How To Create Interesting Content That Google Loves Using Boring Research Papers
Your readers don't like to wade through research papers. Who can blame them? Research papers are boring to read, contain a lot of technical jargon, and don't always reveal groundbreaking new knowledge. Here's where you come in. Those boring research reports, and studies, all over the Internet can be cultivated into an interesting blog post that speaks to your audience in layman's terms without making their eyes glaze over and without you having to just make stuff up to keep visitors interested.
PubMed + Life Extension Foundation
These two sources alone can be an endless source for very interesting blog posts. PubMed publishes some of the coolest medical information you'll ever read, and Life Extension Magazine is mostly a print publication (though they do offer an online edition) that discusses radical scientific breakthroughs - specifically in the area of life extension and longevity.
However, a lot of the stuff that both Life Extension and PubMed publish can get to be a bit technical. It's a lot to wade through and not all scientific breakthroughs are Earth-shattering. The good news? You don't have to rewrite a research paper. All you need to do is sort through topics that interest you or your readers and then write a post about something that's interesting.
Take stem cell research. There are a lot of really boring studies about stem cells. Progress in this area of biology is painfully slow. However, there have been some major breakthroughs over the last 10 years. Here's how you construct an interesting article from PubMed research: find 5 or 10 papers that are focused on a particular application of stem cell research (i.e. heart tissue regeneration). Write what would essentially be a summary of the research you've gathered. Instead of making it bone-dry, spruce it up a bit.
Add personality. Add humor (when appropriate). Use colorful analogies and metaphors (as long as they're accurate). The great thing about a blog post is that you don't have to be as dry as a researcher. You can always link to the actual studies if your readers want the boring details.
The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a great place to conduct research on legal issues, history, and anything related to the humanities. They also house one of the largest collections of political, philosophical, and health-related research.
Like PubMed, the SSRN can be harvested for its research free of charge. You can't cut and paste information and then slap it up on your blog, but that's not what you would want to do anyway. Collect several different research papers (or even one, since there's a lot of comprehensive research published here). Then, put that research into layman's terms. Again, make it interesting. Most people have never heard of the SSRN. That's fine. It doesn't matter. What matters is unique, interesting information. Link back to the original study and you're golden.
Pew Research Center has some of the best research on the Internet - especially if you're trying to dig up information on anything related to Internet users and user behavior. It's a great place for digging up good content in the SEO industry. But Pew publishes a lot of other research too, along with public opinion polls. Looking for political polls about gun control? How about polls concerning how people feel about the Fiscal Cliff? What if you're researching the size and distribution of major religious groups? Want to know why the morning news has more coverage on major events than news programs later in the day? Pew has you covered.
Jstor is a wealth of information, but it's not free to individual users sitting at home perusing the Internet - at least not yet. This is a good thing. You'll have to go to your local library, as most libraries have access to the database, but you can find information here that is unavailable anywhere else. From health to law and everything in-between.
You won't be able to link back to articles published in Jstor, but you can still reference them in your blog post. This might be the best source of information you can get in terms of exclusivity. Most of your competitors are likely too lazy (at least, for now) to hoof it to the library and spend hours doing research. Use that to your advantage.
Google wants fresh, new content. It's getting harder to deliver, but it's not impossible. Not by a long shot. Do you have to do more work than everyone else? Yes. Is it worth it? You bet. What do you think? What are your sources for unique content?
Image Credit: © designsoliman