Google Scholar: the Best Tool You’re Not Using
Google Scholar doesn’t get much fanfare. I’m guessing it’s a mix of people not knowing about the resource and people not being able to access a lot of the material on it.
Google Scholar is a search engine for academic papers and case law. For human beings who want to learn stuff and marketers who want to add legitimacy and do research on their projects, it’s a gold mine.
So in this article, I’m going to make you aware of how to use Google Scholar for projects and I’m going to tell you how to get the papers in a cost-effective way.
If You Have To Access Paid Papers
Now, Google Scholar isn’t like the “free” internet. These are professional papers by professional people, and as such, you have to pay for access to a lot of the papers.
In many cases, you won’t need to read the whole study – you’ll be able to (academically questionably) know what the subject is about from the title and abstract. Unlike clickbait, most academic studies aren’t titled, “Does Zinc improve your sleep? Click here to find out, suckers!”
Instead, the title is something like, “Zinc affects sleep by X%.” Add in the abstract where everything is summarised and you’re ok.
Now, that won’t be enough for a lot of you truthseekers. So what is there to do? You probably don’t want to pay hundreds for access to a few papers, and getting access to a University library isn’t on the cards for a lot of people. So what do you do?
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Simple… go on Upwork and hire someone with University access because they’ll be able to access the materials for free in many cases.
Copywriting: Swipe File Of Facts
Your swipe file of facts is a competitive advantage. You should have a library of facts and figures. When it comes to copywriting, there’s nothing better than:
- “A study by [really reputable place] showed that one tiny chemical had massive effects on [your target market] and increased the positive effects of a [really simple thing] by [huge percentage]”
This sort of thing instils trust, confers social proof and helps you frame an argument.
Google Scholar is an excellent resource for all of those things because there’s nothing more authoritative than peer-reviewed science from Ivory Tower experts.
I have a friend who writes in a niche in the health industry. In fact, he has absolutely cornered this niche.
He’s not a doctor or expert. He doesn’t really do all that much “brand advertising” and his offerings are almost classic direct response in that he has a funnel, free course as an opt-in and then a paid option which is $99 a month. Throw in some keyword research for long tail terms and that’s pretty much his whole thing.
This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and he’s doing so well he’s had to close signups multiple times because he can’t cope with the amount of customers he has.
So what differentiates his little website from others?
It looks incredibly scientific. He has a big bold link on his home page “Learn More From The Experts” which links exclusively to blog posts about scientific studies on the subject. His lack of formal training doesn’t hurt at all because he makes up for it in this way.
You can do this on any website and it takes you from “Who’s this guy and why does he think he’s an expert” to “Jesus this guy knows his stuff look at all these studies and experts that enforce his point.”
Niche Sites: Add Legitimacy And Longtail Content
Let’s talk quickly about niche sites without reiterating the above.
Use the same strategy but write a bit more content (so you’re averaging a reasonable article length) and you’ll have a couple more benefits:
- Long-tail keywords
- Legitimacy (I mean… what guy who’s just trying to sell me protein pills would link to science?!)
- More content to pad out your site
Life In General & Final Thoughts
Of course, the above points in general are all about encouraging you to use Google Scholar as a professional resource.
You can also use it to improve your life. As I wrote yesterday, we’re constantly under the spell of immediate gratification and there are evil snake oil salesmen who are willing to promise you gold and give you glitter, so using resources which give you access to high-quality information is always a good idea. It allows you to cut through the nonsense and get to stuff that has been proven.