You’re looking at writer profiles, and you’ve found someone who looks nearly perfect. You love her samples; the style fits your site to a T. The only problem? She doesn’t list your industry on her profile. Should you keep looking and hire writers who only list your industry, or consider one who you otherwise love?
Writers Are Researchers
When you pick up a glossy magazine like Wired or The Atlantic, you know that the writers whose work you’ll see inside are not necessarily practicing professionals in those subjects. And, you rarely expect them to be: they are writers, not scientists, diplomats or engineers. But, when people decide to hire writers to write about their own businesses, they sometimes worry about an individual writer’s expertise. Sometimes, they’ll feel that only a writer with real-world experience in that industry will do.
However, even if the writer you have in mind does not have experience in your field listed, she can still pick up the knowledge to write authoritatively. One of the skills that writers develop is the ability to quickly take in information from a wide range of resources. Often, you will find that she has at least a passing familiarity with your subject matter. And, since content writers are generally writing for the customers of your business, they do not need an expert skill level. They don’t need the expertise to perform in your industry; just to explain what you do.
Writing Skill Is What Matters
Expertise is not the most important factor when it comes to writing effectively. If it were, you wouldn’t hire writers; you’d do it yourself. Writers have a completely separate and valuable skill set. They can take complicated jargon and make it understandable for average readers. They can share your excitement for your field and get readers excited, too.
When in Doubt, Ask
If you still are not sure whether the writer you are thinking of has the ability to understand and write about your subject matter, ask. It could be that she has written on the topic before but did not include it in her profile. She may also, with some research, feel that she can write authoritatively on your topic. If the writer you have in mind isn’t a good fit, no need to worry. Most writers are comfortable telling you if they do not feel that they are the right ones for the the job.
In the end, the job of a writer is to bring interested readers to your website or blog. If a writer’s profile drew you in and convinced you, that’s a good sign that she can apply those same skills to beguile your customers, too.
Lara S is a content writer and blogger. She’s written professionally since 1998 and specializes in creating reader-friendly posts for complex industries like healthcare, law and insurance. On the weekends, you’re likely to find her out on her sailboat or ensconced in bed with a book.