Imagine this scenario:
You are employed by a highly technical b2b company as a writer. Your job description is to create high-quality content on their product or service.
A client requested you to write technical content for them.
Unfortunately, you have never written anything technical before.
What do you do?
Actually, you have two options:
Reject the job offer;
Take up the challenge.
As a writer, more often than not, you are faced with the notion to write content for an industry you know nothing about.
Although, many writers tend to specialize in one niche or the other, however, the majority still operate in different niches.
As a writer, I have had to write content for many industries I don't know jack about.
I want to share out of my experiences to help you get over the difficulty of writing on topics you don't have sufficient knowledge about.
Below are 10 ways you can conveniently do that:
1. Check out what the competitors are doing
Every niche has competitors. Search for businesses who are also offering the same service or product as the company you are writing for. Monitor the way they address their audience's pain points, the questions they are answering, the kind of content they create (list, how-to, guides, e-books, white papers, infographics, e.t.c). A good tool you can use for this is Buzzsumo.
Type in the website address of the competitor and you will see their popular posts.
2. Reach out to existing customer base
The second thing you can do is to reach out to the company's customers if it is possible. Find out their questions and concerns. It will give you an insight into what the product and service is all about. You can also reach out to the sales team and ask them to give you the list of all the questions that customers ask them.
3. Write a clear and reader-friendly content
It will amaze you to know that no one actually wants to read technical jargons, not even the people who understand it perfectly. Everyone prefers to read content they can understand easily.
Therefore, when creating content on any subject you don't know anything about, make sure it is clear and reader-friendly.
4. Research the hell out of the topic
You have to make search engines your friend on this one. You will comb everywhere on the net for any and every content you can lay your hands on, on the topic. Use as many keywords combinations as possible and research until you cannot find any new content again. Then, read all of it until you understand the concept.
5. Create content on Company culture and customer testimonials
If the company you are writing for offers a high-end service or product, the customers may want to see how it worked for other users. You can use storytelling approach here. Tell the story of how the product or service changed people's lives or helped a company to sell more of their products. Focus on the benefits and outcomes of the product or service. You can add quotes here from customers.
6. Search for industry forums
Find industry forums in the niche where people ask questions and share their problems. This will help you to get a better understanding of the topic. It will also force you to dig deeper into the topic and learn more. Reddit, quora, HN, Stack exchange are also good sources of research.
7. Free E-books and manuals
There are free e-books and manuals on every subject online. You just have to dig deeper to find them. I have discovered several e-books and manuals on different topics in time past, that were very useful for me while writing content.
You can also search for industry-related journals or publication. This will give you advanced knowledge of the topic at hand.
8. Use image search
Look for images and infographics on the topic. Type in your topic into google and click on images. You will see lots of images relating to your topic. This will help you to see and understand your topic better.
9. Understand your product/service
A key point in writing valuable content for your audience is to know the product or service offered by the company. This may mean you need to sign up for the service to try it out or use the product. This will give you a better understanding of how it works and help you to write good content on it.
10. Connect with influencers in your niche
There are subject experts everywhere. Look for them and connect with them. Make sure such influencer has 10-20 years of experience in the niche. Reach out to them and ask them to share their experience through an interview. You can interview 2-3 experts to get real nuggets of information you can use for creating better content.
There you have it. 10 ways you can write content for an industry you know nothing about. It is not as difficult as you think. All you need is to check out what the competitors are doing, reach out to existing customer base, write a clear and friendly content, Research the topic, etc. When you follow the steps above, you will always be able to write content for an industry you know nothing about.