Category Archives: Uncategorized

24 May

10 Research Tools to Help You Find Your Niche

computer online research tools to find your niche

There are common ways to collect data, in traditional academic and scientific circles.  Doing research online has become the quickest and easiest way to gather basic information about a group, topic or trend.

It isn’t really that hard. Gone are the days when you had to drive to the library, learn the “Dewey Decimal System” and then find the materials – in print or on Microfiche or reserve them for a later date.

And that could take hours!

Today all you need is a computer, laptop or cell phone.  Not only is it easy to search now, there’s so much more information available out there. And there’s been a huge effort over the past few decades to make information easy and accessible to internet users around the world.

For quality time and searching, as fun as it is to “surf” the internet or social media platform, it’s best to streamline the search process.

3 tips to help you stay focused:  

  1. Open a Word doc or notebook app on your desktop. As you go along, copy links of topics or sub-topics related to what you are searching for. Save them for later. Also write down key words you see being repeated over-and-over again. Those you can add to your key work search later on.
  2. Make note or save links to the sites that offer the best information you can use. You might need to cite those sources or go back to them at a later date.
  3. Focus on one topic. For example, if you are baking a Chocolate Bundt Cake, focus on that cake, not cupcakes, or Velvet Bundt cakes. Those topics will be there later on. All focus needs to be on the Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Here are 10 tools to help you do this. And the best part? You may not even know most of them are already at your fingertips!

About these tools:

Some are free and some are a membership-based product, meaning you pay a monthly fee to gain access. And the good news? Lots of people don’t know about them and/or won’t pay for them so that can give you an advantage. Other good news, you get real time research data. That can be critical when creating content for someone else or it’s time sensitive.

If you are thinking about using one regularly, I would look to see how often you are going to use it and then either try one (look for a free trial) decide which price point fits for your budget, ($29-$300 per month) especially as a beginning writer/blogger and give it a go!

Consider the Pros and Cons.

One of the top reasons internet businesses fail is due to lack of research. It could be said that doing quality research (by using one of these tools) might be better money spent than automating a social media site. But that depends on factors like where your sales actually come from and how important the research you are doing actually is. If lead generation is coming (for example) from your Pinterest account (leads as in actual paying customers vs. a reader base) than maybe using non-paying search sites is better to start with. But if you happen to talk to an editor that is considering hiring you and she mentions how important WordTrackerScout.com is then you know what to invest in next!

Find and use the ones the work best for you.

Trends will come and go but the tools you need will be the ones that help you create the quality of work you need to create. And offer you time well spent. I would recommend spending some time getting to know a few of these products. Stick with the one or two that work best for you. They will save you lots of time and energy.

The 10 Research Tools:

Let’s start with free products :^)

Quora

A place to share knowledge and better understand the world”.

A log-in is required for this one either through Facebook or Gmail. You can ask a question, answer others or search current topics. 

Google Trends A cool Google product! As they say:

“Explore what the world is searching”

You can see current topics or search a topic and they show you up-to-date date on search trends, subtopics or interest by sub-region. Trends can be used, for example, when creating FB ads to target specific demographic groups.

Keywords Everywhere (Chrome and Firefox extension)

This is another cool Google app. It supports 16 sites, offers metrics and settings, and is easy to install on your Chrome browser for easy use. (It took me 3 minutes!)

Here’s a simple Youtube.com video to help you get started.

I use this and recommend it!

Think With Google: Free subscription-based program that sends you information on your pre-selected trends and offerings.

Google Correlate

Another cool app within the Google family. It pools data from searching trends and finds correlates.

And they offer a tutorial!

Note: for more cool Google apps, click the Chrome browser link at the end of this post or simply type “google” in your google search bar and a list of their products will pop up. 

Word Tracker Scout: A Chrome browser extension for “high performing key words”. They offer a bunch of ways to find key words.

Google Scholar: Yes, another Google product that is quite useful. As they say “Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.”

Mangools:  an SEO search tool.

Zotero: A browser-based tool that allows for easy searching through their library to help you “collect, cite, organize and share research”.

BuzzStream: an influencer research tool. Brilliant!

Stay open-minded and flexible. Look for new search tools when you need a break or are looking for a way to add something interesting to your work day.

Below are some additional products.

Good luck with your research!

 


Resources:

UberSuggest

Chrome Web Store

10 Market Research Tools You Should Be Using

The Article Writer’s Tool Kit

Stack Exchange

Statista

10 Online Research Tools Every Online Learner Should Know About

Google Surveys

ProQuest

 

Alexa

02 Aug

3 Ways a Diagnosis of “Autism” Can Help a Child

Here are 3 things that a proper diagnosis of Autism can provide:

1. CONTEXT
As human beings we seek to understand not only our own self, but also the world around us. A diagnosis provides context. For something as complex as a being human and a disorder as complex as Autism, people need to look through the proper lens to see the person and symptoms accurately. Sometimes they need to be handed the glasses. The world responds and has a better understanding of what is happening with a child when there is a name to put with it. Especially with children and adults on the Spectrum.

2. ACCESS TO SERVICES
A diagnosis like this also comes with an (often unspoken) possibility to receive services. For example, it could be qualifying the child to have an aide in a classroom or receive occupational therapy. There are a variety of resources and support systems a family can utilize to make life a little better, all the way into adulthood. I have found it varies from County to County, perhaps State to State. Some systems offer assistance with education, skill building, job training, cooperative housing and various types of therapy. These resources are critical for some on the spectrum just to be able to maintain day-to-day functioning.

3. RELIEF FROM CRITICISM
Simply put – a parent may respond differently towards a child when that child is Autistic. When people see a child act out, for example, and a parent respond and then the child not calm down (which can be common with children on the Spectrum) a frequent assumption is that the parent(s) are not parenting the child correctly. Often parents with children that aren’t on the spectrum have to wait it out in an uneventful manner. They get to practice patience. But sometimes with a child on the Spectrum, when the tantrum hits, not only is patience important, but also safety can become an immediate priority because sometimes the lack of emotional regulation also comes with out of control behavior. An intervention might be needed, and it may take a while for the event to pass. People frequently don’t understand the full context of the situation. I now explain to people that my son is on the Spectrum, and frequently there is an immediate response of compassion and support and a little more patience. I am grateful.

Parents and children deserve to be supported, loved and validated. This can be a difficult journey for many families.


References:

JAMA Psychiatry: Autism From 2 to 9 Years of Age (inaccuracy in diagnoses.)

Cambridge.org: The diagnosis of autism and Asperger syndrome: findings from a survey of 770 families

CDC.gov: Diagnosing Autism

Autsimspeaks.org: How does sensory processing affect communication in kids with autism?

SFgate.com: Beyond Rain Man: What one psychologist learned raising a son on the autism spectrum

TACANOW.org: Introduction to Autism

Books:
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a 13-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida, Random House Books

1001 Great ideas for teaching and raising children with Autism or Asperger’s, Ellen Notbohm & Veronica Zysk, Future Horizons

Videos:

Youtube.com video: Teachthroughlove.com – 5 things to never say to child with Asperger’s

Youtube.com video: “The Good side of Autism”

Youtube.com video: Wonkid family video

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