Writing What You Do Not Know

writing what you do not know

Some of the oldest writing advice around is, “Write what you know.” However, in the world of content writing, writers can really limit themselves and their earning potential if they only agree to take on jobs that center on topics they are personally familiar with. Understanding your own potential for research and self-education, can quickly expand the amount and type of content you are qualified to write.

You Can Learn What You Do Not Know

When a good writing opportunity pops us which you can tell is not exactly in your realm of expertise, do not underestimate your ability to learn the topic and still create some great content for your client. Confidence is one of the best teachers, and once you tackle a topic you are unsure about, and you nail it by meeting or exceeding your client’s expectations, you will not think twice about taking on a similar topic in the future. With just that one successful job, you have now expanded your confidence level and writing experience.

Don’t Be Lazy With Research

Half the job in content development is research. We are writers. We are not mechanics, software engineers, bankers, real estate agents, clothing designers or pet trainers, yet on a daily basis these types of professionals and thousands of others turn to us to produce knowledgeable content to help their businesses. They need bloggers and report writers to produce important written content and technical information to move their businesses forward. We must become a virtual jack of all trades. How do we do that? We research. We research our butts off. When you are confronted with a writing project, your first reaction may not always be, “Oh, I’m an expert on this topic,” but your reaction should always be, “I can quickly learn about this topic and give this client what they need.”

Know Your Limitations

Expanding your horizons to include new topic areas and specialties is how you will grow as a writer. However, we all have limits. If you continually hit a wall on certain topics, and clients are consistently not happy when you take on certain types of projects that deal with certain subjects, then eventually you may need to chalk that particular topic up as out of your league. If you have identified a topic like this which you consistently seem to drop the ball on, you will actually benefit yourself better in the long run to avoid these projects. If you just cannot seem to get a handle on that field, save yourself and the client some headache and just pass that job by.

Perhaps some better writing advice would be, “Write what you know and write what you can quickly learn.”

Sarah R is a freelance author, content developer and single homeschool mother. She spends the early hours of the morning producing great content for her clients and the rest of the day lost in a world of sentence diagrams, construction paper, fractions, and spelling rules that, hey let’s be honest, make absolutely no sense.


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