Do Content Writers Need to Be Experts?

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Experts in a field have a wealth of valuable information to share. An actor who has been in the business for decades can write volumes about creativity and pleasing an audience. The CEO who has built multiple successful businesses has more valuable information to impart than most graduate-level courses. Everyone from metal fabricators to musicians offers specialized knowledge that others are eager to discover. How, then, can a writer outside the field create rich, well-informed content about it and do justice to a specialized website?

In many cases, professional content writers do have a background in specialty fields. They may have worked in an accounting office or medical center in the past and now gravitate to articles about finance or health care. For others, writing is another phase of a career that has already spanned decades. The chef who chooses not to spend hours on the line with knives and fire still has plenty to teach as a food critic, culinary writer or restaurant content creator. Sometimes, writers have an educational background that suits them well for niche fields.

Skilled content writers are experts, but not necessarily in the subject at hand; they excel at writing content and can do it well on most subjects. Anyone who has had an instructor who knew and loved a topic but couldn’t impart that passion to students understands that knowledge alone isn’t always enough. We live in an information-rich age; those who can find, make sense of and share that information in engaging ways play a pivotal role in an organization.

As a reporter communicates political news effectively without years of education in political science or a former career as an elected official, a content writer is a researcher, interviewer and communicator. For feature articles, research and interviews allow the writer to draw from others’ expertise, synthesize information into a compelling narrative and take a fresh look at an interesting topic. In blog posts and on social media channels, writers take raw information and transform it into something more appealing for readers.

Business content becomes more effective when the content creation team has more insight with which to work. An SEO expert who has access to detailed site analytics can pinpoint unexplored markets and tap into what visitors hope to find. In-depth research and open communication with experts in the field establish credibility while polished writing gives online content the necessary polish that sets it apart from competitors. Expert writers also have a good understanding of credible sources and include links to them where needed, adding weight to their content and authority to a site.

Not every writer can cover every industry; some subjects require specific subject knowledge, and others take a special kind of writing voice. Medicine, law and STEM fields, for example, benefit from having a content creator with experience in these more specialized areas. Consider finding a professional in the field who has retired or changed careers to get the expert you need. Be aware, though, that professional writers with extensive subject knowledge are rare; they are essentially experts in two fields, and their price is commensurate with their skill set.

At the other end of the spectrum are companies with a wide range of general content needs. Working with a content team or third-party provider that can find qualified authors rather than hiring one or two niche writers is often a solution for businesses that need many topics covered well. Volume also becomes a concern for individual writers; a site that needs dozens of SEO articles weekly needs a content creation team.

According to the latest SEO schools of thought, you do need expert writers – but not necessarily writers who are experts in your field. Let your content creation team excel at what they do and supply them with the information they need to make your static site, blog or Facebook page shine.

© Business Content, Inc. 2013 All Rights Reserved.

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