Get Good at Getting the Goods
How to gather the information you need to write copy that grabs and keeps readers’ attention
“Without great reporting, a story is like one big comb-over. You can see it from the third paragraph.”
— Ann Hull,
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter
for The Washington Post
You’ve heard the phrase “hog in, sausage out.” That means that what you get out of the grinder will be no better than what you put in it.
This is certainly true in reporting. No matter how accomplished a writer you are, your story will be no better than your material. In fact, in nonfiction writing, your story is your material.
With few exceptions, your reader is more interested in the juicy tidbits you’ll discover in your research than in even your most clever twist of phrase or your most inspired metaphor. No matter how talented a writer you are, your reader really wants to know that the billionaire’s wife stalks Wal-Mart for bargains, that the networking expert is so shy she has to take a deep breath before introducing herself at parties and that the presidential museum features a portrait of Harry Truman on the head of a pin.
And those details you can get only through research.
But too much copy has gaping holes where those details should be. Much of the writing being produced today could best be described as a sea of boring, abstract information broken only by the occasional speck of a not-so-juicy factoid bobbing in the horizon. That’s not exactly the kind of writing that’s destined to grab and keep your readers’ attention.
Now you can gather the information you need to write fascinating, detail-packed copy with Ann’s new handbook, Get Good at Getting the Goods.
In this handbook, you’ll learn:
- Three types of research to conduct for every single story you write. You’re probably consistently skipping at least one of these approaches now.
- How to develop an R&D plan to make information-gathering more effective — and more efficient
- The easiest way to get up-to-speed on a topic fast
- Five tips for making online research more effective and less time-consuming
- How to win over reluctant sources
- Seven tools for evaluating online information for credibility
- How to manage the interview, from beginning to middle to end
- Five kinds of questions to ask in an interview — and three kinds to avoid
- Where to find information
- Six ways to use firsthand observation for color and insight that you can’t get any other way
- How to choose the right tool for finding information online
- Seven things to do during an interview to get the information you need
- Plus: Forty-five resources for tracking down the details and data you need
Best of all, Get Good at Getting the Goods is concise and to the point. You’ll be able to read it in 28 minutes. Within the hour, you can be gathering better information for your very next piece.
Get your order today — and pay no shipping — when you purchase this downloadable e-book (PDF). U.S. $27.50
Gold member discount price: $19.75. You save $7.75.
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