Are you thinking of becoming a writer, but you are worried you don’t have the necessary expertise? In my opinion, expertise in a particular field helps, but it doesn’t define you as a writer. More important than your expertise is your willingness to learn, work hard, follow instructions, and provide quality content.
But I’m no expert either, so this is the conclusion I’ve reached following my own experience as a writer.
In order to land my first writing job, I had to write two test articles on stuff I had never heard off: “maqui berries” (I haven’t tasted those fruits yet, but it’s on my bucket list) and “the thyroid solution”. It may seem easy or silly now, but put yourself in my shoes as someone with basic computer skills and English as a second language.
If my ability to write those articles had depended on my expertise on the subject, I probably wouldn’t be writing these lines either. But instead of doubting myself and quit trying, I decided to do my best. I looked for information online and didn’t stop until I came up with an article I was proud of – the type of article I wished I could have found during my search. It worked, and I got the job.
My experience has made me reach another conclusion: you can make your lack of expertise work in your favor.
Why You Don’t Have to Be a Subject Matter Expert and How to Make the Most of Your Lack of Expertise
When using your expertise a factor in deciding whether or not to apply for a writing job or accept an assignment, remember that your readers aren’t experts either. If they were, they wouldn’t be looking for information in the first place. As a non-expert, you can easily place yourself in your shoes and answer their questions clearly and efficiently, in a simple language that experts may have a hard time referring to.
For example, when I received the instructions for my first test articles and I reached the part referring to keywords, my first reaction was “what the hell are those?”. Obviously, I’m not an expert in content writing if by expertise you mean studies and degrees. My old friend, Google, and my team manager at the time helped me understand keywords.
Later on, when I was given the opportunity to recruit writers myself, in my first email to them, I explained the instructions I had received the way I wished my team manager at the time had explained them to me. I’m pretty sure no one had my reaction upon receiving them.
As a writer, no matter if you work with a content agency or on your own, you have the freedom to reject the assignments you don’t feel up to. Judging my own experience as a writer and, at some point, team manager, my honest advice is that you give each assignment a chance. No one is born an expert, but there is nothing you cannot accomplish when it comes to writing if you really want to.
Wrapping up on Expertise and Content Writing
Believe it or not, more than they need experts, content agencies need writers they can rely on, writers who are willing to learn and get better with time. If they wanted experts, they would have mentioned it in their ads or asked for degrees during the recruitment process. Instead, they ask for willingness to learn and improve, for commitment to research and quality. Can you provide that?
Mihaela Olaru: My Story of Content
Writing As a Lifestyle
When I received my mom’s hospital bill, I knew my only hope to pay for it and the treatment she still needed for her cancer was to get a second job. That’s how I discovered writing. I must have browsed online job ads for hours when I finally came across the one that changed my life:
Copywriting agency is recruiting writers! If you have good English language skills and you like to write, send us an email at…
It was November 16, 2009, the day that changed my life. I had to take a test to get my first writing job. I had no idea what they expected or what an article was supposed to look like, but old Google helped me understand the instructions, and I did my best.
It worked, and I collaborated with that agency until 2016. I got promoted, received an offer to work as an editor, developed a partnership with the agency’s manager, and started my own team of writers. I worked day and night, on holidays, and even from the hospital. I jumped for joy when receiving excellent client feedback and pay increases, and I took a deep breath and got back to work determined to do a better job when I received requests for revisions.
The money I made writing couldn’t save my mom’s life, but it paid for the medicine she needed. It also helped me save my baby’s life when I was about to lose my pregnancy due to the difficult conditions at my main job.
Writing allowed me to quit my full-time job and still gather the money I needed for my C-section and all the things required to welcome a baby into the world, to organize her baptize party. It allowed me to make a living with my baby in my arms and my husband next to me, without missing out on any of the important moments.
Of course, my writing career so far wasn’t all milk and honey. It took tens of test articles to build a small client portfolio and get accepted by a copywriting agency. It took rejections and being treated like dirt to perfect my writing, prove myself as a writer and find the copywriting agency that would appreciate my work and treat me the way I deserved.
I’m grateful I discovered Iris Content. Annie Ianko saw beyond the fact that English is my second language, she taught me a lot, she gave me the feedback and challenges I needed to get better (she still does, and I’m thankful for that), but, more importantly, she treats me like a person, not like a robot or money-making machine.
Now I make my own schedule, so it is up to me whether I work during the day or at night, during the week or over the weekend, wearing a fancy dress or my pajamas. I have a steady flow of writing projects from Iris Content, providing the diversity and challenges I need, and pouring money into my account twice a month. I also have a couple of soul projects that allow me to help out a couple of friends while focusing on the topics I love.
I don’t know what qualifies as a huge accomplishment for others, but, in my books, it is being able to do what I love and get paid for it, seeing that my work is appreciated at its true value, and, most of all, being able to provide my loved ones with the emotional and financial support they need.
I’m sure your dreams are different than mine, but no matter what they are, I promise you that, if you work hard enough for them, you follow your instincts, try your best, and you do not hesitate to get up when someone throws you to the ground, you will accomplish them and be at least as happy with your personal and professional life as I am.
At Iris Content, we strongly believe we are more than just another copywriting agency. We are a well-balanced team of creators. Coming from different walks of life, our experiences set us apart as individuals, but we are brought together by an overarching passion for the written word. A passion for research and content writing, a desire to help our clients achieve their goals. Aiming for excellence, we are stronger together, as a content team. Starting this May, the month we mark a second-year anniversary for our agency, you will find out in this blogging section what our writers have been up to, what their take on the content world is. Because our content is not automatic and soulless, because our team members have their own voices and their own expertise that you can now benefit from directly.