Earlier today, I wrote about how the advice “write what you know” isn’t always the best advice. That doesn’t mean that you should use your blog as an outlet for uneducated outbursts about every topic under the sun. When creating content, you can use the following tips to keep the standard of your blog high, even if you have no practical experience in the topic:
- Create a resource list.
Don’t know much about a certain topic within your niche? I bet you that some bloggers out there do. For example, on After Graduation, I wanted to write a post that would be helpful for readers interested in publishing books. I’m an expert novel-starter, but a novice novel-finisher, so I’m not really qualified to give advice in this area. Instead, I create a list of 18 people who are qualified to give advice about publishing.
- Interview an expert.
Again, even though you don’t know much about a specific topic within your niche, there are people out there who do. There are also experts in your field who are more than willing to share what they know about the topic. Most people are happy to answer an email questionnaire or spend 10 minutes on the phone with you, especially since you’ll be promoting their company, products, or services by doing an interview where they’re named as an expert. When interviewing someone (whether or not it is a celebrity), make sure you use these interview tips.
- Trade guest posts.
You shouldn’t necessarily contact bloggers you don’t know and ask if they’ll write a post on your blog, but if you have friends who blog in your niche, or can cover a specific topic related to your niche, propose a partnership. What value can you bring to their blog? When you trade guest posts and work together to promote them, everyone wins.
- Get out there and learn some new skills.
This is the most time-consuming tip, but it definitely pays off in the end. Let’s say that you write a blog about cooking, but have no idea how to decorate a cake. Does your community center offer classes? Or, say you write a blog about home improvement, but have never built a deck. If your neighbor is planning to do just that, offering to lend a hand will give you the experience you need to blog about the topic later. You’re probably passionate about your blog niche (I hope so, anyway), so spending some time and money learning new skills is often worth it.
Of course, there’s always the option to do traditional research when you don’t know much about a specific topic. Don’t just regurgitate what Wikipedia says. Do comprehensive research about the topic, and make sure your sources are valid. You can use Wikipedia as a jumping off point, but find some experts on the topic and even hit the library to find print resources on your topic of choice.
Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She spends way too much time reading about random topics on Wikipedia.
Image credit: sxc.hu