“Fake it ‘till you make it” is a common phrase in the business world. This is easier said than done, of course, especially for bloggers and freelance writers. Here are some tips about how to blog for a new, and perhaps unfamiliar, industry.
Bloggers and freelance writers are accustomed to being thrown into new industries — having to not only learn a whole new subject — but then needing to write about it, too.
Writing about anything takes at least some surface level understanding of the subject, and a deeper knowledge if you want the content to be high-quality. As a freelance writer who has been thrown into the software development industry, it has been a wild ride learning the ins and outs of the tech world in order to produce content that works.
Do Your Research
This should be the “go to” tip when working for any new client or industry. Thorough research, beyond the scope of your assigned blog topic, should be the first thing you focus on. Use white papers, internet searches, internal company documents, and even competitor sources to begin to develop an understanding of the industry, company, and specific services they offer.
Blindly writing before doing any substantial research will only hurt you in the long run as you get to the editing phase and find out you were off base.
Interview the Experts
Having trouble coming up with content that will best serve this new industry? Instead of trying to personally act as the thought leader in this area, why not interview actual thought leaders and subject matter experts?
Compile a list of the experts and big names within the industry and try to connect with them for a discussion. Explain that you would like to interview them for an article you are writing, and come up with some interesting questions that will help guide the content. This ensures the content is accurate, allows for greater exposure of the content to the interviewee’s followers, and helps you get a better grasp of the information directly from an industry expert.
Ask for Edits
When you are first getting acquainted with the industry terms and information you will be writing about, you should absolutely ask a subject matter expert within the organization to go through and check your work. Ask them to make sure you are on the right track in terms of factual information, and inquire when you have specific questions about anything in particular. By asking for edits, you can speed up the learning curve and come out ahead with more accurate information.
Try to Avoid Too Much Industry Jargon
It is easy to get wrapped up in using the right jargon and sayings when entering any new industry. I recommend hitting the brakes when it comes to industry jargon, especially when you are just entering the industry. Wait until these phrases become a natural part of your writing process to incorporate them, otherwise readers will most likely be able to catch on that you are new to this — causing unnecessary confusion for the audience.
Stay Up-to-Date as Things Change
My last piece of advice for blogging for a new industry is to continually stay up-to-date on that industry. Being aware of any changes, updates, and big news will ensure you are able to reflect that in your blogging activities and will make you a more informed writer. You can attend industry events and conferences to stay in-the-know, and then blog on those events to reflect on your company or client as an industry expert.
What has your experience been like as you branch out your blogging efforts to new industries? Are there any other tips you have for acclimating yourself to a new industry?
Alexandra Bohigian is the marketing coordinator at Enola Labs Software, a software development company in Austin, TX. Alexandra is also a freelance writer and has blogged for several different industries, ranging from healthcare to technology.