At some point in your career, you may face the issue of having to create content for an industry-specific topic that you are not entirely able to master. If you're a marketing manager in a technical industry, you've probably already encountered this situation. Yet, that's a huge part of a marketing manager's job—providing informational content to readers who know as much as you do, or probably even more, on the subject. How challenging, right?
No pressure, these simple but primordial tips can help you punch above your weight and write an amazing and expert-like piece of content.
Start With Research
Content creation requires teamwork from the beginning: you can’t build a house if you don’t have the foundation. There is quite a lot to do before actually getting into the writing.
Research is the first key to a successful piece of content. No matter how much you think you know, putting your ideas to the test of others’ perspectives can only be helpful. Try to:
- Catch the feel of how people write on a specific subject
- Know what type of content they go for
- Know what they talk about
Search engines will be your best friends; there's no denying that. But your competitor sites will likely also come in handy. The idea of looking at your competitors for introductory information surprises a lot of people, but it's an important way to learn and stay up-to-date on their activities.
Remember, inspiration is thousands of miles away from plagiarism!
Become a Really Good Interviewer
Living in the digital era can sometimes take us away from valuable old-school skills. Go back to the basics. If you seek real expertise, you will never learn more than by talking to an expert. Becoming a good interviewer is all about asking the right questions to the right people: people who know. They can be your colleagues, your client; someone who's been in the industry for a while and are here to help. Keep in mind that you have to write good content, which means solid in terms of technical information but understandable for you — thus, others.
As the saying goes, there are no silly questions, just silly answers. You should never feel shy asking “naïve” questions — if you don’t understand a concept, you won’t be able to explain it clearly.
I’ll give you my tip when I interview experts for a blog post. I always ask wide questions at first, to make sure my general understanding of the subject is good. Then, my questions become more and more peculiar and specific as I improvise, depending on how the conversation goes. Why don’t you try that?
The benefits of meetings are numerous. With a goal of setting directions and requirements at the beginning of a process, to gathering information during an informal interview, or to evaluate the written piece of content, meetings can often answer questions in a timely manner.
Never lose sight of the fact that writing is a learning process. You will know at the beginning that what you wrote is not quite what you expected. But, why? You’ll think sometimes that you wrote rocked… and yet, no. It’s ok. No really, it is, because what will make you get better are mistakes, evaluation, feedback and corrections for the unique reason that YOU ARE LEARNING.
So, schedule feedback meetings and take this opportunity to learn more and to receive opinions on what you should and shouldn’t say. That will prevent you from making the same mistake twice.
Never Stop Trying
Write awesome industry-specific content or die trying.
Consistency is key in writing. The more you write, the better you get at creating powerful content on subjects that are a bit foreign to you.