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You Can Write on Any Topic – 3 Ways to Convince Potential Customers

write on any topicYou’re a writer so of course you can write on any topic!

Okay, maybe like me, you can’t do credible academic writing on rocket science, but on the whole you truly can if not write on any topic, write on most.

Why?

Because you know how to do research and how to translate difficult topics into understandable English for the average reader. And you read a lot about a whole bunch of things. You’re curious and you enjoy learning. You were either taught to think clearly or figured it out for yourself.

Clients may doubt you can write about any topic – particularly theirs

This morning we had a discussion in our forum about how often clients insist you have experience writing about their particular product or process. Many who hire writers don’t understand that a good writer can learn about what the clients wants you to write about quickly and that in fact you actually can write about any topic, including theirs.


The trick is to convince them you can handle the assignment even if you’ve never written on that specific topic before.

3 Ways you can convince potential customers

Here are three ways or approaches that will help you convince at least some of the doubters that you can write well for them regardless.

1 – Explain your approach

Sometimes simply explaining your approach – how you’d do the research for example – will be enough to reassure them. You might, for example, show them how Googling can bring up plenty of information about their topic for you.

2 – Show them something similar

Chances are you’ve written something on a similar topic, or in a way that shows you can do what you want. Dig some samples out and show them how the same approach would work for them.

3 – Offer to do a no-cost sample

I save this approach for pitching a gig I really want. I’ll offer to do a no-cost sample for them – maybe a page or two – so they can judge for themselves if I really can write on any topic. I always have to do some research to make this work, so I keep my sample small since I know even this won’t convince everyone. In other words I limit my non-paid investment. It seems to me this works close to half the time, but in all honesty I haven’t tracked it.

Of course, you won’t convince everyone. One truth about writing is you could have all the experience in a potential client’s area of expertise in the world and you still wouldn’t get the gig. Exactly how any particular client decides to hire you or not is also a mystery.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer




 

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • I used to think I could write on any topic because I’m a great researcher. Then I realized that there’s no way I could write on today’s pop culture and most of today’s movies. Research can’t do it justice and, let’s face it, I’m too old to care about 99.99% of it. I believe I could write on anything where research is key and maybe having the opportunity to sample something, but I acknowledge that there are limits.

    • You make a good point, Mitch. I’m not good on pop culture either, although I suspect it’s because I’m not really interested. If I were interested I’d probably be able to find something to say other than ho hum.

  • I just started doing freelance writing for a business in a specialized sector of the financial market. I had never written for this market before. I did exactly as you suggest and I got the job. The no cost sample is what sold the deal. Thanks!

    • Wonderful! I love hearing about tips I give that get people results. Good for you for trying it out!

  • There’s a very cool tool I use to find things to write about. It’s called answerthepublic.com
    You enter a keyword and it created a map of the sorts of questions people ask online. The darker the dot, the more people asking the same question. You can use this tool as justification to a client for a topic choice.
    John H recently posted..Improve Your Web Design Skills With These TipsMy Profile

  • Personally, I try to avoid offering free samples. If a customer needs proof of my writing competence, I just send them to my portfolio. There are always sharks out there trying to get free work.

    • Yes, avoiding the issue altogether by not working for free even a little bit or even short stuff is another way to eliminate the risk.

  • IS

    Great tips for anyone who is starting with online writing. thanks!

  • I’ve bookmarked your site, and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account
    Tanmay Kapse recently posted..17 Best Email Marketing Practices [+Free eBook]My Profile

  • Sue Chehrenegar

    I once got a job writing a weekly blog post for a publication that targets members of the marine catering industry. I was told that I could write about anything. Then, when I submitted my first blog post, I was told that it would not be of interest to the readers. Finally, I used some information on the best foods for someone with prostate cancer, and that was the topic for my first blog post.

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