Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: References
You might think the most important part of a successful blog post lies in killer content, or a compelling tone, or even a click-bait-laden title. And while these tools are used by countless bloggers around the Web to draft outstanding posts, an oft-overlooked aspect that’s just as essential is the quality of the resources used as references in creating these posts.
It might seem like you’re simply sharing some interesting or useful information with your readers. But the truth is, you’re doing much more than that; every blog post you write not only delivers content to your audience, but also shapes their perception of you, your brand, and your authority and expertise. That’s why using only high-quality, primary sources for your content is critical.
Forget citing open-source, user-generated content sites like Wikipedia. These sites are a bad idea for anyone writing a blog post for the same reason they’re a bad idea for anyone writing an academic paper: they are not authoritative sources, and because they can be edited by literally anyone, they are subject to revisions that can destroy the value of any citation they provide.
A better place to start is with actual news articles, which, while not always primary sources themselves, often draw on high-quality, first-hand sources for their own content. Better yet, many of them provide links or citations directly to the primary sources used, allowing you to narrow your search quickly and incorporate solid references into your own writing.
Other potential research aids include social media feeds, video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, and Internet content collectors such as StumbleUpon and Delicious (remembering always that these sites are jumping-off points, and not necessarily solid resources in themselves).
When you’re drafting your next killer blog post, remember it’s only as good as the quality of your sources. Thorough research, review of primary sources, and proper citation will help you create posts that establish your authority, speak to your reader’s interests, and turn help turn browsers into followers and clients.
Check out the rest of this series for more killer secrets!
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