each part of the learning process, here after, comes with relative ease.
Step 3: Validate the sources
The source of information is crucial to ensure the information you plan to retain has been accepted by the industry, applied in the real-world, and has not been created just to capture search traffic for monetary gain.
In essence: the information you seek should be factual and academic, in a sense.
Take each and every result you find with a grain of salt.
Take the time to cross verify the information by comparing the facts.
Educational websites under the .Gov and .Edu domain extensions are generally seen as the most trusted though .Com and .Net sites will house some of the brightest minds in the industry.
Take the time to browse through author credentials — do your due diligence! And, verify that the info has merit versus pandering to their readers.
Step 4: Collect
Collect and categorize your sources of information by creating spreadsheets and lists.
A handful of tools you may want to use include:
- Microsoft Excel
- Google Drive’s spreadsheets
- Social bookmarking tools like Delicious
- Article saving services like Readability
Collect the resource into a common folder much like you would have in a binder during your classes back in the day. Categories these entries based on the topics, coverage of the information, and their sources. Coordinate the listing with colors/ratings based on expertise and authority in the industry.
Step 5: Condense
Spend the next afternoon condensing the information into one complete thought very much like you would when writing a research paper.
- Identify the topic
- Create a question
- Use the sources to answer said question
You can cut and paste the best tid-bits under each of the main questions you need answered.
There’s no reason to edit each response. But, just know you cut out the fluff and pull snippets in the following step.
Step 6: Note taking
Print and read the information — use a highlighter to mark the information with the greatest ‘weight’ (based on factual sources and application).
Printing information is a great way to avoid being overwhelmed by too many sources. It forces you to read through what you have in front of you.
Create a separate word document for the snippets you’ve compiled and condensed them into your personal file. This item becomes a record of your work.
Consider watching the following video for good note-taking strategies:
Step 7: Application
Experts spout the info and put their ideas to the test.
Get out there and begin applying what you have learned.
Collect real-world data.
Not only will you find insights you may have missed during the note-taking stage but you’ll develop a story how you approached the topic (which can be used in your content creation).
Don’t worry about getting everything just right.
The more you’re active with the topic — the more you will find the hidden secrets.
Taking the time to do this step will let you skip ahead of those skirting the mainstream appeal. It’s this level of expertise that’ll improve your authority building.
Step 8: Distillation
Last, take everything and turn it into something you can share with the community.
- Turn it into an ebook and sell it on your website
- Write an evergreen blog post to define your position in the industry
- Record a video series and publish it to video sharing sites
Get that information out there.
Doing so can help you become the authority on the matter.
Get to the stage first (your website or others) and people will begin shifting away from the old and tired sources. They’ll migrate to you because you’re bringing fresh ideas.
From there it’s a matter of using your skills as an affiliate marketer to craft this newfound knowledge into a profitable venture.
That’s about all you need to master any topic. Explore the endless possibilities and turn your quest for knowledge. Use your skills in marketing to start new projects based on these interests and topics. Claim your authority in the niche. Create new sources of online income.