How To Write About Stuff You Don’t Know About

I was out at a party the other night and someone asked me what I did for a living. I explained that I was a freelance SEO copywriter and I wrote content for websites and blogs online.

They asked me what I wrote about and I told them that I had written about a wide variety of topics including travel, beauty, art, culture, transportation, architecture, food, fashion, technology, finance and much more. I had been hired to write the sales copy for carpet cleaning company websites as well as tourism news for travel company websites. I had written theater reviews, financial tips, cooking guides and a wide variety of other types of articles.

Their next question was predictable, because I had heard it before. It is what many people ask me when I explain what I do:

How can you write about all of those different topics? You can’t be an expert on each one!

I’m Not an Expert, Just a Good Researcher

They are absolutely right, it would be impossible to be an expert on all of the topics I write about, considering that in one week I could be writing about holiday homes in the Algarve, personal injury compensation claims, custom built homes in Connecticut and mortgage advisors in Scotland.  It takes years of experience in an area in order to be thought of as an expert and so there is no way that I will have this amount of time to dedicate to each of the topics that I write about.

However, whenever I get an assignment to write about a particular topic, I am able to become informed enough in one day so that I am able to write an interesting and informative article about the topic that the company can use on their website. How do I do it? Research.

All the Information I Need is at My Fingertips

When people ask me how I find out about these different topics, it confuses me a bit because I think they must have forgotten about one of this century’s greatest inventions: the internet.

At my fingertips is an incredibly vast store hold of knowledge about any topic that a client can throw at me. It is part of my job to soak up as much of this information as I can in order to write about the topic accurately.
For example, let’s imagine that I have been hired to write a blog about fishing. Now, I think I have been fishing once in my life with my uncle when I was a little girl, but I hardly remember it and I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on fishing. However, if I was writing a blog about fishing I would set my mind to learning as much as I could about the topic first.

I would read Wikipedia articles; watch YouTube videos, read fishing blogs, scour “How-To” guides and more, to learn everything that I could about the techniques, traditions and culture of fishing. I might even go on fishing forums to seek the answers to my questions from actual people who fish as a hobby or a sport.

My job is to take all of this information and then filter it through my understanding to write something creative, engaging and informative.  Even though I started out knowing nothing about fishing, by reading the finished article you would have no idea that I wasn’t experienced at the sport.

An Accidental Know-It-All

The bonus side effect of this part of my job is that I end up knowing huge amounts of random information about very specific niche topics that I would never have learned about otherwise. Not only does this keep me interested because I am always learning, but it also comes in handy on the odd pub quiz when I am the only person who knows the answer to an obscure question, because I happened to write an article about it the day before!  The more I write, the more I learn; which is one of the reasons why I love my job as a freelance copywriter.

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