Writers see it all the time when applying for writing jobs or picking up assignments with “special instructions.” In big bold letters it’s stated: “Expert writing needed on this project.” But what, exactly, does this mean? Writers are experts in many areas simply because of the amount of research necessary when writing on topics from A to Z.
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, expert means:
having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.
Now, combine the dictionary definition with the art of writing and therein lies the war on the web between those who consider themselves expert writers and potential clients who aren’t clear about the qualifications they want, from SEO copywriter professionals and content specialists to degreed professionals and academics.
Do years of experience researching and writing on a broad range of topics equal special skills and knowledge? Or, are we back at square one attempting to determine between actual hands-on training and experience in a particular field versus extensive knowledge garnered from research and writing? This, fellow word wizards, is why there seems to be no clear answer.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know: What Is the Answer?
Several questions can be asked to help, or hinder, the debate. First question: What is the client looking for in a writer? Is it a seasoned writer who can pen an article in a professional and expert voice, or is it someone who can create an article that is free of grammatical errors because they work as a copy editor/writer?
Second question: Does the client want someone who holds a degree in a specific field and can write in a professional manner, or someone who has actual hands-on experience and earns a living as a writer, but holds no degree?
Last question: Are clients looking for writers with SEO expertise and credentials, or writers who have it all including a license, credentials, field experience and editing along with years of writing?
When writers see “expert writing,” it opens up a world of subjectivity. A top-notch writer can, and should, be able to research and write about any subject in an informed, professional, creative and expert manner.
The waters are definitely muddy when it comes to defining the criteria for expert writing. It can be confusing on several levels as writers navigate the murky depths of “what does this really mean” when interpreting a client’s requirements.
It is an age-old question. Throughout history, scribes chronicled the words of historians and philosophers. Were these word wizard considered experts at writing? Much like back-in-the-day, today’s super scribes supply the words and voice to create content for the masses. Although the methods are different, the goal remains the same.
And so, “What is expert writing?” still remains an unclear question and one that inquiring minds of professional writers would like to have answered.
Vickie F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.